There was one story that towered above the rest last week. Let’s get right to it.
Yuuya Watanabe Suspended; Removed From Hall of Fame and MPL
Former Player of the Year Yuuya Watanabe was disqualified from the most recent Mythic Championship due to marked cards. Over the past two weeks Watanabe’s sponsor, Team CyGames, has been very public in their defense of their Yuuya. Watanabe and CyGames went so far as to post images of the allegedly marked sleeves and Watanabe has posted public statements on his actions.
On Thursday, May 9th, the Magic Pro League issued a statement. Upon conferring with judges and reviewing video of Mythic Championship London and previous events, Watanabe was issued a 30 month DCI ban. He has been removed from the Magic Pro League and has been ejected from the Magic Hall of Fame.
Watanabe’s replacement in the MPL will be announced this week. Team CyGames issued a statement via Twitter that they do not agree with the conclusions reached by Wizards of the Coast and that they will be releasing the results of their own investigation.
War of the Spark Mythic Edition Update
When War of the Spark Mythic Edition went up for sale on Hasbro’s eBay store there were some problems. This resulted in over 30,000 orders being placed for only 12,000 units. The fallout from the error continued this week. In an effort to build some amount of good will with those who had their orders canceled, eBay will be giving everyone who canceled their order after receiving a May 1st confirmation an uncut foil sheet of of War of the Spark rares and mythic rares. The announcement went on to say “While [Wizards of the Coast] recognize this may not make everyone happy, we hope it comes as some consolation to those of you affected.”
Magic Pro League Week One
On Saturday we got our first look at what the Magic Pro League play would look like. We already got a look at the divisions and the stakes—a bye into Day 2 of the upcoming Arena Mythic Championship. The broadcast takes a look at recordings of one feature match from each division and then highlights from up to two other matches. The current standings for the Magic Pro League can be found here.
Grand Prix Madison
War of the Spark Limited traveled to the Grand Prix at MagicFest Madison. With a few weeks since the prerelease Grand Prix in London, the texture of the format has started to emerge. And that texture is laden with bombs. War of the Spark Limited seems to hinge more on powerful rares than other formats in recent memory. This bodes well for those who can open the strong cards and poorly for those who do not.
The Grand Prix finals were Zachary Boor on an Abzan deck full of planeswalkers against Ben Beydler and his controlling Orzhov deck. In two relatively quick games, the 2 color deck emerged triumphant. Congratulations Ben Beydler!
— ChannelFireball (@ChannelFireball) May 13, 2019
Next weekend is the Magic Online Championship series. The week after that MagicFests return with Providence featuring a Team Limited Grand Prix. Given the raw power of War of the Spark it will be interesting to see what teams can do with 12 boosters worth of planeswalkers. After Providence there are back-to-back Standard Grand Prix at MagicFest Kansas City and MagicFest Taipei.