Gabriel Nassif

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Gabriel Nassif
Gabriel Nassif.PNG
Demographics
Nickname Yellowhat
Born 8 November 1983
Residence Paris, France
Nationality {FRA} French
Professional Career
Pro Tour debut Pro Tour Chicago 2000
Winnings $369,710 (as of 2018-08-06)
Pro Tour top 8s 9 (2 wins)
Grand Prix top 8s 6 (1 win)
Median Pro Tour Finish 62
Pro Tours Played 75
Lifetime Pro Points 584 (as of 2018-08-14)
Awards
Hall of Fame
Player of the Year
Pro Tour Champion

Gabriel Lillian Nassif is a French professional Magic player, often regarded as one of the best Magic players of all time. He was the 2004 Player of the Year, and has won two Pro Tours: PT Atlanta 2005 and PT Kyoto 2009.

Professional play[edit | edit source]

Gabriel Nassif first qualified for the Pro Tour in 2000 at the age of 16, when he finished 45th at Pro Tour Chicago. One year later, he got his breakout performance with a runner-up finish at Grand Prix London, followed up with a runner-up at PT New York 2001, his second Pro Tour, alongside teammates Amiel Tenenbaum and Nicolas Olivieri. From then on, he was a fixture on the professional circuit, and did not miss a single Pro Tour until Pro Tour Nagoya 2011.

In the early 2000s, Nassif established himself as one of the top players in the world, and became particularly well known as a standout deckbuilder, usually designing his own decks for events. In 2003 and 2004, Nassif finished in the top eight of three Constructed-only Pro Tours, including runner-up finishes at PT New Orleans and PT Kobe, and ultimately became the Player of the Year after placing seventh at the 2004 World Championships, overtaking Nicolai Herzog's two Pro Tour wins. Nassif thus became the first player other than Kai Budde to win the title since Jon Finkel did it in 1999–00.

Nassif had by then gained a reputation as a notorious silver collector, having finished runner-up at three Pro Tours, a Grand Prix, and a Masters, but having never won a premier event. That changed in 2005, as Nassif joined forces with Canadian former professional players David Rood and Gabriel Tsang, and together they won the Team Limited Pro Tour in Atlanta, which was Nassif's sixth PT top eight. Over the next few years, Nassif's commitment to the game diminished, pursuing a career in Poker instead, but he did finish in the top eight of both the 2006 and 2007 World Championships. In the semifinals of the 2006 World Championships against Makihito Mihara, Nassif opted to tap out for Proclamation of Rebirth instead of holding up mana to gain life with Martyr of Sands, which allowed Mihara to go off with his Dragonstorm deck and win. At the 2007 World Championships, Nassif faced friend and teammate Patrick Chapin, with both players on the same Mono-Red Dragonstorm combo deck. In game four, 1–2 down, Nassif mulliganed to four, but famously survived against all odds against Ignite Memories. However, Chapin came back and won the fifth and deciding game, ultimately finishing 2nd in the event.[1]

At Pro Tour Kyoto 2009, Nassif piloted a 61-card 5-Color Control deck all the way to victory. In the quarterfinal, against Matteo Orsini-Jones, with the match tied 2–2, Nassif needed to topdeck Cruel Ultimatum to take the match, and famously did so in a called shot.[2] Nassif then defeated Akimasa Yamamoto before facing Luis Scott-Vargas, winner of the previous non-Worlds Pro Tour, in the final. In what has been considered one of the best-ever matches on live webcast, Nassif won 3–2 and became a two-time Pro Tour champion, at the time the 7th in the history of the game. After this result, most pundits regarded Nassif as the clear third-best player of all time, behind only Jon Finkel and Kai Budde.

With the win in Kyoto and a win the following weekend at Grand Prix Chicago, Nassif was in prime position to win another Player of the Year title. However, with professional Magic not being prioritized, he was overtaken later in the season, and ultimately Yuuya Watanabe took the title. In the following years, Nassif continued to go to most Pro Tours, but his commitment to the game decreased substantially. Despite this, he achieved strong results such as 10th-place at PT Return to Ravnica and 13th-place at PT Dragon's Maze.

For years, Nassif and Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa were considered essentially tied for the title of third-best player of all time. But at PT Battle for Zendikar, Damo da Rosa picked up his 10th top eight, and many considered him to have overtaken Nassif's position on the list of all-time great players. In an article after the Pro Tour, Nassif stated: "This might be the motivation I needed to start taking Magic seriously again"[3] And Nassif indeed returned to being a full-time Magic player, becoming a popular streamer and creating regular articles for ChannelFireball. He has not posted any additional top eight finishes at the Pro Tour level, but has posted several high-profile finishes in a short amount of time, including 16th at PT Aether Revolt, 18th at PT Rivals of Ixalan, and 5th at PT 25th Anniversary. The latter, alongside teammates David Williams and Eric Froehlich, is not regarded as a Pro Tour top eight due to it being a team event, where top four is considered the equivalent of a regular Pro Tour top eight.

Accomplishments[edit | edit source]

Season Event type Location Format Date Rank
2001–02 Grand Prix London Block Constructed 1–2 September 2001 2
2001–02 Pro Tour New York Team Limited 7–9 September 2001 2
2001–02 Masters Osaka Team Limited 14–17 March 2002 3
2002–03 Pro Tour Venice Block Constructed 21–23 March 2003 5
2002–03 Grand Prix Prague Limited 12–13 April 2003 6
2002–03 Masters Yokohama Extended 8–11 May 2003 2
2002–03 European Championship London Standard and Booster Draft 4–6 July 2003 5
2003–04 Pro Tour New Orleans Extended 31 October–2 November 2003 2
2003–04 Pro Tour Kobe Block Constructed 27–29 February 2004 2
2003–04 Nationals Tours Standard and Booster Draft 17–18 July 2004 2
2003–04 Worlds San Francisco Special 1–5 September 2004 7
2005 Pro Tour Atlanta Team Limited 11–13 March 2005 1
2006 Worlds Paris Special 29 November–3 December 2006 4
2007 Grand Prix Amsterdam Two-Headed Giant 10–11 March 2007 2
2007 Worlds New York Special 6–9 December 2007 3
2008 Grand Prix Brussels Limited 3–4 May 2008 2
2009 Pro Tour Kyoto Standard and Booster Draft 27 February–1 March 2009 1
2009 Grand Prix Chicago Legacy 7–8 March 2009 1
2009 Grand Prix Tampa Limited 24–25 October 2009 5
2017–18 Nationals Paris Standard and Booster Draft 9–10 September 2017 3

Source: Wizards.com

Pro Tour Results[edit | edit source]

List of the Pro Tour results and winnings of Gabriel Nassif
Season Pro Tour Format Finish Winnings
2000–01 Chicago Standard 45 $750
2001–02 New York Team Limited 2 $10,000
2001–02 New Orleans Extended 38 $950
2001–02 San Diego Rochester Draft 66
2001–02 Osaka Block Constructed 23 $2,000
2001–02 Nice Booster Draft 36 $1,050
2001–02 Worlds (Sydney) Special 178
2002–03 Boston Team Limited 87
2002–03 Houston Extended 54 $600
2002–03 Chicago Rochester Draft 96
2002–03 Venice Block Constructed 5 $9,500
2002–03 Yokohama Booster Draft 224
2002–03 Worlds (Berlin) Special 9 $6,000
2003–04 Boston Team Limited 130
2003–04 New Orleans Extended 2 $20,000
2003–04 Amsterdam Rochester Draft 149
2003–04 Kobe Block Constructed 2 $20,000
2003–04 San Diego Booster Draft 60 $540
2003–04 Seattle Team Limited 6 $3,500
2003–04 Worlds (San Francisco) Special 7 $7,500
2005 Colombus Extended 127
2005 Nagoya Rochester Draft 204
2005 Atlanta Team Limited 1 $20,000
2005 Philadelphia Block Constructed 226 $100
2005 London Booster Draft 68
2005 Los Angeles Extended 12 $4,500
2005 Worlds (Yokohama) Special 206
2006 Honolulu Standard 42 $850
2006 Prague Booster Draft 23 $2,200
2006 Charleston Team Constructed 52
2006 Kobe Booster Draft 174
2006 Worlds (Paris) Special 4 $15,000
2007 Geneva Booster Draft 253
2007 Yokohama Block Constructed 28 $1,600
2007 San Diego Two-Headed Giant Booster Draft 74
2007 Valencia Extended 164
2007 Worlds (New York) Special 3 $15,000
2008 Kuala Lumpur Booster Draft 44 $775
2008 Hollywood Standard 51 $645
2008 Berlin Extended 23 $2,200
2008 Worlds (Memphis) Special 297
2009 Kyoto Standard and Booster Draft 1 $40,000
2009 Honolulu Block Constructed and Booster Draft 21 $2,600
2009 Austin Extended and Booster Draft 143
2009 Worlds (Rome) Special 47 $710
2010 San Diego Standard and Booster Draft 21 $2,600
2010 San Juan Block Constructed and Booster Draft 209
2010 Amsterdam Extended and Booster Draft 97
2010 Worlds (Chiba) Special 128
2011 Paris Standard and Booster Draft 48 $690
2011 Philadelphia Modern and Booster Draft 126
2011 Worlds (San Francisco) Special 316
2012 Avacyn Restored in Barcelona Block Constructed and Booster Draft 62 $1,000
2012–13 Return to Ravnica in Seattle Modern and Booster Draft 10 $3,500
2012–13 Gatecrash in Montreal Standard and Booster Draft 245
2012–13 Dragon's Maze in San Diego Block Constructed and Booster Draft 13 $5,000
2013–14 Theros in Dublin Standard and Booster Draft 274
2013–14 Born of the Gods in Valencia Modern and Booster Draft 124
2013–14 Journey into Nyx in Atlanta Block Constructed and Booster Draft 152
2013–14 Magic 2015 in Portland Standard and Booster Draft 225
2014–15 Khans of Tarkir in Honolulu Standard and Booster Draft 42 $1,500
2014–15 Fate Reforged in Washington, D.C. Modern and Booster Draft 383
2014–15 Dragons of Tarkir in Brussels Standard and Booster Draft 289
2014–15 Magic Origins in Vancouver Standard and Booster Draft 77
2015–16 Battle for Zendikar in Milwaukee Standard and Booster Draft 30 $1,500
2015–16 Oath of the Gatewatch in Atlanta Modern and Booster Draft 62 $1,000
2015–16 Shadows over Innistrad in Madrid Standard and Booster Draft 329
2016–17 Kaladesh in Honolulu Standard and Booster Draft 426
2016–17 Aether Revolt in Dublin Standard and Booster Draft 16 $5,000
2016–17 Amonkhet in Nashville Standard and Booster Draft 45 $1,500
2016–17 Hour of Devastation in Kyoto Standard and Booster Draft 300
2017–18 Ixalan in Albuquerque Standard and Booster Draft 161
2017–18 Rivals of Ixalan in Bilbao Modern and Booster Draft 18 $3,000
2017–18 Dominaria in Richmond Standard and Booster Draft 81
2017–18 25th Anniversary in Minneapolis Team Constructed 5 $9,000

Source: Wizards.com

External links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Chapin Ignites the Crowd (But Not Nassif). The Blue Envelope Podcast (2016-02-15). Retrieved on 2018-08-23.
  2. Price, Nate (2009-02-28). QUARTERFINALS: RIDICULOUS. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2018-08-23.
  3. Nassif, Gabriel (2015-10-23). #PTBFZ – Brews That Didn’t Get There and a BG Aristocrats Update. ChannelFireball. Retrieved on 2018-08-23.
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