29, Mar, 21

Kaldheim Championship: Huschenbeth Handles Controversial Top 8

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Article at a Glance

Magic: The Gathering staged its Kaldheim Championship on MTG Arena over the weekend, with German Planeswalker Arne Huschenbeth winning the $15,000 grand prize and a spot in the upcoming Challengers Gauntlet. The exciting final day of competition was not without controversy, however, as the ruling to replay a game in the Top 8 bracket raised concerns about Arena‘s capacity to host premier Magic events.

Huschenbeth was a Challenger going into this tournament, meaning that he was neither a member of the Magic Pro League or the Rivals League. A member of the Hareruya Pro Team, he was one of two undefeated players at 7-0 after the first day of competition. The German player continued his strong run through the second day of competition, dropping only three matches and securing his place in the Top 8 at third seed. This was his second top finish after his semifinal appearance in last year’s Player Tour Online 4.

Read More: Where to Watch Kaldheim Championship & Everything Else You Need to Know

Kaldheim Championship Top 8 Bracket

Huschenbeth faced a tough Top 8 double elimination bracket but managed to take it down without dropping a single match. He first vanquished Japanese Challenger Noriyuki Mori on an innovative Gruul Food deck. His finely tuned Dimir Rogues list then snuck past Rivals League player Grzegorz Kowalski and 2018 Magic World Champion Javier Dominguez.

Kowalski, a formidable competitor and popular Magic streamer with three top finishes, battled his way through the lower bracket to book a rematch with Huschenbeth for the Championship. Fortunately for the German Challenger, Kowalski and his Sultai Ultumatum deck, the tournament’s most played Standard archetype, failed to take revenge, and Huschenbeth was victorious. This was Kowalski’s second loss in a premier event Final after Dominguez defeated him to secure his World Championship.

Huschenbeth’s paved his way to the Kaldheim Championship trophy with tight the technical play that playing Dimir Rogues demands. His calm, calculating performance drew praise on social media.

Game Replayed In Kaldheim Championship Top 8

The Kaldheim Championship Top 8 also sparked controversy when a lower bracket match had to be replayed. During the match between Kowalski and two-time World Champion Shahar Shenhar, Shenhar appeared to experience a disconnection from the match while a crucial Emergent Ultimatum was resolving. It appeared that Kowalski was set to win that game after Shenhar disconnected. After some time, Wizards of the Coast released this statement:

In another strange turn of events, the second game of this match was replayed again after an issue with sideboarding was identified by tournament administrators. Kolwaski eventually made it out of this bizarre four-game elimination match, only to fall to Huschenbeth in the Grand Final.

Read More: Magic: The Gathering Arena Facing Technical Issues After Latest Game Update

PVDDR’s World Champion Card Revealed

Aside from skilled technical play and controversial admin rulings, Sunday’s Top 8 Twitch stream also revealed a new card from Strixhaven: School of Mages. Elite Spellbinder from the latest set features Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa’s likeness thanks to his World Championship win in Honolulu, Hawaii in February of last year.

This powerful White disruptive creature has potential to see play in several competitive formats. Its abilities are perhaps unsurprising as a tribute to PVDDR, as he is known for wielding aggro-control strategies like Faeries with formidable precision.

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