Hello! My name is Jonathan Melamed and today I have a different kind of a tournament report: a store owner’s perspective on the first Brazilian MCQ that was held at my store Inside Games in Brasilia on May 11th. I want to provide my perspective from the point of view of the organization hosting the event.
Hosting the First Brazilian MCQ
We had 96 players show up, and only two conceded round one in order to get the promotional card and drop. Since the promo was probably worth more than the entry fee, several players messaged us and wanted to register and have an Arcbound Ravager shipped to them. It would be a logistics nightmare and not something we could do. Therefore, we canceled all registration without players present and refunded their entry fee.
Attendance could have been better, but we were impacted by something outside our control: one of the three big airline companies filled for bankruptcy and flight tickets skyrocketed. That meant that most people that came were locals or from a drive-able region like Goiás or Minas Gerais. Brazil is a huge country with 8.516.000² Km of land (according to Google). A flight from São Paulo to Brasília takes 90 minutes, and driving it takes 12 hours. Not to mention our roads aren’t in such great shape.
Since there were no requirements regarding the number or level of judges (something social media wasn’t happy about), I want to detail how we staffed our event in order to help others. Keep in mind that our store has two floors and we had to consider that:
We had a level 2 judge as scorekeeper with a printer and coffee at the ready. We had three level 2 judges on hand, with one of them the head judge of the tournament along two level 1 judges assisting. Ideally, we would have five level 2 judges, but were not able to find two more at a decent travel cost to bring.
Willy Edel and I also streamed the event, with four other members to keep the store running smoothly Alongside this team, we invited a food truck to provide more food options since we would not be able to feed everyone properly. With that group, we were able to host a pleasant event for ~100 players and stream it all. Feedback during and after the event was great, so we were quite pleased with how this setup performed overall. If you (or a store near you) are looking to host an event of a size like this, that staff would be my recommendation to run a smooth tournament and make it enjoyable for everyone.
War of the Spark
The format was War of the Spark Standard. The prerelease was April 27-28, so our MCQ would definitely have the event material in time, right? Wrong. We are in Brazil, and our import bureaucracy can be a nightmare, sometimes creating huge delays in product delivery. It was a roller coaster of anxiety until the material arrived, just two days before the event! That meant we had to open and sort a lot of booster boxes to provide cards to our pre-orders and have enough ready for FNM and the following morning of the MCQ. That meant almost no sleep for everyone involved.
We opened our doors at 9 a.m. Almost everybody was already registered in the software, but there are always those who haven’t registered and those with payment issues and so on, so we sorted that out first. At 10 a.m., pairings were posted and play began. At 8:15 pm, after seven rounds of swiss, Top 8, semifinals and finals was over. Almost no delays!
Let’s dive back into the Magic! There was one big event prior to our MCQ and it was SCG Richmond, with three Mono-Red in the Top 4. So what would our field look like? Thanks to Giovanni Santin (MCQ Top 8er) for the great work with the chart!
So around 19% of the players registered Mono-Red. Why?
Obviously, Mono-Red is a very strong deck. But the number of players playing it was pushed due to two things. Firstly, whenever there is a new metagame and people are trying new things, being aggressive and punishing them for the lack of consistency is always a good path to victory. But what pushed it the most was that the Arcbound Ravager promo was worth more than the $37.50 registration fee. That meant a lot of players put together the first deck they could, which was Mono-Red thanks to the Challenger Deck.
Coming high in second with a 14% share of the metagame was Esper Control. At the end of Ravnica Allegiance Standard, this was the deck to beat. Especially on Arena, with all the streamers playing it and so on. The deck was the top dog. And people are afraid of change and afraid of making wrong choices. But, this time, the wrong choice was to not adapt…
In the hunt with 4-6% of the metagame were the big winners of the tournament: the decks that delivered the most when it comes to conversion rate. We had two newer decks with Esper and Bant Midrange, decks that barely existed before War of the Spark. We had two aggressive old strategies with Mono-Blue and White Weenie/Azorius Aggro, along with three decks that have been around for a while in Sultai Midrange, Simic Nexus and Gruul good stuff.
I mentioned conversion rate. So let’s get to it:
Between all those Mono-Red players, only one made Top 8, meaning a 5% conversion rate. We had five players with Simic Nexus and Esper Midrange and one in the Top 8 for each, a 20% conversion. We had four players playing Bant Midrange and one in the Top 8, a 25% conversion. And from the six players playing White Aggro concoctions, three made Top 8, giving the deck a 50% conversion rate. We had one player playing U/W Control and he was among the best, giving the deck a 100% conversion rate, which shouldn’t be taken into account since representation was so small.
It’s very good to see a healthy Standard format rewarding players that know their decks and how to navigate matches. You can prepare for anything week to week if you come prepared.
The Top 8 Decklists
Lucas Franzoni – White Weenie
Anderson Souto – U/W Control
I don’t think the 100% conversion rate from U/W Control means much, but I do think the “new Torrential Gearhulk” has room for building around it. Commence the Endgame is a real thing.
Giovanni Santin – Azorius Aggro
Pedro Plá – Azorius Aggro
Warley Jesus – Mono-Red
Guilherme Alves – Simic Nexus
Finalist Lucas Madsen – Bant Midrange
Champion Gabriel Lopes – Esper Midrange
Lopes wrote a tournament report in Portuguese, which you can read here. He will be going to Barcelona with airfare and hotel accommodations paid by Inside Games. Despite WotC not providing airfare anymore, we were there for old PTQs when winners couldn’t go to events due to travel costs. Therefore, we decided we would include airfare as a prize since the spot alone means little when people can’t afford it. This has been quite a topic for discussion over tweetersphere in the past week, with several MCQ winners creating gofundme pages in order to achieve their dreams of playing in such an event. We did not want that to happen to our winner.
That is it for today. I hope you enjoyed this different perspective on a tournament report. Let me know what you think in the comments!