"For the chasing pack, a Grand Prix win this weekend would do wonders for their Player of the Year chances…"
—This column, last week
Well, that happened. In by far the most exciting "didn't change ranking slot" of the year, Jérémy Dezani defied all the odds to emerge victorious at Grand Prix Milan this past weekend. Dezani has one of the rarest qualities in the game—a stubbornness that guarantees he absolutely will not stop (ever) until you are dead. He was almost gone on Day One, with a loss and a draw early leaving him a must-win last round just to make it to draft on Day Two. People really need to learn—when he's down, get him out. Once he returned to 40-card action on Sunday, he was close to imperious. Affable and self-deprecating, Dezani was laughing before the Top 8 Draft that he'd been super lucky to make it to the final table. Once there, though, his near-mono-white deck came together brilliantly. It needed to, as he lost Game 1 of all three Top 8 rounds, including a pulsating final against former Team World Champion Nico Bohny of Switzerland. In the end, though, nobody could stop him. Only one result could give Dezani the lead in the Player of the Year race over Reid Duke. He made sure that happened.
Over in Washington, DC, meanwhile, the big mover was former Player of the Year Yuuya Watanabe of Japan. His run to the final, where he was eventually stopped by Mike Sigrist, allowed Watanabe to rise four spots to No. 7. William Jensen, currently No. 21, also made the Top 8 in Washington, and that was an astonishing eighth Grand Prix Top 8 of the season for the Hall of Famer, representing an astonishing level of consistency.
Now the countdown begins. Only two Grand Prix remain, both on the weekend of July 26–27, and then, as they say, it's Pro Tour time, when everything gets decided. Join us again next week as we chart the Top 25 Magic Pro Rankings.
|12||Shi Tian Lee||48.27||12|
|23||Sung Wook Nam||42.00||+1||24|
Dropped from rankings: None