Saturday, 3:51 p.m. – Last-Chance Prep with Team TCGPlayer

Posted in Event Coverage on February 15, 2014

By Mike Rosenberg

Mike Rosenberg is a writer and gamer and has been part of the Magic text coverage team since 2011. He joined Wizards as organized play’s content specialist in June 2014.

With Pro Tour Born of the Gods taking place on the other side of the pond next weekend, and with a Grand Prix also taking place relatively close to the Pro Tour this weekend, it was expected that Grand Prix Mexico City would not have a huge turnout of Top 25 players. When prepping for the Pro Tour, being efficient with your time is essential, and many players found more benefit in flying to Europe early, adjust to jet lag, and prepping in between rounds at the Legacy event going on in France than attending an event that, for many pro players, actually makes their trek to Valencia much longer.

However, a few recognizable faces from the Grand Prix and the Pro Tour circuit made the trip down. What do four of them have in common? Well, they share a team that has been preparing for the Pro Tour next weekend.

No. 23 Ranked Player Craig Wescoe was accompanied down to Mexico City with teammates Chris Fennel, Seth Manfield, and Mark Lalague, all of whom were juggling the idea of attending the event anyway.

From left to right: Seth Manfield, No. 23 Ranked Player Craig Wescoe, Chris Fennell, Mark Lalague

There were a lot of reasons for these players to make the trek down. It gives them field training for figuring out how Born of the Gods impacts the Limited format. It's a Limited Grand Prix, which to players like Manfield and Fennell is certainly a bonus given their preference for 40-card decks. And, for players like Wescoe, it was a chance to return for another shot at taking a trophy up north.

"I made Top 4 at the last Grand Prix [in Mexico City]," Wescoe said. "I really enjoyed the people and the atmosphere, and so I was looking forward to coming back." For Wescoe, Mexico City offered him a chance to improve upon his performance in 2012, where he made it to the Semifinals in that year's Innistrad block Limited event. "I pretty much convinced everyone else to come," he said.

In the case of Fennell, that was certainly correct, as Wescoe assisted in travel costs to bring the experienced Limited mind down with him to make the most of any lessons that could be learned in two days of Limited with the new cards.

But for Manfield, there was very little need to convince him to make the trip. "I was already thinking about it," he said. "I was able to get my flight for the Pro Tour booked out of Mexico City, so my flight down here was less expensive. Since a lot of the other pros weren't going to be here this weekend, and Paris is going to be a lot larger..."

Fennell was happy to finish Manfield's answer. "It's Pro Tour testing. It's Limited, and a lot of the top players are preoccupied with the Pro Tour this weekend."

Each player has a seasoned record in Magic, and some with Limited especially. How will the representatives for Team TCGPlayer do here in Mexico City this weekend? Check back regularly to find out!

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