Coverage Through the World Championship

Posted in Competitive Gaming on August 30, 2018

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.

The next few weeks of coverage is packed with some unique opportunities, so let's dive in to what you can expect each weekend.

The Richmond Double

We're kicking things off this week with a double-main event Grand Prix weekend, as Richmond hosts Legacy, Standard, and a few unique experiments on how we will be doing coverage this weekend.

Start Times: 6 a.m. PT/1 p.m. UTC Friday; 6:30 a.m. PT/1:30 p.m. UTC Saturday; 6 a.m. PT/1 p.m. UTC Sunday
Video Producer: Rich Hagon
Video Director: Rashad Miller
Camera and Graphics: BJ Ogden and Andy Cooperfauss
Play-by-Play Commentators: Marshall Sutcliffe and Brian David-Marshall
Color Commentators: Reid Duke and Eduardo Sajgalik
Showrunner: Corbin Hosler
Writer-Reporter: Alex Ullman

On the subject of what's unique about this weekend, I'm going to turn things over to Rich Hagon for a moment so he can share how Reid Duke is both going to be commentating as well as playing (yes, really):

Hi, Rich Hagon here, global coverage manager for ChannelFireball Events. Together with our partners at Wizards of the Coast, we are always looking to improve coverage, and we are very excited to try something very new and very different for our Legacy coverage from Grand Prix Richmond. For the first time, we're going to follow one of the biggest names in the game through every turn of their GP experience, and for this unique look under the hood of a tournament, we've turned to one of the best Legacy players in the world—Reid Duke.

He'll be sharing with us his sideboard plans, his views on all the key matchups, and how he goes about making his deck win. For some rounds, Reid will be the main feature match, and once he's done, he'll be joining Marshall Sutcliffe in the booth to review the match and give us the full pro insight into the turns that mattered. Some rounds, he'll be our Time Walk match, and he'll join Brian David-Marshall and Eduardo Sajgalik in the booth to give us the full picture of how his match played out—a "director's commentary," if you will.

We're tremendously excited to try this experiment. Of course, there's no guarantee that Reid will go deep in the tournament—no pro can guarantee that—but for as long as he's in contention, you'll get to sit right behind and beside him as he battles his way through the Legacy gauntlet in pursuit of the Player of the Year title, teaching us all about this epic format every step of the way.

Reid Duke.

Legacy.

Every turn.

Every match.

Starting Friday, at Grand Prix Richmond.


So, there you have it. You'll be getting Reid Duke in the feature match area a little more than usual, as well as Reid Duke in the commentator booth.

Here are some additional highlights for Richmond, since it's a double:

  • You will be getting all rounds of Legacy on live video, and then attention will turn to the Standard main event on Sunday.
  • Long-time written content creator Alex Ullman will be making his debut on the official coverage team at Richmond, bringing you the latest from the @magicprotour Twitter account as well as day-by-day highlight articles. Welcome, Alex!

Detroit and Japan Nationals

Following up the GP Richmond double feature is another back-to-back event weekend of a different variety the weekend of September 8–9.

Grand Prix Detroit will feature Team Unified Modern in action as trios compete for their share of $60,000. Once live coverage from Detroit finishes each day, we'll keep things rolling with Time Walk coverage of Japan Nationals, as we broadcast English commentary over recorded matches from each round of Japan's big event the night before.

Here's a look at Detroit's coverage team and details:

Start Times: 6 a.m. PT/1 p.m. UTC Saturday and Sunday
Video Producer: Brian David-Marshall
Video Director: BJ Ogden
Camera and Graphics: Steven Leeming and Andy Cooperfauss
Play-by-Play Commentators: Riley Knight and TJ Rogers
Color Commentators: Eduardo Sajgalik and Jacob Van Lunen
Showrunner: Marc Calderaro
Writer-Reporter: Adam Styborski

Once each day of Grand Prix Detroit coverage concludes, twitch.tv/magic will experience a short break as we transition action over to a broadcast from Wizards of the Coast headquarters, where our commentators for Japan Nationals will start things up.

Start Times: Immediately following conclusion of GP Detroit coverage Saturday and Sunday
Video Producer: Ray Walkinshaw (Japan) and Mike Rosenberg (Wizards HQ)
Video Director: Rashad Miller (Japan) and Garth Avery (Wizards HQ)
Camera and Graphics: Japan coverage team
Commentators: Marshall Sutcliffe and rotating cast of Magic R&D members
Writer-Reporter: Chapman Sim (Japan)

A rotating cast of members from Magic R&D will be joining up with Marshall Sutcliffe to provide you commentary on the matches recorded from Japan. The team will be locked in soon!

Hong Kong and Stockholm

The weekend of September 15–16 features the conclusion to the 2017–18 professional season, which will determine Pro Club levels, World Magic Cup captaincy, and the 2017–18 Player of the Year race. It's also a weekend with two Modern main events, adding to the excitement!

Live Video From: Stockholm
Start Times: 12 a.m. PT/7 a.m. UTC Saturday and Sunday
Video Producer: Rich Hagon
Video Director: Steven Leeming
Camera and Graphics: Neil Rigby and Matt Light
Play-by-Play Commentators: Riley Knight and Tim Willoughby
Color Commentators: Raphaël Lévy and Simon Görtzen
Showrunner: Tobi Henke
Writer-Reporter: Frank Karsten

There is, of course, one more event in September that should be on your calendar . . .

World Championship Weekend

The 2018 Magic: The Gathering World Championship September 21–23 will award Magic's greatest title and a $100,000 1st-place prize to one person by the end of Sunday. Along with three days of Magic from 24 of the world's very best competitors, this event will also host the 2017–18 Team Series Championship, as Hareruya Latin clashes with Ultimate Guard Pro Team in a very special Guilds of Ravnica Team Sealed showdown one week before the set's official Prerelease events.

Start Times: 9 a.m. PT/4 p.m. UTC Friday and Saturday, 9:30 a.m. PT/4:30 p.m. UTC Sunday
Coverage Crew: Marshall Sutcliffe, Paul Cheon, Riley Knight, Simon Görtzen, Rich Hagon, Maria Bartholdi, Brian David-Marshall, Tim Willoughby, Rashad Miller, and Neil Rigby
Text Coverage: Marc Calderaro, Corbin Hosler, and Nick Fang
Social Media: Meghan Wolff
Content Manager: Mike Rosenberg
Editor: Chris Gleeson
Executive Producer: Greg Collins

Live video coverage will begin on September 21 and 22 at 9 a.m. local time; it's in Las Vegas, so that's Pacific Time.

Sunday coverage on September 23 is a bit different and will begin 30 minutes later than usual as we'll be finishing up the Team Sealed deck building for the Team Series Championship. Tune in for an overview on Guilds of Ravnica, and then a best-of-three-matches playoff between Hareruya Latin and Ultimate Guard Pro Team. Then stick around in the afternoon for the World Championship Top 4 to see who will be crowned 2018 Magic: The Gathering World Champion.

We've got quite a few weeks lined up for you, so tune in to twitch.tv/magic to see it all!

Pro Player Advisers

Additionally, as per our August 16 announcement, we have been reviewing applications for pro player advisers who will be working with our team on sharpening the direction we go with Magic's competitive gaming.

I'm happy to announce that we have selected our three candidates. The pro player advisers we have selected are William Jensen, Eduardo Sajgalik, and Willy Edel. We look forward to working with them in the near future!

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