Grand Prix Melbourne 1998 Results
February 14-15, 1998
Australia's inaugural Grand Prix commenced on a sweltering Valentine's Day morning at Melbourne's world-class Exhibition Centre (MECC). Neighboring a glittering and lively entertainment district, the window-lined MECC attracted hordes of spectators who paused to find out what the excitement was all about.
The players anxiously anticipated the start of the event, commenting, "Just let us get to the Rochester." The event was held over two days, the first of which was Tempest Sealed Deck and the second Tempest Rochester Draft. After five rounds of Swiss pairings on Day 1 had been used to determine the Top 64, the players continuing to Day 2 drafted their decks and actually played the first round of Rochester Saturday night.
A total of eleven rounds of competition identified the Top 8 players, all of whom hailed from Australia. In the quarterfinals, Matt Goodall defeated Adam Kemp of Denistone, Melbourne's Craig Sheppard beat Eastwood's Andrew Corney, Lenny Collins bested fellow Sydney native Kevin Cheng, and Phillip Davey took down Daniel Turner of Sydney. The semifinals saw Goodall win his match against Sheppard and Davey defeat Collins.
The finals of Grand Prix-Australia matched up Melbourne natives Matt Goodall, who played a blue-black-red deck, and Phillip Davey, who drafted a black-green deck. After dispatching his opponent with Rolling Thunder, Davey triumphantly proclaimed, "I am going to New York!" For his efforts, Davey also took home $1,700.
With over twenty-three ancillary tournaments taking place during the Grand Prix weekend, Magic players didn't have to come up for air throughout most of the weekend. While they weren't competing in tournaments, players lined the concourse for an opportunity to speak with Magic artists Christopher Rush and Rebecca Guay. The artists enjoyed the mood of the excited Australian crowd as they signed cards and T-shirts. In addition, there was rarely an empty chair at the MicroProse display of computers, where players tested the new online capabilities of the Magic: The Gathering PC game.
The Grand Prix was highly publicized throughout the country. Over half a million Australians watched the action on Saturday's Channel 9 late night news, and Magic will also be the featured topic of an upcoming episode of Australia's leading lifestyle television program Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise. Well-known competitor Craig Sheppard even guided the show's famous host Felicity Kennett through her first game of Magic.
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