Welcome to South America's Largest Grand Prix, Ever!
The Grand Prix circuit rolled around and returned to São Paulo, which coincided with the fourth of five birthday weekends for the 25th Anniversary. Players from all around the region gathered to partake in a weekend of Modern Constructed, just a week after the dust settled at Grand Prix Barcelona.
However, what was most momentous about this weekend? Well, the eager crowd smashed all previous attendances with their collective enthusiasm. Grand Prix São Paulo 2015, the one which Pro Tour Hall of Famer Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa took down with Dragonlord Ojutai, had 1297 attendees.
Well, Aaron Forsythe wasn't wrong about those “rumors”.
This weekend, the final tally was at 1429 - a ten percent jump from 2015 - making it the largest Latin America Grand Prix of all time. It's been 25 years, and we're still going strong. Together, let's grow our community for yet another 25 years!
Celebrating 25 Years with Pauper!
While everyone was shuffling up their Modern decks, a couple of hundred others were shuffling up a bunch of commons, taking part in not one, not two, but three Pauper tournaments all Saturday.
Don't let this format fool you, though. Many Pauper decks could easily crush Standard decks if given the opportunity since they were built with the most potent commons throughout Magic's illustrious history. Lewis, a huge advocate of Pauper, had previously mentioned that Lightning Bolt, Counterspell, and Gush were commons, and were among the strongest cards in the format. Rarity was not an indication of power level. Aside from usual suspects, I was even surprised to see Palace Sentinels on the battlefield.
As we commemorate Magic's 25th Anniversary, it was nice to see cards from through the ages being played alongside each other to this day. By the way, other formats which allow you to do that include Vintage, Legacy, Commander, and Cube Draft! Feel free to indulge!
The funny and friendly Professor was not shy to share his escapades in São Paulo, getting trigger-happy with a bunch of cosplayers who also dressed up to revel in the festivities! This brings us to our next story!
Celebrating 25 Years with Cosplay!
Also, we spoke to two charming ladies about their love for cosplay, and they explain the inspiration and motivation behind their work. Magic had quickly become a huge part of their lives and they were not shy to share their stories.
Fanny Fidelis, 30, had been playing Magic since she was ten years old. As an avid cosplayer and Youtuber for over a decade, she showed up at São Paulo with not one, not two, but three different costumes, one for each day of the Grand Prix. Yesterday, Fidelis came as Nicol Bolas and had the opportunity to take a photograph with renowned artist Steve Argyle.
Our bundle of joy, Verde Midori Bolas-Argyle. Thanks @canalanjoserra! Finally a match more important than football, Utah vs Brazil watermelon taste test! #gpSãopaulo #gpspaulo pic.twitter.com/DzGmrAFGIy— Steve Argyle (@Steve_Argyle) July 7, 2018
However, she shared that she was way more excited about her Rowan Kenrith outfit!
“Nicol Bolas was quite cool, even though I was a mini-sized one. I felt like a Funko Pop! figurine. Anyway, after years and years of waiting, we finally have a blonde planeswalker. Since this is my natural hair color, I jumped on the opportunity to create a Rowan Kenrith costume," she explained earnestly. “I simply love her style, and it suits me to a tee!"
As for 26-year-old Leticia Akemi Kido – affectionately known among her friends as 'Mei' – it was her first time cosplaying, and it was also her first Grand Prix. She picked up Magic around six years ago and decided to pluck up her courage to attend Grand Prix São Paulo as Jace Beleren. Mei was also illustrator by profession, and regularly contributed Magic fan art of her own!
Mei, the Mind Sculptor?
“As this is my first Grand Prix, everything felt so exciting yet unknown to me. I walked into the tournament hall feeling a bit anxious since I had never cosplayed before, much less attended such a huge tournament. I also heard it was the biggest tournament in Brazil! However, everyone was very friendly, and I blended in quickly. Everyone in the tournament hall loves Magic, so it wasn't difficult to become part of the family. I worked really hard on my costume, not only sketching out the plans but also researching my character."
“Yes, we're huge fans of the lore," shared Fidelis, “not only do we think of how to build great costumes, but we also try to play the part." For example, Mei explained that she loves the female planeswalkers, but it was the male characters which she understood better.
“For example, I love Jace Beleren. He's not all about muscles or brawn, and his best weapon is his mind. He has his weaknesses and internal struggles but knows what he needs to do to achieve his goals. It's a fascinating journey simply reading up the stories and roleplaying these character to the very best."
Together, they've taken hundreds of photos with hundreds of fans, and they don't intend to slow down. “I think for us, it's a lot of time and effort to build a great cosplay costume, not just to produce it but also be immersed in the lore. We're truly passionate about what we do, and we're glad that the community is loving our work."
Márcio Carvalho Attempts To Go Back-To-Back
By now, you should have heard about the Beta Edition draft at Grand Prix Las Vegas, as well as the Unlimited Edition drafts at Grand Prix Singapore and Grand Prix Barcelona. As the fourth of five 25th Anniversary weekends, there was going to be an Unlimited Edition draft at Grand Prix São Paulo too!
While Márcio Carvalho didn't win Grand Prix Barcelona, he did crush the Unlimited Edition booster draft there. Taking down the table with the iconic Shivan Dragon, it was one of the sweetest victories Carvalho had experienced, and that's saying something considering he had done tons and tons of drafting!
(Tobi) #gpbcn is in the books and the final winner of the weekend has been decided: (5) Márcio Carvalho taking down the Unlimited Draft with Red-Green Fliers. 25th anniversary celebrations continue next week at #gpspaulo. Join us then for two days of live video coverage! pic.twitter.com/tpF5vCSOtC— Magic Pro Tour (@magicprotour) July 1, 2018
Traversing across the Atlantic, Carvalho showed up on Friday to participate in yet another qualifier. To nobody's surprise, he took it down and earned himself a spot in yet another Unlimited Edition draft within a fortnight. Once a Limited Master, always a Limited Master indeed!
“Not only do I hope to win again, but I also hope to open Power this time," Carvalho commented with a cheeky smirk. Hold on to your hats and be sure to return tomorrow. You might see Carvalho repeat his victory. Or better, witness a Black Lotus emerge from a fresh Unlimited Edition booster pack.
The Spellslinging, The Panel, and The Birthday Cake!
(From left to right): Aaron Reed, Trick Jarrett, Aaron Forsythe, and Doug Beyer.
To further kick up the 25th Anniversary celebrations, several Wizards of the Coast staff had made the far-flung journey to Brazil. To kick start their journey, they spent the afternoon gunslinging across a plethora of formats. By 'more', Trick Jarrett meant Unstable Limited / Mini-Masters! Aaron Forsythe attempted to defend his Unstable boosters but ended up giving most of it away.
Myself, @mtgaaron, @omnidoug and @Aaron_MTG will all be spellslinging at #GPSPaulo in just 20 minutes for at least 2 hours. Probably 3 or as long as I can keep going. We will see! Standard, Modern, Pauper, Brawl and more!— Trick ✈️ São Paulo (@TrickMTG) July 7, 2018
No matter that these Wizards of the Coast staff gave away most of their bounty. Once they put their decks away, they took a short break, caught up on live coverage, and then headed for the panel, where they engaged in an extensive range of discussions.
(Left to right) Carolina Moraes, Doug Beyer, and Aaron Forsythe
After that, everyone was treated to a bunch of mana cupcakes, and I know for a fact that at least 1500 were lovingly handmade, in addition to the beautiful planeswalker symbol cake! Feel the spark yet?
Meanwhile, a faraway Mark Rosewater was heard echoing across the hall!
Seven 8-0 Players!
This weekend, players from near and far gathered in Brazil's bustling megapolis of São Paulo. The largest city of the western hemisphere also set a new record for the largest Grand Prix in South America! A whopping 1429 players joined the event in total, eager to test their mettle in Modern.
By nightfall, the first day's eight rounds had reduced that number to a mere 232. Of them, seven led the charge with perfect records of 8-0 namely Sebastian Pozzo, Vitor Warzynski, Luiz Marins, Vinicius Back, Murilo Marquez, Guilherme Monea, and Sebastian Quintana (pictured left to right)!
Congratulations to all 8-0 players!