As the players settled into the draft, things began to look a little awkward with colours clumping around the table. Prads Pathirana was Blue-Black-Green in seat 1, while Paul Costentin drafted White-Green (splashing Blue-Red) upstream of him. Kelvin Chew was in Black-Green behind Pathirana's U/B/G, while John Seaton was Blue-Black behind Chew.
Alex Ball was either reading the signals well, or his first few picks situated him nicely, as he went Red-White with no Red or White drafters anywhere in the 3 seats ahead of him. Chester Swords, however, was also Red-White directly behind Ball. Zen Takahashi was in turn Red-Green behind Swords, making it 3 Red drafters in a row. Sugaya Hironobu was in White-Black behind Takahashi, which was a reasonable position to be in, but this put him ahead of Costentin's W/G. Let's map this out a different way:
R/W – Ball
R/W – Swords
R/G – Takahashi
W/B – Sugaya
W/G – Costentin
U/B/G – Pathirana
B/G – Chew
U/B – Seaton
Ideally, the players drafting similar colours near each other were at least looking for differing strategies, but based on the mood of the players during deck construction, I suspect many of them suffered at the hands of their neighbours. Let's see how the Quarterfinals turned out!
The Grand Prix Sydney Quarterfinals underway.
Kelvin Chew took the first match from Zen Takahashi 2-0, his Eldrazi Scions providing enough of a road bump to allow his Bane of Bala Ged to devour Takahashi's board. John Seaton took the next match from Sugaya Hironobu 2-1, each player trying to out-value each other with incremental advantages, but Sugaya failing to find his Quarantine Field to overpower Seaton. Alex Ball took the third match from Paul Costentin 2-1, and the last match went to Prads Pathirana, who defeated Chester Swords 2-1 on the back of his Guardian of Tazeem.
So Swords was R/W downstream from Ball's R/W, and lost while Ball won. Sugaya's W/B was reasonably well positioned, but fell to Seaton's U/B anyway. Chew's B/G defeated Takahashi's R/G, but that seemed like a poor matchup for Takahashi.
Chew's B/G advances to face Ball's R/W in the Semifinals, while in a match that will undoubtedly last a lot longer, Pathirana's U/B/G will face Seaton's U/B in an ingest mirror.