February and Further

Posted in Competitive Gaming on February 11, 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.

While many players, as well as coverage staff, recover from Pro Tour Fate Reforged, the Premier Play schedule doesn't rest. In fact, for last weekend's competitors and a lot of others, there's plenty more coming.

But first…

WMCQs, World Magic Cup, and World Championship Changes

In case you missed it during the Pro Tour, director of global organized play Hélène Bergeot announced a number of tweaks and changes to World Magic Cup Qualifiers (WMCQs), the 2015 World Magic Cup, and the 2015 World Championship.

You can read the full announcement here, but here are the CliffsNotes:

  • WMCQs for this year will take place August 22–23, September 5–6, and September 19–20. Two of these will be Standard, and one will be Modern. Countries that have particularly large WMCQs—events with more than 226 players and nine rounds of Swiss—will become two-day events.
  • Malta has been added to the 2015 World Magic Cup roster. Eligibility requirements have been adjusted: you must either have citizenship in that country OR you must have been a permanent resident in that country since January 1, 2014.
  • The 2015 World Championship has been moved to August 27–30, and will take place during PAX Prime in Seattle, Washington.
  • Full details on these events (including confirmation of which countries will host two-day WMCQs, which formats take place on which weekends, and more) will be available by the end of March.

That said, while CliffsNotes can be great for a quick summary, I do recommend reading the full thing as it covers the above in more detail!

Following the week after the Pro Tour is a return to Standard Constructed with Grand Prix Seville. Taking place this weekend, players have a chance to dive into the post-Fate Reforged format to explore what old archetypes gained some new tools as well as what new archetypes have spawned from the new set.

All players who register for the Grand Prix Seville main event OR the Saturday Morning Special side event will receive an event-exclusive playmat featuring Clint Cearley's art for Temporal Trespass, the brand-new blue delve spell from Fate Reforged.

However, that isn't the only event-exclusive playmat available to attendees during the weekend. Mind Sports International is also offering an additional event-exclusive playmat for players who register for select side events, including the Sealed and Standard Last-Chance Trials on Friday and the Super Sunday Series on Sunday. This playmat also features art from Clint Cearley, but the subject matter is a tad more furry than the main event exclusive.

Perhaps one of the few times in both fantasy and reality where rodent and amphibian join together to do battle.

Seville is sure to be a blast, and fittingly, with Antonio Del Moral León's victory at Pro Tour Fate Reforged last weekend, the Magic community won't want to miss their chance in participating in Spain's victory lap tournament!

Pro Tour Dragons of Tarkir Hotel Blocks

While we may have just finished one Pro Tour, we are only a little over eight weeks out from the next one, so if you're going, you should listen up.

Pro Tour Dragons of Tarkir takes place in Brussels, Belgium, April 10–12. If you're planning to go, there will be some hotel room blocks available if you need lodging during the weekend. Click here to see what rates are available to you in the appropriate room blocks.

If you plan to go, we highly recommend you book now. A percentage of the rooms on hold for players will be released for general sale on February 26, which means hotel costs can go up if you don't reserve your room now. If you have an invitation to compete in the Pro Tour, take care of this now, and your travel budget will thank you later!

The Flashback

The last weekend featured everything from burn spells to Siege Rhinos to outlandish combo strategies. Pro Tour Fate Reforged was three days of Modern goodness along with a dash of Booster Draft action.

The Top 8 for this event featured a variety of top-level pros as well as a few newcomers. No. 11 Eric Froehlich and 6th-ranked Lee Shi Tian both added their fourth Pro Tour Top 8 to their career records, while three-time Grand Prix champion Seth Manfield finally broke through to Sunday at a Pro Tour. Pro Tour Born of the Gods finalist and 15th-ranked Jacob Wilson also secured his second Pro Tour Top 8, and Hall of Famer Jelger Wiegersma added Pro Tour Top 8 number five to his resume despite bucking his team's choice of Infect for the weekend in favor of Splinter Twin.

The call ended up serving the Sunday competitors well, but it was not Jelger who won it all at the end of the weekend, nor one of the Top 25 players.

Instead, it came down to a match between Pro Tour first-timer Justin Cohen and Magic Online Championship Series season winner Antonio Del Moral León, where Del Moral León's Splinter Twin deck overcame Cohen's Amulet Bloom.

The win for Del Moral León was a big one as it's the first time a Pro Tour trophy will be brought home to Spain. Congratulations to Del Moral León on his win and all that came with it, along with all the Top 8 competitors for making it to the playoffs.

Full coverage can be found here, but let's check out some highlights:

Digging Deeper into the Pro Tour Fate Reforged Top 8—Adam Styborski talks to teammates and friends of the Pro Tour Fate Reforged Top 8 competitors to get a deeper perspective on who went into the Sunday playoffs lineup.

There's a First Time for Everything—Marc Calderaro talks to some of the Pro Tour's first-time competitors, including eventual finalist Justin Cohen, on what the experience was like.

Going Rogue—Jacob Van Lunen catches up with a few players who were playing some very distinct decks in the Modern rounds. Bonus: if you're looking to check out some awesome Modern brews (such as Blue Tron, Esper Delve, and the good ol' Golgari Brownscale/Vengeful Pharaoh combo), this is a sweet read!

Photo Essay—What Pro Tour would be complete without a showcase of longtime photographer Craig Gibson's presentation of the weekend?

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