While the primary focus of a Grand Prix weekend is the Grand Prix tournament itself, it's by no means the only thing happening at the Grand Prix. Over the course of two days a field is whittled down from nearly 2,000 players, to the 199 players to come back and draft on Day 2, and then finally the Top 8. If everyone went home as soon as they were eliminated, this giant hall would start to look a little forlorn and empty.
As of lunchtime on Sunday this is not the case. As you can see from the photos, the hall here at the ACC Liverpool is bustling with activity. In one quarter we have day two of the Grand Prix. Taking up a large number of tables is the Sunday Super Series tournament. 376 players are battling to win a trip to Seattle for the Super Series Championship. This also includes a tour of the Wizards of the Coast offices and other goodies.
Like Magic, but Limited isn't your format of choice? There are mini-tournaments for other formats to sign up for. This is before we even get to the eight-player Booster Drafts. Side Events told me they were getting around sixteen eight-player Booster Drafts firing every hour.
Grand Prix weekends are festivals of Magic. They're an opportunity for lovers of the game to meet up and play as much (within reason, I've been told the staff need to sleep some time. I think they're just making excuses) Magic as they like, at the level they like. It's great to see a hall filled with a couple of thousand enthusiasts for the game. It also ensures the overall atmosphere for Day 2 is just as festive as Day 1.
Current tournament gone horribly wrong? There's always the next one.