This past weekend, 674 of the best Magic players from across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa converged upon Lille, France to compete for the title of Regional Champion. Also on the line were two World Championship invites and 24 Pro Tour invitations. After fifteen rounds of Pioneer competition followed by a Top 8 playoff, Adrián Iñigo Tastet emerged victorious with Lotus Field Combo!
Adrián Iñigo Tastet, a 24-year-old player from Madrid, Spain, picked the perfect deck for the weekend: "We had a good testing group for the deck and thought that it would be well positioned. With our configuration, we liked it a lot against Phoenix and red-black. And we had Mateo Ferreira to learn from." Their testing group crushed the event, as teacher Mateo "TheManLand" Ferreira finished 14th in the European Championship himself. In addition, they shared their list and conclusions with Eugeni Sanchez, who piloted it to an 18th-place finish.
Their version of the deck featured a novel inclusion:
In the finals, Adrián Iñigo Tastet defeated Lars Henrichvark, a 24-year old player from Dortmund, Germany. He had qualified via RCQ at White Rabbit in Essen and brought pretty much the same Abzan Greasefang deck to the Regional Championship. "I played it all season, and it feels good to play into a Rakdos-heavy field," he explained. The singleton
Both finalists earned an invitation to Magic World Championship 30 in 2024. The final match of the weekend, which decided who would walk away with the trophy, title, and first-place prize of $16,000, went to the full three games. Although Henrichvark's discard spells helped him secure Game 1, you can't
Top 24 Players Qualified for the Pro Tour
While the Top 8 competitors played for the big prizes, the Top 24 eligible players in the final standings earned an invitation to the Pro Tour in Chicago in February 2024. Three invitations to already qualified players pass down, so the Pro Tour invitations extend to 27th place. We look forward to seeing everyone at MagicCon: Chicago in February 2024!
The Top 8 decklists featured seven different archetypes, with Lotus Field Combo appearing twice. Pro Tour champion Samuele Estratti was first after the Swiss, playing his own pet deck that he called Estrona to Light. Overflowing with combos, he could generate infinite mana with
Another standout performance was by Christoffer Larsen. After his European Championship Top 8 in Athens just a few months ago, he took the same Rakdos Sacrifice deck, largely unchanged, to yet another Top 8 this weekend. With back-to-back Top 8s, Larsen has clearly mastered the Rakdos Sacrifice archetype, reinforcing that deck familiarity and experience is a significant success factor in Pioneer.
You can find the event's Top 24 decklists here.
A Memorable Event With A Diverse Metagame
The metagame at the European Championship showed the prevailing popularity of Rakdos Midrange and the variety of competitive options in Pioneer. Wilds of Eldraine had a big impact on the metagame. For example,
All in all, it was a terrific event full of hard-fought matches and high-level competition. While the Regional Championship again put on display the talent and skill of players from the region, the venue also featured side events with sweet prizes, artists, vendors, and more. Congratulations again to Adrián IñigoTastet, and like many attendees we look forward to the next European Championship, held at LEC Ghent on January 26–28, 2024!