Introducing Thomas Pedersen

Posted in GRAND PRIX COPENHAGEN 2015 on June 21, 2015

By Frank Karsten

When Eighth Edition, the oldest set legal in Modern, was released on July 29, 2003, Thomas Pedersen had just had his first birthday. This weekend, the twelve year old registered for his first Grand Prix. He ended Day 1 at an impressive 8-1 record, and his matches drew a large crowd. "It feels good," he said in perfect English when I talked to him today.

"I got into Magic around the release of Theros when some of my friends began playing. We then played at the local shop. My friends stopped because I kept beating them, but I kept playing and even won a junior tournament," Pedersen said. "I then started testing Modern, about two months ago for the Grand Prix."

Thomas Pedersen

About his Grand Prix experience so far, he said, "This is my first Grand Prix. It was easy to attend because I live half an hour from here. The event has been fun. When I get older, I think I'll go to more tournaments."

Here is the deck he sleeved up:

Thomas Perdersen's Affinity – Grand Prix Copenhagen 2015

Download Arena Decklist

"Affinity was the only deck I could borrow," Pedersen explained. "Hack Kampmann Kirkegaard helped me out. I haven't met any Stony Silences yet, so I think it's good."

Affinity is a tricky deck to play as it involves a lot of sequencing decisions and math, but when I watched Pedersen during a round, I was impressed by his confident play.

On Sunday morning, when I asked him about his goals for the Grand Prix, he had said: "At first I was just hoping to make Day 2. Now I'm hoping to make Top 8, although I don't think I'm that good of a player yet." Unfortunately, he took his third loss in the meantime, which put him out of Top 8 contention.

Thomas Pedersen with Frank Karsten

Nevertheless, Danish national champion Martin Müller was impressed with the performance of his young compatriot. "It's pretty impressive. If he's twelve now and already crushing, then in a couple of years he could be really good. I don't know him that well because I play in Roskilde and he's from Copenhagen, but both cities have a Fanatic game shop which offers regular tournaments for people under 18. I also started playing at those events, so we have that in common."

It's nice to see that these shops offer a welcoming and supportive environment for young players. Head judge Riccardo Tessitori also had some kind words to share. "Even though the Magic booster packs list 13+ as a recommended age, tournaments are open to everyone. There is no age restriction. It's awesome to see that very young people can compete with the champions."