Magic: The Gathering World Championship XXVI - favourites and players to watch
The Magic World Championship XXVI is slated to begin on Friday, February 14 at Honolulu, Hawaii, where we will see 16 of the best Magic: The Gathering players duke it out in the culminating MTG event of the season in a bid to be crowned as the world champions and pocket the largest slice of US $1,000,000 prize pool.
The 2019 Magic World Championship will mark the most prestigious and best-paid Magic event in its history where seven players earned their spot through wins at a tabletop or Arena Mythic Championship. Joining them are top-four players based on Mythic Points, which they earned throughout the season - four Challengers and four MPL players. Because the reigning world champion Javier Dominguez earned his spot automatically and also won the Mythic Championship V, we will also welcome Jean-Emmanuel Depraz, who finished the said event as a runner-up.
The 26th edition of Magic World Championship is rapidly approaching, so let's take a look at the six players everyone should keep an eye on, as they are labelled as the main favourites to reach the summit and claim the prestigious title of MTG world champion.
Javier Dominguez is entering Magic World Championship XXVI as the reigning world champion and number one ranked player in the world in 2019 season. Due to his incredible performances in 2018 in Las Vegas, where he swept the floor with his opposition and won the title of MTG world champion, the 32-year-old Spaniard earned his ticket for 2019 World Championship prematurely, but that did not stop him from putting on a show throughout 2019. He won Mythic Championship V and even finished third at Mythic Championship VII.
Javier Dominguez is one of the biggest names in the MTG esports scene. He won two Spanish national titles, a slew of top 8s as well as two top finishes in 2019, making him not only one of the most decorated players in the MPL, but also a player with on the hottest streak in the game, winning 60.8% of the Standard format games.
Recently signed by Envy esports organisation, Seth Manfield already won the Magic World Championship title back in 2015 and will look to add another title to his name this February. His incredible performances throughout his career earned him a spot in the MTG Hall of Fame in 2018 and has since not slowed down rising to the top of the MPL standings.
Seth Manfield has basically won everything that is to win in the MTG esports scene - World Championship, Premier Event and Grand Prix trophy. With so many accolades on his mantel, Seth Manfield is a player that is never to be overlooked, especially due to his unconventional, yet very successful playstyle. Last season, Seth Manfield finished second in the world rankings and won the Mythic Championship VII, which just further proved he is one of the best MTG players in the world. His most played Arena Format is Traditional Standard, which earned him an impressive 63.1% win rate.
A 25-year-old veteran and Magic Hall of Fame member is known for his never-ending hunt for trophies, which he showed with a remarkable 2019 season, which earned him both World Championship and MPL seats.
Lévy started his career in 1994 and has since reached immense success, including multiple top finishes in the biggest Magic events in the world as well as 2014 World Magic Cup title. Two years later he was inducted into the Hall of Fame to cement himself as one of the greats. In 2019, Levy finished the season with the second-most Mythic Points of Challengers, which earned him a seat at the World Championship, where he will be chasing another title to add to his 25+ year long career as MTG player. Lévy’s most played Arena format is Standard, with 60.3% win rate.
Ondřej Stráský came close to retiring from Magic and nearly conceding before he won Mythic Championship VI, which relit his competitive fire and is now set to make waves on the biggest stage in the world.
Besides winning Mythic Championship VI, Stráský also finished 2019 season with the third-most Mythic Points of Challengers, which were only two more accomplishments of his 11-year-long career as Magic player. Throughout his whole career, Stráský claimed five Grand Prix top 8s, and four top finishes in premier Events. His preferred Arena Format is Standard, which earned him 63% win rate.
Piotr "Kanister" Głogowski
Piotr "Kanister" Głogowski is the youngest pro in Magic Pro League, who earned his reputation as a Magic streamer and is notorious for his wonky decks which he uses to introduce a breeze of fresh air into the competitive scene. In 2019 he has proven he is not only talented in building unique decks, but also a player that can compete with the best when he won the Mythic Championship VII without losing a single game. Kanister also finished second at the Mythic Invitational.
Kanister started playing Magic in 2012 and has since played in 12 Premier and 43 Grand Prix events. He earned two top finishes in Premier Events and also he claimed three top 8s. His most played Arena format is Standard, which earned him 60.8% win rate.
Andrea Mengucci, as the only Italian representative at the Magic World Championship, secured his spot among the best 16 Magic players by earning the second-most Mythic points of MPL.
Mengucci started 2019 season with a bang, winning the first mythic invitational played on MTG Arena, and continued putting up strong performances throughout the year, which included two top finished at Mythic Championship V and VII, to cement himself as the most successful Italian player of all time. With his enviable achievements throughout 2019, Mengucci has shown how strong of an Arena player he is, as he is always seemingly one step ahead of his opponents. He, however, has never before won the World Championship and will look to achieve that feat this February. His preferred Arena format is Standard, which earned him a 58.9% win rate.
Full Lineup for Magic World Championship XXVI:
Javier Dominguez - 2018 World Champion
Autumn Burchett - Mythic Championship Cleveland 2019 winner
Eli Loveman - Mythic Championship London 2019 winner
Matias Leveratto - Mythic Championship III winner
Thoralf Severin - Mythic Championship IV Barcelona winner
Jean-Emmanuel Depraz - Mythic Championship V runner-up
Ondřej Stráský - Mythic Championship VI Richmond winner and 3rd most Mythic Points of Challengers
Piotr Glogowski - Mythic Championship VII winner
Andrea Mengucci - 2nd most Mythic Points of MPL
Seth Manfield - 3rd most Mythic Points of MPL
Marcio Carvalho - 4th most Mythic Points of MPL
Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa - 5th most Mythic Points of MPL
Chris Kvartek - Most Mythic Points of Challengers
Raphael Levy - 2nd most Mythic Points of Challengers
Gabriel Nassif - 4th most Mythic Points of Challengers
Sebastian Pozzo - 5th most Mythic Points of Challengers