Saturday, 11:00 a.m. – Famous Teams in Competition

Posted in Event Coverage on March 2, 2014

By Oliver Gehrmann

539 teams showed up for Grand Prix Barcelona and plenty of them are featuring skilled and famousMagic players. In fact, 12 players that are currently among the Top 25 are in attendance today. 4 of them have joined forces to form one of the "super teams" that will most likely tear through the field this weekend. Join me and take a look at these teams that are bound to make an impact today!

The team of (9) Shuuhei Nakamura, Paulo Vitor da Rosa and (18) Martin Juza will soon move over to the Feature Match area and our video team will analyze their thought processes. However, to not give the competition an unfair advantage, this content will only go live towards the end of the day.

Their combined record reads 16 Top 8 apperances for the Pro Tour and they advanced an additional 53 times to the Top 8 of a Grand Prix - wow!

Melissa DeTora teams up with Jeremy Dezani, the No. 1 ranked-player, as well as French veteran Raphael Levy!

Alessandro Portaro, known for his Top 8 finish at Pro Tour Philadelphia back in 2011, teams up with his fellow Italians Marco Cammilluzzi (left) and Luca Rinaldi.

Those 3 need no introduction: Stanislav Cifka, who is currently ranked 14th in the Top 25 will work together with Ivan Floch and Lukas Jaklovsky.

Nikolaus Eigner, a 3-time Top 8 Grand Prix competitor, joins forces with Thomas Preyer, the runner-up of Pro Tour London, and Benedikt Klauser who has already reached the Top 8 of 4 Pro Tours. Look out for this team of Austria's finest!

Martin Zimmermann and Tobias Radloff who have made the Top 8 at 2 Grand Prix each, are joining forces with their friend Johannes Jessen this weekend.

If you add up the accomplishments of these Japanese all-stars, you're looking at a whopping 13 appearances in the Top 8 of a Pro Tour and an additional 50 Top 8's for Grand Prix.

So you better watch out for (13) Yuuya Watanabe, Tomoharu Saito and Kenji Tsumura.

Bernhard Lehner teams up with Fabian Dickmann, not to be confused with his twin brother Patrick, and Silvio Wagner!

Valentin Mackl (on the right), whose resume features 3 Top 8 finishes at the Grand Prix, will need to work as a cohesive unit with Patrick Tomelitsch and Benjamin Leitner.

Pierre Dagen, the runner-up of one of the more recent Pro Tours, Pro Tour Theros, plays together with Timothée Simonot and Elie Pichon, who both have already reached the Top 8 of a Grand Prix before and who are trying to repeat this accomplishment this weekend.

Jan van der Vegt teams up with André Müller who has come close in Spain before, ending on 2nd place at Pro Tour Valencia, and Louis-Samuel Deltour.

This is the team of Alessandro Lippi, Samuele Estratti, the winner of Pro Tour Philadelphia, and Matteo Versari.

Frank Skarren, a former Grand Prix Champion, teams up with one of the most successful rookies of last season, Joe Demestrio, and Seth Manfield, who also won 2 Grand Prix already!

These 3 have also done well at Grand Prix before: Tomas Westling, Fredrik Carlsson and Jonathan Bergström.

Nico Bohny, who has reached the Top 8 of a Pro Tour two times already, teams up with Matthias Künzler (4 GP Top 8) and Andreas Nordahl (1 GP Top 8).

These can easily identified as members of team belgic Magic: Mark Dictus, Johan Verhulst and Michael Milis!

Another team with not one but two ranked players: (6) Shahar Shenhar, Eric (22) Froehlich and Brock Parker!

One of the all-time greats, Antonino De Rosa (center) has joined forces this weekend with Luca Casadei (left) and Christian Calcano (right) who have both done well at Grand Prix before.

Josh Utter-Leyton, who is currently ranked 19th in the Top 25, teams up with David Ochoa and Denniz Rachid.

Ciro Bonaventura, who has advanced to the knock out portion of 2 Grand Prix already, plays together with GP Champion Pierluigi Aceto and Luca Ravagli.

Wenzel Krautmann (4 GP Top 8), Lukas Tajek (1 GP Top 8) and Manuel Mayer (2 GP Top 8) make up this team.

This is the team of Oliver Polak-Rottmann, David Reitbauer and Klaus Joens. Together they have 5 GP Top 8 appearances and they are all eager to add another one.

Peter Vieren decided to play together with Kurt Verbinnen and Gert Coeckelberg and they are also sporting those impossible-to-miss yellow hoodies from Belgic Magic.

(16) Shi Tian Lee (on the left) had a good reason to celebrate most of last week thanks to his great showing in Valencia where he added a second appearance in the Top 8 of a Pro Tour to his resume, but his teammates Tzu Ching Kuo and Ken Yukuhiro wouldn't give him a break since they wanted to do well this weekend!

This team consists of Daniel Antoniou, the Cyprian National Champion, Alexandre Darras, a former GP Winner and Vincent Lemoine, who has also reached the Top 8 of a Grand Prix before and who's also won his respective National Championship!

Here we see Eduardo Sajgalik (Top 8 at Pro Tour Return to Ravnica), Richard Bland (runner-up of the 2011 World Championship) and Daniel Royde (a former GP winner).

The Refsdal brothers are no strangers to the Magic scene; they have both played the game for more than 10 years now. Let's see if experience translates to tournament success this weekend; in the picture above, we see Gunnar Refsdal, Sjur Holm and Thomas Refsdal.

Steve Hatto teams up with Philip Messow and Bernd Brendemühl (1 GP Top 8).

Thoralf Severin and Max Schultze practice every week together in Berlin and they're joined by Dion Sabel this weekend.

The second team that features 2 brothers: Tamás Glied, Tamas Nagy and Ferenc Nagy.

Marijn Lybaert (right; 4 Pro Tour Top 8 finishes) wasn't too happy with the pool his team received, but thanks to the experience this team boasts that also features Christophe Gregoir (left) and Zac Hill who both advanced to the Top 8 of the Pro Tour Honolulu, I think there's still a good chance we'll see them at the top tables this weekend.

Yet another German team that will try to make waves this weekend: Christian Seibold, teaming up with Daniel and Tobias Gräfensteiner. Will Seibold be feeling it again, just like he did last weekend in Valencia where he advanced to the Top 8?

French Magic is back and probably stronger than ever: Guillaume Wafo-Tapa, Guillaume Matignon and Erwan Maissonneuve will try to prove this point this weekend.

Patrick Dickmann (center) is another player that comes fresh from a great result at last weekend's event. He joined forces with Julian Plagge and Carsten Linden.

These Americans might be a long way from home, but that shouldn't mean you should underestimate them. Josh Mcclain, who is currently ranked 19th, teamed up with Alexander Hayne, who is ranked 11th, and Jon Stern (4 GP Top 8). If this team wins this weekend, they'll turn the Top 25 Rankings upside down!

One member of the legendary Phoenix Foundation wants to prove that he still brings plenty to the table. This team features Christian Luehrs, Dirk Baberowski and Carlo Propp!

More ranked players: Reid Duke, ranked 4th, William Jensen and Owen Turtenwald, currently ranked 3rd. They could move up even further on the ladder this weekend, so they are highly motivated!

Those 3 already played together in GP Utrecht last year and since Anssi Alkio has had such a great weekend in Valencia, the team now features 2 players that advanced to the Top 8 of a Pro Tour before: Jeffrey Verwoerd, Anssi Alkio and Hans Joachim Höh are a pretty diverse team that should not be underestimated.

Those are still not all of the famous players that showed up to make this one of the most exciting Team Sealed Events of all time, so make sure to check back regularly for all the updates from Grand Prix Barcelona!

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