The Big Weekend

Posted in Competitive Gaming on February 4, 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.

Six rounds of Booster Draft using a pack of Fate Reforged and two packs Khans of Tarkir. Ten rounds of Modern Constructed, highlighting the new Modern landscape adjusting to a world without Treasure Cruise, Dig Through Time, and Birthing Pod. $40,000 on the line for the winner, on top of Platinum Pro-status, the trophy, and the oversized novelty check to commemorate it all.

It's Pro Tour week, and that means you know full well what you should be tuned in to starting this Friday!

The Coverage Basics

Video coverage starts at 9 a.m. local time (ET)/6 a.m. PT/2 p.m. GMT on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. You'll find the Pro Tour Fate Reforged broadcast on our official coverage page as well as our Twitch.TV channel.

Our video crew and commentators will be bringing you over 30 hours of live Magic across three days; featuring Rich Hagon, Brian David-Marshall, Randy Buehler, Marshall Sutcliffe, Rashad Miller, and the introduction of Ian Duke from Magic R&D. When we're not showing you live Magic, we'll be giving you: Deck Techs, player interviews, draft breakdowns, and a whole lot more at the Newsdesk with Rich. But don't worry; there will be a ton of Magic to show as well!

If you're on a desktop or tablet, you can engage with the coverage even more by using CoverItLive through the main Pro Tour Fate Reforged coverage page. Community manager Nate Price will be moderating CoverItLive all weekend while monitoring the happenings of social media, and you can use CoverItLive to get a deeper interaction with the coverage than by simply watching the stream. Partake in AMAs with Wizards staff, interact with the coverage itself through live broadcast segments such as "So What Now," voice your thoughts on who will win a match through CoverItLive polls, and even get a chance to decide what feature match we select during a round! CoverItLive will give you a next-level-coverage experience, so be sure to join the chat 'cause Nate looks forward to saying "Hi!" to you!

But what if you're on the go, and are looking for a quick look inside the Pro Tour? Our coverage page features the pairings and standings for each round as we get them. You'll also find articles from reporters Marc Calderaro, Adam Styborski, and Jacob Van Lunen covering everything from the Modern metagame breakdown for the tournament to the deeper stories that bring you even closer to the competitors.

There's a lot going on, so let's go over some cliff-notes:

  • Bookmark the coverage page, because live coverage begins Friday at 9 a.m. local time!
  • Join CoverItLive for a more interactive for a coverage experience (details on how to join the chat will be available on the coverage page, referenced above)
  • Join the Twitter discussion using the hashtag #PTFRF
  • See photos from the Pro Tour at the Magic Facebook page
  • Pro Tour. Friday. Coverage begins. Don't miss it.

The Flashback

Last week featured two different flavors of Limited. One was our first look into the Fate Reforged/Khans of Tarkir Limited format, and the other was the ever-popular Team Limited format featuring some powerful teams and one utterly incredibly Cinderella story.

Mexico City played host to 626 players, ranging from Mexico's best and brightest to some globetrotters who stopped in for a little Limited testing prior to the Pro Tour, and the Top 8 reflected that diversity with some solid local pros plus four competitors that were more than a few miles from home. While globetrotters Martin Juza, Chapman Sim, and Eduardo Dos Santos Vieira put up a fight, it was Canadian Pascal Maynard who ultimately claimed the trophy.

The full coverage can be found here, but let's dip into a few highlights:

Mexico's Greatest Magician—Meet Marcelino Freeman: Reporter Jacob Van Lunen sits down to talk with Marcelino Freeman, arguably Mexico's best Magic player and the reigning national champion.

Eyes on the Super Sunday Series: Reporter Josh Bennett talks to two of the GP Mexico City competitors who got a chance to compete in something far different the weekend prior: the Super Sunday Series.

Meanwhile, some absolutely stacked teams competed against each other in the power-driven, heavily skill-intensive Team Limited format in an effort to claim the three trophies and shared glory.

While the former GP San Jose champion team of Paul Rietzl, Matthew Sperling, and David Williams looked like they would be doubling their San Jose success stories, it was not to be. Instead, the trophies and the glory went to the three that formed an oath. A very special oath. An oath of the delicious kind.

The Pork Bun Oath.

The Grand Prix victory was a big one. While Luis Scott-Vargas has invitations for a lifetime thanks to his Hall of Fame induction in 2013, the win here got him a plane ticket to Brussels, Belgium in April. Eric Froehlich finally shook off the lack of a Grand Prix win that has been haunting him for decades.

But the real win here, and the real story to emerge from this weekend, was all about Paul "Paul Paul Paul Paul Paul Paul" Cheon. Coming into this weekend, the only way he could qualify for Pro Tour Fate Reforged was to become a Silver-level pro through the Pro Points he could pick up at GP San Jose, but the only way to earn enough points was to win the tournament.

Well, he and his teammates went and did just that. While the victory was big for the team, it is the world to Cheon, and we'll be seeing him and his teammates in action this Friday.

Full coverage can be found here, but let's take a look at a few highlights:

The Pork Bun Oath Rolls On: Reporter Adam Styborski talks to the Pork Bun Oath about the origins of the team name as well as how their weekend had been going (spoilers: it went well).

Listening and Learning: Reporter Marc Calderaro investigates the table discussions happening during the second Team Sealed build of the weekend, gleaning what info he can (based on team chatter) to learn more about each team's approach to the format.

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