Who would have thought that Austria would be the most successful country in putting their players into the Top 8? With only eight players in the field, Austria put one into the Top 8 here at Grand Prix-Barcelona, and he took the title. It was Helmut Summersberger's second Grand Prix win, which he took in a two-game match from French pro Raphael Levy. Summersberger won on the strength of a blue-black Dimir deck with a red splash, a combination that he was able to draft every time on Sunday.

Starting with just over 1200 players on Saturday morning, Grand Prix-Barcelona featured nine rounds of Limited Magic before 128 players advanced to Sunday's competition for the money, the glory and the crown of this year's Spanish GP champion. Although the Spanish players came out in force, only one of them made the Top 8. He was the only player in the final eight who has not had a GP Top 8 appearance before.

Ravnica-Guildpact Limited seems to be a skill-intensive format as only six amateur players made it into the money ranks. The format offers so many chances to misbuild a deck that naturally those with more experience came out on top. We will see if that hold true once Dissension is released and the full color pie of Ravnica will hit Magic players like custard pies hit clowns. Check back for the big event on magicthegathering.com when we enter Pro Tour-Prague on May 5!

Congratulations to Helmut Summersberger, the 2006 Grand Prix-Barcelona Champion!

top 8 bracket

Quaterfinals

Sebastian Aljiaj [DEU]

Raphael Levy [FRA]

Jelger Wiegersma [NLD]

Aniol Alcaraz [ESP]

Olivier Ruel [FRA]

Johan Sadeghpour [SWE]

Helmut Summersberger [AUT]

Jean Charles Salvin [FRA]

Semi-finals

Raphael Levy, 2-1

Jelger Wiegersma, 2-0

Johan Sadeghpour, 2-0

Helmut Summersberger, 2-0

Finals

Raphael Levy, 2-0

Helmut Summersberger, 2-1

Champion

Helmut Summersberger, 2-0

EVENT COVERAGE

  • Blog - 10:08 p.m. - Junior tournament Top 2
    by Hanno Terbuyken
  • Blog - 9:51 p.m. - Legacy tournament Top 8
    by Hanno Terbuyken
  • Blog - 9:37 p.m. - Finals: Helmut Summersberger - Raphael Levy
    by Jörn Martin Hajek
  • Blog - 8:40 p.m. - Semifinals: Helmut Summersberger - Johan Sadeghpour
    by Jörn Martin Hajek
  • Blog - 8:18 p.m. - Semifinal: Raphael Levy (FRA) vs. Jelger Wiegersma (NLD)
    by Hanno Terbuyken
  • Blog - 7:34 p.m. - Quarterfinals: Aniol Alcaraz (ESP) vs. Jelger Wiegersma (NLD)
    by Hanno Terbuyken
  • Blog - 7:08 p.m. - Quarterfinals: Olivier Ruel - Johan Sadeghpour
    by Jörn Martin Hajek
  • Blog - 6:37 p.m. - Decklists: The Top 8 Decks
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Blog - 6:20 p.m. - The Top 8 Player Profiles
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Blog - 5:55 p.m. - Crash Landing
    by Hanno Terbuyken
  • Day 2 Blog Archive: Draft Reports, Artist on Duty, More Side Events, Top Pro Play, and Much More!
    by Hanno Terbuyken & Jörn Martin Hajek
  • Feature: The Invitational Debate
    by Hanno Terbuyken
  • Round 13: Pods
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Round 10: Pods
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Info: Day 2 Country Breakdown
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Info: Day 2 Player List
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Day 1 Blog Archive: Players to Watch, Photo Essay, Top Pro Play, Two-Hatted Giant, and Much More!
    by Hanno Terbuyken & Jörn Martin Hajek
  • Info: Day 1 Country Breakdown (Blue Bracket)
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Info: Day 1 Country Breakdown (Green Bracket)
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Info: Day 1 Player List (Blue Bracket)
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Info: Day 1 Player List (Green Bracket)
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Info: Fact Sheet
    by Event Coverage Staff

FINAL TOP 8 STANDINGS

     
1. Helmut Summersberger $2,400
2. Raphael Levy $1,700
3. Jelger Wiegersma $1,200
4. Johan Sadeghpour $1,000
5. Olivier Ruel $800
6. Aniol Alcaraz $800
7. Jean Charles Salvin $800
8. Sebastian Aljiaj $800

pairings, results, standings

Pairings

15 14 13 12 11 10
9b 8b 7b 6b 5b 4b 3b 2b 1b
9g 8g 7g 6g 5g 4g 3g 2g 1g

Results

15 14 13 12 11 10
9b 8b 7b 6b 5b 4b 3b 2b 1b
9g 8g 7g 6g 5g 4g 3g 2g 1g

Standings

15 14 13 12 11 10
9b 8b 7b 6b 5b 4b 3b 2b 1b
9g 8g 7g 6g 5g 4g 3g 2g 1g

BLOG

 

The Top 8 draft had to be restarted with an entirely new set of first boosters after pick number 7. Jelger Wiegersma had discovered that one of the Ravnica boosters contained a Crash Landing... which is a Guildpact Uncommon! That mistake corrupted the whole draft, and since it wasn't too far into the process, the draft was restarted.


Top 8 Player profiles

 
Olivier Ruel

Name: Olivier Ruel
Age: 24 1/2
Home: Lille, France
Greatest Magic Achievement: 5 PT T8s, 4896 GP T8s
Quote to show how cool he is: "Hi Emilie and Cobra!"

Sebastian Aljiaj

Name: Sebastian Aljiaj
Age: 19
Home: Rosenheim, Germany
Greatest Magic Achievement: T8 GP Vienna
Quote to show how cool he is: -

Jean Charles Salvin

Name: Jean Charles Salvin
Age: 22
Home: Nice, France
Greatest Magic Achievement: 4 GP T8s
Quote to show how cool he is: "Hi to Pasquale"

Aniol Alcaraz

Name: Aniol Alcaraz
Age: 20
Home: Barcelona, Spain
Greatest Magic Achievement: 2003 Spanish Champion, 1 GP T8
Quote to show how cool he is: -

Jelger Wiegersma

Name: Jelger Wiegersma
Age: 24
Home: Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Greatest Magic Achievement: Winning PT Seattle 2004 with his teammates, 1 PT T8, 7 GP T8s
Quote to show how cool he is:

Helmut Summersberger

Name: Helmut Summersberger
Age: 27
Home: Salzburg
Greatest Magic Achievement: Worlds 2000 T8, winner GP Lille 2005
Quote to show how cool he is: "I'll lose first round."

Johan Sadeghpour

Name: Johan Sadeghpour
Age: 26
Home: Umeå, Sweden
Greatest Magic Achievement: 3rd PT London 2005
Quote to show how cool he is: -

Raphael Levy

Name: Raphael Levy
Age: 24
Home: Göteborg, Sweden
Greatest Magic Achievement: "hard to say, there were so many" (We think GP Lyon Winner 97-98)
Quote to show how cool he is: -


 

Sunday, April 9: 6:37 p.m. - Decklists: The Top 8 Decks

Helmut Summersberger (AUT)

Download Arena Decklist
 

Johan Sadeghpour (SWE)

Download Arena Decklist
 

Sebastian Aljiaj (DEU)

Download Arena Decklist
 

Aniol Alcaraz (ESP)

Download Arena Decklist
 

Raphael Levy (FRA)

Download Arena Decklist
 

Jelger Wiegersma (NED)

Download Arena Decklist
 

Olivier Ruel (FRA)

Download Arena Decklist
 

Jean Charles Salvin (FRA)

Download Arena Decklist

Sunday, April 9: 7:08 p.m. - Quarterfinals: Olivier Ruel - Johan Sadeghpour

Johan Sadeghpour

Olivier had drafted a classical Dimir-splash-red-deck, but is missing a few key cards. He had two Halcyon Glaze, but with only twelve creatures to activate them, it looked like they would miss a few attack steps.

Johan's deck was pretty mediocre as well. He firstpicked a Selesnya Guildmage and stayed on green the whole draft, but could never figure out whether black or white should be his second main color.
In the end, he played both.

Olivier got to play first, and had to mulligan twice, as he didn't get any lands. He finally kept a two-land hand - but both lands were bounce lands, which could mean a great or a horrible start for him. Johan took a mulligan as well to keep it a little fair, but Olivier never drew a basic land, and a lonely Shambling Shell won the game for Johan. After the game, Olivier discovered a possible reason for his difficulty to draw lands: The deck included no basic lands. After deck-construction, a judge took his deck, and Olivier got something to eat, and assumed lands would be given to him.

Head judge David Vogin ruled that the game would stand like it was played put, but that Olivier would receive no further penalty.

Olivier was quite upset, as he thought the judge was partly to blame for the mistake, and requested to replay the game, but Vogin upheld his ruling.

The ghost of Olivier Ruel

Meanwhile, Helmut Summersberger had won Game 1 in his match against Jean Charles Savin.

In Game 2, Olivier mulliganed again, this time because of too many lands. He kept the second hand, and a real game could start. Or could have started, if Olivier hadn't been short on mana. He got to play Surveilling Sprite and Halcyon Glaze, but they were no match to Johan's Dimir House Guard, Ghor-Clan Savage, and Siege-Wurm. Olivier shook Johan's hand, then left without a word.

In Game 2 of the Summersberger - Salvin match, Helmut was very close to winning when I arrived. He had Tattered Drake and Golgari Rotwurm against Orzhov Euthanist and Mourning Thrull, and didn't have any difficulty riding his big beasts to victory.

Johan Sadeghpour advanced to the semifinals and would meet Helmut Summersberger.


Sunday, April 9: 7:34 p.m. - Quarterfinals: Aniol Alcaraz (ESP) vs. Jelger Wiegersma (NLD)

Jelger Wiegersma

Here we are at the quarterfinals of GP Barcelona! In the match featuring the local matador Aniol Alcaraz, Aniol wins the die roll and chooses to play first. Both players keep their hands and Tin-Street Hooligan from Aniol marks the first play of the match, the winner of which will advance to the semifinals. Jelger answers with Surveilling Sprite, Ravnica's favorite softdrink. Aniol clearly has the better start, as a Terrarion and Boros Swiftblade join his ranks.

Both players have expressed discomfort with their decks before this match, even though Aniol is curving out prettty well as an indentured Oaf joins his side of the board. It isn't as if Jelger had no plays, though: His Veteran Armorer will make life difficult for Aniol who has drafted R/W Boros, and the Weeeeeee! Dragonauts Jelger also musters doesn't improve matters for Aniol either as long as Jelger can back them up with spells.

The Spaniard has Shrieking Grotesque as a little air force to Jelger's almost completely flying offense. Both players continue to lay creatures which clutter the board but no beats are traded as the life totals are 18 (Jelger) to 17 (Aniol).

Meanwhile, behind me, Olivier notices that he has no lands in his deck. (See the other feature match for details.)

A couple of turns later, Aniol decides to break the stalemate and attacks with 2x Bloodscale Prowler (no Bloodthirst), War-Torch Goblin, Shrieking Grotesque, Boros Swiftblade, Tin-Street Hooligan and Indentured Oaf. No spells have been played yet, and Jelger blocks one Prowler with Drift, the other with Sprite, the Grotesque with Weeeeeeeeeee! Dragonauts, the Boros Swiftblade with Junktroller and the Tin-Street Hooligan with Terraformer.

Of course, Aniol has the telegraphed Rally the Righteous, and half of the board goes to the graveyards. But Jelger rebuilds quickly with double Snapping Drake and another Drifts of Phantasm. The two Drakes take Aniol down to five life who has no way to stop the fliers and scoops.

Aniol Alcaraz

Aniol Alcaraz 0 - 1 Jelger Wiegersma

In the French-German match between Raphael Levy and Sebastian Aljiaj, Levy has taken the first game. As I look over, my shoulder, Sebastian has an early Lurking Informant and three creatures too Levy's none.

Aniol choses to start the second game and again has the early Terrarion. Jelger kicks off with Ghost Warden and Lurking Informant against Aniol's Bloodscale Prowler. Informant and Prowler trade and Aniol ups the stakes with Viashino Fangtail. The stinger is useless nonetheless against Jelger's Junktroller, which is card he "really likes", as he told me beforehand. Veteran Armorer then completely invalidates the Viashino Fangtail but enables the Bloodthirst on a Bloodscale Prowler.

Aniol's straightforward Boros deck comes up with Boros Swiftblade and the board looks to stall out again, as Jelger has a new Terraformer for his swelling ranks.

In the match Levy-Aljaij, the German has managed to even out the score and has taken Game 2 from Levy. The two players are in their third and decisive game where Levy just has taken the advantage with Fists of Ironwood (as far as I can tell from here).

In the meantime, Aniol is attacking with Indentured Oaf and the pumped Bloodscale Prowler. The Prowler is blocked by Sprite pumped by Ghost Warden, and both die with Jelger coming out ahead one card. The Dutchman has Snapping Drake and gets hit by the Fangtail ping, going to 13 to Aniol's 18. The local matador t