Antonio Del Moral León burst onto the scene last weekend by becoming the first Spanish Pro Tour winner, cementing his place as one of the game's greats. This weekend, he has the opportunity to prove himself once again at Grand Prix Seville. Currently sitting at 9-1, he has a very real shot of making it to the Top 8.
I had the opportunity to sit down with him to discuss his Magic origins, his relationship with the game, and his plans for the future.
Antonio Del Moral León
Frank Karsten: Congratulations on your Pro Tour victory, Antonio. But let me take you back to the beginning. When did you start playing Magic and when did you start playing competitively?
Antonio Del Moral León: "I started playing when I was 14 years old, as a hobby. But I only started playing competitively two to three years ago."
What made you start playing on a competitive level?
"I am competitive person, and I like the game very much. I had the wish of winning something important, and a friend of mine, Isaac Hayoun Caballero, helped me develop as a player. He believed in me and spurred me on to get into competitive Magic."
Tell me about yourself. How much Magic do you play and what types of things are you interested in besides Magic?
"I am spending a lot of time playing Magic Online, preparing all day. My Magic Online name is 'Charly' because my father was called Charly, so from when I was a child, everyone just called me Charly. But besides Magic, I also like playing football and going out with my friends. I was also studying; though I took a break from it, I'll enroll again next year."
Tell me about your preparation for Pro Tour Fate Reforged in Washington. How did you arrive at your Splinter Twin deck?
"I qualified via the 2014 Magic Online Championship Series and prepared with Toni Ramis Pascual, Christian Menendez, and Patxi Sanchez. I mainly tested on Magic Online and didn't do anything special except play more than I did for previous Pro Tours. As for Twin, I have been playing it from the beginning of Modern, so it’s the deck that I know and play the best. I believe that after the last bannings, the deck is the best one in Modern."
How did the Spanish Magic players respond to your historical win?
“Muy Buena. The response has been very, very good. For the Spanish players, it was like winning the soccer World Cup. Winning is amazing!"
What do you like most about Magic?
"The whole experience means a lot to me, as well as the opportunity to travel and meet people."
What do you consider the weakest part of your game, and how are you working to improve in that area?
"The weakest part of my game is Limited. To improve, I will just play as much as possible on Magic Online."
What are your personal goals in regards to Magic going forward?
"To win another Pro Tour. This year, I intend to play all Grand Prix in Europe, and maybe some in the USA."
What tips or advice do you have for players looking to improve their game?
"Just play, play, be constant, and never give up if you want to win something important."
Any final words for fans?
"Thank you for all the support, especially to my friends who are supporting me all the time."
Thanks to judge Javier Martin for helping out with the translation.