MISSING PLATINUM BY A NOTCH

Posted in GRAND PRIX UTRECHT 2014 - COVERAGE - EVENTS on August 9, 2014

By Oliver Gehrmann

Pierre Dagen played quite the season; he was runner-up at the Pro Tour Theros and he ended up in the Top 8 of Grand Prix Boston. If he had won one more match in either of these events, he would have added at least one crucial Pro Point. Why that mattered so much? He finished the season with an impressive 44 Pro Points. "Only" 44 Pro Points, since 45 would have secured him Platinum for this season.

 

How much of a disappointment was it for you to come so close, but ultimately not locking up Platinum?

 

"Well, I'm not a Pro; I got my own company to run, so I can't really aim for Platinum. I think you can only do so if you're really focusing on Magic and pretty much not do anything else."

So your goal for the new season won't be to lock up Platinum?

"No, it won't. I'm aiming for Gold again, that's once again my goal. I would only change my plans if I end up with a great result very early in the season so it becomes more likely that I have a shot at securing Platinum."

Is it a big deal for you to play with Gold this season?

"Being a Gold member is great; you can play at the highest level of competition and you don't have to pay anything for that - that's enough for me!"

So you won't change your approach this season? Or do you test in a different way?

"I do test in different ways. We had the team (Team Revolution) since Dublin, but in time, it evolved into something much better defined. We only have tier one players in my opinion and by now, I really know the other 9 guys I'm testing with. That is a big difference maker."

How big of a role plays Raphaël Lévy in the team? Jérémy Dezani has often claimed that he played a major role and helped him to grow as a player.

"Raph is best at mental preparation. Jérémy and I tended to tilt very easily, but thanks to his help, this is becoming less and less of a problem. I remember in Montreal, I made a horrible misplay and I simply tilted for the rest of the day and couldn't get anything right.

"This has changed a lot thanks to Raph; he tought us that 'Yes, there is variance in this game; yes, you might have screwed up just now; yes, it sucks that this happened, but all of that is part of the game.'

"It is way easier to be cool about this when you're used to playing at the Pro Tour, though. It's very different when you're excited that you're playing there for the first time and you then make a mistake and feel like 'now I'm screwed'."

How did you feel about PTQ grinding and that you won't get to do it anymore?

"In some way, I will miss it. I made a lot of friends there and it was always nice to see the guys there. Even after I was qualified, I continued to attend these events since they were such a lot of fun.

I'm not complaining, though. Getting the flight as a Gold member is a much better deal!"

Are there going to be any other differences this upcoming season when compared to the last?

"I think I will play in a more relaxed way. I will probably test a little less than before and focus more on Cube Drafting instead. I might also start streaming a little bit, but it's too early to tell for me."

What is, in your opinion, the most unique feature of your team?

"Our mindset is different. Not a lot of us are Pros. We do have good players, don't get me wrong, but we have less people that are dedicating a huge portion of their lives to Magic. On the other hand, we are probably a little less organized than teams like ChannelFireball.

"This makes us a little more creative, as we like to brew a lot. We play a bit more relaxed, a bit more creative, but we're definitely not as organized as we should be."

If you had to choose, you would still go with your current approach, right?

"Oh yeah, I would never switch teams. Based on results, we might be ahead of the other teams at this point. Granted, the Pantheon might be better with their overall results, especially historically, but all of them are among the Top 20 players in the world.

"For a lot of us, it wasn't a given to make day 2 of a Grand Prix a little while back. Now we are putting in great results consistently, so I think we have improved more than the competition.

"After the first time I tested with the team, I made it to the Top 8 of a Pro Tour. After the first time Jérémy tested with the group, he advanced to the Top 8 of a Pro Tour. So yeah, we can definitely say that we're taking the right approach. At the beginning of the season, we had 2 Gold players, now we have 2 Platinum members and 6 or 7 Gold players in the team!"

That is indeed quite the result and it showcases that there is more than one way to approach the Herculean task of getting on the Pro Tour train and turning Magic into a little more than a very enjoyable hobby. I for one am glad to see that Pierre and his friends are still having a great time playing their favorite card game while they are saying themselves that they are not all that serious about it.