Good day to you one and all! Welcome to this week’s edition of the ELM update, where we go over the latest developments regarding the preparations and qualifying season for the European Legacy Masters.
We’ve been announcing a lot of star power from some of Europe’s biggest countries lately, so this time around, we figured we would switch it up a bit. This week is all about some of our smaller communities, with qualifier results from Ireland and Switzerland, and an in-depth look at one of the lesser known Legacy scenes in Europe: Bulgaria. Want to know what’s cooking between the Balkans and the Black Sea? Let’s find out together.
Community Spotlight: Bulgaria
One of the joys of working on the European Legacy Masters, is all the amazing people you get to meet. When the project was first conceived, none of the dozen people involved had any connections to the Bulgarian Legacy community, and we were unsure if would would be able to get them involved at all. Luckily, Alexander Mitev picked up our batsignal on Twitter, and found their way into our DMs.
Alexander has been a longtime competitive Magic player, going all the way back to 2011 when they grinded the local PTQ scene. Although their job responsibilities forced them to dial down on competitive play since then, their love for the game remained, and their focus shifted to the Legacy format. When asked about the Legacy scene in their country, they tell a story that sounds all too familiar.
The Bulgarian Legacy scene has never been huge, with tournaments usually reaching around 30 players a decade ago, including the occasional visitors from Greece, Serbia and Romania. However, the same forces that ate into the Legacy playerbase across the globe, applied to Bulgaria. There’s of course the price spikes on reserved list cards, that gradually raised the barrier to entry for the format to unattainable heights. Then there were a few unsavory printings, that caused the format to become stale during the 2018-2020 era, which made another round of players leave the community. Finally, Covid hit.
During the lockdowns, Alexander found the Paper Legacy Discord, and with it, a place to keep playing their favourite format. Inspired by the idea, they set up a monthly Legacy league of their own, in an attempt to keep the Legacy flame burning while the global pandemic raged outside. But when Alexander went back out looking for real-life events in 2021, they found that there was nowhere left to go. So, once again, they decided to take matters into their own hands.
Together with the owner of Mox Games in Sofia, they started running monthly tournaments in addition to the League. At first they had trouble getting events to fire, but eventually, as more players found their way to the tournaments, these evolved into Duel For Horizons, taking place every two months.
It is a lucky coincidence that, just as Alexander was trying to reinvigorate their local scene, the European Legacy Masters were announced. Alexander was quick to reach out to us, and proposed a varied qualification scheme for their country’s competitors:
- 1 slot to the top ranked player of the first ten Legacy leagues.
- 1 slot to the winner of the October Legacy league.
- 2 slots for the finalists at Duels for Horizons on October 9th.
And so, earlier this month, 24 players found their way to Sofia, to battle for the first two Bulgarian inviations to ELM. After five rounds of swiss and top 8 playoffs, Miroslav Slavov ended up on top, with trusty old UR Delver.
|1st||Miroslav Slavov||UR Delver|
|3-4th||Alexey Romanchuk||4C Control|
|3-4th||Viktor Lambrev||Bant Valakut|
|5-8th||Stefan Pavlov||BR Reanimator|
|5-8th||Martin Marinov||UR Delver|
The top 8 lists can be found here.
While the winner Miroslav is not yet sure if he’ll be able to make it to Bologna, the runner-up, Boncho Dimitrov, was more than happy to accept his invitation, and so we will be seeing him soon at the European Legacy Masters!
So what does the future hold for the Bulgarian Legacy scene? Well, the first order of business is determining who will join Boncho on his adventure. As this month’s Legacy league unfolds and the last invitation from Duel from Horizons gets sorted out, we’ll be sure to report back on that soon.
There’s also a sweet anniversary coming up, as the Bulgarian community is celebrating 15 years of Legacy in November. To honour the occasion, a special Duel for Duals tournament will take place on November 27th at Mox Games, with an impressive prize pool that is partly sponsored by the players themselves.
So it seems like things are looking up again for the Legacy community in Bulgaria, and it goes to show that even when things look dire, just a single motivated individual can make all the difference. We hope the European Legacy Masters can help give more players just that little extra push they need to come out and play, and that the Bulgarian Legacy scene may conitnue to grow and thrive.
Thank you to Alexander for all the work they have poured into their community, for reaching out to the ELM committee to represent their country, and for sharing their story with us.
Lands on top in Lausanne
The first ELM Qualifier for Switzerland, organized by Azcanta Tournaments, took place in Lausanne last weekend. 31 players gathered to fight for not just an invite, but also a €150 travel coupon to help finance their trip. Delver dominated the swiss and landed four players into the top 8, but eventually, it was Hermann Fehlauer who came out on top, with Lands.
|2nd||Evan Aguzzi||UR Delver|
|3-4th||Jérome La Rosa||UG Omni-Tell|
|3-4th||Noe Dumez||UB Death’s Shadow|
|5-8th||Lou Dumez||Death and Taxes|
|5-8th||Frédéric Isler||UR Delver|
|5-8th||Marcus Frutiger||UR Delver|
Top 8 lists can be consulted here.
Congratulations to Hermann, and best of luck to the rest of the Swiss community, when they battle for the remaining slots at the Swiss Magic Masters this Sunday in Bern, or at Magic Sunday in Zürich on November 13th.
Results from Dublin
Last weekend also featured Ireland‘s one and only ELM Qualifier at Brindle Coffee & Wine in Dublin, where qualifications were offered to the top four competitors. Because the Irish Legacy community is not very large, expectations were that this was going to be one of the smaller qualifiers of the season. This combination of factors caught the interest of one player in particular.
Remember what happened at the London Legacy Monthly last week?
After falling to Italy’s Lorenzo Tassone and his Delver deck in the finals of the LLM, it appears that Matt Brown decided to walk the pirate’s path himself, and sailed the Irish Sea in hopes of conquering that tantalizing treasure.
With 21 players in attendance, his chances looked good indeed, and after clutching a 4-1 record in the swiss, Matt found himself locked for top 4 and qualified for the European Legacy Masters.
|1-4th||Bruno Finatti||4C Minsc Blade|
|1-4th||Andrew Richardson||Death and Taxes|
The top 4 was split, and decklists can be found here.
Because not everyone knew for sure whether they could make it to Bologna, some of the ELM slots are still being confirmed. What we do know, is that at least one other UK native will benefit from an invite being passed down. Joining Matt at ELM, and also coming off a near miss at the London Legacy Monthly, is London based Yat-Ka Leung.
Seeing players from neighbouring communities travel to events and clutch their invites, is an inspiring tale we are delighted to tell, so we salute Matt and Yat-Ka for taking their shots, and wish them the best of luck at the European Legacy Masters on December 3rd.
The biggest event on this week’s calendar is Axion’s The Gathering Birmingham, which takes place this weekend and features two massive Legacy events, each awarding one of the last remaining ELM qualifications for the United Kingdom. The qualification season in France will kick off soon, while at the start of November, the Swedes are crowning their national Legacy champion.
Mega Legacy Birmingham (1 slot)
Mega Legacy Birmingham (1 slot)
Swiss Magic Masters, Bern (1 slot)
Legacy @ Faraos Cigarer (1 slot)
341 Trading Legacy 1K, Vienna (1 slot)
Legacy @ FACT4 By MtG Ones (2 slots)
Legacy SE @ Relic Fest 2 (2 slots)
ELMQ Mercadia Games, Lisbon (2 slots)
Legacy Trial 5, Łódź (1 slot)
Swedish Legacy Nationals (4 slots)
Thus concludes our weekly update. We hope you had fun reading, and invite you back next week for more Legacy news from all across Europe.
Until then, keep playing the greatest format of them all, and keep being awesome!