Of Opens And Invitations
An incredible weekend on the Open Series has given us a new leader in the Player of the Year race and our first Level 7 in the Player's Club. Gerry Thompson claimed both of those honors after claiming another Standard Open trophy and a Top 4 in the Legacy tournament on Sunday. Tweaks on existing archetypes were instrumental in both results, with Gerry sticking to his U/W/b Caw-Blade archetype from Memphis but opting for a BUG control deck that bore a passing resemblance to Team America on Sunday. Both lists are available in the event coverage, along with all of our other top finishers.
Reigning Player of the Year Alex Bertoncini also had a strong weekend, posting a Standard Top 16 withRUG and a Legacy Top 8 with his faithful fishes, but he'll be looking to make up ground in Los Angeles this weekend. AJ Sacher also took advantage of his newfound Level 5 status, finishing in the Standard Top 8 and the Legacy Top 16 using the same archetypes he mastered for the Memphis Opens. Meanwhile, Edgar Flores had to watch his hot streak cool off as he failed to Top 8 either event. He's down to an average of just one Top 8 per Open Series weekend—how sad for him! Gerry has spiked a solid lead in the Player of the Year race, but it's a long season, and all of these players could catch up on any given weekend.
With the Dallas/Fort Worth Open in the books, it's time to look ahead toward Los Angeles. The Standard format has remained relatively stable, although Dallas saw a surge in Mono Red that has placed a great deal of pressure on Caw-Blade pilots. It's still a U/W world for now, and everyone else is just living in it. As we head west to California, I expect to see less of the aggressive decks and more control builds based on my previous observations of the metagame. I don't see anything unseating Caw-Blade anytime soon, so players interested in winning an Open this weekend should be tuning their decks to defeat the winged menace.
All of the information regarding the Los Angeles Open Series can be found here. If you can't make it, tune into SCGLive starting at noon PST for our web coverage, with hosts Adrian Sullivan and Jacob Van Lunen broadcasting the beats all weekend long. I'll be slugging away at the laptop to bring you the written portion and monitoring our @SCGLive Twitter for tips and feature requests. The hashtag for the weekend will be #SCGLA, and if you know a friend is doing well with a sweet deck, feel free to message us—we'll do our best to shine the coverage light in their direction.
With the tournament at the Los Angeles Convention Center in downtown Los Angeles just off the Santa Monica, food will be easy to find. There are plenty of options within walking distance, ranging from Indian to Thai to steaks and more. Check out the local Yelp search if you need some help finding a meal. Tracking down sustenance shouldn't be much of a problem, and I'm sure you'll be able to find something to do in the city—it's LA, baby! I'm actually spending an extra week hanging out in the city just to have some fun. Research your interests, and I'm sure you'll find the leisure activity that suits you.
Another tournament circuit we've recently started might pique your interest: our Invitational Qualifiers have started. The StarCityGames.com Invitational is one of the highest-value tournaments in the world, with a $50,000 prize purse distributed after two days of competition. This year will feature both Standard and Legacy in the Swiss rounds, with our eventual champion decided by a Legacy Top 8. We understand that it's difficult to Top 8 an Open or grind the Series for points if you want to play in the Invitational—that's what these Qualifiers are for.
First off, I suppose I should explain what an Invitational Qualifier is. If you consider our Invitational the Pro Tour of our tournament series, then these tournaments would be the PTQ equivalent. The winner walks away with a slot at the Invitational and a travel award to assist with making the trip, while the rest of the Top 8 receives three booster boxes, with second earning 24 packs, third and fourth receiving 12 packs each, and 6 packs going to each remaining member of the Top 8. The qualification can be used for either the Indianapolis Invitational or the Charlotte one, so lock up those slots early. After all, with two complex Constructed formats to prepare for, you're going to need all the playtesting you can get!
If you're interested in our Invitational Qualifiers, it's easy to get one in your area. Simply go to your local card shop and urge your store owner or tournament organizer to ask for one. We're offering the program worldwide, so anyone can receive the opportunity. Our email contact is SCGIQ@starcitygames.com, but you can also reach us by phone at (540) 767-4263 ext. 283, so direct any questions or concerns that you or your TO might have to one of those. The program is already underway, with tournaments occurring every weekend all over the United States. They're only getting more popular—the tournament at Time Capsule in Chester, VA, had 58 players last Saturday. The competition is growing stiffer, and the Invitationals aren't getting farther away, so don't let the opportunity to qualify slip through your fingers.
If you'd like to see where Invitational Qualifiers in your area are scheduled, you can find them at www.starcitygames.com/IQ and on our Facebook page. Upcoming tournaments will always be on the front page of our website, just above the featured content, and the Top 8 decklists will be posted to our sidebar and deck database, providing you with all the metagame data you could ever want to crunch. Between the Open Series weekends and our localized Invitational Qualifier circuit, it's getting hard to remember a time what going a week or two without a tournament even felt like. Enjoy the ride!
Coverage Content Manager