Top 4 Profiles

Posted in Event Coverage on October 14, 2018

By Chapman Sim

664 teams battled at Grand Prix Nagoya but only four teams remain after 14 rounds of intense competition.

These twelve players have a combined of 80 Grand Prix Top 8s and 17 Grand Prix titles among them, making it one of the most stacked Top 4s in recent memory. Let's get to know all our 12 esteemed players!


Matsumoto - Nakamura - Ikawa

Player A

Name: Yuki Matsumoto

Age: 27

Occupation: Game Designer

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

Grand Prix Chiba 2015 Champion and Grand Prix Kyoto 2016 Champion.

How did you three end up teaming up?

Ikawa invited me.

What guild did you play in Day 1 and what was the best memory of the day?

Selesnya. Trostani Discordant was very good.

What guild did you play in Day 2 and what was the best memory of the day?

Izzet. I had a lot of fun with Ral Zarek.

Tell us a fun fact about your teammates!

Shuhei is a Limited master!


Player B

Name: Shuhei Nakamura

Age: Secret

Occupation: Looking out for a sponsor.

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

I participated in the Silver Showcase.

How did you three end up teaming up?

Ikawa begged me with tears in his eyes.

What guild did you play in Day 1 and what was the best memory of the day?

I played an aggressive Izzet deck. Unfortunately, I made many mistakes building my deck.

What guild did you play in Day 2 and what was the best memory of the day?

I played Dimir splash green. Putting in a single Forest was a good choice.

Tell us a fun fact about your teammates!

They are great teammates.


Player C

Name: Yoshihiko Ikawa

Age: 32

Occupation: Company Employee

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

Top 8 at Pro Tour San Diego 2010

How did you three end up teaming up?

I asked two great players to team with me.

What guild did you play in Day 1 and what was the best memory of the day?

Golgari with one Burglar Rat which I did not intend to play in the main deck. Somehow, I kept drawing it though.

What guild did you play in Day 2 and what was the best memory of the day?

Boros with Experimental Frenzy. It won me a game when I thought I was going to lose for sure.

Tell us a fun fact about your teammates!

Shuhei is a Limited master!


Yoshiura - Katou - Kawanishi

Player A

Name: Hirotoshi Yoshiura

Age: 29

Occupation: Company Employee

How did you three end up teaming up?

We draft a lot together at a local game store.

What guild did you play in Day 1 and what was the best memory of the day?

Selesnya. Bounty of Might turned the tables and won me a few games when I was losing.

What guild did you play in Day 2 and what was the best memory of the day?

Selesnya again but I splashed black for Vraska, Golgari Queen. There was one game where I made a bunch of tokens with March of the Multitudes and use Vraska’s -9 ultimate ability to win.

Tell us a fun fact about your teammates!

Kawanishi is an aggro master while Kato is a control master.


Player B

Name: Naoya Kawanishi

Age: 28

Occupation: Company Employee

How did you three end up teaming up?

We’re friends who play at a local game store together.

What guild did you play in Day 1 and what was the best memory of the day?

Boros. I had 5 rares in my main deck.

What guild did you play in Day 2 and what was the best memory of the day?

Boros. The second deck was even better than the first one!

Tell us a fun fact about your teammates!

Kato loves to play control decks while Yoshiura loves fatties (big creatures).


Player C

Name: Shouya Katou

Age: 26

How did you three end up teaming up?

We became good friends at a local game store.

What guild did you play in Day 1 and what was the best memory of the day?

Dimir. Wishcoin Crab exceeded expectations.

What guild did you play in Day 2 and what was the best memory of the day?

Dimir with many Guildgates. I drew 5 cards with Guild Summit in a single game.

Tell us a fun fact about your teammates!

Yoshiura is handsome on the inside while Kawanishi is handsome on the outside!


Hosokawa - Mihara - Shimizu

Player A

Name: Yuuya Hokosawa

Age: 28

Occupation: Company Employee

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

9th place at Grand Prix Prague.

How did you three end up teaming up?

They were looking for a third member, so I joined!

What guild did you play in Day 1 and what was the best memory of the day?

I played Izzet. There were two matches in a row where I won and my teammates both lost.

What guild did you play in Day 2 and what was the best memory of the day?

I played Izzet again. I drew 5 cards with Expansion // Explosion!

Tell us a fun fact about your teammates!

They both have cute children.


Player B

Name: Makihito Mihara

Age: 36

Occupation: Company Employee

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

Many!

How did you three end up teaming up?

After Shimizu and I decided to team up, Hosokawa joined us.

What guild did you play in Day 1 and what was the best memory of the day?

I played Selesnya and Bounty of Might can destroy any deck.

What guild did you play in Day 2 and what was the best memory of the day?

I played Dimiar and I managed to kill my opponent’s Ral, Izzet Viceroy with Plaguecrafter.

Tell us a fun fact about your teammates!

Both of them are great deck builders!


Player C

Name: Naoki Shimizu

Age: 32

Occupation: Company Employee

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

3rd at Pro Tour Austin 2009, 8th at Pro Tour Avacyn Restored, Japan Nationals Top 8, and 2 Grand Prix Top 8s.

How did you three end up teaming up?

I asked Mihara to team up with me first, and then Hokosawa joined us later.

What guild did you play in Day 1 and what was the best memory of the day?

I played Dimir and my best card was Disinformation Campaign. After I won six games in a row, I lost badly in a Feature Match.

What guild did you play in Day 2 and what was the best memory of the day?

Selesnya with March of the Multitudes! There was one match when I was on the edge of losing, Mihara won his match for the team. Phew!

Tell us a fun fact about your teammates!

If they had creature types, Hosokawa would be a Ramen Demon, while Mihara would be a God or King of Devils.


Yukuhiro - Sato - Yamamoto

Player A

Name: Ken Yukuhiro

Age: 29

Occupation: Pro Gamer

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

4 Pro Tour Top 8s

How did you three end up teaming up?

Sorry Hiroaki Kitahara! (Editor’s note: Yukuhiro and Yamamoto teamed up with Hiroaki Kitahara a few times. For this event, they swapped him out for Rei Sato.)

What guild did you play in Day 1 and what was the best memory of the day?

Golgari splash white. The splashed Flower // Flourish and March of the Multitudes won me multiple games.

What guild did you play in Day 2 and what was the best memory of the day?

Selesnya splash black. I kept a one-land hand with Emmara, Soul of the Accord and I drew a second land to win with an explosive start.

Tell us a fun fact about your teammates!

Rei Sato is like Owen Turtenwald and Kentaro Yamamoto is like Reid Duke.


Player B

Name: Rei Sato

Age: 30

Occupation: Company Employee

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

Grand Prix Hong Kong 2017 Champion and 3 other Grand Prix Top 8s

How did you three end up teaming up?

We are party buddies.

What guild did you play in Day 1 and what was the best memory of the day?

Izzet. I made a lot of Bird tokens by using Quasiduplicate on my Murmuring Mystic.

What guild did you play in Day 2 and what was the best memory of the day?

Boros. I started a game with Legion Guildmage, Tajic, Legion’s Edge, and then Aurelia, Exemplar of Justice and still lost.

Tell us a fun fact about your teammates!

Ken Yukuhiro is like William Jensen and Kentaro Yamamoto is like Reid Duke.


Player C

Name: Kentaro Yamamoto

Age: 34

Occupation: Pro Gamer

Previous Magic Accomplishments:

3 Pro Tour Top 8s and 10 other Grand Prix Top 8s including this one

How did you three end up teaming up?

We’re the Japanese Peach Garden Oath.

What guild did you play in Day 1 and what was the best memory of the day?

Dimir. I had two copies of Blood Operative!

What guild did you play in Day 2 and what was the best memory of the day?

Dimir splashing a little red. The two Watcher in the Mist were excellent.

Tell us a fun fact about your teammates!

Ken Yukuhiro is like William Jensen and Rei Sato is like Owen Turtenwald.

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