Posted in 2014 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP - COVERAGE on December 3, 2014

By Craig Gibson and Josh Bennett

Behold, Nice! Sun-drenched seaside paradise and home to the 2014 Magic World Championship!

A city of vibrant colors, where every side-street hides a cafe perfect to while away an afternoon.

A city that rewards exploration with seemingly impossible buildings.

A city of leisure and culture...

... at once both classical ...

... and avant-garde.

Here we see Walking the Planes's own Shawn Kornhauser delighting local urchins with his soul-stealing device.

Smack dab between the Hotel and the Venue is an honest-to-goodness carnival, possibly requested by the competitors.

Monday night was the player party. Yuuki Ichikawa and Yuuya Watanabe prepare to let the good times roll.

The European Brain Trust prepared together for this event. Three Pro Tour Champions and a Hall of Famer. Not bad at all!

2010 Pro Tour Amsterdam Champion Paul Rietzl tries unsuccessfully to appear inconspicuous.

Rookie of the Year Raymond Perez, Jr. can't believe his good luck and has to confirm that he gets to keep the pen.

The APAC Contingent. Lee Shi Tian has turned the dial all the way up to "Sinister". Nam Sung Wook keeps it at "Pleasant".

And yes, of course the party came complete with invisible boxes. Silly of you to ask, really.

Tournament Manager Scott Larabee puts the festivities on hold to lay down the law for the weekend.

And then it's back to revelry. Here we have a rare shot of food still on trays.

Day One, and the players hit the ground running with Vintage Masters draft, using physical versions of all those online cards.

Pro Tour Born of the Gods Finalist Jacob Wilson is all business.

Former Player of the Year Josh Utter-Leyton would go on to live the dream of turn-one Wild Mongrel, turn-two Arrogant Wurm.

Coverage tag-team Randy Buehler and Marshall Sutcliffe. Team name to be determined.

After VMA it was time for Modern. Pro Tour Return to Ravnica Champion Stanislav Cifka played the new darling archetype, Delver, supercharged with Treasure Cruise. He couldn't help but look sneaky doing it.

Glory so close, and yet so far.

The story on Day One was Patrick Chapin's incredible 7-0 run. His laser-like focus never wavered once.

Day Two brought with it more spectators as teams for the upcoming World Magic Cup began to arrive in Nice.

It started off with Khans of Tarkir draft. Lévy apparently drafted "the combo".

The coverage team can't help but get swept up in the excitement.

The tension ratcheted up as the race to the Top 4 entered its final leg: Standard Constructed.

Everyone triple-checked the standings, trying to figure out who could win their way in.

Scott Larabee and Pro Tour Manager Tobey Maheras get ready to reveal the Top 4.

Tune in Sunday to see Yuuya Watanabe, Patrick Chapin, Kentaro Yamamoto and Shahar Shenhar duke it out for the title! Will we see a repeat World Champion?