Top 8 Introduction

Posted in Event Coverage on March 21, 2004

By Event Coverage Staff

After eight rounds of sealed and six rounds of draft, the Top 8 is set. On top of the standings is "The Last Emperor" and Worlds finalist Jin Okamoto. Despite all his accomplishments, Okamoto has never won a Grand Prix, and is three matches away from doing just that. Right below him as the second seed is Yusuke Sasaki, who has come back from his one year suspension in a big way. He made Top 8 of Grand Prix Shizuoka back in the fall, and has followed up here with yet another Top 8 appearance. Team Masters Champion Masahiko Morita also won a Grand Prix with his PS2 team, and is looking to add an individual Grand Prix Championship trophy to his mantle. Amateur players Toshihisa Yamanaka, Hiroto Yasutomi and Ippei Sogabe are amateurs no more, and this will be there one and only chance to get an amateur prize at a Grand Prix. Considering that they are also poised to take home a good chunk of the main prize payout, all three are likely to leave Sendai significantly richer. Rounding out the Top 8 is the lone foreigner, Antoine Ruel. Alex Shvartsman is the only foreigner to win a Japanese Grand Prix, and Ruel is looking to become the second. Stay with our coverage to find out who will take the championship trophy home.

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