The Returning Champ: Luis Salvatto

Posted in Event Coverage on January 24, 2016

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.

One of the perks for winning the Super Sunday Series Championship isn't just $6,000. Becoming the Super Sunday Series champion also ensures that you're returning—flight and hotel again covered—for a chance to run it back in the next year.

Argentinian Luis Salvatto has longed for returning to the Pro Tour, but the Super Sunday Series Championship has at least offered some renewed confidence and some reignited fire.

Luis Salvatto won last year's Super Sunday Series Championship, ensuring his return this weekend for a chance to win back-to-back titles

"I really want to play on the Pro Tour since I've become a better player in recent years," Salvatto said. The Argentinian's last shot at the Pro Tour was back in the 2011 World Championships, where he finished 216th. While his win last year did not get him back onto the Pro Tour, it did a fine job or propelling him on a path to try.

One such destination that this path took him was San Jose, where he was able to use his travel to the United States to visit another Grand Prix a weekend later. For that one, a Team Sealed format, Salvatto teamed up with Argentinian friends: Nicolas de Nicola, 2015's Argentinian national champion, and Sebastian Pozzo, who competed in the Magic Online Championship last year.

Luis Salvatto has returned, and he's in the running for back-to-back.

San Jose was a strong finish, but one that left Salvatto short of making the Pro Tour again. The team finished in the Top 16. Salvatto's next chance—Grand Prix Sao Paulo in May of last year—also saw him get close, but fall short again with another Top 16 finish.

While the finishes were heartbreakers, they have continued to be kindle for Salvatto's fire. While he does not have an opportunity to play a lot in person, he spends a lot of time testing for formats and staying on top of the metagames and draft formats via Magic Online simply as "Salvatto."

Salvatto's opportunity at the Pro Tour will have to wait until February for the next round of Regional Pro Tour Qualifiers, where he'll be competing for his shot at one of the invitations that will offer.

Despite still working towards the Pro Tour, Salvatto has continued to make friends over the years. This weekend, he traveled to the event with fellow Argentians Ignacio Barbero and Martin Quiroga.

Left to Right: Ignacio Barbero, Luis Salvatto, Martin Quiroga

At the time of this interview, Salvatto sat at 4-1 going into the sixth round, the dream of back-to-back still alive. Regardless of the outcome, Salvatto's win last year has followed with astounding growth. Perhaps someday—and sooner rather than later—he will have the opportunity to prove how much he has grown on the Pro Tour.

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