Top 5 Players of the Weekend
Learn more about five players who put up a great weekend through a high finish, interesting deck or memorable moment.
Despite having nine Open Top 8s with five wins, an Invitational Top 8 had escaped Gerard for his lengthy tenure on the Open Series. Gerard checked that box, finishing second in the Swiss behind a powerful, low-to-the-ground U/R Delver build in Legacy and a solid U/B Control deck in Standard. Gerard was the runner-up in the 2014 Players' Championship, but appears to be in a good position to earn an at-large berth to this year's event with a 20-point surge from his Top-8 finish. Gerard should be in the Top 5 of the Season Four race, which begins next weekend in Cincinnati. Check out Gerard's Legacy (U/R Delver) and Standard (U/B Control) decklists.
4. Erik Smith
Erik absolutely crushed the Swiss of the Invitational, taking a 7-1 record in Legacy into the Top 8 as the No.1 seed. Erik, the only player in the Top 8 with a previous Invitational Top 8, was looking to win his second Invitational in New Jersey. Erik was so ahead in the standings he was able to scoop his friend, Gerard Fabiano, into the Top 8 in Round 15, and draw in Round 16. While his event ended two rounds earlier than he would have liked with a loss to Gabriel Shvachkin, another friend, in the quarterfinals, his run still impressive. Check out Erik's Legacy (Esper Deathblade) and Standard (Abzan Aggro) decklists.
3. Danny Jessup
Danny didn't have a great weekend when it comes to matches won, but he accomplished one goal: qualify for the Players' Championship. Danny missed out on making Day 2 of the Invitational, but when Chris VanMeter, Ross Merriam, Joe Lossett, and Logan Mize failed to make the Top 8, Danny secured the Season Three points race to earn his spot in the #SCGPC. Danny just missed out on making it to the Players' Championship last year, but you can count on him playing in Roanoke in December this year for sure.
2. Steve Mann
Steve had a taste of the Players' Championship last year, finishing in 7th place in the year-end event. Steve qualified last year via an at-large berth, but his standing on the StarCityGames.com® leaderboard isn't as high this year. Steve wanted to qualify for the #SCGPC a second time with a win this weekend, but came up just a game short. Steve had to win a grueling two-hour match against Josh Taylor in the semifinals to even have a chance, showing his prowess in the Legacy format. While Steve fell short, he will earn 30 Open Series points and will have an outside shot at making an at-large berth this year. Check out Steve's Legacy (Sultai Delver) and Standard (G/R Devotion) decklists.
1. Alex Bastecki
There were a bunch of winners this weekend, but Alex was biggest of them all. Alex carved through a Legacy Top 8 with Grixis Delver, taking out Matthew Long, Gabriel Shvachkin, and Steve Mann along the way. Alex came back from 0-2 in the finals against Steve, winning Game 5 on a mulligan to six on the draw. His gutty win earns him the title of Invitational champion, $10,000, an invite to the Players' Championship, and his likeness immortalized on a custom token! Get to know Alex, you'll be seeing him at the Players' Championship in December! Check out Alex's Legacy (Grixis Delver)and Standard (G/R Devotion) decklists.