Two GPs and One Big Week

Posted in Competitive Gaming on November 26, 2014

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 month of November sure has flown by, and the non-stop Magic isn't slowing down for the next couple of weeks. While aspiring Pro Tour competitors have both Pro Tour Dragons of Tarkir Qualifiers and Preliminary PTQs tied to the Pro Tour in Vancouver 2015 to keep them busy, some of the world's best players will be in Nice, France, in less than a week to compete in some of the game's most prestigious tournaments.

But first up...

Strasbourg and San Antonio

First up this weekend is a GP double-header with Grand Prix Strasbourg and Grand Prix San Antonio.

Europe's finest will converge in Strasbourg, France this weekend to see who the best is at Khans of Tarkir Limited. Located only a short flight away from Nice, Strasbourg is likely to play host to more than a few 2014 World Magic Cup competitors as teams get some more familiarity with the cards in Khans of Tarkir before their big weekend.

All players who sign up for the main event VIP package are also guaranteed a Strasbourg playmat, featuring original artwork from Ryan Yee, who will be in attendance this weekend.

Players can also receive this playmat by playing in a Last-Chance Trial on Friday, by winning an on-demand event during the weekend. You can also pick up the playmat from the GP Strasbourg Prize Wall.

While Europe will be tackling Limited in Strasbourg, North America will be diving into Standard Constructed. The Grand Prix San Antonio main event will feature players battling with Mantis Riders, Dig Through Times, Courser of Kruphixes, Siege Rhinos, Planeswalkers, big creatures, heroic creatures, and a whole lot more as players work toward the Grand Prix trophy.

All main event participants will also receive an event-exclusive playmat, featuring original art by Daarken.

Meanwhile, while all of this is happening...

2014 Worlds Week

I'll be on a plane, along with the rest of the Magic 2014 Worlds Week coverage crew, heading toward Nice, France, as we get set for the best five days in Magic coverage all year.

In case you missed it last week in Brian David-Marshall's coverage roundtable, the trailer for 2014 Worlds Week is live...and man, I cannot get hyped enough!

Some of the most exciting moments in Magic coverage, without question, has been the passion and emotion exhibited by teams as one of their own makes it into the playoffs on Sunday. That emotion is multiplied when the entire team is fighting to stave off tournament elimination. Add multiple moments of an elimination taking place over Day One and Day Two, with a heaping helping of national pride, and that's what it is like to watch the World Magic Cup unfold. It is glorious.

And the only thing that comes close to rivaling the energy of the World Magic Cup is the event that awarded Magic's greatest title: the 2014 World Championship, where twenty-four of the world's best players compete across four different formats for the title of world champion.

We'll be streaming all five days of action live! The 2014 World Championship will be live on December 2 and 3 at 9 a.m. local time (CET)/12 a.m. PT/3 a.m. ET/8 a.m. GMT. The 2014 World Magic Cup coverage will begin on December 5 and 6 at 10 a.m. local time (CET)/1 a.m. PT/4 a.m. ET/9 a.m. GMT. Coverage of the playoff rounds for both events begins on December 7 at 9 a.m. local time (CET)/12 a.m. PT/3 a.m. ET/8 a.m. GMT.

Leading up to 2014 Worlds Week, associate community manager Nate Price and I have been publishing profiles of all twenty-four players. You can see all twenty-four competitors on the 2014 World Championship coverage page. Profile links are below each competitor's photo. The final profile, featuring Kentaro Yamamoto, will be live tomorrow morning!

The Flashback

1,345 players traveled to Canada's capital of Ottawa last weekend in order to earn pro points, prize money, and the trophy in the city's first Grand Prix.

The Top 8 of the event showcased the skill-intensive nature that is Khans of TarkirBooster Draft as a wide spread of pro players—including two competitors in next week's World Championship—battled for the first place prize. Ultimately it was Gold-level pro Seth Manfield who earned the title, besting some tough competition along the way to his third Grand Prix win.

Full coverage can be found here, but here are a few highlights:

Drafting with Shahar Shenhar—Coverage veteran Josh Bennett sat down with Shahar Shenhar to observe his first Booster Draft of Day Two. The result was impressive, and he got a chance to talk to Shenhar about how the draft went.

Back Against the Wall—Jacob Van Lunen got an opportunity to talk to Pro Tour Dark Ascension quarterfinalist Matthew Costa, a fixture from the Pro Tour's recent years who found himself in the precarious position of not being qualified for Pro Tour Fate Reforged. Costa discusses advice he'd give to aspiring competitors, what happened in the last year to lead him to this position, and what it would mean to re-qualify.

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