The Making of Magic History

Posted in Feature on June 8, 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.

A little over one week ago, Modern Masters Weekend spanned across three different continents, each running a special Grand Prix format, but each also containing displays of passion and community that united Magic players worldwide.

As there were a lot of stories to come out of Modern Masters Weekend, I wanted to take the time to highlight the key moments of each event.

Grand Prix Chiba featured a variety of Asia's most passionate in the Magic community, many of whom were featured in the Around the Multiverse album. One of those players was former player of the year Shota Yasooka, who not only played in an epic match against other former player of the year Kenji Tsumura…

…but he also participated in a draft of a different kind on Sunday. Sushi draft, anyone?

The main event ended up with 3,551 players, but the number of people who were there on Saturday was over 4,000. While the field was primarily Japanese, a contingent of other Asian countries as well as western countries were included in Saturday's main event.

Chiba also featured a diverse array of cosplayers. In fact, there were enough different cosplays present that we were able to set up a cosplay draft while the main event was taking place!

At the end of the weekend, it was only fitting that Yuki Matsumoto, who began playing Magic with Scars of Mirrodin block, won the 3,551 player main event. This marked Matsumoto's second Grand Prix Top 8 in 2015, and his first ever victory.

You can catch the full coverage of Grand Prix Chiba at the GP Chiba coverage page.

Grand Prix Utrecht, a four-day event that attracted players from all over Europe and then some, featured a 3,613 player main event and a whole lot more. As a central spot in Europe, Utrecht was an easy event for many to travel to and a number of fantastic folks spent all four days at the event.

Our community team had some remarkable stories from this event as well, including this couple, who first met through judging at Magic Grand Prix like Utrecht.

Another highlight was Utrecht's King of the Hill at the end of Day One of the main event. The King of the Hill title, originally given to a prominent marquee player at the start of the day (in Utrecht's case, this was Patrick Dickmann), is a title that goes to whoever wins in the seat of the King of the Hill. While Germany's Patrick Dickmann held the title all day, he ultimately lost it in Round 9 to Wladimir Makovski of Belarus.

When reporter Olle Råde got a chance to talk to Makovski, we learned that the Belarus Magic player had made Grand Prix Utrecht his first ever Grand Prix.

At the end of the weekend, amid a widely diverse field, it was Davide Vergoni of Perugia, Italy that took home a very special souvenir from Utrecht: a Grand Prix trophy.

You can catch up on all the stories from Grand Prix Utrecht over at the GP Utrecht coverage page.

Vegas has a history with Magic. In 2013, the first and only Grand Prix to use Modern Masters as a Limited format quickly grew in attendance far beyond what anyone thought was possible. It taught us many lessons, and is still looked to as one of the defining and most memorable GPs to ever take place.

Shockingly, Grand Prix Las Vegas 2015 will do the same for years to come. With a main event pre-registration count that was so large that the main event needed to be divided into two separate GPs, Vegas represented a combined total of 7,551 participants (3,687 for what was dubbed "Vegas 1", and 3,864 for what was subbed "Vegas 2").

Dubbed by many to be the Magic-Con of Modern Masters Weekend, players from all over the world flocked to Nevada to participate in one of the game's most historic events. Players from Malta, cosplayers galore, and more all made their way to the Grand Prix that is now best described as magical.

Of the 7,551 main event participants, two players took home trophies to commemorate their participation in making Magic history. Aaron Lewis from Madison won the first main event, while Scott Markeson of Monticello, Minnesota scored a victory in Vegas #2.

Full coverage of Vegas (Main Event #1) can be found at this page, while full coverage of Vegas (Main Event #2) can be found over here.

To the 20,000 people who participated in some capacity at each of the Grand Prix during Modern Masters Weekend, and to the 1 million people that tuned in to video coverage of Modern Masters Weekend all over the world, we say thanks. You all helped us make Magic history.

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