The last Charlotte Open Series made
history, with Dan Jordan winning his first of two
consecutive Standard Opensâ€”the second came in Boston, and made the Player
of the Year race a very strange sweat for Alex Bertoncini. Before that, Charlotte was the site of our first major event in what would later transform
into the Open Series: a single Standard $5k championship won by Chris Woltereck.
This year, it will be no less historic.
Gerry Thompson locked Level 8 in our Open Series Player’s Club at the
Boston tournament last weekend, and Alex Bertoncini is only a few points behind him. A Standard Open Top 32 or a Legacy Open Top 16 will guarantee Alex
the most prestigious level in our Club, and even a flop means that Alex will only have to wait until the Orlando Open to lock it in. Let’s take a look
at everything that Alex and Gerry will be entitled to:
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â One free pack of sleeves at each StarCityGames.com Open Weekend
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Free entry into each Constructed StarCityGames.com Open
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Qualification for both StarCityGames.com Invitationals
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Two byes at each Constructed StarCityGames.com Open
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â A $250 Appearance Fee at every StarCityGames.com Open Weekend
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â A playset of every Standard-legal Magic set upon release
Including Charlotte, there are nineteen more tournament weekends this year, two of which are Invitationals. Even if they scrub both Invitationals,
Gerry and Alex will each save over $1,000 in entry fees at each Open Series while earning $4,750 in Appearance fees just for showing up! Right now, a
playset of New Phyrexia costs $749.99 on our website, and they’ll be receiving each set as it releases for the next twenty months. That’s seven sets,
which ballparks at over $5,000 in cards by the time December 2012 rolls around. Even if they never record a money finish again over the next twenty
months, Gerry and Alex will net over $10,000 in valueâ€”each.
Plus, you know, the sleeves. Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, here we come!
Of course, Gerry and Alex have both managed to prove that they won’t rest on their laurels. Collecting two Open Series trophies apiece in Standard and
Legacy respectively, Gerry and Alex have cemented their claim to top dogs of the tournament circuit as the Player of the Year race heats up. Even
considering the assistance of two byes at each tournament, their rapid ascent in just four months is incredible.
Of course, not everyone had byes at the start of the year. Edgar Flores is nipping at their heels and sitting on exactly 100 points with Level 7 status
as we go into Charlotte. With a Standard Open win or a pair of strong finishes in both Charlotte Opens, Edgar could actually vault to Level 8 himself!
He’s already racking up similar-sized dollar signs, and at this point it seems only inevitable. Many thought that Gerry and Alex would run away with
Player of the Year, but Edgar is doing his best to prove them wrong.
Right behind Edgar Flores is AJ Sacher, one of the best-known grinders in Magic on the strength of his tournament finishes and eloquent columns. AJ’s
heating up on the Open Series and posted dual Top 8 finishes in Boston this weekend. His
mastery of Legacy and Standard has been well-documented, including a mix of Top 8s and Top 16s in both formats only rivaled by Bertoncini’s
AJ is the best grinder on the Series without a trophy, but I’m confident that he’ll be passing that title onto someone else very, very soon.
There’s a mix of dedicated players on Levels 4 and 5, including Level 5 Drew Levin and Level 4s Chris VanMeter and Shaheen Soorani. These players are
among the warlocks to watch during the race for Rookie of the Year, all entering the 2011 Open Series without any points from 2010, making the title a
simple race for Open Series points.
Drew is grinding more tournaments and has taken a very strong lead of 14 points, but it’s a long year. Shaheen Soorani is one of many talented players
on the east coast, and Chris VanMeter is a rising star this year, with Pro Tour and Nationals qualifications already in the bag. If Drew wants to put
these two out of reach, he’ll need to put on his game face.
After defending his Boston Open Series title, Dan Jordan began to entertain the idea of running it back for Charlotte as well. Obviously, I think he
should, but I think Dan could use some encouragementâ€”if you know Dan, pester him. If you’d like to see him in Charlotte, sound off on the forums. We
could all use a little more Dan Jordan in our lives.
Besides, if he’s in Charlotte, you won’t risk bumping into him on MTGO.
The twin Opens on Saturday and Sunday are our main events in Charlotte, but we’ll also have plenty of little things on the side. Troll and Toad and
Face-to-Face Games have already locked up space for their booths alongside our own StarCityGames.com sales booth, and preorders are already going into
the system. If you want us to bring your cards to Charlotte, place the order quickly!
We won’t have any artists at the Charlotte Open Series, although Eric Deschamps will be back along with Mark Stewart for our June Open Series in
Baltimore. Hannah Murray and Lindsay Burley will both be offering card alters from their booths in Charlotte, however. If you missed the opportunity to
place an order with either of them in Boston, now’s your chance. You can see Lindsay’s workhere and here, and she also accepts orders for her dazzling 3-D
card alters in advance via email: [email protected]. Hannah has recently built a website, www.hannahalters.com, which offers images of her past work and contact information. To place an order for
one of her high-quality painted alters, use her email: [email protected]. If you’d like your own
alteration station for one of our events, email [email protected] and he’ll be
happy to discuss terms with you.
For all SCGLive fans out there, we’ve got plenty in store for you, too. Last weekend we debuted our MTGO account, SCGLive, which Wizards graciously
granted us for the purpose of bringing more Magic to your home viewing experience. We’d like to begin building a roster of followers who consistently
watch our coverage and will be available to play MTGO with Tier 1 decks in both Legacy and Standard. If you’d like to be considered, you’ll need
Twitter and an MTGO account stocked with a few decks. Direct message @SCGLive with the hastag #MTGOfight and include your MTGO name when we’re
soliciting for opponents during the Open Series.
In addition to that feature, we’re introducing Gerard Fabiano as our special guest commentator! Alongside his good friend Jacob Van Lunen, Gerard will
be bringing his stories, style, and savvy to our coverage all weekend long. Coverage will begin broadcasting at noon EST on Saturday.
Until then, you’ll have to contain your excitement to Twitter.
P.S. I’ve been receiving some solid and interesting feedback via Twitter, Facebook, and my own email ([email protected]), and I wanted to thank everyone who is trying to help make SCGLive a
better experience. It’s much appreciated!