Grand Prix Gothenburg 2010
The Tezzerator Dominates Gothenburg
August 28-29, 2010
Grand Prix - Gothenburg 2010
The dust has settled and we have our Grand Prix Gothenburg champion - Kenny Oberg from... Gothenburg! Making the most of his home turf advantage the Swedish pro made no mistakes in making short work of Nikolai Herzog and Marijn Lybaert to set up an all-Swedish showdown against Anton Jonsson in the Final. But in the end his aggressive Green/Red deck, including two Acidic Slimes that proved crucial against Jonsson, was simply too good for the rest of a star-studded Top8.
It marked a triumphant end to what has been a fantastic Grand Prix. Over a thousand players fought their way through the wiles of M11 Sealed, and while the Pros, including Oberg, move on to Pro Tour Amsterdam, first the champion has a shorter trip - just ten minutes to his home.
Congratulations to Kenny Oberg, Champion of Grand Prix Gothenburg 2010!
TOP 8 BRACKET
(1) Kenny Oberg
(8) Nicolai Herzog
(4) Marijn Lybaert
(5) Samuel H. Black
(2) Allison N. Abe
(7) Sami Häggkvist
(3) Markku Rikola
(6) Anton Jonsson
Kenny Oberg (2-0)
Marijn Lybaert (2-0)
Allison N. Abe (2-0)
Anton Jonsson (2-1)
Kenny Oberg (2-1)
Anton Jonsson (2-1)
Kenny Oberg (2-0)
by Event Coverage StaffSunday, 8:09 p.m.Where Are They Now?
by Rich HagonFinalKenny Öberg vs. Anton Jonsson
by Rich HagonSemifinalMarijn Lybaert vs. Kenny Öberg
by Tobias HenkeSemifinalAllison Abe vs. Anton Jonsson
by Tobias HenkeQuarterfinalSam Black vs. Marijn Lybaert
by Rich HagonQuarterfinalAnton Jonsson vs. Markku Rikola
by David SutcliffeQuarterfinalKenny Oberg (SWE) vs. Nikolai Herzog (NOR)
by Event Coverage StaffTop 8Decklists
by David SutcliffeTop 8: DraftHow They Line Up
by Event Coverage StaffTop 8Player Profiles
by Event Coverage StaffDay 2: Event Coverage
by Event Coverage StaffDay 2: Playerlist
by Event Coverage StaffDay 2: Country Breakdown
by Event Coverage StaffDay 1: Event Coverage
by Event Coverage StaffDay 1: Green Playerlist
by Event Coverage StaffDay 1: Green Country Breakdown
by Event Coverage StaffDay 1: Blue Playerlist
by Event Coverage StaffDay 1: Blue Country Breakdown
by Event Coverage StaffInfo: Fact Sheet
|1. Kenny Oberg||$3,500|
|2. Anton Jonsson||$2,300|
|3. Marijn Lybaert||$1,500|
|4. Allison Abe||$1,500|
|5. Nicolai Herzog||$1,000|
|6. Sami Häggkvist||$1,000|
|7. Sam Black||$1,000|
|8. Markku Rikola||$1,000|
pairings, results, standings
Top 8 Player profiles
Hometown: Tampere, Finland
Previous Magic successes: Nationals 2010 Top 8
Where do you play Friday Night Magic? Hervannan Vapaa-aikakeskus, Tampere
Record on Day One: 7-1-1 (UG splashing double Doom Blade)
Record in the first draft: 2-0-1 (GW)
Record in the second draft: 3-0 (RG splashing Pacifism)
Alekski Briclot painted "Chandra's Phoenix" on Friday. What do you think the card will do? Fly
Hometown: Omea, Sweden
Previous Magic successes: five PT Top 8s, eight GP Top 8s
Where do you play Friday Night Magic? Collectorspoint.se
Record on Day One: 8-1 (UWr)
Record in the first draft: 2-1 (UW)
Record in the second draft: 2-0-1 (RW)
Alekski Briclot painted "Chandra's Phoenix" on Friday. What do you think the card will do? Smash face?
Hometown: Oslo, Norway
Occupation: Translator / Subtitler
Previous Magic successes: 1st PT Amsterdam 04 & San Diego 04, 2nd PT Chicago 03, 8th Worlds 99 & PT Kuala Lumpur 08, 1st European Championships 99 & 03, five Nationals Finals.
Where do you play Friday Night Magic? Outlands, Oslo
Record on Day One: 8-1 (GW)
Record in the first draft: 3-0 (RB)
Record in the second draft: 3-0 (RW)
Alekski Briclot painted "Chandra's Phoenix" on Friday. What do you think the card will do? Crush dreams. Probably mine.
Hometown: Madison, WI
Previous Magic successes: Won Team Worlds, a car, two GP Top 8s
Where do you play Friday Night Magic? Netherworld Games
Record on Day One: 8-1 (UB)
Record in the first draft: 3-0 (Mono-White)
Record in the second draft: 2-1 (Mono Green splashing Blue)
Alekski Briclot painted "Chandra's Phoenix" on Friday. What do you think the card will do? Fly. I guess it will also come back from the graveyard. Maybe with a trigger on opponent taking damage.
Hometown: Maringa, Brazil
Previous Magic successes: one GP Top 8, one Nationals Top 8
Where do you play Friday Night Magic? (left blank)
Record on Day One: 8-1 (UW)
Record in the first draft: 2-1 (UW)
Record in the second draft: 2-0-1 (BW)
Alekski Briclot painted "Chandra's Phoenix" on Friday. What do you think the card will do? Probably a flying creature, with a back from the graveyard ability and a sacrifice causing some amount of damage.
Hometown: Welle, Belgium
Occupation: Soon to be employed :-(
Previous Magic successes: three PT Top 8, one GP T8
Where do you play Friday Night Magic? Hermelyn and Outpost Ghent
Record on Day One: 7-2 (UR)
Record in the first draft: 3-0 (UW)
Record in the second draft: 3-0 (Mono Blue)
Alekski Briclot painted "Chandra's Phoenix" on Friday. What do you think the card will do? It will probably be an awesome mythic. Or maybe a 5/5 flying for 4RR that does Chandra's ultimate when it dies. If Zac Hill designed, the card, it will be the latter.
Hometown: Porvoo, Finland
Previous Magic successes: A few Pro Tours, two time National Team member.
Where do you play Friday Night Magic? Caribou
Magic Record on Day One: 9-0 (URr)
Record in the first draft: 3-0 (RGu)
Record in the second draft: 1-1-1 (BR)
Alekski Briclot painted "Chandra's Phoenix" on Friday. What do you think the card will do? DAMAGE!
Hometown: Gothenburg, Sweden
Occupation: Software Engineer (Web, iPhone)
Previous Magic successes: PT Berlin Top 8, GP Hannover Top 8
Where do you play Friday Night Magic? Que
Record on Day One: 8-1 (UB)
Record in the first draft: 2-1 (RG splashing Foresee)
Record in the second draft: 2-0-1 (GW splashing Fireball)
Alekski Briclot painted "Chandra's Phoenix" on Friday. What do you think the card will do? Functional reprint of Bird Maiden
With a Top 8 draft pod that comprised so many top players it was hard to know where to look - the champion could so easily come from any quarter; from seasoned pros like Sam Black to Swedish hope Kenny Oberg, to a wildcard like Markku Rikkola who is by his own admission playing the best Magic of his life. With such an unpredictable Top8 we thought that rather than follow a single drafter we would to take a step back and track all eight of your contenders as they entered the starting gates.
Quarter Final One: Marijn Lybaert vs. Sam Black
Marijn Lybaert had drafted a blue black that was, by his own admission, not good enough. When I asked him if he was happy he could only manage a half-hearted "Not Really". His deck was light on standout cards, and for a blue/black deck had very little solid removal either.
In Three Words: "Seven playables short"
Sam Black was much happier. Initially he wasn't sure he liked his deck, but after completing his build he felt things had gone ok. The question Sam had to face was which of his really good cards he could play, as he'd taken powerful cards in four colors. He had settled on a GR deck, but could splash or black for better cards if he felt he needed to.
In Three Words: "One Word. Rares"
Quarter Final Two: Nikolai Herzog vs. Kenny Oberg
Nikolai Herzog was solidly in a green/red deck and was pretty happy with his cards. His main problem had been trying to prioritise cheaper cards over the more exciting 4-drops that he kept seeing, and he wasn't sure that he had the balance right. "Given the cards I kept seeing it was a really strong pool".
In Three Words: "Really really aggressive"With a strong Red/Green deck under him was Kenny Oberg destined to pick up the trophy?
Kenny Oberg was initially unsure about his deck, but once he'd finished the build he decided that it was very similar to the decks he'd made earlier in the day so he was pretty happy. Also in red/green his quarterfinal against Herzog would be decided by pure muscle power.
In Three Words: "Strong Cards. Removal."
Quarter Final Three: Anton Jonsson vs. Markku Rikkola
Anton Jonsson would only commit that his deck was 'fine, but not awesome' even though it seemed to contain most of the hallmark blue/white aggressive cards. His three word summary of his deck was similarly non-committal...
In Three Words: "Blue White Beatdown". Fair enough.
Markku Rikkola was not happy with his deck at all - perhaps not the first player to find their virgin entry to a Top8 draft a daunting experiencer. After completing the build he said that his black/white deck was quite aggressive but that it would depend on what decks he was playing against. To round out his picks he had to take some color-specific removal. Play the right deck and he was good, but he feared the two Pyroclasm that he had passed along.
In Three Words: "Needs good draws"
Quarter Final Four: Allison Abe vs. Sammi Haggkvist
Allison Abe responded to my question 'are you happy?' with an emphatic "NO!" - the verdict on his blue/green deck being that it was terrible after he had decided to switch colors halfway through the second pack. Ever upbeat, his three word summary said it all...
In Three Words: "Not good enough"
Sammi Haggkvist wasn't too cheerful either. Much like Rikkola, Haggkvist had filled his deck out with cards that were dependent on the colors his opponent played, like Combust and Deathmark. Play against a white deck and he was happy, but face a green deck and he could be in trouble. It was a situation he described as 'awkward'.
In Three Words: "Come on White!"
Top 8 - Decklists
Quarterfinal: Kenny Oberg (SWE) vs. Nikolai Herzog (NOR)
Two of the veterans of the game, and two of the most successful Scandinavian players of all time, this Quarter Final threw together two players who would be popular champions - Oberg in particular being welcomed to the feature match are by the sort of female screams usually saved for rock stars. There was little doubt that the Swede was the hot ticket for the title as far this feature match crowd was concerned.Blink and you miss it - Kenny Oberg raced to a 1-0 lead
Once inside the ropes, the talk between these two seasoned pros turned inevitably towards the coming Pro Tour.
"Are you going to Amsterdam?" asked Oberg, as he shuffled his deck.
"I don't know if I'm playing," Herzog replied, "I don't have a deck. But I'm definitely going down to see friends. Maybe I'll get given a deck that I like?"
"It's still six rounds of limited", Kenny Oberg reminded his opponent
"True", Herzog nodded, "so maybe. Maybe."
To an audible groan from the crowd Oberg had to begin the match with a mulligan, while Herzog went to the tank for a good long while before deciding to keep his initial seven cards. The Norwegian's claim that his would be 'really really aggressive' seemed to misfire, though. His opening gambit of a Goblin Piker was answered by a Prodigal Pyromancer, then after he had used Chandra's Outrage to destroy the Pyromancer the Norwegian found himself eating a faceful of tree. Oberg had played an Awakener Druid then imbued a Sacred Wolf with Volcanic Strength. With nothing larger than a Prodigal Pyromancer of his own at hand to defend himself from Oberg's sudden and unexpected offense, Nikolai Herzog was a game down inside six turns!
"Sigh", said the Norwegian, turning to his sideboard for help.
Kenny Oberg (SWE) 1 - 0 Nikolai Herzog (NOR)After a strong showing in the swiss, Nikolai Herzog found his swift defeat hard to swallow.
Before the second game Oberg called for some extra basic land, indicating that he was making some changes to his deck in sideboarding. Sure enough he began the second game with a Swamp, although a Forest and Mountain suggested he hadn't entirely changed tack. But things had gone from bad to worse for Nikalai Herzog. He was stuck with just three Forests while Oberg played out a pair of Cudgel Trolls and a Spectral Wolf.
Herzog finally found a mountain, although it seemed like it could be too late to fight off Oberg's forces. The Norwegian could only muster a Runeclaw Bear and Goblin Pike to his defense, and when Oberg again boosted the Spectral Wolf with a Volcanic Strength the unhappy Herzog had to concede a shockingly swift defeat.
Kenny Oberg (SWE) 2 - 0 Nikolai Herzog (NOR)
"Was your deck good?" asked Oberg, after the match? Certainly they had seen almost nothing from Herzog's deck in the two games.
"I thought so. Pretty good, yeah"
But with a blistering and irresistible offense it was the Swede, Kenny Oberg, who would carry Sweden's hopes into the Semi-Finals. Would Anton Jonnson be able to join him in a dream All-Swedish final?
Quarterfinal - Anton Jonsson vs. Markku Rikola
An all-Scandinavian quarter final sees Finland's Markku Rikola take on the potential Hall of Famer from Sweden, Anton Jonsson. While Rikola is in his first top 8, his opponent has an illustrious history. This is Jonsson's ninth Grand Prix top 8, and he has five Pro Tour top tables to go with it, highlighted by finishing second at Pro Tour Nagoya in 2005.
Rikola opened proceedings with a Plains, while Jonsson opened on Elite Vanguard, which traded the following turn for Rikola's Ajani Pridemate. Stormfront Pegasus and Infantry Veteran joined the Swedish team, and Jonsson's Island allowed him to Negate a Condemn. Siege Mastodon for Rikola was next, and Excommunicate sent it packing.
'Time Walk!' yelled Jonsson, sotto voce, before dropping his Finnish opponent to nine. Augury Owl hopefully sent some land to Jonsson's aid, although he was still attacking profitably. At six life, Rikola dropped Wild Griffin to stem the bleeding somewhat, but Jonsson had indeed sent a mana to the top of the deck. That meant four mana. That meant Ajani Goldmane. Suddenly everything got bigger, and Rikola was in a world of Planeswalker pain.
Anton Jonsson 1 – 0 Markku RikolaMarkku Rikola
Ajani's Pridemate opened game two for Rikola, with Jonsson taking to the air (and the top of his deck) with Augury Owl, joined by Cloud Elemental. Rikola was aggressive, with Pacifism for the Cloud Elemental, Black Knight hitting the battlefield, and both Ajani's Pridemate and a Palace Guard coming in, with Jonsson at fifteen.
Æther Adept bounced the Black Knight, before trading with Ajani's Pridemate, Rikola adding Nether Horror to his board, making efficient use of all his mana. Jonsson continued to nibble away with the Augury Owl, supported by Infantry Veteran. Howling Banshee shortened the clock, though, as Jonsson now stood seven to fourteen behind. Intriguingly, he used Excommunicate to deal with the Banshee, then cast Stormfront Pegasus. Clearly he was unafraid of another three point drain on both players.
Nine to three was Rikola's lead as Jonsson untapped once again. A second Augury Owl sent everything to the bottom of the library, and Jonsson used Sleep to gain the tempo advantage. That advantage didn't last long, however, with Rikola spending five mana on Serra Angel. Æther Adept bounced the Serra back to hand, and now it was five to three in favor of the Finn. Down came Serra Angel once more. Phantom Beast was the play from Jonsson, leaving Rikola to spend six mana. On Triskelion. With Anton at three life.
'I'm specializing in really expensive Lightning Bolts today' said the Finn, having done the same thing to Bram Snepvangers on three life with Inferno Titan. Sometimes, you just have to pay the price to get the job done.
Anton Jonsson 1 – 1 Markku RikolaAnton Jonsson
Elite Vanguard was the perfect opener for Jonsson. Stormfront Pegasus was a pretty good turn two, although Black Knight on the other side could be problematic. The Pegasus flew in for two, while Rikola took to the skies with Liliana's Specter, forcing Jonsson to discard. His choice? Negate. Water Servant added to the board for Jonsson, whose fast start had been quickly stunted. Rikola further complicated matters with Blinding Mage.
A big turn for Jonsson saw the reappearance of Ajani Goldmane, putting a counter on Elite Vanguard, Stormfront Pegasus, and Water Servant, allowing him to go on the attack. Quag Sickness killed off the Stormfront Pegasus, meaning the path was clear for Liliana's Specter to take two Loyalty chunks out of Ajani's hide.
Foresee saw Jonsson take his time over his choices, eventually casting Augury Owl and Scrying once more. In theory, he could protect Ajani with Augury Owl. He could gain two life. Or, he could let the Planeswalker leave the battlefield, with three more counters spread across his team. That was the choice, with Water Servant leaving Rikola at seven life. Three mana was still all Rikola had to work with. Six cards, but only three mana. It didn't look like it was going to be enough.
Blinding Mage tapped down the Water Servant, robbing Jonsson of a worthwhile attack. The Swede added to Rikola's problems with Cloud Elemental. Rikola's deck added to Rikola's problems with no fourth land. Again.
This time Rikola was prepared to let Jonsson into the red zone, without activating Blinding Mage. Æther Adept put the white tapper back in Rikola's hand, causing the Finn to abandon that plan for at least a turn, choosing instead Palace Guard. At least he now had four mana to work with. Jonsson piled in, with Condemn from Rikola netting the Swede a whopping eight life. More importantly, though, Rikola was down to five. Howling Banshee left the totals at twenty five to just two in Jonsson's favor.
Anton Jonsson 2 – 1 Marrku Rikola
Quarterfinal: Sam Black vs. Marijn Lybaert
Marijn Lybaert didn't look too happy as he sat down for his quarterfinal match. He mumbled something along the lines of: "could have been better." But as soon as Sam Black showed up at the table, he regained his composure, and the two started chatting almost right away about the upcoming Pro Tour–Amsterdam and the new Extended format.
"Nice card," Lybaert commented.Marijn Lybaert
Lybaert's Barony Vampire traded with the Runeclaw Bear and was replaced by Phantom Beast. Black made two small critters in Sylvan Ranger and Stormfront Pegasus. Lybaert cast Sign in Blood, attacked with the Beast and passed the turn with three Islands up. Nevertheless he didn't interfere when Black summoned a second Sylvan Ranger and equipped that – with a vengeance.
Lybaert summoned Augury Owl, the perfect blocker for Stormfront Pegasus. The following combat first had Black cast Inspired Charge and in response Lybaert killing off the equipped Ranger with Stabbing Pain. He untapped and summoned Air Servant, Black untapped and cast Duskdale Wurm. Meanwhile, the Phantom Beast had already gotten Black down to low life and the Air Servant tried to severe the last few threads Black was hanging on to. Stormfront Pegasus chumpblocked and Lybaert cast Nightwing Shade.
Black summoned and equipped a second Runeclaw Bear, then attacked with everything. At 9 life, Lybaert just blocked Sylvan Ranger with his Shade and the 4/2 Bear with his 4/5 Phantom Beast, so Duskdale Wurm put him at 2. Black looked at the Air Servant and Nightwing Shade, shrugged, and conceded.
Sam Black 0 – 1 Marijn LybaertSam Black
Black started with a pair of Runeclaw Bears. One was returned to his hand by Æther Adept, the other traded with it. Lybaert once again had Phantom Beast followed by Air Servant, Black had Elvish Archdruid followed by Duskdale Wurm. The stakes were quickly raised to astronomical height in this game.
When Lybaert locked up Duskdale Wurm in Ice Cage, Black was forced to cast Safe Passage to even survive at all. He then made Sylvan Ranger and Stormfront Pegasus, the latter of which got tapped down by Air Servant.
Sam Black 0 – 2 Marijn Lybaert
Semifinal – Allison Abe vs. Anton Jonsson
Both players started blisteringly fast with creatures on their very first turns: Jonsson cast Elite Vanguard, Abe Llanowar Elves. Jonnson had Infantry Veteran next, while Abe accelerated into Cloud Elemental. Jonsson cast Excommunicate on the Elves and Abe had to replay them.
Now both players summoned one Water Servant each. Jonsson returned the Servant with another Excommunicate and attacked with his own. He pumped his Servant, just to have it bounced by Unsummon. Abe replayed it, Jonsson however tapped four mana and played one of the two cards in his hand...
"Oh no, I played the wrong card!" Jonsson exclaimed, as he looked at his Ajani Goldmane in shocked surprise. He agonized over his options and just gained 2 with Ajani's first ability. "That was so terrible. I just picked the wrong card." With the Water Servant still in his hand, the Swede couldn't even protect his Planeswalker from Abe's attacking Cloud Elemental, Water Servant, and Llanowar Elves. He blocked the latter with his Elite Vanguard and chumped the Servant with Infantry Veteran. Postcombat Abe summoned Giant Spider. Jonsson finally cast that Water Servant, and used Ajani Goldmane to put a counter on it.Allison Abe
He was still shaking his head about the accidental misplay, when Abe had a second Unsummon to take the game.
Allison Abe 1 – 0 Anton Jonsson
In the second game neither player had anything for the first two turns, and on turn three Jonsson only cast the lowly Infantry Veteran. His next turn, however increased the pressure considerably, with another Infantry Veteran as well as Æther Adept to bounce Abe's first creature, Scroll Thief.
Abe summoned Spined Wurm, but Jonsson had Excommunicate at the ready, and Flashfreeze when the Wurm tried for a comeback. Meanwhile, Water Servant went on a little offense himself, so Abe was left without blockers when Jonsson cast Ajani Goldmane. All of Jonsson's creatures, one Æther Adept and two Infantry Veterans, turned into 3/3s, the latter by virtue of, for once, using their own tap ability on themselves.
Allison Abe 1 – 1 Anton JonssonAnton Jonsson
"Uh. Nice curve," was the first contribution Abe could make in the third game. Jonsson had just cast Elite Vanguard on turn one and followed it up with Stormfront Pegasus, while Abe passed his third turn without even as much as a land drop. He did have an Unsummon and topdecked Llanowar Elves to slow things down a little. But by then the Elves already had to block Elite Vanguard, and Jonsson's beatdown didn't miss a beat with Cloud Elemental.
The Elemental received an Unsummon as well, but was recast along with a brand-new Infantry Veteran. Things turned from bad to desolate for Abe: One look at Ajani Goldmane was enough and he offered his hand in concession.
Allison Abe 1 – 2 Anton Jonsson
Semifinal – Marijn Lybaert vs. Kenny Öberg
The battle commenced long before the first card was played. In the feature match area, Öberg attempted to have the table switched to the side of the arena where the horde of Swedish fans was waiting expectantly. Lybaert, meanwhile, having won his quarter final in front of a rabid collection of Belgian reprobates, led by ringleaders Niels Viaene and Mark Dictus, had shotgunned the lucky table – or at least his supporters had.
Garruk's Companion arrived on schedule turn two for Öberg, while Lybaert started the deck-stacking process with Augury Owl. Sacred Wolf added to the Swedish team, while Æther Adept for Lybaert couldn't touch the Sacred Wolf, although it could trade. Gravedigger returned the Æther Adept for Lybaert, in the kind of move that's been irritating non-recursion players since the dawn of time.
Öberg aimed Acidic Slime at Lybaert's only Swamp, but the Belgian had a replacement handy, thanks to Preordain. Not wanting to bounce the Acidic Slime, Lybaert instead bounced and replayed Augury Owl, allowing him to Scry once more. Slime traded for Adept, and the next phase of the game commenced, with Cudgel Troll for Öberg and Nightwing Shade for Lybaert, wholwas down to just six life once Öberg added Awakener Druid to the mix, crashing in with a hefty Forest.
Lybaert had Assassinate for the Forest, Öberg responding to the threat of Nightwing Shade with removal of his own in the form of Plummet. Sign in Blood dropped Lybaert to just three, with Öberg continuing to apply the beats. Stabbing Pain held things off for a turn, but it was only for a turn. Öberg had Pyroclasm to clear out the remaining Child of Night blocker, and Sweden was one game away from having a finalist on home territory.
Lybaert 0 – 1 ÖbergKenny Öberg
Augury Owl got the Belgian ball rolling for game two, with Barony Vampire close behind. Fireball took out the Vampire, which was replaced by Azure Drake. Canyon Minotaur isn't anyone's idea of a stellar creature, but it would create damage parity for Öberg. Æther Adept sent it packing, and in came the flyers. Acidic Slime took out an Island, which didn't seem to disturb Lybaert unduly, who used Gravedigger to return the Æther Adept. Öberg knew he was in danger of being outraced. Doom Blade killed the Azure Drake, Canyon Minotaur completing the turn.
Preordain for Lybaert left him leaving both cards on top of the library, so Sign in Blood was always going to yield positive results. The Augury Owl dropped Öberg to eleven. Yavimaya Wurm was offered up by Öberg as 'something to bounce', a prophecy that came true moments later. Just as certainly, back it came.
Foresee put three cards to the bottom, leaving Lybaert looking for good news, and a nice surprise. Augury Owl dropped Öberg to nine, before Quag Sickness efficiently killed the Yavimaya Wurm. Awakener Druid sent a Forest into the red zone, Öberg completing the turn with Sorceror's Strongbox. Nightwing Shade arrived for Lybaert, who added to Öberg's problems with Assassinate for the Forest. It didn't seem as if Öberg would be able to win the race.
Sorceror's Strongbox delivered when Öberg successfully picked the lock, netting him card advantage. Garruk's Companion joined Öberg's crowd, but another Æther Adept saw Canyon Minotaur gone away. Nightwing Shade, Æther Adept, Augury Owl, Gravedigger, all into the red zone. Combust was good, but Lybaert's board was better, and we were headed for a decider.
Lybaert 1 – 1 ÖbergMarijn Lybaert
For the second game running, Garruk's Companion faced Augury Owl by the end of each turn two. Sylvan Ranger fetched Öberg a Mountain after the Companion had dealt the first damage of the match. That was enough to attract Assassinate from Lybaert, who nonetheless was under pressure, at sixteen, and facing Canyon Minotaur and Sylvan Ranger. Phantom Beast changed matters, but only briefly, Prodigal Pyromancer arriving for Öberg.
Sign in Blood allowed Lybaert to dig for answers, but, just as black does, those possible answers would come at a price. Knowing the Phantom Beast was destined for the graveyard, Lybaert attacked, choosing Unsummon to bounce the Prodigal Pyromancer, protecting his Beast for at least another turn.
Öberg chose not to replay it, opting instead for Greater Basilisk. Liliana's Specter forced Öberg to discard, which was only a humble Forest. Barony Vampire joined the Belgian board position, which was now confronted by Prodigal Pyromancer, Sacred Wolf, Canyon Minotaur, Sylvan Ranger, and Greater Basilisk. The decider was turning into a decent game, with both players on eleven life, and down to just two cards apiece.
At last, the Prodigal Pyromancer was able to dispose of the Phantom Beast, Lybaert trading Barony Vampire for Canyon Minotaur. The Sorceror's Strongbox had been great for Öberg in game two, but not in game three, as Lybaert used Mana Leak to counter it. The Prodigal Pyromancer, though, was going to be a big, big issue....which is why Quag Sickness put it in the graveyard at top speed.
Greater Basilisk and Sylvan Ranger resumed hostilities, dropping Lybaert to four, staring across at Öberg on nine. Next time around, the Augury Owl got in the way of Greater Basilisk. Lybaert at three. Plummet arrived for Öberg, and suddenly it was all over. The all-Swedish final had become a reality, a tremendous achievement.
Marijn Lybaert 1 – 2 Kenny Öberg
Final - Kenny Öberg vs. Anton Jonsson
1,001 players began their Grand Prix Gothenburg journey. Most of them weren't Swedish, but everyone else needn't have bothered. Home turf has been thoroughly defended, and how, with both finalists representing the home country. Both have a fine pedigree, with Öberg coming to prominence as 'The Tezzerator', building the devastating deck that took him to the Pro Tour Berlin top 8 in 2008.
Jonsson's Infantry Veteran was quickly trumped by Öberg's Garruk's Companion. Pacifism was thrown – literally – by Jonsson at the 3/2 Trampler, leaving the path clear for the Veteran to attack for the first damage of the match. Öberg found a use for the Pacified Companion, casting Fling to aim it at Jonsson's freshly-cast Cloud Elemental. Augury Owl went into Scrying action for Jonsson, who was playing at a brisk pace in front of a huge home crowd.Kenny Oberg radiated icy coolness in the final
Five mana in the semi final had generally meant Acidic Slime from Öberg, and that was the case here, although the land destruction was at least partly negated by Jonsson having Terramorphic Expanse at the ready. Infantry Veteran pumped the Augury Owl, with Jonsson suspiciously passing the turn with four mana open. Prodigal Pyromancer resolved, however, the counterMagic failing to materialize.
Big Moment – any time a Planeswalker hits the battlefield it's a big deal. Ajani Goldmane granted permanent bonuses to both Infantry Veteran and Augury Owl, with the Veteran pumping once it was busily in the red zone. Suddenly Öberg's Prodigal Pyromancer wasn't looking so powerful against a board that was no longer made up of 1/1s.
Big Moment number two - Volcanic Strength on Acidic Slime made it 4/4. Same turn, Big Moment number three – Pyroclasm from Öberg. He added Cudgel Troll, while Jonsson couldn't get past four mana. Augury Owl would be a little help, as would Æther Adept for the Cudgel Troll, but Öberg seemingly had all the answers, with Combust and Fireball allowing him to take the lead.
It turned out that the really Big Moment of the game had been that Acidic Slime.
Kenny Öberg 1 – 0 Anton JonssonThe trophy was within reach for Anton Jonsson
With a mulligan to six, Jonsson needed a bit of help. At least Infantry Veteran was a good start, but without anything to follow. Öberg was next up, with turn three Sacred Wolf. Foresee brought Jonsson plenty of choices, quick to send three cards to the bottom and collect one good plus one mystery card. Sacred Wolf and Infantry Veteran traded, leaving Öberg to run out Cudgel Troll. Against blue-white, Öberg didn't really need to fear removal. Instead, Jonsson had Scroll Thief, which looked an unlikely source of card advantage.
In came the Cudgel Troll, Öberg repeating his five mana trick with Acidic Slime. Jonsson this time was content to Excommunicate the Slime, apparently unafraid of more land destruction. Terramorphic Expanse again allowed him to keep access to blue mana, but there was little evidence that he was gaining the upper hand in this must-win game two.
WOW! Öberg had another Acidic Slime in hand, killing the last Island on Jonsson's side of the battlefield. When was the last time Land Destruction won a Premier Event? Well, it won this one, as Jonsson put the Island in the graveyard and reached across the feature match table to grasp his countryman's hand in gracious defeat.
Kenny Öberg 2 – 0 Anton Jonsson
His final foe vanquished, Kenny Öberg is the Champion of Grand Prix Gothenburg 2010
Sunday, 8:09 p.m. – Where Are They Now?
You know the itch that you just can't scratch? That's clearly what happened when we started getting emails asking where everyone we featured in Coverage over the weekend had finished. They lost in a round four feature match, never to be heard from again. So what happened? Here, for your delectation and delight, are the finishing records of all players who have graced the text pages of Magicthegathering.com this weekend:
Feature Match Round 4
- Shuuhei Nakamura, 12-3-0, 15th, $500 and 3 Pro points
Famous Faces, Exotic Places
- Paulo Vitor Dama Da Rosa, 4-3-0, 403rd
Feature Match Round 5
- AJ Sacher, 9-6-0, 99th
- Adam Koska, 5-4-0, 383rd
Feature Match Round 7
- Anssi Myllymaki, 6-3-0, 147th
- Hao-Shan Huang, 10-5-0, 73rd
Brothers In Arms
- Daniel Grafensteiner, 5-3-0, 282nd
- Tobias Grafensteiner, 11-4-0, 37th, $200 and 1 Pro Point
Feature Match Round 8
- Bram Snepvangers, 11-4-0, 28th, $400 and 2 Pro Points
Round 9 Round-Up
- Katsuhiro Mori, 12-3-0, 16th, $500 and 3 Pro Points
- Nico Bohny, 6-3-0, 152nd
- Luis Scott-Vargas, 11-4-0, 34th, $200 and 1 Pro Point
- Sami Valkamaa, 6-3-0, 172nd
- Brian Kibler, 6-3-0, 187th
- Per Algander, 10-4-0, 94th
- Conley Woods, 12-2-1, 9th, $600 and 4 Pro Points
- Simon Gortzen, 11-4-0, 35th, $200 and 1 Pro Point
- Raphael Levy, 12-3-0, 11th, $600 and 4 Pro Points
Round 10 Feature Match
- Wilhem Dubber, 11-4-0, 32nd, $400 and 2 Pro Points
Round 11 Feature Match
- Janus Kofoed, 10-5-0, 78th
Round 14 Feature Match
- Christophe Gregoir, 12-3-0, 12th, $600 and 4 Pro Points
Ordinary Players, Extraordinary Opponent
- Kim Lund, 11-3-1, 26th, $400 and 2 Pro Points
============== THE TOP 8 =================
- Sam Black, 13-2-0, Quarter-Finalist, $1,000 and 5 Pro Points
- Markku Rikkola, 11-2-2, Quarter-Finalist, $1,000 and 5 Pro Points
- Nikolai Herzog, 14-1-0,Quarter-Finalist, $1,000 and 5 Pro Points
- Sami Haggkvist, 13-1-1, Quarter-Finalist, $1,000 and 5 Pro Points
- Allison Abe, 12-2-1, Semi-Finalist, $1,500 and 6 Pro Points
- Marijn Lybaert, 13-2-0, Semi-Finalist, $1,500 and 6 Pro Points
- Anton Jonsson, 12-2-1, RUNNER-UP, $2,300 and 8 Pro Points
- Kenny Oberg, 12-2-1, WINNER, $3,500 and 10 Pro Points
There, that's better.