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Player of the Year Grabs First Limited Victory!

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If you had asked him six months ago, Kenji Tsumura would have told you that he couldn't draft to save himself. Six months was all it took for Kenji to transform into the Limited powerhouse we all saw this weekend. Streaking to the top of the field without a single match loss to his name, he then proceeded to tear apart one of the most powerful Grand Prix top 8's the Asia Pacific region has ever seen outside of Japan. Look out world, the bigger, better Kenji Tsumura is here and he's here to play.



Note: Matchups are determined randomly. Seeds do not necessarily reflect finish places in the Swiss rounds.
Quarterfinals   Semifinals   Finals   Champion
1 Kenji Tsumura [JPN]   Kenji Tsumura, 2-1        
8 Shouta Yasooka [JPN]   Kenji Tsumura, 2-1
       
4 Quentin Martin [MYS]   Quentin Martin, 2-0   Kenji Tsumura, 2-1
5 Itaru Ishida [JPN]    
       
2 Osamu Fujita [JPN]   Osamu Fujita, 2-1
7 Terry Soh [MYS]   Osamu Fujita, 2-1
       
3 Cynic Kim [KOR]   Ruud Warmenhoven, 2-0
6 Ruud Warmenhoven [NLD]    


EVENT COVERAGE INFORMATION

  • Blog - 12:09 a.m. - Decklists: The Top 8 Decks
    by Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw
  • Blog - 11:37 p.m. - Finals - Osamu Fujita verses Kenji Tsumura
    by Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw
  • Blog - 9:42 p.m. - The Semifinals recap
    by Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw
  • Blog - 8:55 p.m. - The Quarterfinals Recap
    by Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw
  • Blog - 7:40 p.m. - Draftin' with Quentin Martin
    by Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw
  • Blog - 6:43 p.m. - Top 8 Profiles
    by Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw



  • Day Two Blog Archive: Photo Fun, Drafting with Kenji and Eugene, rk post Talks and much more!
    by Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw
  • Info: Draft 2 Pods
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Info: Draft 1 Pods
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Info: Day Two Player List
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Info: Day Two Country Breakdown
    by Event Coverage Staff



  • Day One Blog Archive: Travel Mishaps, Best-deck Boasting, Four Globetrotters, and much more!
    by Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw
  • Info: Day One Player List
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Info: Day One Country Breakdown
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Info: Fact Sheet
    by Event Coverage Staff
 1.  Kenji Tsumura $2,400
 2.  Osamu Fujita $1,700
 3.  Quentin Martin $1,200
 4.  Ruud Warmenhoven $1,000
 5.  Terry Soh $800
 6.  Shouta Yasooka $800
 7.  Cynic Kim $800
 8.  Itaru Ishida $800
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BLOG

 
  • Sunday, June 4: 6:43 p.m. - Top 8 Profiles
  • Kenji Tsumura
    Age: 19
    Country: Japan
    Occupation: Semi-professional Magic Online Player
    How long have you played Magic: 6 years
    Highest Level achieved: Player of the Year 2005

    Quentin Martin
    Age: 22
    Country: England
    Occupation: None
    How long have you played Magic: 9 ½ years
    Highest Level achieved: 2nd at FNM (or maybe Top 8 at Pro Tour-Prague)

    Terry Soh
    Age: 19
    Country: Malaysia
    Occupation: Student
    How long have you played Magic: 7 years
    Highest Level achieved: Not until I win a Pro Tour

    Osamu Fujita
    Age: 28
    Country: Japan
    Occupation: Game debugger
    How long have you played Magic: 10 years
    Highest Level achieved: Worlds, Pro Tour

    Shouta Yasooka
    Age: 21
    Country: Japan
    Occupation: (not provided)
    How long have you played Magic: 7 years
    Highest Level achieved: Worlds

    Cynic Kim
    Age: 29
    Country: South Korea
    Occupation: Freelance
    How long have you played Magic: 4 years
    Highest Level achieved: Top 3 at a Grand Prix

    Ruud Warmenhoven
    Age: 24
    Country: The Netherlands
    Occupation: Part-time fisherman
    How long have you played Magic: 5 years
    Highest Level achieved: 12th at the 9th Edition Prerelease (and Top 8'd Pro Tour-Honolulu)

    Itaru Ishida
    Age: 26
    Country: Japan
    Occupation: Office worker
    How long have you played Magic: 12 years
    Highest Level achieved: Pro Tour Seattle finalist

    Grand Prix-Kuala Lumpur's Top 8.


     
  • Sunday, June 4: 7:40 p.m. - Draftin' with Quentin Martin
  • Apparently Quentin Martin has got a knack for this format. He finished in the Top 8 at Pro Tour-Prague just the other week, which he tells me was his prerelease, and has just cruised into another playoffs here in Kuala Lumpur. I figured hovering over his shoulder might be a good idea if I wanted to learn a thing or two about this format.

    The drafters concentrate, knowing fame is on the line.
    The first few picks in any draft are the formative ones, the ones that tell you in which direction you are fated to head. Sure, you can come in with a plan, but the whim of the packs can dictate otherwise, so you'd better be ready to follow if they're going to lead.

    Martin's first pack showed him some stuff that would be awesome in any given sealed deck, and a Snapping Drake. The Drake started his pile, and his second pack gave him call for pause. Osamu Fujita had shipped him Skyknight Legionnaire, Fiery Conclusion and Razia, Boros Archangel. The smart player inside was telling him to take the Skyknight, I could see it in his eyes (well, his ears at least, I was standing behind him), but the big kid in all can be a cantankerous beast, and Martin slammed that Angel onto his pile.

    Now you may see that as switching colors, and that's not an awful thing to do at that point, seeing as Fujita seemed content to send any Boros goodness his way. But the fact of the matter is that a blue/red/white deck allows for smooth, even drafting over the three packs. Giving you Azorius in the last pack, Izzet in the second and in the first pack -- the one we're looking at here -- you get the Boros and a bunch of great blue cards.

    Great blue cards, just like the Vedalken Dismisser he took third. A replacement Skyknight Legionnaire showed up fourth pick to replace the one he could have taken second, and from there it was a matter of filling in the gaps, including a gift Brightflame in sixth.

    But he wasn't out of the woods yet. Razia and Brightflame demand high-quality mana to work their Magic, and any single Boros fixer would have fitted the bill in pack one, but none came. When Martin opened his second pack, he almost took an Izzet Boilerworks over an Ogre Savant, but was thankfully rewarded with a pair of them third- and fourth- pick instead. I asked him how he rated his chances in such a strong Top 8.

    "I'd be disappointed with anything less than a finals appearance, but anything can happen obviously," Martin said. " I've just seen Ruud's deck for instance, and it's in-saaaane."


     
  • Sunday, June 4: 8:55 p.m. - The Quarterfinals Recap
  • Four matches, and one me. I can do that

    *snatches up camera, scorepad and trusty pen*

    Kenji Tsumura and Shouta Yasooka were the first to get underway, and the first to finish a game. Tsumura's Snapping Drake and Viashino Fangtail were looking somewhat outnumbered, until a timely Seize the Soul blew Yasooka's board position out of the water, and allowed Tsumura's flyers to take it home. Terry Soh and Osamu Fujita were the next to finish a game. Soh used his Steamcore Weird and a Fiery Conclusion to hold off Fujita's small, angry Gruul men for a while, but eventually a Skarrgan Skybreaker showed up and finished Soh off smartly.

    It's like a QF kaleidoscope!

    Ruud Warmenhoven was the next person to win one; his Blind Hunter and Ogre Gatecrasher tag-team won the race against Cynic Kim's Cytoplast Root-Kin, and Quentin Martin's small army of flyers overran Itaru Ishida's Stinkweed Imp and Dark Blast combo. Game 2 looked much better for Ishida, who had finally found his White mana. Any chance of a stall was out the window as Martin swung past Ishida's men with his Snapping Drake and Azorius Herald to take the match 2 - 0.

    While my back was turned, a couple of quick games transpired and Osamu Fujita finished Terry Soh off to win 2 - 1. Warmenhoven was looking pale in the face of Kim's Cytoplast Root-Kin, but this time with Graft friends and Family. Kenji Tsumura and Shouta Yasooka traded blows with their Helium Squirters, while other, less-hardy critters fell by the side. Tsumura eventually managing to take the match 2 - 1.

    Leaving Warmenhoven and Kim still fighting it out. Warmenhoven was somehow finding a way to stabilize in the face of a very unfavorable combat phase, staving off death with Withstand and squeaking out the last few points needed to win with his Squealing Devil to win 2 - 0.

    Quentin Martin defeats Itaru Ishida 2 - 0
    Osamu Fujita defeats Terry Soh 2 - 1
    Kenji Tsumura defeats Shouta Yasooka 2 - 1
    Ruud Warmenhoven defeats Cynic Kim 2 - 0


     
  • Sunday, June 4: 9:42 p.m. - The Semifinals recap


  • Down to two matches, no problem at all.

    Quentin Martin was facing a wall of Kenji Tsumura's best defense in Stinkweed Imp and Viashino Fangtail, and Ruud Warmenhoven was taking the control of the game with a Hypervolt Grasp, which was tearing apart Osamu Fujita's small beaters. A Plumes of Peace on Tsumura's Fangtail in combination with Benevolent Ancestor let Martin start swinging with his trusty Snapping Drake and friends, while Fujita once again landed his trusty Skarrgan Skybreaker to take the Game 1 back from Warmenhoven.

    Tsumura started his comeback with an Exhumer Thrull, filling the skies with Blue creatures a second time, only to have Martin smash them aside with a Brightflame, and then deliver the fatal beatings with his Razia. Warmenhoven's comeback was much better, his Bottled Cloister provided the exact draws he needed for something like eleven turns in a row to even up his match with Fujita at one apiece.

    Tsumura was faring much better in Game 2, his Wrecking Ball wrecking Martin's Razia, and his Rakdos Guildmage taking care of everything else. Meanwhile, Warmenhoven had the misfortune to be short on mana verses Fujita's fast Gruul beats, losing the last game rather quickly. Despite managing to kill off Tsumura's Rakdos Guildmage four times, it still managed to repeatedly Waltz back into play and forcibly take Martin to the third game.

    Osamu Fujita defeats Ruud Warmenhoven 2 - 1
    Quentin Martin

    Kenji Tsumura



     
  • Sunday, June 4: 11:37 p.m. - Finals - Osamu Fujita verses Kenji Tsumura


  • I was warned that the Japanese would be coming to this event, seeing it as both a soft seat and a cheap trip. Sure enough, Kenji Tsumura and Osamu Fujita are here facing each other in the finals, but what they had to get through to get here was anything but easy. This has been one of the strongest Grand Prix top 8's seen in this part of the world since, well, in quite some time anyway!

    Tsumura opened with an unspectacular mulligan to five, and was very quickly facing two Scab-Clan Maulers with Sporeback Troll backup. The Graft party is that much better when the guests bring their own counters. Tsumura managed to take Fujita's Troll out of the equation with his Rakdos Guildmage, but soon found himself facing bigger and meaner beasts. When Fujita flipped a Shambling Shell off the top, and started pointing his creatures in Tsumura's direction, the young Player of the Year scooped up his cards.

    Game 2 seemed to start well for Fujita, with an Elves of Deep Shadow into a Shambling Shell on turn two. However, after that he somehow managed to go turn after turn without playing anything but Land for the rest if the game. Tsumura was tentative as he slowly probed at Fujita's board position, finally plucking up the courage to send in the clowns to put Fujita out of his misery.

    Both players dropped to six cards for the last game of the tournament, giving me some precious time to catch up on my typing while they shuffled each other's decks again. Fujita lead with the perfect play, an Elves of Deep Shadow into a Scab-Clan Mauler. Tsumura trumped it with a turn three Stinkweed Imp, but Fujita sent in the Mauler anyway, to keep up the pressure, and followed it up with another Shambling Shell and a Silhana Ledgewalker.

    For his fourth turn, Tsumura changed the pace and direction of the match by suddenly flopping out his Moroii. Fujita's army was just a little too small to get past Moroii at this point, so he emptied his hand to play out a Streetbreaker Wurm. Tsumura calmly swung over the top with his Moroii and added an Enemy of the Guildpact to his board, stopping the Wurm in its tracks. Fujita topdecked and played out a Golgari Signet with a scowl, while Tsumura replayed his Stinkweed Imp and added a Morgue Thrull. Ragamuffyn was Fujita's less than stellar rejoinder, while Tsumura continued swinging in with his air force to take chucks out of Fujita's life total.

    Ragamuffin ate the Ledgewalker during Fujita's upkeep, and again he passed the turn back with plenty of mana and no play. Tsumura pressed Fujita with a Consult the Necrosages, and he dumped the Overwhelm he had drawn. Fujita had obviously wanted the Ragamuffyn back online before he played the Overwhelm, to give the biggest potential damage possible. With the coast clear, Tsumura attacked with the majority of his guys, leaving back a solitary Petrahydrox on defense. Fujita pulled his next card on the table and slowly took a peek at it. His face split into a grin and he offered his hand to his friend, officially making Kenji Tsumura the Grand Prix Kuala Lumpur Champion.

    Kenji Tsumura defeats Osamu Fujita 2 - 1



     
  • Sunday, June 4: 12:09 p.m. - Decklists: The Top 8 Decks










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