Best & Worst MtG Moments of the Year – Part 2

Posted January 9, 2017 by Abdullah Elhawary in Nerdy Bits

Despite the lows of 2016, this was yet another good year for Magic; filled with some historic moments. We’re going to visit these moments in 2016 and if 2017 has anything close to what’s on this list, then it’s going to be a great year for MtG.

5. Release of Enter the Battlefield

Like many Magic fans, I was stoked for Enter the Battlefield, a documentary that covered the career paths and personal lives of some the game’s very best – Reid Duke, Owen Turtenwald, William Jensen, Melissa DeTora, Patrick Chapin, Shahar Shenhar and Chris Pikula. EtB completely exceeded my initial expectations and it was almost perfect (no LSV), as it was an emotional roller-coaster that hit the proverbial ‘feels’. Throughout this roller-coaster ride we experienced many highs including the innovation of Patrick Chapin, the brotherhood of the PGO, Melissa breaking the glass ceiling and Shahar’s journey from rookie to World Champs. What really made it great were the emotional lows like the passing of Owen’s father and Chris Pikula balancing his personal life whilst trying to get into the Hall of Fame. If you have not watched Enter the Battlefield, I implore you to do so… twice.

4. LSV back to back… to back

Luis “Never Lucky” Scott-Vargas is easily Magic’s most loved and familiar face, and it’s easy to see why if you watch one of Paul Cheon’s Vlogs (chlogs). Other than being a magnificent ambassador of the game, his name is definitely in the conversation for the best player the game has ever seen. That wasn’t necessarily the case a year and a half ago, as he hadn’t put up a Pro Tour top 8 since Pro Tour Nagoya in 2011. The last 3 Pro Tours he played told a different story as he put up 3 back-to-back top 8 finishes (4 if you count his top 8 at Worlds). It was great seeing LSV back among Magic’s elite at Worlds after he had one of the best seasons in the game’s history.

3. LSV joins coverage

After 3 back-to-back PT top 8s, LSV decided to temporarily stop playing for personal reasons, but thankfully he didn’t leave the tournament scene. LSV joining Grand Prix and Pro Tour coverage on a permanent basis adds knowledge and comedy to an already stacked coverage team. He formed a great partnership with Gaby Spartz and reminded us that the coverage team of LSV and Marshall Sutcliffe is the best this game has seen. If you need proof, I encourage you watch the final of Pro Tour Kaladesh as LSV masterfully narrates a battle between two control masters, Shota Yasooka and Carlos Romao.

2. Hall of Fame ceremony

The two greatest players of their eras. The modern day Finkel and Kai. Is there anything that hasn’t been said about Yuuya Watanabe and Owen Turtenwald? When I started watching Magic, they were (and probably still are) the two best players of this generation. A bevy of awards and honors between them including 4 Player of the Year titles, 7 PT top 8’s, two World titles, 45 GP top 8’s and 11 GP titles; it is easy to see why they are two of the very best. It is the reverence that other professional players have for them, however that truly cement their legacies as they are always cited as the players that other pro players never want to run into at any tournament. From Owen’s touching homage to his friends and mentors to Yuuya’s emotional speech about his love for the game (in English), you could see how much being inducted in the Hall of Fame meant for these players and their friends, fans and family.

1. BBD Reigns Supreme

The ultimate feel-good moment of 2016 happened towards the end of the year during Worlds as Gold Pro and professional grinder Brian Braun-Duin did it. If you somehow don’t know already, (spoiler alert) “it” was winning the World Championship. He qualified through the GP Master slot, which didn’t seem very likely towards the mid-end of the season but he showed us that hardwork really does pay-off. BBD and his fans were happy that he qualified but very few saw his victory coming, considering he was a Gold Pro in a sea of Platinums. BBD’s journey was inspirational to say the least because he represented the common Magic players and pure grinders of the community. With a Worlds title under his belt, this is just the beginning for BBD, and both Pro Tour and Player of the Year titles could be in his future.

About the Author

Abdullah Elhawary