Matthew Griffin and Don van Ravenzwaaij are both newcomers to the center stage, neither of them having made it to a Grand Prix or Pro Tour Top 8 before, but their enthusiasm for the game was clear as they shook hands before the match.
Game 1 started out slowly as Griffin accelerated his manabase with Verdant Haven. Van Ravenzwaaij eventually went on the offensive with a Red army. Griffin tried to stablise by using Flesh to Dust on van Ravenzwaaij's Paragon, but van Ravenzwaaij kept the pressure on with a Blastfire Bolt and a Forge Devil to clear most of Griffin's board. However van Ravenzwaaij's small army couldn't match the beef that Griffin kept drawing into, including a Siege Wurm.
"That's a fat one." exclaimed van Ravenzwaaij.
"He's a big boy." replied Griffin.
Matt Griffin has the big boys on his side.
Van Ravenzwaaij managed a trade to get the Siege Wurm off the board, but Griffin immediately returned it with Endless Obedience. Van Ravenzwaaij found a late Spirit Bonds and attempted a token-led comeback, but it was Griffin's enchantment, Caustic Tar, that ended up closing out the game.
Don van Ravenzwaaij is falling behind.
Griffin 1 - Don 0
In Game 2 van Ravenzwaaij took a calculated risk on a fast hand that would likely overwhelm Griffin if he could find a third land. Unfortunately for the Dutchman a third land wasn't forthcoming and Griffin moved into a commanding position while van Ravenzwaaij struggled to keep up. Van Ravenzwaaij was forced to keep his Krenko's Enforcer and Foundry Street Denizen back to block Griffin's Netcaster spider, now stuck on three land while Griffin continued to ramp. With every creature van Ravenzwaaij played eating removal or chump blocking, he inevitably fell to Griffin's larger forces.
Matt Griffin defeats Don van Ravenzwaaij 2-0