After 12 rounds and two drafts, the Top 8 have been decided. Several of Japan's top players who looked like they would make it stumbled at the end, leaving the field open for relative unknowns. Still, the final round was not without excitement--with Katsuhiro Mori and Michihisa Onoda having identical Opponent Match Win Percentages, 8th place was decided on Player Game Win Percentage, with the nod going to Onoda by a mere 2%. When the Top 8 was announced, a crestfallen Mori walked over to Onoda and congratulated him with a handshake.
The Top 8 deck breakdown more or less mirrors the overall field: 4 Psychatog decks, 2 black control decks, and 2 RB steroid decks.
The question on everyone's mind tonight is: Will Higashino be able to repeat his 1999 victory, and join the select group of players who have won multiple National Championships? The last time he did, black-based control decks dominated the field. Has his time come round again? He's sure to face stiff competition from Onoda, a 2000 national team member who has his eyes on the prize, not to mention the other 6 players.