Best of 2019: Magic Arena Mythic Invitational V
We look back on the best of esports in 2019 from the Magic Arena Mythic Invitaitonal V.
October 2019 saw 68 of the world's best Magic Arena players in Long Beach, California for the Mythic Championship V. Three days of intense Magic Arena action with a $750,000 prize pool that would see first place win a whopping $100,000 and a coveted invite to the prestigious Magic the Gathering World Championships.
After the dust had settled, two fierce competitors stood above all others ready to find out who would be this tournament’s champion.
Entering from the upper bracket was Spaniard Javier Dominguez, the 2018 Magic World Champion and 2017 runner up. Additionally, across his career, Javier boasts ten top eight Grand Prix finishes, including wins in Paris in 2014 and Rotterdam in 2016.
At Mythic Championship V, Javier was playing a red-green coloured aggressive deck, designed to tear apart the ramp-focused Green-Blue-White coloured Bant Golos decks.
His opponent, fighting his way back from the lower bracket for a rematch in the finals, was the French competitor Jean-Emmanuel Depraz, whose major accomplishments to date had been a seventh place at Pro Tour Bilbao 2018, first at the Grand Prix Warsaw 2017 and captaining the French national team to a victory at the Magic World Cup 2018.
For the Mythic Championship V, Depraz was playing the aforementioned Green-Blue-White coloured Bant Golos deck. Of the thirty per cent of the tournament field that chose to use this deck, Depraz was the only competitor to make it to the top eight.
Game one began in a similar fashion to their match earlier in the tournament, with Javier dominating Depraz with his aggressive creatures. But Depraz didn’t work so hard just to roll over and with only two life points remaining, stabilised and clawed his way back to a win in the first game.
Knowing he had the advantage in the matchup, Javier kept his composure and caught Depraz overextended with his fast attacking creatures to quickly take game two.
Game three saw Javier on tournament point, Depraz would need to win the game to reset the bracket and force a second match to be played. Not seeing much in the way of his opening hand, Javier was forced to mulligan down to five cards, and with his reduced resources, managed to bring Depraz down to just seven life. But Depraz had more gas in the tank and dominated the board with a horde of zombies that saw him deal 19 damage within a single turn.
With the bracket reset, both players were on an equal footing. A single best-of-three match would determine who would walk away with the $100,000 first prize.
The card gods were smiling upon Javier when he drew the perfect cards to run away with the game in less than five minutes. But where the card gods giveth, they also taketh away, as Javier’s aggressive deck completely flopped in game two, failing to apply any real pressure to Depraz.
And just like that, three days of grinding competition had come down to a single game of Magic for $100,000.
Javier started the final game by going first and quickly got to work chipping away at Depraz’s life total. Unfortunately for Depraz, he was unable to find a way to clear the board. With fans across the world believing in the cleave, Javier closed out the final game in style.
Although he came up just short in the grand finals, Jean-Emmanuel Depraz still walked away with $50,000, as well as a qualification to the world championships due to Javier already being qualified.
Through thick and thin, Javier ground through three days of intense competition with his trusty Gruul Aggro deck to win the Mythic Championship V and the $100,000 first prize that came with it.
Congratulations Javier Dominguez!