The Beginning Of The End In St. Louis

There’s only one more Open Series weekend before the Invitational closes out the year in Charlotte, with players scrambling for qualification, byes, and the Player of the Year title!

The StarCityGames.com Open Series has just one more weekend to go before we hit Charlotte for our end of the year Invitational, and that’s the St. Louis event starting Saturday! With Thanksgiving in the rearview mirror, we’re heading west for a fine event in the state of Illinois. This will mark our third trip to St. Louis, with the first one being an inaugural 10k weekend waaay back in the day.

Richard Wayne and Pat McGregor took down the dual Opens that first weekend, with Mono Red and Aggro Loam, respectively, while Joey Mispagel and Josh Guibault won the Standard and Legacy during the second St. Louis Open Weekend. Pat and Joey have each claimed a second Open title since then, in Kansas City and Memphis, while Josh has grinded a series of consistent Legacy finishes following that victory. I imagine we’ll see all of them, and several other familiar faces, this weekend.

Speaking of familiar faces, the StarCityGames.com Player of the Year race has really heated up. Reigning titleholder Alex Bertoncini has a slim lead after his strong Las Vegas result, sitting on 247 points, but Edgar Flores and Gerry Thompson are nipping at his heels with 240 and 238 points, respectively. Gerry in particular may have taken a large risk by skipping out on the Las Vegas tournament, as both Alex and Edgar managed to post Top 8 finishes at that Open Series event. Between St. Louis and Charlotte, will Gerry be able to recreate his lead, snagging the title and a set of Power 9 along with it?

Hosted at the Gateway Convention Center, the St. Louis Open Series has an $89/night hotel deal just down the street at the Doubletree by Hilton, which is technically in Illinois. Worth noting is that the hotel itself is offering free parking, and is walking distance from the event hall! Look for the event itself in Ballrooms C-D.

We’ve got the usual alterists’ row this weekend, featuring Mike Fairservice and Blake Meade. Mike is a 3-D alterist with a gallery on DeviantArt, visible here if you’d like to browse his previous work. Contact Mike ahead of time via his Facebook group if you’d like more information, or to set up a commission early. Mike has some sweet innovations going on in his work, including the blending of WoW TCG art with Magic frames for some sensational pieces. As a fan of WoW myself, I can’t help but approve!

Blake Meade is a personality you may be familiar with from Twitter (@blakemeade, of course) but he also wields a mean paint brush. My favorites of Blake’s work feature quality extensions with a lot of color play, so if you’re in search of a more “classic” alter than the 3-D version, drop by Blake’s booth. You can check out his blog for a look, and email him at [email protected] if you’re interested in learning more about his rates and the alterations available.

Of course, these guys need something to alter. If you’re in need of cards, StarCityGames.com has your back. While we pride ourselves on maintaining a packed sales booth at each and every show, the fact is that you should order in advance anything you’ll want to guarantee we’ve got. If you place an order on our website by noon EST on Wednesday, you’ll incur no shipping charges if you select “SCG Open St. Louis, IL” as your shipping option. We’ll hand-deliver you the cards on-site when you arrive!

I’ll be working coverage with the rest of SCGLive this weekend. Director Jeremy Noell is handling the booth behind the scenes, while esteemed commentators Brian Kibler and Adrian Sullivan will be heading the broadcast live. Both Brian and Adrian are members of Magic’s old guard and are known for pushing creativity and innovation in a competitive environment—I imagine they’ll have a lot to say about one of the most diverse and interesting Standard formats in recent memory! Wolf Run Ramp just took down Worlds after being forced to heel, but I doubt very much we’ll see that archetype running it back for the win this weekend.

Of course, you’ll have to watch to find out! @SCGLive will be broadcasting all weekend, and you can follow the event on Twitter using the hashtag #SCGSTL to keep up with everyone else. Enjoy the show, and get pumped for Charlotte next weekend!

Glenn Jones

Coverage Content Manager