After three days of play, the United States has a new national champion! Josh Utter-Leyton had a long road to victory, but his Standard play carried him all the way to the finals without dropping a match. Joining him on this year’s U.S. National team are his finals opponent, Anthony Eason, who burned through the field with his monored Standard deck and two red-based draft decks on the way to his second-place finish, and Conrad Kolos, who had to defeat the top-seeded David Ochoa in the third-place playoff to earn his spot. All in all, the United States has put together quite the solid team. We’ll have to wait until December to see if they are able to make a splash at Worlds in Chiba!
On a sunny Sunday morning in Aschaffenburg, Dennis Johannsen's smile outshone the midday sun as he received the winner's trophy for the German Nationals 2010. Three years after a second-place finish his wish had finally come true: leading the German National team at the World Championships. Come Chiba, Johannsen will be joined by a strong team. Jörg Unfried, 2006 team member, is looking forward to his return to the Worlds stage. And finalist Tobias Gräfensteiner is ready to seize this opportunity for parity with his brother Daniel, who set the bar with his Top 8 appearance at Pro Tour–San Diego. The two brothers squared off in the quarterfinals, where Tobias defeated his older brother in five games.
Congratulations to Joe Jackson, the 2010 Great Britain National Champion, and his teammates going to Chiba, Richard Bland, Daniel Gardner and Jonathan Randle! 172 players sat down on Friday as Great Britain's National Championships began, but on Sunday only eight remained. There were two past National Champions, in Dan Gardner and Jonathan Randle, and neither disappointed in making it to the final four. It was Joe Jackson and Richard Bland, who had built their deck together the night before the event, who proved the toughest competitors in the final stages though. Bland had lost only a single Standard game with his deck before facing his teammate in the 75-card mirror. It was not to be his day though, as Jackson powered through to victory to become the first Scottish player to hoist high the trophy of Great Britain National Champion.