2018 World Championship

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2018 World Championship
Date 21–23 September 2018
Location {USA} Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Format Standard and Dominaria Booster draft
Prize pool $300,000
Previous Worlds:
2017
Next Worlds:
2019

The 2018 World Championship, the 26th Magic World Championship, is held on 21–23 September 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States.

The event also features the 2017–18 Magic Pro Tour Team Series final between Hareruya Latin and Ultimate Guard.

Invitations[edit | edit source]

The seats for the 2018 World Championship were given out based on the following rankings:[1]

Player Method(s) of qualification
{USA} Seth Manfield Pro Tour Ixalan winner
2017–18 North American Champion
{ARG} Luis Salvatto Pro Tour Rivals of Ixalan winner
2017–18 Latin American Champion
{USA} Wyatt Darby Pro Tour Dominaria winner
{USA} Allen Wu Pro Tour 25th Anniversary winners
{CAN} Ben Hull
{USA} Gregory Orange
{USA} Matt Severa Constructed Master
{SWE} Elias Watsfeldt Draft Master
{PRT} Marcio Carvalho 2017–18 European Champion
{JPN} Ken Yukuhiro 2017–18 Asia-Pacific Champion
{USA} Reid Duke Most Pro Points of otherwise unqualified
{USA} Owen Turtenwald 2nd-most Pro Points of otherwise unqualified
{USA} Ben Stark 3rd-most Pro Points of otherwise unqualified
{USA} John Rolf 4th-most Pro Points of otherwise unqualified
{CZE} Martin Jůza 5th-most Pro Points of otherwise unqualified
{POL} Grzegorz Kowalski 6th-most Pro Points of otherwise unqualified
{ESP} Javier Dominguez 7th-most Pro Points of otherwise unqualified
{ITA} Andrea Mengucci 8th most Pro Points of otherwise unqualified
{USA} Gerry Thompson 9th-most Pro Points of otherwise unqualified
{USA} Brad Nelson 10th-most Pro Points of otherwise unqualified
{ISR} Shahar Shenhar 11th-most Pro Points of otherwise unqualified
{USA} Brian Braun-Duin 12th-most Pro Points of otherwise unqualified
{USA} Mike Sigrist 13th-most Pro Points of otherwise unqualified
{USA} Matt Nass 14th-most Pro Points of otherwise unqualified

Players qualifying via multiple methods pass down extra invitations to the players with the most Pro Points among otherwise unqualified players.

Schedule[edit | edit source]

Friday, 21 September

Saturday, 22 September

Sunday, 23 September

Main event[edit | edit source]

Day one[edit | edit source]

The 2018 World Championship started with a Dominaria Booster draft, where Seth Manfield and Javier Dominguez were the featured players. Manfield has a tough draft, ultimately settling in Red-Green, and went 1–2 in the draft. Dominguez' Blue-Black-Red deck was not considered great by the commentators either, who after Dominguez finished 2–1 in the draft, noted that the player likely was quite happy with that result. Three players went 3–0: Mike Sigrist, Ben Stark, and Grzegorz Kowalski.

In the Standard portion, fully 61% of the players elected to play a Goblin Chainwhirler deck, with 57% (13 players) running Black-Red aggro. Blue-Black Midrange and Blue-White God-Pharaoh's Gift were the second-most popular decks, at 9% (2 players); and Mono-Red Aggro, Mono-Blue Tempest Djinn, Reservoir Combo, Turbo Fog, Blue-Black Control, and White-Blue Control were played by one player each.[4]

At the end of the first day, Javier Dominguez unseated the leading Grzegorz Kowalski, leaving both at 6-1. Both players were on the prevalent Black-Red aggro deck; they were trailed at 5-2 by Marcio Carvalho, Ben Stark and Ken Yukuhiro. At the end of the first day, Simon Goerzten commented on the attempt on the nine Blue players who attempted to metagame against the Red decks, ultimately poorly For example - Brad Nelson and Owen Turtenwald, named two of the strongest players in the field, attempted to go outside the field with Reservoir Combo and Blue-White God-Pharaoh's Gift, but they picked up only one of four and two of five wins respectively against Black-Red decks.

Day two[edit | edit source]

The second day's draft followed Grzegorz Kowalski and Ken Yukuhiro; Kowalski's Green-Black deck posted 2-1 and Yukukhiro's Red-White deck resulted in a 1-2. Due to the small field, more than the standard three players made a 3-0 result - Dominguez, Nass, Wu, Shenhar, and Manfield all went 3-0, which resulted in a field where after Kowalski at 8-2 and Dominguez at 9-1, the player at third place was Ben Stark at 6-4. Dominguez and Kowalski locked up their Top 4 in the next two rounds, followed by Ben Stark in round 13. The last round paired the three locked players against three 8-5 players, and the outside shot of Shahar Shenhar at 8-5 against Ken Yukuhiro at 7-6. What might have been a rather messy tiebreaker scramble was not to be, as all three leaders won their match, leaving the last spot to be taken by either Shenhar's 9-5 or Yukuhiro's 2% tiebreaker favorite at 8-6.

Unfortunately, Ken Yukuhiro was disqualified due to failure to declare a failure to desideboard, resulting in Shenhar's victory and third World Championship Top 4.

Final standings[edit | edit source]

Place Player Prize Pro Points Dominaria draft 1 record Standard day 1 record Dominaria draft 2 record Standard day 2 record
1 {ESP} Javier Dominguez $100,000 12 2-1 4–0 3–0 2–2
2 {POL} Grzegorz Kowalski $50,000 10 3-0 3-1 2-1 3–1
3 {USA} Ben Stark $25,000 7 3–0 2–2 1-2 4-0
4 {ISR} Shahar Shenhar $25,000 6 0-3 3–1 3-0 3–1
5 {USA} Allen Wu $10,000 5 1-2 2–2 3-0 2-2
6 {USA} Wyatt Darby $10,000 5 2–1 2–2 2–1 2–2
7 {USA} Matt Nass $10,000 5 1-2 2-2 3-0 2-2
8 {CAN} Ben Hull $10,000 5 2-1 2–2 1–2 3–1
9 {USA} Reid Duke $5,000 5 1–2 2-2 1–2 4-0
10 {USA} Mike Sigrist $5,000 4 3-0 1–3 1-2 2-2
11 {USA} John Rolf $5,000 4 1-2 3-1 2-1 1-3
12 {PRT} Marcio Carvalho $5,000 4 2-1 3-1 0-3 2-2
13 {USA} Brad Nelson $5,000 4 2-1 0-4 1-2 4-0
14 {SWE} Elias Watsfeldt $5,000 4 1-2 2–2 1–2 3–1
15 {USA} Brian Braun-Duin $5,000 3 2–1 2–2 2-1 0–4
16 {ARG} Luis Salvatto $5,000 3 2-1 1–3 1–2 2–2
17 {ITA} Andrea Mengucci $2,500 3 1-2 3-1 1–2 1–3
18 {USA} Matt Severa $2,500 3 1–2 3–1 1–2 1-3
19 {USA} Greg Orange $2,500 3 1–2 1–3 2-1 2-2
20 {USA} Seth Manfield $2,500 3 1-2 1-3 3-0 1-3
21 {USA} Owen Turtenwald $2,500 2 2-1 1-3 0–3 2-2
22 {CZE} Martin Juza $2,500 1 0-3 2-2 1–2 1–3
23
24

Gerry Thompson protest[edit | edit source]

Less than an hour prior to the start of the event, Gerry Thompson posted on Reddit that he would refuse to participate in the tournament in protest against the state of professional Magic. Thompson cited WotC's failure to promote the event and its players, poor communication leading to among other things Worlds competitors' significant others being denied entry to the tournament hall (though this was ultimately fixed), poor coverage, lack of reward for professional players and aspiring professional players, and failure to adequately punish cheating.[5] An hour later, Rich Hagon on behalf of Wizards of the Coast gave a statement on stream addressing the protest, respecting his decision, but that improvements to professional Magic would come in 2019 and beyond.[6]

Thompson's move was met with support from the wider Magic community. Matt Sperling commented: "I’m writing within the hour of Gerry’s announcement, and already it has gone at least as viral as anything I’ve seen in this community. We may not remember much else about this Worlds five years from now, but we’ll always remember this".[7] In an interview with Kotaku, Thompson explained that he had made up his mind about the tournament a month and a half prior, and deliberately waited until right before the tournament to announce it so that the tournament would only have 23 players.[8]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. The $1 Million Weekend, Pro Club Updates, and More
  2. TEAM SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP FORMAT
  3. 2018 WORLDS DETAILS, PLUS JUNE COVERAGE
  4. Calderaro, Marc (2018-09-21). WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP STANDARD METAGAME BREAKDOWN. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2018-09-21.
  5. Thompson, Gerry (2018-09-21). I'm Gerry Thompson, a Professional Magic Player, and I'm Protesting the State of Professional Magic by Refusing to Play in the World Championship. Reddit. Retrieved on 2018-09-21.
  6. A brief statement about today's Magic World Championship discussion. Twitter (2018-09-21). Retrieved on 2018-09-21.
  7. Sperling, Matt (2018-09-21). GerryT Puts His Money Where His Mouth Is. ChannelFireball. Retrieved on 2018-09-21.
  8. D'Anastasio, Cecilia (2018-09-21). Pro Magic Player Protests World Championships, Hoping To Change The Pro Scene. Kotaku. Retrieved on 2018-09-21.