Grand Prix-São Paulo
November 6-7, 1999
November 10, 1999 (Renton, Wash.)--Competition was tight at Grand Prix - São Paulo in Brazil. An excited group of contestants gathered on November 6 - 7 to match wits in a Magic: The Gathering Grand Prix tournament hosted by Wizards of the Coast Inc. and Devir Livraria, the exclusive Magic distributor in Brazil. The final game of the event pitted Rafael Assafi Alvarenga of Brazil and Douglas Maioli of Argentina against one another. The two top strategists faced off for three games: Maioli won the first; Alvarenga won the second; and when the dust settled in the tiebreaking game, the two players shook hands and Alvarenga stood victorious.
Spectators went wild when 15-year-old Alvarenga defeated Maioli in that final match. They came forward and scooped the triumphant Brazilian up on their shoulders and carried him around the room. Alvarenga has been playing the Magic game for almost five years. His favorite card is Counterspell, and he prefers to play offensive decks. Alvarenga lives in Rio de Janeiro, where he attends high school and enjoys playing video games and soccer.
Second-place finisher Douglas Maioli, age 23, currently lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina, though he was born and raised in Brazil. Maioli was proud that a Brazilian had won Grand Prix - São Paulo and heartily congratulated Alvarenga himself. Maioli participated in the 1999 Magic: The Gathering World Championships in Yokohama, Japan, and in two Argentinean Nationals. His favorite card is Survival of the Fittest, and he calls his winning deck "The Bribery Deck." His most memorable moment of the Grand Prix was when he opened a booster and found a foil-stamped Bribery card.
In addition to their prize money, Alvarenga, Maioli and the other competitors in the top eight received invitations to Magic: The Gathering Pro Tour - Los Angeles, scheduled for February 4 - 6, 2000, in Los Angeles, California.
The top eight finishers were:
- Rafael Assafi Alvarenga, 15, Brazil
- Douglas Maioli, 23, Argentina
- Carlos Mao, 49, Brazil
- Alex Shvartsman, 24, U.S.A.
- Carlos Eduardo Yamave Romao, 17, Brazil
- Eduardo Simao Teixeira, 18, Brazil
- Fernando Moreira Bandeira, 17, Brazil
- Rodrigo Jose Constanza, 23, Brazil
Competitors came from all over the world to compete in Grand Prix - São Paulo. Among those countries represented were Argentina, Brazil, Sweden, Uruguay, the U.S.A. and Venezuela. Grand Prix events, such as the recent ones in Kyushu, Japan, and London, Great Britain, attract an international crowd of Magic enthusiasts and sharp-witted competitors.
Grand Prix - São Paulo hosted a diverse selection of activities for its participants. Attendees got a chance to meet and have cards signed by Terese Nielsen and Michael Sutfin, both celebrated artists who contributed to the Mercadian Masques card set. Other highlights of the weekend included numerous side events and the Magic Scavenger Hunt. Fan favorite Henry Stern, lead designer of the Mercadian Masques set, hosted a trivia show in which players competed for special prizes. Overall, the atmosphere of Grand Prix - São Paulo could only be described as exhilarating.