For most of us, every weekend is filled with spell-slinging action, the weekend of September 16-17 was somehow very different for the 472 players registered for the event, all ready to spell-sling with their 75, game to draft and brew with the rest of the field, cause last weekend Neutral Grounds hosted something big, something that is very much worthy of a comeback, though it took 7 years before one of the biggest event of the game we all love and enjoy made its return… and yes, this is a very long intro, and yes I am talking about the National Championship. 🙂
I was fortunate to be part of Judge Team for the entire weekend, I was there for Day 0 (September 15) the day I opened so many booster boxes as we prepared the draft bags for the draft portion of the tournament, during that same day two events was firing, the Last Chance Trials wherein the winner will receive two byes for the main event (open to those qualified already) and the Last Chance Qualifiers wherein the winner will then qualify to the main event, not to mention Friday Night Magic, yup Day 0 was filled with spell-slinging action already, though the main event is yet to take place, one can already feel the competitive vibe among the players.
Day 1 (September 16)
With the stage all set for the main event, the door was finally opened for the players to enter the arena.
The Head Judge of the event L3 Joel Bantiles made his announcement during the player meeting, a few minutes after the 1st round of the National Championship had officially started and with seven rounds to be played for Day 1 wherein two draft portions of the tournament was scheduled, one can only imagine the excitement on how everything would unfold on this mixed-format tournament.
While looking around the place, you’ll see the “who’s who” of the competitive scene that our country has to offer, from National Champions of the past to former members of Team Philippines, not to mention various local grinders that you’ll most likely bump into FNM’s to PPTQ’s.
The draft portion of the tournament, was really something else, we prepared 64 pods for this and as soon as the 3rd round of Standard came to a close it is now time for the much anticipated draft.
Not everyone is used to playing mixed-formats and I know for certain that some local game store and even some playgroups did their best to prepare themselves for it, but nothing compares to the real thing. Cheers all over the place as the draft portion started, but the competitive atmosphere, is still very much present.
As Day 1 came to a close, a picture of the standings was painted and almost everyone will be coming back to Day 2, plus PPTQ grinders will be joining in, as a fan of the game my excitement was something that I had to contain. Hey you reader, did you joined us on Day 2? if so, two-thumbs up 🙂
Day 2(September 17)
The anticipation to know who will make top 8 was evident the moment Round 8 started, yes it is true that there’s a few more rounds that needs to take place, but as the rounds came to a close, the picture that was painted on Day 1, was somehow getting clearer, but Day 2 also featured PPTQ Rivals of Ixalan, featuring both Sealed and Modern format.
While side events like Legacy tournament, 8-Man Draft and 8- Man Modern was also firing that day. The event catered to other players not just to the participants of the National championships.
Let’s go back to the main event now, shall we? you might be wondering who made the top 8? well here they are 🙂
Let me also take this opportunity to inform you, that if you haven’t seen the videos uploaded by the RedZone, they have a video coverage of the playoffs, so please do click the link here
After all the playoff matches have been concluded, the members of the Philippines team has been named.
Congratulations to Ryan Españo The Philippines’ MTG Nationals Champion 2017, great job sir and to Ian Mark Gutierrez for putting up a great fight, they both join Mike Hron as members of team Philippines.
Some pictures from Nationals weekend
and now a short interview with Sir Freddie Tan
1) What was your initial reaction when WOTC Organized Play announced National Championships will be making a comeback?
Surprised but not really. WotC has been making so may changes to their organized play program that it’s hard to be surprised by changes. It was however a welcome change. I’ve often missed the mixed format for Nationals which was lost in the transition to WMCQ.
2) Kindly share your most memorable moment during this year’s Nats weekend?
I think the best part about Magic Nationals for me is seeing a lot of old faces in Magic actually come back and do well. I think the limited format is where all the older players had the advantage.
3) Your take on our local MTG community?
As in any community, there will be bad eggs, but on the overall, it’s a great inclusive community, filled with intelligent people.
4) Any message for the Team Philippines?
Practice, practice, practice. I actually don’t know how this can be done with Mike Hron as part of our team. In the past he hasn’t been really open to practicing with the team. I really wish that the team captaincy would be passed down to someone who actually is a stakeholder and emotionally invested in team Philippines.
5) I heard you’ll be hosting an event for Dinosaurs?
Yeah. I was just inspired to do it because of all the old faces I saw during Nationals, and with Ixalan having a Dinosaur theme, it just seemed something funny to do and should be fun.
Thank you so much to Sir Freddie Tan and Neutral Grounds Philippines for letting me use their pics and for hosting a great event. 🙂
Photo credit also goes go Sir Victor Viguilla, . Thanks a lot 🙂
Be on the lookout for the interview with the Top 8 players and link to their decklist.
So there you go fellow planeswalkers, National Championship weekend for this year is now on the history books, Ixalan is on its way, are you ready?
Happy Spell-slinging weekend 🙂
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