Pro Tour Eldritch Moon was unforgettable for numerous reasons, but here are the most rousing memories that we feel should be preserved in the annals of time. Let's take a quick trip down memory lane, shall we?
Honorable Mention: Randy Buehler retires from the coverage booth.
Randy Buehler is one of the most familiar faces in Magic pop culture. For the past decade, we've most often seen him in front of a camera (very occasionally competing), so we sometimes forget that he is also a Hall of Famer, a Pro Tour Champion, and a Grand Prix winner.
After 72 PT's (and 101 premier events), I am retiring from the coverage booth. This will be my last event. Thanks for all the memories!— Randy Buehler (@rbuehler) August 6, 2016
Numbers don't lie, and neither can time.
His 72 Pro Tours and over a hundred premier events represent an amazing span. It takes a great deal of heart and soul to dedicate a precious chunk of your youth to sculpt the Pro Tour scene that has flourished to this day. Without stealing the limelight away from our competitors, we'd like to take this opportunity to thank Randy for all his contributions to the game, as he continues his ongoing work behind the scenes.
Thanks Randy, for everything you've given to the game we all love!
5. Oliver Tiu clinches Rookie of the Year and Constructed Master
As the yearlong journey came to a close, so did the races for Rookie of the Year and Constructed Master. Almost cashing in his first Pro Tour, Platinum pro Oliver Tiu went on to finish 13th, 13th, and 32nd in the next three. Statistically, those are truly absurd numbers for someone so new to the competitive scene.
It certainly did seem like a walk in the park. He made it look so easy.
The truth is, this series of successes was the combination of sheer genius, affirmative attitude, great support, and endless practice. When it was announced that the World Championship no longer extended an invite to the Rookie of the Year, Tiu got around that "minor impediment" by putting up a combined record of 30-9-1 across the Constructed portions of all each Pro Tour this year to earn his spot as the inaugural Constructed Master.
Tiu's triumphs are powerful motivators for the entire Magic community, and his story will continue to inspire new goals and dreams for years to come.
4. Ken Yukuhiro secures victory in the nick of time!
For the Pro Tour Avacyn Restored semifinalist, the path to the Top 8 this weekend was nothing short of nerve-racking and nail-biting. After Round 14, he found himself with his back against the wall, needing to win the final two rounds. As the stakes continued to rise, it could only get tougher on the way up. Matches against both Jan Ksandr and No. 15-ranked Reid Duke in Rounds 15 and 16 went to time. As the five additional turns started to tick down, it appeared that Yukuhiro's run was ending.
Thankfully, great fairy tales are often accompanied by happy endings. Not only did Yukuhiro rattle off two consecutive wins, he did so by securing victory on his respective final turns, seconds before the doors slammed shut in his face!
Prior to this weekend, Yukuhiro had only 17 Pro Points, owing to an unexciting season. Even going 12-4 would be insufficient, since 32 Pro Points was a heartbreaking point away from hopping back on the train. Yukuhiro overcame his nerves, maintained his composure, and outplayed his opponents to lock Gold.
We'll be seeing more of you, Ken!
3. Luis Scott-Vargas Top 8s thrice in a row!
No. 5-ranked Luis Scott-Vargas has just acquired a new nickname.
You can still refer to him as "Elesh V," of course, but "LS3" might be the more befitting moniker going forward. Not only did he reach his eighth lifetime Pro Tour Top 8, it was his third consecutive one! For his valiant efforts, he's also secured a spot at the World Championship as the Outstanding Hall of Famer.
Finishing 3rd at Pro Tour Oath of the Gatewatch, 7th at Pro Tour Shadows over Innistrad, and 4th this weekend, Scott-Vargas achieved a ludicrous streak that was hard to beat. Not that nobody has achieved it before (Scott Johns and Jon Finkel have), but the fact that it hasn't happened in almost eighteen years makes it comparable to a celestial event.
2. Owen Turtenwald causes the upset
Going into this weekend, No. 2-ranked Owen Turtenwald was trailing No. 1-ranked Seth Manfield by 13 Pro Points, a gap that was deemed almost impossible to leapfrog. An X-4 performance wouldn't even be enough, so Turtenwald had no option other than making the Top 8. In addition, he also needed Manfield to crash out entirely, in order to cause the upset and steal both Player of the Year and National Champion titles.
Against all odds, by a combination of sheer determination and impeccable skill, the stars aligned for Turtenwald, and he now joins Kai Budde, Jon Finkel, and Yuuya Watanabe in a special class of elites to have won the title more than once.
1. Lucas Blohon wins Pro Tour Eldritch Moon!
In the quarterfinals, pretty much everyone in the room predicted that Blohon was going to lose his pre-boarded games against Ken Yukuhiro. And he did, simply because of how horrible the matchup was. Despite being two games down, Blohon fought the uphill battle and reversed the unfortunate situation.
Then, in the final match of the entire weekend, he had to face of the end boss of all end bosses.
No. 2-ranked Owen Turtenwald was waiting for him in the finals. Blohon's Liliana, the Last Hope and Gideon, Ally of Zendikar teamed up to take down Emrakul, the Promised End, saving Innistrad from utter annihilation.
However, Pro Tour Eldritch Moon was not just about Liliana, Gideon, and Emrakul.
Not even close.
From now until the Promised End, this weekend will be tied to Lucas Blohon, the one and only Pro Tour Eldritch Moon Champion!