Justin Cohen and Matt Severa are no strangers to winning. After all, Cohen is the 2014-15 Rookie of the Year and Severa has four Grand Prix Top 8 appearances to his name.
And they're no strangers to team events. Severa made the Top 4 of Grand Prix Nashville in 2014 and then won Grand Prix Washington D.C. earlier this year along with Cohen and Limited master Mike Hron.
But those weren't the full team. The full team is together in Louisville, and it's impressive. 20th-ranked Sam Black — longtime friend of both Cohen and Severa — is the preferred third piece of the puzzle, and the trio finally had the full crew together this weekend, not that Severa and Cohen needed much help in team events.
A perfect 12-0 start later, and it's clear that these three are a force to reckon with.
“The trio of (20) Sam Black, Justin Cohen and Matt Severa amassed a sizable lead on the rest of the field at Grand Prix Louisville.”
“Well, we showed we could do it without him, so we figured why not include him and see if we can win with Sam?” Cohen joked after their final match on Saturday.
The team works easily together. Decisions are primarily left to each player — all of whom have found success on their own merit — and their deliberate pace of play allows each decision to be carefully measured. While other teams may joke around or converse loudly during a match, this trio plays with quiet efficiency.
It's the product of a lifetime of practice.
“We're all local to Madison and have been playing together for a long time,” Severa explained. “We have a really good Limited scene there and being in the same place to practice and prepare for this helped a lot.”
Having talented teammates is one benefit to the event, but for Cohen even better than that is having the opportunity to play with the friends he plays with regularly at home.
“We've known each other forever, which makes team events great,” he explained. “Seriously, just ship me team events every time. I love playing in these.”
He has plenty of reasons to. And with another Top 4 finish locked here in Louisville, don't be surprised if this team finds themselves on top yet again when it's all said and done.