A Triumphant Return By The Ben Seck

Posted in Event Coverage on July 31, 2016

By Neale Talbot

The Ben Seck is the Elder statesman of Australian Magic and one of the first Australian Pro Tour players. Back when Australian Magic was still finding its legs, Ben Seck won GP Cape Town in 2001 and GP Melbourne in 2002, followed by a Top 8 at Pro Tour Yokohama in 2003.

Seck emigrated out of Australia to the US around eleven years ago. He now lives in San Francisco, working in the video game industry.

“My career, all of it it, honestly, has come from Magic,” Seck said, “Because I got into trading card games, and the guy who actually got me into video games, I'd never met him, but he knew my name via Magic, and he's like, “Hey, we should interview this guy”. They liked my interview and I got a job at Zynga, which is kinda crazy. So Magic has been responsible for all my professional success, not even counting tournaments and stuff like that.”

Now Seck is back in Australia, and has had an incredible run of success at Olympic Park, close to his parent's house.

“My mum lives ten minutes away,” said Seck. “I'm staying at my childhood home, I'm staying in my childhood bed. I think I've reverted to ten-fifteen years ago, because all my clothes are everywhere, there's cards all over the place, it's a disaster zone. It really is full circle.”

But just because Seck has been away, doesn't mean he's stopped playing.

“I've consistently been playing," Seck said. "I play about six tournaments a year, maybe six to eight. I basically do it as a social thing. I love playing in the big tournaments, meeting my friends here. I generally try to come back to the Australian Grand Prixs, at least one of them, per year. But this one is kinda special because I received the special invite for the Pro Tour, which is really nice to get, and really nice of Wizards to give it to me, I was pretty honoured about it.”

Seck hasn't played in a Pro Tour since Pro Tour Gatecrash in Montreal, which was the last Pro Tour Seck qualified for.

Ben finished Day 1 of GP Sydney as one of four undefeated players, piloting a Sultai deck featuring Ishkanah, Grafwidow with skill and resilience. Day 2, Seth Manfield was feeding his first draft deck. He ended up almost mono-white, including Subjugator angel, and double Choking Restraint, and splashing black for Campaign of Vengeance and Triskaidekaphobia.

Seck went 2-0 beating Andrew Cuneo and Seth Mansfield in a amazing three games, winning because of Campaign of Vengeance in the final game. He lost to Scott Lipp in Round 12, ending up 2-1 in the first pod.

In the second pod he drafted Black/White Delerium, featuring Sanctifier of Souls, another Subjugator Angel, and a stack of removal. Scott Lipp once again beat Seck after Seck took a line that didn't work out. Seck faced Seth Mansfield in Round 14. The two went 1-1 and then decided to ID. In Round 15 Seth played down to Willy Eidel, who conceded, Eidel acknowledging that he couldn't personally make Top 8 and wanted the home-town hero to quality.

Seck finished the Draft Swiss rounds at at 12-2-1, on the bubble to make Top 8, but with excellent breakers.

“It's really awesome to come home and still do well in front of a home crowd.” said Seck. “I've seen a lot of old friends I haven't seen for ages, in some cases over a decade, and so it's been very nice. It's good to get a lot of Limited games under the belt before the Pro Tour. I feel like I'm a little rusty, but this tournament has really sharpened my draft skills.”

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