by Fausto de Souza
Las Vegas – What’s good lasts little, is the saying. The three GPs held in Las Vegas between Thursday and today (18) were vibrant, marked by moments of pure emotion. Especially for Brazilians.
It was in this short time, that is the weekend, that Thiago Saporito won his first high level competition, when he surpassed a thousand players from all over the world and became champion of the Sealed GP. It was also in these four days that Carlos Romão won the missing point to join the select group of Platinum players. Las Vegas also saw the conquest of Jonathan Melamed, reaching the Silver group. Also highlighting Felipe Alberto, who managed a great 49th place in the GP Modern, which had 3,500 participants.
In addition to them, we had the presence of about 20 other Brazilian players, who represented the country with great enthusiasm and dedication. It is not an easy trip, the city’s climate is drier than in Brasilia and the heat can be even more intense than that of Manaus.
“The trip is very tiring. It took me 19 hours just to get here, and I arrived on Wednesday, which was a day before the first GP. So it was all rush”, recalls GP Sealed champion Thiago Saporito. Some connections make the trip from Brazil to here last up to 24 hours. The time zone is 4 hours and hotels are expensive. These are some of the obstacles that Brazilians need to overcome in order to enter their professional careers.
For that, it is more than talent and training. It takes, in short amount of time, earning a lot of so-called Pro Points, which are only earned in specific tournaments, as well as passport and fluency in other languages (mainly English).
Magic também é diversão
Unlike many people think, Magic: The Gathering is also fun. According to the game maker, most players do not play to compete. And this portion of the “population” was present in large numbers in Las Vegas.
“It was a big event”, says ChannelFireball spokesman Mashi Scanlan, organizer of the event, and staff chief at the GP. “We have an excellent team, among judges and officials. Every day we make changes according to the needs of the next day, and fortunately everything went well”, he adds, emphasizing that the most important thing is that everyone had fun.
Fans had wide access to renowned artists, such as Eric Deschamps, Mark Poole, Rob Alexander, Steve Argyle, Liz Danforth, Mark Tedin, Dan Frazier and many others. In this space, located next to the VIP area, it was possible to have cards signed, ask for special alters or even purchase accessories made by your favorite artist.
On the other hand, collectors were able to find rare cards, like foils in foreign languages and even from the original editions, like Alpha, Beta, Antiquities, The Dark, Legends and Arabian Nights. No less than 33 stores have registered to exhibit their products.
This was definitely a weekend to stay in Magic’s history. The biggest event in the world has lasted little, but will be forever recorded in the memory of all fans of this game. Especially for the Brazilians.