Posted in PRO TOUR MAGIC 2015 - COVERAGE - EVENTS on August 1, 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

The World Magic Cup celebrates the global status of the game, bringing together the best players from around the world in a unique team event. Each year, players from more than 70 countries come together for the pinnacle of international Magic competition, all with the hopes of bringing the title of "World Magic Cup Champion" home to their country. Each team is comprised of three players that win a World Magic Cup Qualifier and a team leader, the player with the most Pro Points among his or her countrymen in the preceding season. This weekend, coming into the last Pro Tour of the season, players from around the world are hoping to secure an opportunity to represent their home country in the World Magic Cup.

Willy Edel maintains a strong lead in the race for Brazil. Hall of Famer, Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa can potentially take the lead with a Top 16 finish here this weekend, but Willy Edel will be accruing some extra points of his own.

The Canadian race has reached epic proportions this year. Pro Tour Born of the Gods Champion, No. 6 Ranked Player Shaun Mclaren has a healthy 8 point lead, but both No. 15 Ranked Players Jacob Wilson and Alexander Hayne have an opportunity to pull ahead with at least a Top 16 finish this weekend. There's also an outside opportunity for Jon Stern to take the lead if he does something truly heroic this weekend.

No. 3 Ranked Player Stanislav Cifka has a massive 18 point lead in the Czech Republic. A Top 25 finish from Cifka will guarantee his spot as team captain for the World Magic Cup. Martin Juza needs to make a very deep run if he's looking to contend.

Patrick Dickman has an 8 point lead in Germany. Christian Seibold or Kai Budde could potentially take the lead with a Top 16 finish. It's hard to feel comfortable with the actual living German Juggernaut trailing so close behind.

In Italy, Andrea Mengucci and Samuele Estratti are tied at 21 points. Both players will be playing this weekend. Whichever player finishes better in this final Pro Tour will be representing Italy as captain at the upcoming World Magic Cup.

Samuelle Estratti (left) and Andrea Mengucci (right) are neck and neck coming into the final Pro Tour of the season!

The race for Japan is as hotly contested as one might expect. No. 8 Ranked Player Yuuya Watanabe, one of the greatest Magic players to ever play the game, has a firm lead with 49 points, but No. 22 Ranked Player Kentaro Yamamoto is also virtually locked for Platinum with 42 points and could potentially manage a Top 16 to take the lead. Shuhei Nakamura, at 38 points, could also potentially make a run this weekend with a very deep finish.

There's strife in the House of Orange as a pair of Hall of Famers sit within two points of each other in the race for the Netherlands. Frank Karsten leads with 25 points, but Kamiel Cornelissen is right on his tail at 23 points.

Slovakia is another close race. Matej Zatlkaj has the lead with an impressive 36 points, but Ivan Floch, the 2010 Team World Champion, is just four points behind and could potentially take the lead with a Top 25 performance this weekend.

Spain's captain is still very much in the air. Javier Dominguez leads the pack with 19 points, at just behind at 17 points is Carlos Moral.

This weekend is the final Pro Tour of the season. We will be able to confidently identify the captains of each country in the World Magic Cup when the final match is played on Sunday. Stay tuned to continuing coverage of Pro Tour Magic 2015 for updates in these important races!