After two days and fifteen rounds of Standard, we have a Top 8 for Players Tour Online 3. Congratulations! Learn more about the Top 8 players below, presented here in order of standings after the Swiss.
Australia's Isaac Egan crushed Players Tour Online 3 with Jund Sacrifice, going 13-0 before losing his first match. He's a pillar of the Australian Magic community, and after prior near-misses (including 10th place at the 2010 World Championship in Chiba and 18th place at Pro Tour Gatecrash in 2013) and moving away from the game a bit, he was stoked to finally make his first PT Top 8.
"Looking forward to playing some more Magic tonight, hopefully the luck holds, but will be happy with the result no matter how the Top 8 goes," he said after the final round of Swiss, still feeling ready as ever to jam
Grand Prix Los Angeles 2018 champion and MOCS veteran Logan Nettles clinched Top 8 at Players Tour Online 3 with Temur Reclamation. This marked his first PT Top 8.
"Magic is my life and it's just nice to get rewarded for putting in time and effort," he said. "It's definitely not the same as an old Pro Tour Top 8 was, for me. Everything is just different than it used to be. Given the state of the world and the uncertainty of the future of Magic and OP I just look at this as a really cool achievement that I attained, and not much beyond that. I'll continue to "grind" Magic for whatever opportunities are given moving forward. I'm happy with this result as of now, but it's just another stepping stone in my adventure."
Ukraine's Iurii Babych had previous Top 8s at GP Warsaw 2018 and the 2016 World Magic Cup. He described his Top 8 at Players Tour Online 3 with Sultai Ramp as "excellent" and mentioned that it "now hurts a little less" that he had to play the tournament on MTG Arena rather than to gather in person.
"Two nights without sleep has paid off," he mentioned. Indeed, out of the four time slots, he chose Players Tour Online 3, which took place during the night for him. He chose this event because he "expected that there would be significantly fewer people," and that prediction turned out to be on point. "And it's not so hot at night."
Rivals league member and Hall of Famer Ben Stark is one of the all-time greats of the game, with 7 previous Top Finishes to his name. Without a doubt, he is the most accomplished player in the Top 8, but his success at Players Tour Online 3 still counted for him in a big way. "It means I get to play the Players Tour Finals!"
Stark wanted to thank Eric Froehlich for "messaging me saying he had a broken deck if I was interested." With Orzhov Yorion featuring incredible
Australia's Dennis Chan had been playing competitive Magic for quite a while and saw his results slowly improving with a couple PT Day 2s and a Top 8 at finish at GP Melbourne. But his Players Tour Online 3 Top 8 finish is a new milestone: "The Top 8 is probably just the beginning of the journey now that I know I'm capable of achieving it and hopefully I'll continue to do well and stay motivated in the future. I think my friends are a lot more excited than I am at the moment, probably because it hasn't quite sunk in yet."
The deck he used over the weekend was Bant Ramp, an update of Louis-Samuel Deltour's Top 8 list from the previous weekend, with some tweaks to the mana base. "I did well with it during practice, and the results from last weekend reinforced the choice."
Joshua Chan, from New Jersey, started Magic around 1.5 years ago, around the time MTG Arena first came out. Players Tour Online 3, which he qualified for through MagicFest Online, was the biggest tournament he had been part of, so making Top 8 felt amazing to him. "Going into this event, my goal was to make Day 2. I knew this was an extremely tough field with a lot of pro players and people that have been playing for 10x longer than I have, and all that experience adds up. Getting to this point has been more than I have asked for and I'm super excited to be (potentially) playing for the biggest stakes of my life. Regardless of what happens I know I'll be jamming tons of games in the future in preparation for the PT Finals."
"I chose Rakdos Sacrifice [with
Rei Hirayama, who hails from Tokyo, Japan, had some amount of competitive Magic success before: He made finals of the prestigious Japanese Finals event in 2019, as well as a Top 8 at a recent MagicFest Online Weekly. But his Top 8 at Players Tour Online 3 was at a different level: "one of the greatest achievements in my life."
He played Temur Reclamation because "I thought Temur Reclamation was the best deck and Rec master Masuda Masahito helped me with it."
William Craddock, whose previous Magic accomplishments include three Grand Prix Top 8s, now added a Players Tour Online Top 8 to his resumé. To him it meant that "I can buy my fiancé something nice and maybe bank some money for more events!"
He reached the playoff rounds with Jund Sacrifice, which he chose "because I picked Bant Ramp to be big in this tournament and I feel the matchup is good." His metagame expectation was on point and his tiebreakers held up to make it in eighth place after the Swiss.