Sideboard Online Event Coverage

Posted in Event Coverage

By Wizards of the Coast

1998 World Championships
Pictures of National Teams


Luxembourg (see below)

Mexico

Enric Rodamilans Burgues (4th)
Gerado Godinez (5th, Alternate)
Antonio Martin del Campo (8th, Alternate)
Gustavo Chapela (15th, Possible Alternate)

Losing three of it's top four Nationals players to visa problems, Mexico has filled the team with four Pro Tour veterans. Two members, Gustavo Chapela and Enric Rodamilans Burgues, have been on two previous nationals teams, while the other members of the team, Gerado Godinez and Antonio Martin del Campo have 8 Pro Tour appearances between them. Anticipating that several of the members might not be able to make the trip, all the alternates practiced for the 1 and a half months available to them since their nationals competition. Type II is their strong format, Rath Cycle constructed their weakest.

The Netherlands

Marco Duynisveld
Han Tesselaar
Tom Van de Logt
Victor Van den Broek

The Dutch team performed very well at the recently held European championship. Victor Van den Broek, who used a 5 color white deck to qualify for Worlds, finished 9th overall in that event. Han Tesselaar qualified with a straight white weenie deck and Marco Dutbusveld made it with an original deck utilizing Tradewind Riders, Armageddon, Firestorm and Intuition. Tom Van de Logt, who won the Dutch nationals using a classic Tradewind/Geddon deck, finished in the 6th place of the European Championship.

New Zealand

Mark Simpson (National Champion)
Chris Wilson (Runner-up)
David Brock (3rd)
Jonathan Aumonier-Ward (4th)

Team New Zealand is one of the more relaxed teams at this year's Championships. Sporting a National Champion with three top eight finishes in his National championships (Mark Simpson) and a runner-up with one Pro Tour under his belt (Chris Wilson), New Zealand is confident that they'll do well the first day (draft) despite two players' lack of drafting practice. If they can overcome the draft, they look forward to entering their favorite formats, the constructed (Type II and Rath Cycle).

Norway

Snorre Helvik (National Champion)
Nicolai Herzog (Runner-up)
Kim Eikefet (3rd)
Gisle Salem (4th)

Sporting only one player with Pro Tour experience (Kim Eikefet), Norway still represents a team with potential to deal the major upset due to the skill of their players. Still, the lack of experience in the larger competitions might cost them in the long run.

Phillipines

Nikki Alfar (Runner-up)
Richard Yaneza (4th)
Teddy Sy (5th, Alternate)
Raffy Lirag (6th, Alternate)

Sporting one of only two female competitors in this years competition (Nikki Alfar), the Phillipines had to send two alternates to play (Raffy Lirag and Teddy Sy) when their National Champion Sean Ortuoste and third place finisher Oscar Capule ran into visa problems. Still, these changes allowed the team more internationa experience as Teddy Sy was on the 1997 National Team. Raffy Lirag, perhaps the strongest member of the team and a '97 APAC quarterfinalist, is making his third appearance for the Filipinos. The format the team feels most confident in is the Type II format. If they are to do well, they must get through the first day (draft) with winning records.

Poland

Pawel Karaszewski
Wojciech Kazbieruk
Emil Leszczynski
Grzegorz Swietlik

Team Poland is represented by several of the country's top players - still, none have had a chance to play in major international competition before as Magic is very new to most east European countries. Woyciech Kazbieruk qualified for Worlds using a 5-color blue "Donais" deck. Emil Leszczynski used Sligh. Grzegorz Swierlik made finals using a counter-sliver deck and Pawek Karaszewski won the tournament using an original aggro-control strategy.

Portugal

Eduardo Martins (National Champion)
Rui Sequeira (Runner-up)
Joaquin Rafael (3rd)
Fernando Figueiredo (7th, Alternate)

With only Grand Prix and Euro Championship experience, Portugal is one of the greener teams in the competition. One of the only teams to claim to have practiced more Rath Cycle constructed than anything else, they hope to do well. Still, practice was one of the major obsticles for the team over the course of the one month they had to prepare. Three of the teammates could practice a little due to their nearness to each other. But according to the other team members, the fourth teammate Joaquim Rafael, lives in the mountains and couldn't come down from the hills for team practice. Also, alternate Fernando Figueiredo only had three days' notice to make the trip.

Singapore

Robin Pong (National Champion)
Beng Hai Lee (Runner-up)
Adrian Teoh (3rd)
Ming Huang Royce Chai (4th)

With little practice due to work obligations, Team Singapore still hopes to do well, promising to do their best in the competition. With the lack of practice, the team has little confidence in their Rath Cycle constructed decks. Their best hope for a high finish is Adrian Teoh, a no-show for Worlds '97 (though qualified) and a Pro Tour veteran with an appearance at this year's New York stop.

South Africa

Ruaan Marais (National Champion)
Kelvin Bosch (Runner-up)
John Bromberger (3rd)
Michael Nurse (4th)

One of the many teams with no experience in international competition, South Africa is hoping to well in the constructed portions of the event. Due to the members living in three different towns, team practice was non-existent.

Spain

Carlos Barrado Lopez
Roc Herms
Paco Llopis Martinez
David Vall Brillas

Spain is represented by relative newcomers to the Pro circuit, but they make up for it with pure enthusiasm. Roc Herms and David Voll qualified for this event using a 5-color-Kastle deck. Paco Llopis, playing 5-color blue defeated Carlos Barrado, who was using a Prosperous Bloom deck, in the finals.

Turkey, Hungary, and Luxembourg

 

Papp Gabor
Daniel Gallion
Romain Glodt
Yusuf Vefa

These countries were unable to send full teams - there are only two players present from Luxembourg and one each from Turkey and Hungary. Yusuf Kemal Vefa of Turkey, who qualified using a mono-green Senor Stompy deck explains that the four players agreed to join up for the day of team competition creating a true "European Union" team.

Sweden

Matti Leivo (National Champ)
Mattias Jorstedt (3rd)
Leif Stockdale (4th)
Olle Rade (12th, Alternate)

One of the normally stronger teams at Worlds, Sweden became stronger with the addition of Olle Rade as team alternate when Jonas Mathiasson (Runner-up) couldn't make the trip. Olle, the '96 Pro Tour Player of the Year, adds tremendous depth and confidence to a team with only one other member with international experience (Mattias Jorstedt, Worlds '97 and Pro Tour Chicago '97 appearences). With his addition to the team, Olle made a bold statement, "We're taking down the Americans!"

Switzerland

Timor Dogan (National Champion)
Jurg Haberli (Runner-up)
Sepp Neff (3rd)
Matthias Kunzler (4th)

Featuring two players with Pro Tour experience (Timor Dogan-LA '97, Paris '97, Worlds '97) (Jurg Haberli-NY '97, Meinz '97), Switzerland represents yet another strong Euro country looking to knock off the favored Americans. National Champ Timor noted, "We will win!" If they are to have any chance, they'll have to overcome their weakest format, Rath Cycle constructed.

Taiwan

Aric Hsu (National Champion)
Frank Hsieh (Runner-up)
Doctor Weng (4th)
Autrijus Tang (5th, Alternate)

With no Worlds or Pro Tour experience, Taiwan doesn't look good on paper as one of the more favored teams from the Asian area. Still, Taiwan represents one of the teams to have actually been able to get together and practice on several occasions. Autrijus Tang (Top 8 '98 APAC) and Aric Hsu (19th '98 APAC) represent the players to watch on Taiwan.

United Kingdom

Chris Manners
Robin McCandless
Nicolas Moss-Allison
Scott Wills

Chris Manners won the British National championship using a Prosperous Bloom deck. He defeated Nickolas Moss-Allison in the finals, who was using "14" - a reanimator deck with Living Death and large creatures uneffected by summoning sickness. Scott Wills placed third using a very original 4 color white weenie deck - you can find Wills' tournament report on the Dojo web page. Robin McCandless finished fourth using something the team called a "Global Defender" deck but we were unable to obtain information as to what strategy that deck pursues.

United States of America

Matt Linde (National Champion)
Mike Long (Runner-up)
Bryce Currence (3rd)
Jon Finkel (4th)

The strongest team in the field, Team USA is considered the odds on favorite for the team championship title. Led by Pro Tour winners Mike Long and Jon Finkel, all players have participated in several Pro Tour events. Additionally, three of the members have been rated in the top 25 on several occasions, with two players, Long and Finkel, currently ranked in the top 20. With no weaknesses in constructed or booster draft, Team USA will be hard to beat.

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