Magic: the Gathering™ Grand Prix tournament wound up Sunday when the German Marco Blume defeated Matt Linde of Maryland in an intense, fast-paced final round. The players tied with one game apiece by the time their names were printed for the scoreboard.
Linde played with a black and white deck, while Blume’s deck mixed white, blue and green. Blume controlled the board early with counterspells, destroying Linde’s creatures, but the critical card was “Mirare’s Wake” which doubles the mana played and enhances each creature summoned by +1/+1. The final blow came with “Decree of Justice,” which allowed Blume to summon multiple creatures according to the amount of mana used, basically overrunning Linde’s defenses to win the game.
The two professionally-ranked players took top prizes of $2400 for first and $1700 for runner-up in the open tournament that started with 588 registered players, both amateur and professional.
Among the amateurs, fourth-ranked Keith McLaughlin took home the top amateur prize of $1500, in addition to the fourth-place overall prize of $1,000. Grand Prix paid out a total of $25,000 to the top 32 ranked players and top 16 amateurs.
The unique thing about Grand Prix is that it offers amateur players a chance to make the professional cut, said Mary Van Tyne of Sideboard.com, and online Magic: the Gathering™ magazine. “It’s a cross between the game you might play in your local game store and a professional tournament,” she said. Professional tournaments are usually invitation only and Grand Prix offered aspiring amateurs the opportunity to earn invitations to professional matches, as well as a chance at larger-than-amateur cash awards.
The top eight prize winners are as follows (asterisk indicates amateur status): Marco Blume, first, $2400; Matt Linde, second, $1700; Joshua Wagener, third, $1200; *Keith McLaughlin, fourth, $1000; Zvi Mowshowitz, fifth, *Keith Thompson, sixth, *Sean Buckley, seventh, and *Tim Bonneville, eighth, each with $800.
Grand Prix is an 8th Edition, Type II format, the second tournament to be played in this format. Players constructed decks only from cards listed in 8th Edition, the latest edition of M:tG.
Players came from several countries, including Australia, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Brazil and the Philippines, to participate. They include several professional players, including internationally known Kai Budde, who has won a career total of over $300,000. The professional players probably entered Grand Prix as a prelude to the Pro Tour in Boston in six weeks, said Van Tyne.
Magic: the Gathering™, originally created by mathematician Dr. Richard Garfield, celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, and is now the largest and most popular card-playing game on the planet.