The day started off busy, with record-breaking total of 217 teams in attendance. The teams are competing for a prize total of $15,000 plus invitations to Pro Tour New York for the top 4 teams.
Some competitors, such as Bob Maher, Trevor Blackwell and Alex Shvartsman, are also here to try and boost their Pro Points in order to have a better chance of winning the coveted Pro Player of the Year title for 2000. With only a few Grand Prix tournaments before Worlds, this is one of the last few chances they will have to try and overtake the leader in the Pro Player of the Year race, Darwin Kastle.
Most of the teams at the event were Japanese, but two American and two Taiwanese teams also came to play. The most experienced team player was Alex Shvartsman, who has been to all three of the team-format Grand Prix, playing with three different team compositions.
Through Pro Points and DCI Rating, six teams managed to accumulate the maximum amount, two byes for this Grand Prix. These include Wachi-De (a Japanese team), T.F.Z. (featuring Itaru Ishida and Japanese National Champion Masayuki Higashino), Team Wild (featuring Taiwan players Doctor Wong, Jack Ho and Robin Ki), Godzilla (featuring the US powerhouse of Pro Tour Chicago winner Bob Maher, Pro Tour Paris winner, Michael Long and Pro Tour regular David Williams), Poor Shark, and New Wave (featuring Singapore player Nick Wong along with Pro Tour winner Trevor Blackwell and Grand Prix superstar Alex Shvartsman). Through their play skill and with the help of the byes, all of these teams finished in the top twenty and will advance to day 2 of the Grand Prix. If you have byes for a particular Grand Prix, it's definitely worth your time to consider attending.
The format for the first day was Mercadian Masques and Nemesis sealed deck. Each three-person team received two Mercadian Masques tournament packs and four Nemesis boosters. The amount of cards was reduced slightly from the three tournament pack and three booster pack allotment that Pro Tour Washington D.C. used. This led to decks that were not quite as powerful and led to a wider variety of deck types and color combinations. The format was very interesting to watch and the decisions that players made in deck construction were very interesting.
Sunday's format is three rounds of team Rochester Draft. Only the top twenty teams advance to Sunday. Before each round, teams Rochester Draft against their opposing team, construct decks then play one match. This is repeated for rounds 8, 9 and 10 of the tournament. The top four teams then Rochester Draft in single-elimination play.
Sideboard Online will have complete coverage for day two of competition, including drafting strategies, decks, player interviews and finals reports.
Here are the twenty teams advancing to Sunday's competition:
Godzilla - 21 points. USA
Team Iwamoto - 19 points. Japan
New Wave - 18 points. USA & Singapore.
Nagoyan - 18 points. Japan.
Masato Club - 18 points. Japan.
Unlucky's - 18 points. Japan.
Sakura Gumi - 18 points. Japan.
Team T.T.Y. - 18 points. Japan.
Ray Force - 18 points. Japan.
Executioners - 17 points. Japan.
Wachi-De? - 16 points. Japan.
Poor Shark - 16 points. Japan.
T.F.Z. - 16 points. Japan.
Team Masato - 16 points. Japan.
Team Geddon Beta - 16 points. Japan.
Long Thinking Neo Alpha - 16 points. Japan.
Trickster - 16 points. Japan.
I's - 15 points. Japan.
Team Imabiki - 15 points. Japan.
Team Wild - 15 points. Taiwan.
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