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Mengucci Triumphant!

March 31, 2019
Corbin Hosler

Sixty-four players. Four groups of 16 of the most talented players in the world along with the best streamers and challengers from throughout the community. The Mythic Invitational had everything Magic fans could hope for—not to mention the debut of MTG Arena at the highest levels.

Ultimately, the field was whittled down to a Top 16 field that was exactly half Magic Pro League and eight challengers. From there, the four who emerged from a final day of Top 16 group play were:

  • Andrea Mengucci (MPL member)
  • Piotr Głogowski (MPL member)
  • Ondřej Stráský (Challenger and online qualifier)
  • Janne "Savjz" Mikkonen (Challenger)

Heading into Sunday, it all came down to this: four competitors competing for the $250,000 first-place prize and the title of Mythic Invitational champion.

Today's Big Takeaway

Mengucci Is Your Mythic Invitational Champion

Andrea Mengucci has evolved from a talented pro Magic player into a true superstar across all aspects of the game, and today he added a trophy to back up the praise. His incredible run through the field—a run that included just one loss all weekend, knocking off friends and testing partners, Hall of Famers, and even the reigning Player of the Year in Luis Salvatto—proved that Mengucci has arrived at the top of the competitive Magic world and has positioned himself as a leader heading into the launch of the Magic Pro League. His tournament even included knocking off one of his favorite streamers—and certainly the most famous hat in Magic.

On a wild Top 4 Sunday, Mengucci left no doubt. He squeaked by against Janne "Savjz" Mikkonen in the first match of the day before defeating fellow MPL member Piotr Głogowski to secure a berth in the Grand Finals as the top seed, meaning he would have to lose twice due to the double-elimination nature of the tournament.

Not that it mattered—he ran roughshod over the final two games of the tournament in a rematch with Głogowski, who had defeated Savjz in an exhilarating third-place match. Congrats again to Andrea Mengucci, the winner of the Mythic Invitational!

Of course, there was plenty more to this tournament than just the winner. Here are the other highlights that stood out from the event.

Did You See That Trailer?

This debuted at PAX East this morning, and before we go any further take three minutes and watch this.

That's like nothing I've seen in Magic before, and if the video doesn't interest you in War of the Spark, these previews released today at the event might.

Match of the Day

Absorb or Kaya?

It was the question we were all asking ourselves as Savjz faced down an incredibly difficult decision with a spot at the Grand Finals on the line. That was the question the popular streamer faced in his match against Głogowski, and it provided for not just the best match of the day but possibly the entire tournament.

And here's the thrilling finish.

So what was the right play—Absorb or Kaya? It's sure to be a discussion point over the next week, and opinions were varied, though some on the floor made a strong case.

From Around the Floor

And a New Computer, too!

It's almost unbelievable. In other words, it's Andrea Mengucci.

The Groups

The 64 players in this event were divided into four 16-member groups, with a mix of Magic Pro League players and challengers in each. For the first two days of competition, players worked through the double-elimination bracket to be one of four players to advance out of each group.

Obviously in an event like this there was talent top to bottom, but even in this field Group C—the "group of death"—stood out. Six Hall of Famers and more than 50 Mythic Championship Top 8 appearances littered the group.

It just so happened that those two players were Cedric Phillips—mainstay of the Magic community in coverage and content roles but formerly a high-level competitor himself—and none other than Luis Scott-Vargas, a player in the debate for greatest of all time.

The hype heading into the match was undeniable. Phillips came ready to finally take a game off the Hall of Famer, and he couldn't have chosen a better time to do exactly that.

And you better believe Phillips wasn't holding back after the match.

Looking Ahead

Arena Makes Its Mark

If there's one takeaway from this weekend—other than the fact that Mengucci is an incredible Magic player—it's that MTG Arena is ready for the big time, and so are the members of the Magic Pro League who will compete at future events on the platform.

For a game with such a storied history of excellence in the cardboard world, the Mythic Invitational was a foray into uncharted territory. The significance of this event was lost neither on viewers nor competitors, and the Mythic Invitational will surely shape the future of high-level Magic.

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