Joel Larsson's Origin Story

Posted in Feature on August 18, 2015

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.

Going into Pro Tour Magic Origins, Sweden's Joel Larsson had his sights set on locking up Gold status in the Pro Tour Players Club. That would allow him to maintain his invitation to each Pro Tour for the next season, and was easily his baseline goal.

Fast forward to the end of that weekend: Joel Larsson not only locked up Gold, but also Platinum, which ensured that he was getting flights, hotels, and an appearance fee for going to every Pro Tour next season. On top of that, he also won the whole thing, ensuring that he was taking home $40,000, a trophy, and a sudden need to clear end-of-August plans so that he can compete in the World Championship in Seattle.

2015 World Championship Competitor Joel Larsson

Pro Tour Magic Origins marked twenty-three-year-old Larsson's second lifetime Pro Tour Top 8, as the Swede continues to build upon an already impressive resume. Amazingly enough, Larsson has accomplished a lot in a very short amount of time.

"I started playing Magic in Saviors of Kamigawa with my good friend Eric when we were about fourteen years old," Larsson thought back. "I remember that my first memory was picking up my older brother's binder and I tried to imagine what powerful cards it could contain while trying to learn the game. I loved the game, but the time I was really hooked was when I played my first draft at our local store. I played drafts every week and haven’t looked back since!"

Larsson's Pro Tour origins began much later after his first Magic experiences, many years later.

"My first Pro Tour was in San Diego 2010, and I didn't do very well," he recalled. "I remember that I played Time Sieve at the tournament, which was awful, but I did 3-0 my draft! Back then, I wasn't that good at Constructed at all, but I remember that I thought that kind of level of an event was amazing and that I would try to become better to get back to it, which I did 2011. After 2011, I have been on the train ever since!"

And Larsson isn't leaving the train anytime soon. In a little over five years, Larsson has gone from Pro Tour first-timer to Pro Tour champion. Now, he has a chance to truly cement himself in history with a World Championship title.

The 2015 Magic: The Gathering World Championship takes place in Seattle, Washington, during PAX Prime on August 27, 28, and 30. To learn more about this year's competitors, head over to the 2015 World Championship Competitors page, and check back every weekday leading up to the World Championship for new profiles on each of this year's competitors.

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