Danny West: Making Top 8 of a Grand Prix is difficult. Doing so on the same weekend as your brother is unreal. I don't think I need to get into multiple times. How is this happening?
Corey Baumeister: Honestly, it still feels like a dream come true. I think we got really lucky and pretty much guessed the metagame correctly both weekends. Neither list was special, but we played tight and ran better.
Brad Nelson: I have no idea, truth be told. It was phenomenal getting the experience at Minnesota, as it's been a dream of ours for some time, but pulling off the doubleheader at Grand Prix Denver felt almost cosmic. You can say whatever you want about how we got there, but the truth was good play backed up with luck. We really were two (three if you count Brian Braun-Duin) of the best players in the room, but we still had to run hotter than the sun for that to happen.
Danny West: Is being on top of the Magic world really as simple as knowing the right people?
Corey Baumeister: Well, it doesn't hurt my chances waking up any given Saturday, having Brad on my side. Superteams are great for improving, but I think the main thing for getting better is to just have someone equal or better to bounce ideas off of, the good and the bad. Talking out why you won/lost a match or what can be done better after every round is the most important thing.
Brad Nelson: A lot of people ask me how they should go about networking their way into skilled crowds, but that's the wrong way to look at it. Your goal always needs to be to first become competent at a high level and then work on networking. There's so much to being good at this game, and it doesn't start at doing well. You need to absorb as much information as you possibly can, learn how to digest it, and then how to implement it. That can't really be taught.
Danny West: Corey's had success, regardless.
Brad Nelson: He learned how to play this game at an incredibly high level before I did. He was on the Pro Tour before I was. He even won States before I did! That's a lie, I've never won States, but you get the point! Sure, the storyline now is how I hand him the tools week in and week out, but he still has to know how to wield them. I can't do that for him.
Danny West: What does it feel like to be together at the end of a GP weekend? Do you get any flash images of kitchen tables or playground sidewalks when you're battling for all that glory and money?
Corey Baumeister: I remember, I sat down across from Brad in the semifinals and instantly flashed back to when Brad introduced me to the game. I looked up at him and said, "Did you ever think we would get this far when we were gaining as much life as we could with Wellwishers back in the day?" It was such a surreal moment I hope never fades.
Brad Nelson: It brings me a lot of pride. It's an insurmountable amount of pride. I've been around the block, made a name for myself, and may even one day find myself in the Magic: The Gathering Hall of Fame. None of that holds a candle to watching my brother make a name for himself on the competitive circuit. I've always known how good he is at playing the game, and I regretted for years that he may never get to show what he's made of. Seeing him flourish this past year has swelled my heart so much already. I don't even want to know how gushy I'll get when the little bugger finally breaks through for a Pro Tour Top 8!
Danny West: Is it possible to have a two-man team succeed in competitive Magic?
Corey Baumeister: I think so. Look at the McLaren brothers. They tend to work alone, and they are both fantastic players.
Brad Nelson: The SCG Tour® team events make the default three. Maybe you could win one of those with two. But it's probably not going to be us two that does it. We are pretty lousy at Modern. And Legacy.
Danny West: Does Corey ever get a chance to be right? Do you just defer to Brad's judgment?
Corey Baumeister: I like to think that, through all my bad ideas, I push Brad to come up with the right ones. So in a way, I am the most important brother during the creative process.
Brad Nelson: No. Yes.
Danny West: Last and most important question: Which one of you is Venus, and which one of you is Serena?
Corey Baumeister: I think we are more like Tom Cruise and his brother from Rain Man. He's the brains of the operation, and I'm the looks.