One of the more highly anticipated Public Events this weekend was the Magic Online Laptop Tournament held on (wait for it) Magic Online. Sixty-four players vied for the chance to win an impressive Alienware laptop prize package, and 8-person drafts were held throughout the weekend in a special computer kiosk set up specifically for the event.
Players duke it out on Magic Online for the chance at an Alienware laptop.
Only two of those players could meet in the finals, however and they were AJ Sacher (aka "Phish4") and Kyle Dembinski (aka "kdem2357"). It was Dembinski’s aggressive red-green deck that managed to win the day, defeating Sacher’s blue-white concoction despite the fact that Sacher had some bomby enchantments in the form of Armored Ascension
and Puca’s Mischief
. Before collecting his prize, Dembinski sat down to talk about his experience.
"I started playing in Ravnica, but I didn’t really start playing competitively until Lorwyn," he said. That’s quite a meteoric rise for the young college student, who admitted that he doesn’t play much Magic Online normally. "I rarely play online, but I play a lot in real life," he explained. "I won a PTQ for Berlin."
Being qualified for the upcoming Pro Tour and winning a laptop package with an estimated value of $4,000 aren’t the only accomplishments he’s got. Kyle had already qualified for Pro Tour–Kobe and recently earned a Top 32 finish at Grand Prix–Indianapolis.
Was he excited he had won?
Kyle Dembinski showing off his first-place prize.
"Yeah. This made it [Magic Weekend] a lot better. My friend [Michael Jacob] just won Nationals too, so these last few hours have been the best."
When asked if he was excited about his deck for the final table, he demurred.
"Not really. After the draft I thought my deck was pretty bad. My deck to get into the Top 8 was way good!"
Dembinski, a chemical engineering student at the University of Michigan, joined friends Adam Boyd and Brian Boss for the event, explaining he had met the two over the summer after returning to his hometown of Kansas City for an internship. He explained he had also played some grinders, but that he was leaving as soon as our interview was over.
"One of my friends has to be at work by 11 p.m., and it’s an eight-hour drive. Plus it’s his first day on the job!"
Heading home with a victory and the top prize in the trunk, somehow it seems Kyle probably won’t feel as bad about that as his friend will.