Top 5 Moments of Grand Prix São Paulo 2016

Posted in Event Coverage on July 4, 2016

By Chapman Sim

The curtains are drawn and the champions have been crowned. It's been an exciting weekend, and here are just some of the highlights! What were the Top 5 moments which encapsulates the entire weekend?

5. The Gitrog Monster is the MVP at São Paulo!

Three teams who made the Top 4 cited The Gitrog Monster as one of the best cards in one of their Sealed Decks. As a matter of fact, Team Degenerates had the Frog Horror in their pools in both Day 1 and Day 2!

In the finals draft, finalist Mateus Martins opened his first booster to see Jace, Unraveler of Secrets and a FOIL The Gitrog Monster. Since this was a team draft, whichever card he doesn't select would go to his opponents, making this a truly agonizing dilemma. In the end, despite it being two colors, he shipped the Blue Planeswalker, because a 6/6 for 5 mana (which also draws you cards) is simply too tempting to pass up! In conjunction with Epitaph Golem ensured that he was never going to deck out.

Pity, because with Eldritch Moon entering the fray very soon, we'll be seeing less of you around. Ribbit!

4. An Epiphany (Not at a Drownyard)

This weekend in São Paulo, we celebrate that largest Team event to ever have been held in Brazil. What is the primary force that drives the growth of the community, for it to grow into such strengths today?

Being far away from home and on-site allows me to explore the close-knitted bonds and the diversity that we embrace to further widen our horizons. Not that this is my first time here, but this weekend was truly and eye-opening experience, because especially at a Team event, you see more about people and appreciate the bonds between them than you usually do, with every match being so high-spirited and engaging.

Grand Prix São Paulo also happens to be one of the biggest Brazilian Grand Prix to date, and it can only be possible with all the amazing people around us. To learn more about the local community, check out this piece titled, "What the Brazilian Community Has Showed Me"! You might just get an epiphany too!

3. Shaheen Soorani makes his first Grand Prix Top 8 and levels up together with Pascal Maynard.

Brian Braun-Duin and Pascal Maynard, giving Shaheen Soorani a hilarious glare of derision.

Shaheen Soorani has been playing Magic for a long, long time. You've seen him around, you've seen his works and he's racked up so many achievements on the StarCityGames circuit. Despite being such a well-respected member of the community, he has never actually made the Top 8 of a Premier Event.

"Well, I made the Top 8 at Nationals, if that counts. And also a 9th place finish at the World Championships. But yes, this was a sweet weekend and I enjoyed every moment of it."

This trip to the playoffs was not only long-awaited, but well-deserved. Not only did he unlock the achievement, he also reached Silver. Since he was already qualified for Pro Tour Eldritch Moon by virtue of winning a Pro Tour Qualifier, he should be happy to qualify for Pro Tour Kaladesh, and still have another invite in the pocket for the 2016 – 2017 season!

In related news, Pascal Maynard arrived with the goal of winning a Grand Prix, among other agendas. A $1700 air ticket was well worth the investment, and despite not making it all the way to the top, he should be happy that this strong finish in São Paulo gave him enough Pro Points to lock Platinum!

Two teammates leveling up at the same time. Ding! What could be sweeter? But wait...

2. Brian Braun-Duin takes the lead over Tomoharu Saito in the race for Grand Prix Master.

This might be one of the most exciting moments of Grand Prix São Paulo, but I don't think Reid Duke will be super thrilled to hear that two of his biggest competitors in the race for Grand Prix Master have just widened the gap. Right now, Duke will need to come in at least second place at the final Grand Prix weekend, and still hope that Saito and Braun-Duin crashes out!

Tomoharu Saito missed out on the Top 4 by a 0.02% margin on the tiebreakers, and the spot went to the eventual Champions. For his efforts, however, he picked up 3 Pro Points for finishing 11-3 and has teammates Michael Bonde and Thiago Rodrigues to thank for that. "Team Capybara is not just cute, it's also very good. I'm thankful for this weekend and I'll see everyone at Sydney. Just need to keep racing!"

However, Brian Braun-Duin went one up and cracked the Top 4! Despite being eliminated in the semifinals, he should be happy to net 4 Pro Points, which is exactly enough to take the first place in terms of Pro Points earned from Grand Prix alone.

1. Once a Champion, Always A Champion

Carlos Romao remains the only Brazilian World Champion to this day, and has always been a beacon of inspiration for the Brazilian Magic Community. He earned that honor in 2002, but has never really stopped playing since. This performance makes his 8th Grand Prix Top 8 and 4th Grand Prix win.

Still, he couldn't have done so without Eloi Pattaro and Francisco Barciella, who fought by his side all weekend. Winning a Grand Prix is great, but it is always sweeter when you achieve it with your lifelong friends. Ask anyone who has ever won a Team Event! Pattaro said that he chose Romao as a teammate not because of his Magic achievements (liar!), but because Romao and Barciella were the best possible company for going to Hawaii with.

Well, you got your wish guys! Pack your bags, you're all going to Pro Tour Kaladesh in Honolulu together!

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