Alexandros Argyriou became the second Flesh and Blood World Champion, winning with Fai, Rising Rebellion this past weekend in Barcelona.
The relatively unknown player from Greece made his mark in the biggest possible event, converting a PTI into the title of World Champion. After 14 Rounds (eight Classic Constructed, six Bright Lights Draft) of Swiss, Yuki Lee Bender of Canada and Easton Douglas of the United States sat atop the standings leaving 10 players at 11 match wins to take the final six slots in the Top 8. Argyriou snuck into the Top 8 as the No. 8 seed and a glimmer of hope to etch his name in the Flesh and Blood history books.
Argyriou was one of two players in the Top 8 on Fai, joined by two copies of Iyslander, Stormbind, two copies of Dash, Inventor Extraordinaire, and solo representatives on Dromai, Ash Artist and Katsu, the Wanderer. The Classic Constructed meta was fresh and diverse following the departure of Lexi, Livewire from the format after reaching Living Legend. No hero accounted for more than 20 percent of the field, as the 463-person event was paced by Iyslander and Dromai at 17 and 16 percent, respectively.
Of the seven most-played heroes, only Bravo, Showstopper and Azalea, Ace in the Hole failed to make the Top 8 cut. If Iyslander won the tournament, it would ascend the Elemental Wizard to Living Legend and be responsible for both World Champions. But Argyriou would have no part in letting the Icy Wizard put out the Draconic flame of his Ninja hero.
Argyriou took down Bender, the top seed who crushed the Swiss with a record of 13-1, on Iyslander in the quarterfinals. He then proceeded to knock out Aaron Shantz, another Canadian, on Dromai to reach the finals. Argyriou faced the other Iyslander in the finals, in the hands of Hong Kong’s Shing Tsang.
Argyriou put the pressure on Tsang from the start and never took his foot off the gas. He found key blue-pitch resources on multiple turns, allowing him to chain the most aggressive possible attacks to limit the amount of time Tsang could set up a counterattack. Tsang held on as best as he could, attempting to stabilize and turn the corner with a flourish of instants, but a tournament-ending Art of War sealed the deal for Argyriou.
Argyriou won $100,000, a gold foil legendary black envelope, a PTI, and the coveted Champion’s Prize Card for Fai, Rising Rebellion.
Two more winners were crowned in Barcelona as well. Florin-Cristian Loghin won the Bright Lights Limited Calling, drafting Maxx Nitro in the Top 8.
And Lucas Oswald won the Living Legend Battle Hardened with Bravo, Star of the Show.
The Battle Hardened event was the first Living Legend tournament featuring 281 players, 112 of those opting to play Bravo, Star of the Show The hero was so dominant, he made up all eight slots in the Top 8.
Decklists from the weekend can be found on the Flesh and Blood website.