Meet The Pick-Up Teams
Magic is usually a one-on-one sport, and even when you are battling against friends you often have more than the requisite three for a team event. So it should come as no surprise that some brave souls decided to trek up to the Open in Worcester without teammates, hoping to find similarly unaccompanied free agents looking for teammates. Today, we had two such teams.
(L to R) Sonia Tan, Mike Evans, Tom Blair
The team of Mike Evans, Sonia Tan, and Tom Blair had a good time together, but alas the gods were not on their side this morning.
“My teammates were great, but the cards just weren’t with us. Many of our rares were lands, so we weren’t able to keep up with our opponent’s bombs,” said Sonia, who after dropping from the main event tried her luck again with the player pool by signing up in the Two-Headed Giant side event.
The first of the makeshift team to come together today has had better fortune. That would be the team of Stephen Bene, John Lawton, and Eric Light, all of whom are experienced New England players but previous to today had not met. Their team is doing quite well considering the fact that this wasn’t how any of them planned on playing in the event today. In fact, all three had teams that they were on... but were unable to play with for one reason or another.
John says he “was definitely going to play. I was hoping to find a team beforehand but I didn’t find one.” Meanwhile, Stephen “had a team… but at 6am this morning they told me they couldn’t make it. So I decided to show up and see if I could find some folks to play with.” And Eric “was the fourth on a team, and since there’s only three per team I was the alternate.” All found themselves teamless… until this morning, where they were matched up with each other at the registration table.
(L to R) Stephen Bene, John Lawton, Eric Light
In a format where being close with your teammates is often a very big factor, one might think that being on a team of brand new people would be an issue. But not for this team! In fact, John’s no stranger to this particular situation. “I’ve done this before. I have experience in another card game picking up two more for a team. And that turned out well; I finished second in the event!” So that certainly bodes well for Bene, Lawton, and Light, who are 2-1 after three rounds of play.
“I’m happy with what we’ve been able to do so far, considering we haven’t practiced together,” says Stephen, who they all agreed had the weakest of the three of their decks but is happy to be doing well nonetheless. But he’s also quick to point out that all three of the players on this team not only played in multiple prereleases but also drafted last night, giving them quite the leg up on their competition, many of whom are touching Theros cards for the first time. “I think our experience with the format is definitely helping us. Confusion on other teams and our knowledge is definitely helping.”
So if you’re thinking of coming to a Team Sealed Open sometime in the near future, you should give it a go even if you don’t have a team in tow! Our players today seemed to enjoy the experience, and are happy with where they’re at considering the fact that things didn’t go according to plan. Stephen Bene thinks so: “I definitely could have done a lot worse this weekend.”