A MATTER OF PRIDE

Posted in 2014 WORLD MAGIC CUP on December 5, 2014

By Corbin Hosler

Everywhere you look in this room, you find it. Step out into the hallway, it's there. Peek underneath the Garruk horns, and you'll find some more.

Team Dominican Republic, captained by Pedro Pappaterra

Team spirit. More accurately, national spirit.

Because this is the World Magic Cup. And it's about a lot more than just yourself.

"We wanted to find a way to show our spirit as a team and represent our country," explained Jason Ascalon, who along with the rest of his teammates from the Philippines is wearing a sweater showcasing the sun from the country's flag. "It's a good way to show that we're all together."

Team Philippines, captained by Jason Ascalon

The Philippines are far from the only team to adopt the custom. Everywhere around the room, there are signs that this tournament is about more than personal glory. Team Guatemala is wearing matching colorful, traditional jackets from their home country. Latvia's Olegs Trundajevs plans to spend the entire weekend wearing his country's flag as a cape. Even the normally stoic Gaudenis Vidugiris is wearing a temporary tattoo of Lithuania's flag on his cheek.

Team Latvia, captained by Andrej Prost

Wearing something unique to represent your country and unify your team has become more and more common since the World Magic Cup began in 2012. One player has been around for it all.

Martin Castillo is in Nice this weekend for his third straight World Magic Cup as a member of Team Uruguay. And he's doing it in the same clothes he's worn at each of the previous two events: the white dress shirt and blue tie that matches the colors on the Uruguayan flag. In 2012 Team Uruguay was one of the first to include a display of national pride on their garb, and the look is quickly becoming a national trademark.

"When we walked through the door, Rich Hagon took one look at us and shouted 'You are from Uruguay!'" Castillo said. "That's exactly what we want, and we're proud that we helped to start this tradition."

Team Uruguay, captained by Sebastian Martinez

After wearing coordinated t-shirts last year celebrating the Dominican Republic's victory in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, team captain Pedro Pappaterra took it one step farther this time around. Pappaterra, who works as an architect, made helmets and casts of horns for each team member. An added set of furry shoulder-pads completed the Garruk look and gave the Dominican Republic what is certainly the most ferocious outfits of the tournament.

While the Dominicans went with something fun to bring their team together, Team Indonesia went back to its roots. With four brand-new members this season and a contingent of peers cheering them on from back home, Lovell Susilo and his teammates showed up ready to be photographed in complete traditional formal dress, including the popular batik shirts that originated in Indonesia.

Team Indonisia, captained by Kurniadi Patriawan

"This is something a lot of people back home wear on formal occasions, and we thought, why not bring it here?'" Susilo said. "I'm really glad we did because there are a lot people back home watching us represent our country."