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Mateo Ferreira Victorious at European Championship

May 27, 2024
Frank Karsten

This past weekend, 803 of the best Magic players from across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa converged upon Naples, Italy for the last Regional Championship of the 2023-24 season. On the line were $100,000 in prizes, two World Championship invites, and 36 Pro Tour invitations. After fifteen rounds of Standard competition followed by a Top 8 playoff, Mateo "TheManLand" Ferreira emerged victorious with Esper Midrange!

Congratulations to Mateo Ferreira, the new European champion!

Ferreira's victory marks the second Regional Championship title and third consecutive finals appearance this season for a team of players from Madrid, Spain. Several months ago, after Adrián Iñigo Tastet won the September 2023 European Championship with Lotus Field Combo in Pioneer, he prophetically said: "We had a good testing group ... and Mateo Ferreira to learn from." There, their capable teacher finished 14th. At the January 2024 European Championship, where Borja Yañez Carvajal finished second in a Spanish-dominated Top 8, Ferreira cheered for his teammates. And this weekend, he finally had a breakthrough finish himself.

"We've been doing quite well at these tournaments," Ferreira laughed as he reflected on his team's amazing results over the past few European Championships. "My expectations coming into this tournament were just to play my best Magic, try to get there if I could, if not have a good time with friends. I ended up going all the way, so that feels great!"

555414 Wedding Announcement

For his Standard deck, he dared to go out of his comfort zone. "I usually only play combo," Ferreira explained, "but Raffine, Scheming Seer seems where you want to be in a diverse meta." Indeed, he correctly predicted that people were going to play a lot of Temur Analyst, Azorius Control, Boros Convoke, and Bant Toxic, and he felt his deck choice was well-positioned in that context.

"If everybody wants to be on the edges, you kind of want to be in the middle," he said. "There are not many cards that excessively target you, and that makes it so that you always squeeze in." His Esper Midrange deck worked out perfectly for him, as he sliced through the Swiss rounds and crushed the Top 8 playoffs.

A hotly debated topic for Esper Midrange players was how many Wedding Announcements to run, but Ferreira had a clear answer: "For sure, Wedding Announcement is a four-of. It's good against control anytime ... and in the mirror, it's such a mirror breaker." He pointed out that Preacher of the Schism, an alternative three-mana card, just dies to removal and never draws cards against Temur Analyst.

While Wedding Announcement served him well, his actual best card of the weekend was The Wandering Emperor: "It got me so many games. In Game 1, you have a one-of, so people have to respect it and you can represent it a lot." Indeed, The Wandering Emperor is a complicated card to respect, allowing you to make strategic plays, stabilize, and pressure all at once. Ferreira's list was worked on a lot, and it paid off.

Finalist Ivan Errico used Golgari Midrange to earn a World Championship invite.

In the finals, Mateo Ferreira defeated Ivan Errico, a 21-year old player from Bari, Italy. Errico had qualified via RCQ at The Magic Spot in his home town and immediately hit success at his first premier event, playing Golgari Midrange.

"I wanted a deck that could play decently against every deck," Errico said, "and this one seemed the most solid one to me, with a few main deck and sideboard adjustments to help with the toughest matchups." One of the tweaks he highlighted was Hostile Investigator: "Amazing against the slower decks and other midrange decks. It won me a lot of games!"

Mateo Ferreira celebrates his victory over Ivan Errico in the finals of the European Championship.

The final match of the tournament was hard-fought and went the full three games, but Mateo Ferreira eventually took the trophy, title, and first-place prize of $16,000.

Both finalists earned an invitation to Magic World Championship 30. In total, across all European Championships from the 2023-24 season, three of the six World Championship slots were claimed by players from the Madrid-based testing team: Adrián Iñigo Tastet, Borja Yañez Carvajal, and Mateo Ferreira. It will be exciting to see their group compete at the highest stage!

Top 36 Players Qualified For The Pro Tour

Top 8, left-to-right: Ivan Errico, Mateo Ferreira, Edgar Simmons, Eliott Boussaud, Alexander Mertins, André Santos, Riccardo Biava, Remi Roudier.

While the Top 8 competitors played for the big prizes, the Top 36 eligible players in the final standings who were not yet qualified for Pro Tour Modern Horizons 3 earned an invitation to that tournament. It will take place at MagicCon: Amsterdam on June 28-30, 2024. We look forward to seeing all qualified players there!

The Top 8 decks featured a mix of aggro, midrange, control, and combo. Furthermore, the Top 36 decks reinforced the diverse state of competitive Standard, featuring Bant Toxic, Four-Color Legends, Gruul Prowess, and a various other top-tier decks. The spiciest Pro Tour qualifying decks were Alessandro Danesi's Jund Ramp list featuring Calamity, Galloping Inferno and a Marco Vassallo's Golgari Ramp list featuring The Gitrog, Ravenous Ride. You can find the event's Top 36 decklists here.

A Memorable Event With A Diverse Metagame

Comparing the metagame to the one at the preceding Regional Championships from the first weekend of May, the European Championship saw the meteoric rise of Temur Analyst, the increased popularity of Azorius Control, and the relative decline of Domain Ramp. The metagame is dynamic and keeps evolving.

All in all, Legacy Events organized a terrific weekend full of high-level competition. While the European Championship again put on display the talent and skill of players from the region, the event hall also saw hundreds of players taking part in various side events. This allowed all attendees to their mettle on the battlefield, reconnect with friends, make good memories, and enjoy authentic pizza in Naples.

A crowd of 803 players gathered at the Mostra d'Oltremare in Naples to test their mettle in the European Championship.

In the feature match area, Andrea Mengucci and Gabriel Nassif faced off in the very first round.

Following his victory, Mateo Ferreira talked about his deck and experience on the livestream.

Be part of the next cycle of Regional Championships by joining a qualifying event near you! You can find events via the Store & Event Locator or your regional organizer's website. The next European Championship, which new regional organizer TournamentCenter refers to as the "Ultimate Guard European Magic Series", will be held in Lille, France on November 8–10, 2024!

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