Introducing the Day Two Pools

Posted in Event Coverage on November 18, 2016

By Chapman Sim and Frank Karsten

Out of the 73 teams that started, 48 made Day Two. They will be split in eight groups of six for the first round of pool play. Each pool consists of four teams that finished in 17th–48th place on Day One (the "low" seeds) and two teams that finished in 1st–16th place (the "high" seeds).

The first thing on the schedule for tomorrow is an elimination match for the four low seeds in every group. It will be carnage; the winner stays, the loser is out. Meanwhile, the two high seeds will automatically advance.

Once the elimination match in the first stage of Day Two is complete, the remaining four teams in each pool (the two winners and the two high seeds) will compete in a modified double-elimination tournament structure for three rounds. Essentially, a team must win two matches over three rounds to make it through to the second stage of Day Two.

In that second stage, the remaining teams will be split into eight pools of four teams each for another modified double-elimination structure, which will eventually determine who will advance to the Top 8 on Sunday.

Without further ado, let's break down the eight pools, with a short introduction for the Top 16 teams.

Pool A

Seed Country Captain WMCQ winners
1 Belgium Peter Vieren Jerome Bastogne, Branco Neirynck, Pascal Vieren
16 Bulgaria Hristiyan Ivanov George Naydenov, Stefan Pavlov, Blagovest Vladimirov
17 Portugal Márcio Carvalho Luis Gobern, José Rodrigues, Bernardo Santos
32 Serbia Aleksa Telarov Javorko Petricevic, Nenad Bacic, Miodrag Kitanovic
33 Northern Ireland Stephen Madden Rene Verheesen, Krzysztof Dominiak, Thomas McKiernan
48 Scotland Stephen Murray Marc Ferguson, Brandon Balfour, Kevin Pass

Team Belgium 2016

Leading the field overnight was Team Belgium. Their team composition was great: it included three of the best players from their country, all with plenty of premier event experience and Grand Prix Top 8s on their resume. Two of them were, in fact, brothers (Peter and Pascal Vieren), and the third (Branco Neirynck) was last year's captain. Coincidentally, earlier this year the trio had agreed to play Grand Prix Rotterdam together. When they all qualified for the World Magic Cup, they took it as a sign of good things to come—and so far, the tournament couldn't have gone better for them. Jerome Bastogne joins them as their fourth member.

Team Bulgaria 2016

The other Top 16 team in their group was Bulgaria. National Champion Hristiyan Ivanov, along with Blagovest Vladimirov, George Naydenov, and Stefan Pavlov, were certainly very happy to squeak into the Top 16. Aside from not having to play Round 1 of Stage 1, there were also assured prize money and at least 1 additional Pro Point. Collectively, they have fewer than 20 lifetime Pro Points, which makes their run on Day One even more impressive. This is also the first time that Bulgaria has advanced to Day Two, with advanced standing no less, making it a delightful experience for the Bulgarians through and through.

Pool B

Seed Country Captain WMCQ winners
2 Chinese Taipei Huang Hao-Shan Han Chin Yao, Huang Yung-Ming, Feng Ren
15 Ukraine Sergiy Sushalskyy Iurii Babych, Artem Fedorchenko, Sorozhinsky Bogdan
18 Ireland Alexander Ball David Murphy, Michele Gravina, Vaclav Novak
31 Austria Oliver Polak-Rottmann Lukas Mittendorfer, Valentin Mackl, Markus Spoerk
34 Slovakia Ivan Floch Milan Niznansky, Patrik Surab, Matej Zatlkaj
47 Spain Javier Dominguez Pedro Grati, Miguel Ángel Nunez Reyes, Ricardo Diaz Rojo

Team Chinese Taipei 2016

Chinese Taipei won the very first World Magic Cup, held in Indianapolis in 2012, and they have been consistent ever since. This year, their team was led by Huang Hao-Shan, a vastly experienced player who has played at many Pro Tours and who has six Grand Prix Top 8s to his name. Huang Yung-Ming is back for another attempt at the World Magic Cup, and he showed he is on top of his game by making the Top 8 of Grand Prix Taipei 2016. Rounding out the team are Han Chin Yao and Feng Ren.

Team Ukraine 2016

Together with Team Chinese Taipei, Team Ukraine is the other team in Pool B to enjoy a bye in Stage 1. Reigning Ukraine National Champion Sergiy Sushalskyy has three Grand Prix Top 8s under his belt, making him the most experienced player and the one who can guide Ukraine past bigger frontiers. Comparatively, the three World Magic Cup Qualifier winners, Sorozhinsky Bogdan, Iurii Babych, and Artem Fedorchenko, have much less experience on the premier event level, but they've clearly proven that they're able to perform at the highest pinnacles of Magic pro play. Like his team captain, Babych is participating in his second World Magic Cup, which means that he has some experience to offer to his teammates.

Pool C

Seed Country Captain WMCQ winners
3 Germany Patrick Dickmann Marc Tobiasch, Fabian Friedrich, Dennis Nolte
14 Italy Andrea Mengucci Mattia Rizzi, Alessandro Portaro, Alessandro Casamenti,
19 Sweden Joel Larsson Per Nyström, Daniel Larsson, Alex Wahlquist
30 Colombia Diego Alejandro Celeita Jhonatan Restrepo, Fredy Castro, Camilo Pineda cañas
35 Switzerland Andreas Ganz Yannick Studer, Julian Felix Flury, Lukas Grauwiler
46 Czech Republic Lukas Blohon Pavel Zuna, Ondrej Straka, Alexander Rossijcenko

Team Germany 2016

Team Germany was led by Pro Tour Oath of the Gatewatch Top 8 competitor Patrick Dickmann, but there was plenty of talent on the team as a whole. Marc Tobiasch is a well-respected deck builder with a lot of premier event experience, and Fabian Friedrich has a Grand Prix Top 8 to his name. Dennis Nolte rounds out the German team.

Team Italy 2016

Team Italy is led by Platinum pro Andrea Mengucci, who is the only player in the room gunning for back-to-back World Magic Cup victories. The burden of defending a title is a great one, but one that these four Italians are more than happy to shoulder. Together with Mattia Rizzi, Alessandro Casamenti, and Alessandro Portaro, they successfully won their final round to propel themselves ahead in the standings. Now that they've got a bye in Stage 1, it brings the Italians even closer to their unified goal of bringing the World Magic Cup title back to Italy once again.

Pool D

Seed Country Captain WMCQ winners
4 Canada Alexander Hayne Brian Su, Jacob Wilson, Felix Tse
13 Australia David Mines James Wilks, Ryan Cubit, Garry Lau
20 Philippines Mike Hron Mark Ramos, Ang Jan, Reginald Jbelli,
29 Latvia Andrejs Prost Aleksejs Laizans, Nikita Klimov, Gints Dreimanis
36 Macedonia Miro Popov Martin Nanik, Ivo Neskovik, Nebojsa Stamenkov
45 Israel Shahar Shenhar Gal Barak, Philip Korsunsky, Dan Tzirkel

Team Canada 2016

Canada was touted as one of the early favorites. It featured the fabulous front of Pro Tour Avacyn Restored champion Alexander Hayne and Pro Tour Born of the Gods finalist Jacob Wilson. Moreover, Felix Tse and Brian Su, both of whom have competed at multiple Pro Tours, brought some solid additional experience to the team. Everyone expected them to make it to Day 2 at least, and they didn't disappoint.

Team Australia 2016

Team Australia is captained by Grand Prix Melbourne 2016 Champion David Mines who, leads James Wilks, Ryan Cubit, and Garry Lau. The Australians have an average of ten Grand Prix appearances among them, meaning that they're not unfamiliar to the kind of intense competition they'll face tomorrow. No matter though—with a shoo-in to Round 2 of Stage 1, they find themselves in as enviable a position as Team Canada.

Pool E

Seed Country Captain WMCQ winners
5 Dominican Republic Caupolican Lopez Yapor Fabio Portes, Jairo Balbuena, Ricardo Sasso
12 Greece Bill Chronopoulos Petros Tziotis, Panagiotis Papadopoulos, Nikolaos Kaponis
21 Uruguay Juan Pablo Llodra Leandro Cabrera, Nicolas Righetti, Federico Pereira
28 Bolivia David Sologuren A. Guillermo Ibanez Loayza, Leonardo Quiroga Flores, Alejandro Pena
37 Poland Grzegorz Kowalski Piotr Glogowski, Maciej Janik, Mateusz Jedlinski
44 South Korea Park Jun Young Park Heechan, Bae Sanghoon, Kwak Jae Hwan

Team Dominican Republic 2016

Dominican Republic was an underdog in a field filled with more experienced teams, but they had an excellent run today. With only minor Grand Prix experience and no prior Pro Tour or World Magic Cup experience, the squad of Caupolican Lopez Yapor, Ricardo Sasso, Fabio Portes, and Jairo Balbuena performed admirably, and they will surely have many fans at home who are excited to see if they can make a deep run tomorrow.

Team Greece 2016

The other Top 16 team in Pool E was Greece. Despite not being usually associated as a dominant European force, things are very different when it comes to this particular international Magic stage. Team Greece has been regarded as a strong contender ever since they made it to the finals of the 2014 World Magic Cup , but let's not forget that the Greeks have made the Day Two of the World Magic Cup five out of five times! Not many nations can boast that feat. Greece National Champion Bill Chronopoulos is very pleased with his team, which comprises Nikolaos Kaponis, Panagiotis Papadopoulos, and Petros Tziotis.

Pool F

Seed Country Captain WMCQ winners
6 Iceland Einar Agust Baldvinsson Thorey Mariusdottir, Kjartan Másson, Halldór Vilhjálmsson
11 Hong Kong Lee Shi Tian Tang Kobe, Kevin Lam, Fung Chun Sing
22 Belarus Pavel Miadzvedski Dmitry Andronchik, Ihar Klionski, Bantsevich Hleb
27 Chile Rodrigo Lopez Felipe Valdivia, José Luis Echeverría Paredes, Javier Vera
38 Panama Saul Alvarado Sergio Bonilla, Manuel Succari, Cesar Segovia
43 Cyprus Daniel Antoniou Tatsiana Suponeva, Michalis Pantelides, George Pericleous

Team Iceland 2016

Iceland is a beautiful island country with volcanoes, glaciers, and a population of only 300,000 people. I can definitely recommend visiting places like Jökulsárlón and Fjaðrárgljúfur. Despite their small population, Iceland can compete at the highest level at many international events, as they recently showed at the European soccer championships. In terms of Magic, Iceland made a superb Top 8 at the World Magic Cup in 2013 , and this year, captain Einar August Baldvinsson is back for the third time. He leads the squad of Halldór Vilhjálmsson, Kjartan Másson, and Thorey Mariusdottir.

Team Hong Kong 2016

Despite losing in Round 1, you need to know that Hong Kong National Champion and five-time Pro Tour Top 8 competitor Lee Shi Tian is not one who gives up in the face of adversity. Crawling back from a 2-2 start with Fung Chun Sing, Kevin Lam, and Tang Kobe, Team Hong Kong stuck through thin and think and rattled off three wins in the final rounds of the Team Unified Modern portion. Having a Modern Master on the team sure is nifty! Despite having three newcomers with no prior World Magic Cup experience, Team Hong Kong should not be counted out when led by one of the biggest titans in Asia Pacific.

Pool G

Seed Country Captain WMCQ winners
7 Wales Ben Jones Davie Whyte, James Sawyer, Aaron Boyhan
10 Finland Lauri Pispa Matti Kuisma, Leo Lahonen, Tuomas Tuominen
23 Puerto Rico Gabriel Nieves Luis Prieto, Cesar Soto, Adrian Marquez
26 Lithuania Gaudenis Vidugiris Jonas Drukteinis, Algirdas Neniskis, Andrius Averjanovas
39 Denmark Martin Müller Simon Nielsen, Asger Lundblad, Anders Gotfredsen
42 England Eduardo Sajgalik Peter Ward, Aaron Burns Lees, Graeme Mcintyre

Team Wales 2016

Out of all the countries competing today, Wales came last alphabetically—but they placed pretty high when Magic was the deciding factor. None of their members have Pro Tour experience, but Aaron Boyhan and James Sawyer are in their second World Magic Cup, and 18-year-old captain Ben Jones has been here before as well. Flanked by Davie Whyte as their fourth, they are in a good position to put up a great finish this weekend.

Team Finland 2016

Finnish captain Lauri Pispa might not have a very experienced roster compared to some other stacked teams, but together with Tuomas Tuominen, Leo Lahonen, and Matti Kuisma, they've proven to be pretty good at Magic even if they have very little Pro Tour experience behind them. As one of the Top 16 teams from Day One, they're already assured a spot in the Top 32, but will strive to prove to the world that they're capable of performing on an international arena.

Pool H

Seed Country Captain WMCQ winners
8 United States Owen Turtenwald Kevin Jones, Paul Yeem, Lee Marino
9 Turkey Caner Aktas Yusuf Kemal Vefa, Ali Cinar, Ibrahim Celik
24 Peru Jose Raul Velarde Gallegos Renzo Arana, Miguel Llanos, Santiago Villanueva,
25 Malaysia Chye Yian Hsiang Rick Lee, Wee Pang Ming, Shawn Khoo
40 Ecuador Jaime Flor Daniel López, Francisco Cedeno, Walter Cordova
41 France Raphaël Lévy Kevin Sauvageon, Jérémy Dezani, Guillaume Perbet

Team United States 2016

No. 3-ranked Owen Turtenwald captains Team United States, which also includes Paul Yeem, Lee Marino, and Kevin Jones. Together the Americans made it to their fourth World Magic Cup Day Two in five attempts. As usual, they're the hot favorites—and with over ten Pro Tour starts and 50 Grand Prix starts between the three World Magic Cup Qualifier winners, nobody is going to be surprised if they make it through to the Top 8.

Team Turkey 2016

Going into this weekend, Team Turkey was hunting for a third Day Two appearance, and they achieved their goal with flying colors. Turkey National Champion Caner Aktas, alongside Ali Cinar, Yusuf Kemal Vefa, and Ibrahim Celik, finished just one seed below Team United States, which means that they're stacking up well alongside even the greatest teams in the field. Aktas is participating in his third World Magic Cup, and Vefa is also a returning representative. Turkey seems to be in good hands.

Latest Event Coverage Articles

December 4, 2021

Innistrad Championship Top 8 Decklists by, Adam Styborski

The Innistrad Championship has its Top 8 players! Congratulations to Christian Hauck, Toru Saito, Yuuki Ichikawa, Zachary Kiihne, Simon Görtzen, Yuta Takahashi, Riku Kumagai, and Yo Akaik...

Learn More

November 29, 2021

Historic at the Innistrad Championship by, Mani Davoudi

Throughout the last competitive season, we watched as Standard and Historic took the spotlight, being featured throughout the League Weekends and Championships. The formats evolved with e...

Learn More



Event Coverage Archive

Consult the archives for more articles!

See All