Welcome back to our weekly update, where we go over what’s new in the European Legacy scene. This week, we are aiming our spotlight at the Austrian Legacy community, and check back in with the Italians, who recently announced part of their ELM squad. Let’s dive right in.
Community Spotlight: Austria
When people talk about competitive Magic, there will usually be very little mention of Austria. The auspicious alpine republic in the heart of Europe has mostly remained in the shadows of their bigger neighbours – with Germany in the north and Italy in the south claiming most of the limelight at larger events. However, a couple of players have stepped up over the past few years, to lay the foundations for what is now a thriving Legacy scene.
The first of these players is Philipp Klein (@PhinekMTG). Philipp is the winner of the last Austrian Legacy Nationals in 2019, and together with Stefan Steiner from the Game Store in Linz, founded the Austrian Legacy League (ALL). Every week on Friday, they host a proxy-friendly Legacy event, where players accumulate points towards a seasonal ranking. After 36 weeks, it all culminates in the ALL Season’s End Tournament, where a final winner is crowned.
What sets the Austrian Legacy League apart from similar operations elsewhere, is how much effort they put into building a real brand, as evidenced by their significant online presence. The league has a dedicated website, Facebook page and Twitter account, posts frequent updates with announcements and photos, publishes decklists, and shares interesting graphics that detail the local metagame.
Early 2020, Philipp decided to take his dedication to the format to an even higher level, and together with Peter Plank (@unicornL0rd) and Daniel Pernusch (@FlyingDelver), started the In Response Podcast. Every three weeks, the IR guys get together to chronicle their adventures at the ALL, discuss the metagame, or offer in-depth analysis of specific decks or events. As of writing, more than 42 episodes have been published, and we highly recommend that you add them to your playlist, if you haven’t already.
Finally, the ALL and IR Podcast crew are actively involved in the European Legacy Masters, with ALL acting as the official ELM committee member for Austria, and IR even sponsoring the event! More details regarding this sponsorship will be revealed soon.
Linz is not the only hotbed for Austrian Legacy though. Over in Vienna, a couple of former Pro Magic players have been running Legacy events as well – next to being among the top online retailers in Europe.
Three-for-One Trading is a familiar name for many, as they have been a fixture as a floor trader at every major Legacy event over the past decade. Run by a team stacked with GP and PT accomplishments, they organize a bimonthly 1K at their store just outside the city center. Speaking of which: their next event on October 29th will be the final Austrian qualifier for the European Legacy Masters, so be sure to mark that one in your calendars.
341 Legacy 1K (1 slot)
Also in Vienna is Spielraum, which hosts weekly Legacy events on Wednesday night, drawing about a dozen regulars consistently. This combination of weekly league play and frequent 1K events, means that there is plenty of Legacy to be had in the nation’s capitol, even if you hear somewhat less about it on social media.
So, which three Austrian players have already secured their spot at this year’s European Legacy Masters? Let’s take a look:
First up, we have Jonas Bauernfeind, who won the latest ALL Season’s End tournament, and unbeknownst to himself, snatched an invite for ELM right before the event got announced. Jonas is a prime example of a local endboss who has yet to break out on the big stage, and we wish him the best of luck while competing against Europe’s finest.
Joining Jonas, from Linz, we have Markus Schmidhuber, who qualified through consistency rather than spiking a single qualifer. Relying mostly on his skills with BR Reanimator and UR Delver, Markus dominated the latest ALL season, with an insane 63% winrate in over 135 matches. This was enough to earn him the second slot in Austria’s ELM squad.
Finally there is Stefan Schütz, also known as MentalMisstep on MTGO, where he is a force to be reckoned with. Stefan took down the Legacy event of Eternal Weekend Online in 2021, but Grand Prix are where Stefan’s inner beast really comes out. In 181 recorded matches at GPs, Stefan managed to reach an incredible 127-53-1 record – amounting to a winrate of just over 70%, the highest recorded for any player. These stats were more than enough to convince the Austrian community to award Stefan a direct invitation to ELM, and we couldn’t agree more.
What’s up, Italy?
Last week, we mentioned that the Italians were about to reveal more details regarding their ELM squad during MarcoMale’s Twitch stream. Here’s what we learned, as we tuned in last Sunday.
The first member of the team was no surpise, as Gian Marco Pagano, better known as @NossmanMTG, earned his invitation by winning the 2022 Italian Legacy Inviational. Gian Marco is primarily known for his work on the UG ThoughtShift deck that he used to take down the invitational with, but he’s been a mainstay in the Roman Legacy scene for years.
To flank Gian Marco, the Italian ELM representative selected two more players, whose accomplishments stand tall even amongst the many talented players in the region. Claudio Bonanni is arguably the best known member of the Wooded Team, and has been crushing Legacy tournaments across the continent consistently ever since his win at GP Lille 2015. Generally regarded as one of the best Miracles players on the planet, it is hard to imagine an Italian delegation without him, so his inclusion on the team as a direct invitee should come to noone’s surprise.
The other Italian Legacy specialist that couldn’t be sidelined is, of course, Angelo Cadei. While a GP Top 8 has somehow managed to elude him during all this time, Angelo is one of the true giants of the format, with over two dozen Top 8s at 100+ player events, across more than 20 years of playing Legacy. Whether it’s BoM, Cardmarket Series, Ovino or 4Seasons, Angelo has made the playoffs in all of them, and we are excited to see him take his shot at adding yet another laurel to his impressive list of achievements.
So then, who is going to be the fourth member of the team? Well, that’s still up in the air. Not one to turn down a good opportunity for some exicting gameplay, the Italian ELM representatives have reached out to 16 of the strongest Italian MTGO players, and invited them to compete in a special event, where the winner will earn the final ELM qualification. Here are the players that will be competing:
|Riccardo Biava||Ivan Fuseri|
|Matteo Blasi||Gianluca Gazzola|
|Federico Bonadè||Emanuele Marcotti|
|Paolo Buschi||Marco Montani|
|Michele Carretta||Paoplo Pavesi|
|Franco Cicchini||Lorenzo Tassone|
|Manuel Drudi||Alessandro Teneggi|
|Elia Felisati||Marco Vassallo|
Represented in this list are at least 5 Legacy GP Top 8s, a bunch of 4Seasons and MKM Top 8s, and more MTGO Challenge Top 8s than you can shake a big stick at. Each of these players would be a fantastic representative for their country, but fierce battle through 5 rounds of swiss, followed by a Top 4, will decide who earns the golden ticket.
The event date and more details regarding coverage will be announced soon, but we are already looking forward to seeing these Legacy specialists give it their best, while competing for the chance to defend the home team at the 2022 European Legacy Masters.
September doesn’t feature any more qualifiers for the ELM, but things will start to heat up fast when October rolls around. Portugese qualifiers have been announced recently, and the first one is right around the corner, with Bracara Eternal in Braga giving away two precious invites. That same day, at Mox in the Hole in Edinburgh, the first UK slot will also be up for grabs.
Bracara Eternal @ Drawstep (2 slots)
Dublin Legacy Showdown (4 slots)
For a complete list of qualification opportunities per country, click here.
As always, thank you for reading this week’s update. We hope you enjoyed the read, and that you will come back for more next week.
Until then, enjoy playing the greatest format of them all, and keep being awesome!