by Fausto de Souza
Las Vegas – The thousands of Magic: The Gathering fans have began this Friday (16) listening to that traditional noise of booster packs being opened. No less than 15,360 packages hummed the fortunes of the 2,560 players subscribed in the Sealed GP. Of the twelve Brazilian participants, the two best-known from the audiences – Thiago Saporito and Carlos Romão – did not disappoint. Saporito finished the day in 10th place, with 25 points out of 27 possible. Romão and Gabriel Fehr, who made a good GP Legacy, passing for the second day, but preferring to rest for the Sealed, ended the day with 7 wins and 2 losses.
Carlos Romão entered the seventh round with 5 wins and a loss. Despite the good performance up to that point, his pool was not ideal for an event of the size of a GP. “It’s a very big tournament, I think my pool is just regular”, he said. He needs to pass for the second day and win at least ten of the fifteen rounds to win the Platinum level next season. The first part he has already fulfilled.
Now, the American Zach Dunn, just 14 years old, seems to be a promise. He closed Day 1 with 100% of achievement, in the first position, with a black and green deck full of bombs. He described some of his matches, and the most impressive was in the fifth round, when his opponent had cast [mtg_card]Glorybringer[/mtg_card] in all three games and yet he managed to overcome the devastating effects of the dragon with [mtg_card]Cruel Finality[/mtg_card].
Legacy – Delvers take out the Top-8, but Thalia takes it all
The second day of GP Legacy was not very auspicious for the eight Brazilians who remained in the event. One of our best bets, Jonathan Lobo Melamed, finished 10-5, riding a [mtg_card]Food Chain[/mtg_card]. This time we didn’t get close to Top8, which was designed as it follows, with clear mastery of decks that use [mtg_card]Delver of Secrets[/mtg_card]:
1- Christopher Iaali – Grixis Delver
2- Jonathan Semeyn – UR Delver
3- Jody Keith – Lands
4- Andrew Calderon – Death and Taxes
5- Patrick Tierney – RUG Delver
6- Samuel Tharmaratnam – Grixis Delver
7- Jacob Haversat – Grixis Delver
8- Daniel Cathro – Four-Color Leovold
The complete decklists can be checked here.
And, at the end of it, who ended up by winning the GP Legacy Las Vegas was the good and ol’ Death & Taxes, piloted by Andrew Cameron, from Miami. Against the new trends on the deck, he wasn’t playing with any [mtg_card]Chalice of the Void[/mtg_card], not even on the sideboard. In his post-victory interview, he said he’s going to play the GP Modern. In case he wins that one too, he’ll be the first player in history to win 2 GPs in the same week.
The biggest Magic party
A GP, by itself, is already considered the biggest party that Magic lovers can receive in their country. The same event with three simultaneous GPs in Las Vegas may be considered the Magic’s apotheosis.
Whoever likes to talk to artists, just have to go to the mezzanine on the right side of the hall. In this privileged space you will find dozens of them, who sign cards, sell artworks, playmats and all kinds of personalized accessories. You can also ask the favorite artist to make a special alter, something that makes your card a one-of-a-kind.
Among the endless rows of tables and chairs, where thousands of people play tournaments or trade cards, are the famous little shops. This year, no less than 33 vendors have credentiated to exhibit their products here in Vegas – absurdly high compared to Brazilian standards (as well as the artists’ presence).
Finally, on the opposite extreme side is the place were featured matches are filmed and commented – those matches which are broadcast live over the internet – the food court and a mini-theater where Wizards of the Coast has prepared a big surprise: a staging with giant cards telling the story of the new edition.
On Saturday (17), the largest of the three GPs promises to pack the Las Vegas Convention Center. Two days ago there were only 600 seats left over from the 3,500 open for the GP Modern. If this is confirmed, about 9,000 players will have participated in the main events and tens of thousands will have participated in the event as a whole.