Top 5 Moments of Grand Prix Kuala Lumpur 2016

Posted in GRAND PRIX KUALA LUMPUR 2016 on October 23, 2016

By Chapman Sim

The first of two Grand Prix champions has been crowned, with Grand Prix Providence still in progress. In the meantime, let's revel in the most exciting moments in Kuala Lumpur that will be etched in our memories for years to come.

5. White dominates the competition.

A total of 32 Smuggler's Copter made it to the Top 8 at Kuala Lumpur but that's not even the most surprising fact. After all, it's not the first time something like that has happened.

In addition to the wildly popular vehicle, there were also 32 copies of Thraben Inspector and 31 copies of Gideon, Ally of Zendikar among all the Top 8 decks, with Teruya Kakumae being the only player to run only three instead of the full playset.

What this means for upcoming weeks is that players will adapt to this fresh trend by modifying their favorite decks or select a new deck to prey upon the sea of white. Standard is an exciting format and with this set of results, we expect things to take yet another turn.

4. Malaysian Veteran Au Yong Wai Kin returns to the Top 8 after a sixteen-year hiatus.

Au Yong Wai Kin is one of Malaysia's most seasoned veterans and has been playing Magic for a long time. Aside from making the Top 8 at the inaugural Grand Prix Kuala Lumpur in 2000, he also came in 9th at the 2005 World Championships and has been crowned the Malaysia National Champion twice, in 2004 and 2008.

Ever since he opened his own hobby store, he has taken a step back from being as competitive as before but his desire to return to the Pro Tour is very much apparent. Thanks to his outstanding performance this weekend, he is now qualified for Pro Tour Aether Revolt in Dublin and will be playing in his 10th lifetime Pro Tour.

Despite failing to win it all for Malaysia, he should be glad to know that the entire community was rooting for him!

3. Yuuki Ichikawa attempts a two-peat and wins our hearts.

The last time Yuuki Ichikawa played a Grand Prix, he took down the whole show alongside Yuki Matsumoto and Kazuyuki Takimura at Kyoto. One month later, he has it to the Top 8 at Kuala Lumpur once again, making it his 8th Grand Prix Top 8.

If he had won this weekend, it would mark his 4th Grand Prix title. However, he fell to Fumiya Matsumoto in the semifinals, dashing his dreams of being a back-to-back champion.

Perhaps the most interesting story between the duo is how Ichikawa beat Matsumoto during Round 14. Ichikawa had spotted Matsumoto making a bad play. Rather than selfishly withholding that information, Ichikawa didn't hesitate to educate his countryman about the oversight. Matsumoto realized that Ichikawa was right and stepped up on his game, winning Round 15 to sneak into the Top 8 before crushing Ichikawa in the semifinals with his very own advice!

Good guy Ichikawa might not be the winner today, but he is a winner of all our hearts! A good run regardless!

2. First-timers fight valiantly against accomplished veterans!

It is always a great moment when you see new faces alongside accomplished veterans in the Top 8. Four very experienced Japanese players made it through to the Top 8 but faced off each other in the same brackets. What this means is that an all-Japanese final would be impossible, but it is guaranteed that a Japanese player will make it to the finals.

This was excellent news for the up-and-coming talents of the region who embraced the opportunity to advance as far as they could. First-timers Marcus Oh from Singapore, Anthony Lee from Australia and Tubola Mark Lawrence from the Philippines fought valiantly all weekend. Not only did the trio finish 9-0 in Day 1, they kept up with the momentum all the way through Day 2 and even in the playoffs for a cherished opportunity to clinch the trophy in their first first attempt.

1. Fumiya Matsumoto improves upon his Top 4 finish at Grand Prix Kyoto 2016 with a win today!

There were two players in the Top 8 this weekend, playing in the elimination rounds of a Grand Prix in two attempts. One player was Yuuki Ichikawa and the other was Fumiya Matsumoto. While Ichikawa stole the whole show at Kyoto, it was Matsumoto who crushed the competition here at Kuala Lumpur!

Defeating Mark Lawrence Tubola in the finals with his trusty Mardu Vehicles deck, he goes home $10,000 richer, picking up 8 more Pro Points in his quest to level up and also has a new shiny trophy for his mantle.