Posted in PRO TOUR MAGIC 2015 - COVERAGE - EVENTS on August 4, 2014

By Jacob Van Lunen

Jacob Van Lunen began playing Magic in 1995. He has participated in organized play at every level of competition and was a member of the winning team at Pro Tour San Diego in 2007, thanks to an innovative draft strategy. As a writer, Van Lunen has had more than three hundred Magic strategy pieces published

Making the Top 8 at a Pro Tour is a life changing experience. Most of these players have devoted a huge portion of their lives to the game. Today represents a culmination of a lifetime's work. Magic may be a personal endeavor during the tournament, but the process beforehand takes a village. Without any doubt, many of these players' closest relationships are a result of the game. I asked some of the Top 8 competitors' friends and peers if they wanted to say something about seeing these players in the Top 8.

Gerry Thompson on No. 20 Ranked Player William Jensen:

"Every time Huey does well, it validates all of those that were on board for his Hall of Fame bid from the beginning. We had faith in you, and you're making good on that."

Jeff Cunningham on Jackson Cunningham:

"Jackson, I never expected you to have so much composure under so much pressure. I'm so proud and impressed."

Matej Zatlkaj on Ivan Floch:

"Ivan, you were able to get the monkey off your back and prove what you're capable of. You've always been one of the best players on the Pro Tour, and it's about time everyone else knows that."

Orrin Beasley on Pat Cox:

"Pat, this is huge. It makes me wish I could have been there. It inspires me to get back on the Pro Tour so we can play together again. Watching you succeed is always as good or better than succeeding myself. It means so much, proving not just to others but yourself that the first [Pro Tour Top 8] wasn't a fluke."

Tom Martell (Sperling's boss) on Matt Sperling:

"Matt, congratulations, I'm so proud of you. Why don't you go ahead and take Monday morning off?"

Takeshi Okawa on Yuuki Ichikawa:

"Yuuki, you were 2 - 3 at the last Pro Tour and you won the rest of your matches to make Top 8. This time, you were 2 - 3 again and, again, you won the rest of your matches to make Top 8. No one can ever count you out of the running. There is nothing that's not within your range."

Reid Duke on Owen Turtenwald:

"Congratulations. It's been a long time coming. You've now proven beyond a doubt that you can consistently win at every level of competition. You're definitely one of the best in the world."