By Omeed DarianiI feel cheap - to make this not print, I'm putting in unprintable characters. � Seventeen teams participated in The Sideboard Team Challenge 2000, including four teams fielded by Wizards of the Coast. The competition varied from seasoned players down to beginners, but the main focus of this special event was fun. Despite the $1000 prize purse divided between the top four teams, the games were very relaxed and friendly, with very little need for the two judges.
The Sideboard Team Challenge was unique in its presentation of formats. While most team events have all the players competing in the same format, the Sideboard Team Challenge forced the five person teams to plan far in advance, calling on each player to represent his or her team in a different format. Matches ran the gamut of both Limited and Constructed events, including Saga Block Sealed, Masques Block Sealed, Standard Constructed, Extended and Type I.
This is one of the only events in which players get to match skills against Wizards of the Coast employees. Wizards' four teams represented the DCI, Regional Reps and R&D. Of them, only R&D advanced past the Swiss rounds, jetting into a cool 3rd/4th place finish. Many players enjoyed the opportunity to challenge well-known Wizards employees like Mike Donais and Elaine Ferrao, as well as the rare chance to dust off their Type I decks and Donate each other silly. Necro-based decks were the order of the day in Type I, with almost every deck packing four copies. Extended saw several Sligh decks, as well as other popular designs. Type II reflected the metagame nicely, with Angry Hermit, Bargain, Stompy and Flores Black all making a showing. These three Constructed formats, when paired with the two Limited formats, really made for a nice show. The variety, above all else, made the format spectacular. By watching a single team match, a spectator could enjoy practically every Sanctioned format, having only to shift points of interest for an entirely different metagame. Almost the entire history of tournament-level Magic was compressed tightly enough to fit on a single table.
After five rounds of Swiss, Team Shun-Dung-Aluny-U took first place, winning a five hundred dollar prize. Second place Team THL received 250$, while Teams CSP and China Cat walked away with 125$ each, since Team R&D was ineligible for a prize.