The Elimination bracket is the first must-win moment for the competitors of Magic World Championship XXVI. While losing in the Draft brackets means you have a second chance—and this is it. Taking two losses here, well, eliminates the competitor from the tournament.
Four players' dreams of a World Championship trophy ended here.
Pozzo Pulls Through
Fans of Sebatian Pozzo can take heart: He notched a 2-0 record in the bracket to advance to the Play-In on Starday. He started by defeating fellow Argentinian Matias Leveratto in epic fashion: Mono-Red Aggro against Leveratto's favorite Temur Reclamation deck.
Pozzo clinched the decided game after pushing Leveratto to 1 life in a battle of
But it was Pozzo with
Of course that was the first step for Pozzo. Next up to battle was Thoralf Severin with White-Blue Control. He recounted his tale of battling to earn his trip to the Play-In.
For the first game, "I was on the draw and my first opening hand had one land, so I mulliganed and the six card hand had one land again." Pozzo said. "I missed land drops for several turns and was always behind, but it took Thoralf a long time to find a
But then Pozzo's chances turned around. "In Game Two he mulliganed to five but it was still a close game," Pozzo said. "He had
Who Can? Kanister Can.
Piotr "Kanister" Głogowski also earned a swift 2-0 entry into the Saturday Play-In. Against the reigning World Champion, Kanister had two games that played out exactly the way he wanted them too.
For their first game, "Javier had a decent start but I had Goose into Trail, and when we both played our five-drops Korvold won me the game. His Kenrith didn't do much," Kanister explained.
"Game Two was the same but it's easier after sideboarding because I brought in more removal. After drawing both
The next battle was a tougher matchup for Kanister: Jean-Emmanuel Depraz. "Jean-Emmanuel is playing Temur Reclamation. It's the matchup I fear the most," Kanister admitted. "But his version is geared toward mirror matches and White-Blue Control, so he dropped some of the cards good against me like
"Game One was really long and drawn out," Kanister said. "I started out again with Goose into Trail on turns one and two. I was playing out aggressively and used discard spells to leave him without action, and matched him one-for-one. He played two
"Game Two he mulliganed to five on the play and played a few copies of
Jean-Emmanual Depraz may have lost against Kanister, but he pulled together two other wins to move on to the Play-In on Saturday. The first match was against resurgent star Ondřej Stráský.
Stráský pushed Depraz to three games and nearly took over the deciding game with two Planeswalkers, but Deprez turned the corner. Despite a hand full of countermagic for Strasky, Depraz used triggers and his own spells to ensure he could clear out
After losing to Kanister is fell to fighting Andrea Mengucci for who would keep their World Championship hopes alive. Depraz shared the tale.
"In Game One the main two cards are
"I scry and see both Uro and
"In Game Two I'm on the draw and I get to bring in all my removal spells," Depraz said. "I played
Toffel Takes It to the Next Level
The story of Toralf "Toffel" Severin is how two White-Blue Control players showed the world the biggest play of the day.
Ondřej Stráský bounced back from this opening Elimination bracket loss by eliminating one of the favorites to win it all this weekend.
Eliminated a World Champion! #MTGWorlds— Ondřej Stráský (@OndrejStrasky) February 15, 2020
But Stráský would have his hands full with Severin surging back from his earlier loss to Pozzo. As two control decks facing off, the games went all the way toward the time limits of the round and would be the last Magic broadcast for the day.
Anyone who had doubts about Severin had them cast aside as he set up and masterfully executed a play to force Stráský to deck himself—and end his World Championship chances. You have to see it unfold to believe it.
What a win for @ToffelMTG!— Magic Esports ✈️ #MTGWorlds (@MagicEsports) February 15, 2020
Facing down lethal from @OndrejStrasky, he needed to survive a single attack so that Strasky would deck himself.
It's a weekend of close matches at #MTGWorlds! pic.twitter.com/8guvzM3ao7
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Of course, Severin and Depraz both earned wins that also eliminated players and whittled the field down to the final 12 to return Saturday. Here's who fell in the battle to be the best in the world.
- Reigning World Champion and tournament favorite Javier Dominguez make an unexpected exit, putting an end to one of the most dominant runs Magic has ever seen.
- Matias Leveratto would not find his fairy tale ending this time, falling from the competition with a 0-2, 0-2 record over both his brackets. In fact, he played nine total games and went 1-8 over them—an unfortunate run to be sure.
- Another fan-favorite, Andrea Mengucci, fell after earning a 1-2 record in Elimination, notching a strikingly different performance than his teammate Seth Manfield that locked himself for Top 8 by the end of Friday.
- Ondřej Stráský was forced to retire from the World Championship in spectacular fashion by falling to Severin. The rising MPL star now turns his attention to his 2020 partial season at the next Mythic Invitational.