Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Teams For Pro Tour Dragon's Maze

Teams are a historic part of the Pro Tour, and today, that tradition remains stronger than ever. For Pro Tour Dragon's Maze, even more websites have jumped on and are supporting their own teams.

Here are the team profiles for Pro Tour Dragon's Maze [in alphabetical order]:

Team Australia *Updated 5/15*

These seven friends from Australia are all excited to be going to PTDGM, and together they make up a powerhouse team. At the forefront is Australia's best player, Jeremy Neeman, with notable deckbuilder and writer Daniel Unwin, who earned a Sponsor's Exemption for this event. Rounding out the team are names you'll recognize from Grand Prix and Nationals Top 8 coverage. Note: Was initially missing Zen Takahashi and Zheng Jingwei; erroneously included Robert Liu and Justin Cheung, who are on a different team. (I don't have the roster for that team at the moment.)

Team Channel Fireball (#TeamCFB)

This team has been a top American force for a very long time and was the only officially website-sponsored team for quite a while before other websites started hopping onto the recent bandwagon. Differentiating itself from the other major American team, TeamSCG, this team is composed primarily of Platinum-level players (as opposed to old-school Hall of Famers). But it won't be long before they start getting inducted... (More profile info on TeamCFB.)

Team Cute by Comparison

Caleb Durward has generally been an unpredictable element on the Pro Tour; his deckbuilding style is often thought of as "a bit rough and unpolished," but nevertheless, his brews have managed to take down many tournaments over the years. This time around he has joined forces with some good friends of his who all managed to win PTQs (with Caleb earning a Sponsor's Exemptions after multiple failed win-and-ins). This group of underdogs are working tirelessly together to put up a good finish.

Team European Union (unofficial name)

This informal and unofficial group comes from all over Europe (Slovakia, Germany, the Czech Republic, and Austria) and has some of the biggest names in Magic including The Juggernaut himself Kai Budde. It also looks like there are a decent number of new names from Germany. Expecting some really interesting decks to come out of this group.

Team Legit (#TeamLegit)

LegitMTG has decided to sponsor their own team this time around. Jonathan Medina tells me he decided to support some of their local players, many of whom are playing on their very first Pro Tours after winning PTQs. Another group of underdogs, but they've recruited some SCG ringers to join them in the testing effort. For more profile info on this team, check out LegitMTG's page on them.

Team Luxurious Hair

You should be familiar with this team from last time, but their team name didn't quite fully materialize until now. This group has some popular names like Ari Lax, Craig Wescoe, and Jackie Lee, among others. Five of their members write for major websites, and many of them have seen success on the Grand Prix circuit but are looking to add Pro Tour Top 8s to their resume.

Team Mana Deprived

Canada's finest. Team Mana Deprived has many of Canada's most recognized names, including Alexander Hayne (winner of PT Avacyn Restored). For a Canadian team, they do have a lot of international talent however, including a mix of players from Asia, Central America, and the United States. Notably Rookie of the Year Matthias Hunt has joined this group.

Team Northern Walker Alliance

Canada has so many fine players, there are in fact two Canadian teams. Team NWA is helmed by Doug Potter and contains the McLaren brothers, who I personally believe will end up being the next big sibling duo on the Pro Tour stage. A lot of the Northern Walker Alliance members are strong MTGO grinders, and you may recognize their names from the top of Magic Online's standings.

Team roUrix

The Brazilian team has superstar Willy Edel and the best of Brazil right beside him. Brazil doesn't get many major Magic tournaments, and they're quite a distance from other major Magic hubs, so the team is not large. However they do have more pride and national spirit than any other team because of it. It will be great to see what deck they decide to play in the upcoming Block Pro Tour.

Team South Florida

Team StarCityGames.com (#TeamSCG)

TeamSCG is probably the largest team on the Pro Tour with 17 attending members and even more contributing to the testing besides, such as William Jensen, David Heineman, and Matt Sperling. Because of their size, they usually don't agree on one deck, so it will be interesting to see what the majority end up playing. With new members Brad Nelson and Bob Maher, this team will continue to be a force to be reckoned with. (More profile info on TeamSCG.)

Team TCGPlayer.com

The team from TCGPlayer.com returns for PTDGM, containing the familiar mix of French and American players. The biggest names include Hall of Famer Raph Levy and new PT Top 8er Melissa DeTora. Together they were previously able to come up the brilliant Wolf Run Bant deck in Standard. They sure do understand the concept of value, so I expect they'll come up with something equally powerful this time.

Team Wilson Gone Wild

This new team contains many familiar and favorite American names, mostly Grand Prix and SCG grinders. They are looking to make their big break at this Pro Tour; hopefully they're able to put their heads together and come up with a solid Block deck!

The full list of invited players is here.

The eventual coverage page for the Pro Tour is here. [Not active at this time.]

If you have more information for me or want to point out mistakes I made (inevitable, apologies in advance), just Gmail me at mulldrifting or tweet me @mulldrifting.

See you guys in San Diego. Watch my Twitter and Facebook for more updates.