Vintage Super League

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The Vintage Super League (VSL) is a weekly streaming feature of an all-star cast of Magic players competing in Vintage.[1] It was created by Randy Buehler and Shotgun Lotus in 2014.

Rather than have a singular tournament in which competitors play simultaneously, the Vintage Super League typically only has five matches every week, but every match is streamed live with play-by-play commentary by other competitors in the league. The League features ten players and is played round-robin, with every player playing every other player once in a best-of-three matchup. Every competitor has to play the same deck for three consecutive weeks, but is allowed to switch decks after the three weeks are up. Their opponents for each week is known, though their deck is unknown for the first week. After the round-robin section is complete, a playoff between the top 4 players is held. Players may change their decks before the playoff as well.

Competitors[edit | edit source]

Season 1 Season 2 Season 3 Season 4 Season 5 Season 6 Season 7
Randy Buehler Randy Buehler Randy Buehler Randy Buehler Randy Buehler Randy Buehler Randy Buehler
Eric Froehlich Eric Froehlich Eric Froehlich Eric Froehlich Eric Froehlich Eric Froehlich Eric Froehlich
Rich Shay Rich Shay Rich Shay Rich Shay Rich Shay Rich Shay Rich Shay
Stephen Menendian Stephen Menendian Stephen Menendian Stephen Menendian Stephen Menendian Oliver Tiu Stephen Menendian
Bob Maher Bob Maher Bob Maher Bob Maher Shuhei Nakamura Bob Maher Bob Maher
Luis Scott-Vargas Luis Scott-Vargas Luis Scott-Vargas Luis Scott-Vargas Luis Scott-Vargas Rodrigo Togores Rodrigo Togores
Tom Martell Tom Martell Tom Martell Tom Martell Paul Rietzl Paul Rietzl Paul Rietzl
Chris Pikula Chris Pikula Chris Pikula Chris Pikula Brian Kelly Brian Kelly Reid Duke
Josh Utter-Leyton Kai Budde Kai Budde Kai Budde Rachel Agnes Rachel Agnes
David Williams David Williams David Ochoa David Ochoa David Ochoa Kevin Cron
Chris Pikula Erin Campbell
David Williams David Williams

The first season of the Vintage Super League included the following players:

After the first season, Josh Utter-Leyton, who finished in last place, was replaced by Kai Budde. David Williams finished last in the second season and subsequently lost his place in the league. The third season was a special season with only eight players (Kai Budde opted out) and double elimination rather than round-robin Swiss style, and no players joined or were relegated. From this season onwards, new players are determined by a new play-in tournament.

For season four, the season resumed the ten-player Swiss, opening a spot for David Ochoa who defeated Nick Detwiler in the qualifiers, and as such joined the VSL in season four, alongside a returning Kai Budde. In this season, five players finished in joint last: Bob Maher, Tom Martell, Stephen Menendian, Kai Budde, and Chris Pikula. These players were all relegated to the qualifiers, which expanded to twelve players to accommodate the five open slots. Of these, Budde and Menendian managed to requalify, while the three new members who won invitations to the league were Shuhei Nakamura, Paul Rietzl, and Brian Kelly.

For the sixth season, Luis Scott-Vargas, Shuhei Nakamura, and Kai Budde opted to take a break from the league, and Stephen Menendian was relegated to the qualifiers as last place. In their place, David Williams, Chris Pikula, and Bob Maher rejoined the league after having previously been eliminated. The series format shifted to three pods of four players, which opened up two more spaces; Oliver Tiu, Rodrigo Togores, and Rachel Agnes won places through qualifiers.

Due to new changes to the Vintage banlist, the relegation tournament was not held in order to begin as soon as possible, and there is a new "no repeats" rules to showcase variety. Chris Pikula, Oliver Tiu, Brian Kelly and David Ochoa stepped down in this season, being replaced by Stephen Menendian, Reid Duke, Kevin Cron and Erin Campbell. The format was a hybrid of seasons 5 and 6; the pods of four were retained to allow players weeks off, but the 9-round robin result will be used to determine the playoff matches.

Winners[edit | edit source]

Season Start Winner
1 August 19, 2014 Stephen Menendian
2 January 27, 2015 Eric Froehlich
3 July 7, 2015 Randy Buehler
4 November 24, 2015 Luis Scott-Vargas
5 May 3, 2016 Eric Froehlich
6 January 3, 2017 Oliver Tiu

Other Super Leagues[edit | edit source]

Following the popularity of the VSL, other Super Leagues, also hosted by Randy Buehler, were created. The Standard Super League started on April 28, 2015, and was won by Owen Turtenwald. A second season was held over the summer that year; this season's winner was Gaby Spartz. Meanwhile, the Modern Super League debuted on September 15, 2015, and was won by Shaun McLaren. The Super Leagues culminated with a Super League Championship in October–November 2015; this event contained the top finishers from season three of VSL, the second season of the Standard Super League, and the first season of the Modern Super League. It used the Standard format, and was won by Paul Rietzl.

In 2016, the Community Super League was introduced. Instead of focusing on established formats and top players, the Community Super League featured prominent pundits, podcasters, and commentators playing various whacky formats. There were ten competitors - three of which are teams - comprising of streamers Paul Cheon and Kenji Egashira; commentators and streamers Gaby Spartz and Marshall Sutcliffe; video content creators Brian "The Professor" Lewis, Anthony "Wedge" D'Aconto and team LoadingReadyRun (Graham Stark and James Turner); podcast teams Magic The Amateuring (Maria Bartholdi and Meghan Wolff) and The Girlfriend Bracket (Erin Campbell, Kriz Schultz, Katie Neal and Hallie Santo); and R&D member Aaron Forsythe.

In 2017, a new initiative was started for a Team Draft Super League, using eight teams of three. The series is set to premiere on May 16, and will feature top-level players such as Peach Garden Oath, and Hall of Famers Luis Scott-Vargas, Ben Stark, Eric Froehlich, Jon Finkel, Jelger Wiegersma and Paul Rietzl. The team-based format was popular, but Team Draft was very much away from the average player's experience - from that, a Modern and Standard Teams Super League ran for two and one seasons respectively.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Jacob Van Lunen (September 25, 2014). "Vintage Super League!". Wizards of the Coast.

External links[edit | edit source]