Day 2 began early with all players required to be in their seats, ready to play by 8:30am. Logan began the day with a record of 3-1, not giving him much room for error if he hoped to reach the top cut of 32 players for the first time. While Logan had little room, Georgia and Joel had no room for error, as their records were both even (2-2 and 3-3 respectively). Both players would likely have to win out if they hoped to advance. Marthe, while out of the running with a 2-4 record, hoped to improve her record in the what organizers said was one of the most competitive fields they had seen.
Georgia opened with a loss in which she battled her deck’s weakness and despite the disadvantage, traded knockouts but could not outlast her opponent. The unlucky match-up, while ending her chances of advancing to the top cut, did not stop her competitive spirit. Georgia won her next match and then lost again in her final match. She finished with a record of 3-5. We are still trying to confirm the fact, but we are pretty sure that she was the tournament’s youngest entrant. Winning 3 games at her age (or any age for that matter) is pretty amazing.
Gym Leader Joel after bursting out of the gates on day 1 and running his record to 3-1, found himself in the same boat as Georgia. His final 2 games on day 1 ended in a loss in extra turns and a 2nd turn “donk”, leaving him with a record of 3-3 entering day 2. He opened against a “Lostgar/Mew” deck that put 5 of his pokemon in the “lost zone” by turn 3 (a feat that the owner of the deck admitted was the best luck he’d ever had with the deck). He had 8 in the lost zone while Joel had only 2 prizes remaining. Joel “judged” in his opponent’s hand of 9 cards (leaving him with 4) and took another prize card. However, 1 of the 4 cards his opponent drew was the needed lost world stadium. The loss ended Joel’s chances of battling into the top cut. Joel ended the day with another win and another loss, finishing the tournament with a record of 4-5.
Logan opened day 2 in good fashion, defeating a psychic deck before it could ever really attack. In his next match, he set up a turn behind his opponent in a mirror match of sorts. He traded knockouts with his opponent and was poised to get the last one he needed to win, but he lost as the other junior took his final prize card, handing Logan a 2nd loss (record of 4-2 with 2 matches remaining). Judging from previous Nationals and talking with some of the event staff, Logan and company were fully aware that a 3rd loss would probably end his hopes. As Logan has shown so many times already in his young life, that level of pressure only magnifies his determination and composure. Logan won his next two matches with what seemed like relative ease. He finished the swiss rounds with a record of 6-2. While Joel and Marthe anxiously awaited the final standings, Logan began sorting his deck for the decklist check required when entering the top cut. When the standing were posted, Logan stood in 15th place in the field of 218 juniors, right in the middle of the pack of the final 32.
After turning in their decks, all the juniors were granted a short lunch break before returning to play the 1st round of top cut. This round would cut the field to 16 juniors who would return Sunday to battle it out for the title. Logan opened with the 18th seed (Aaron C.), who like most of the juniors in the remaining field, played a mirror deck. In the 1 hour, best 2 of 3 match, Logan lost game 1. In game 2, Logan jumped out ahead, taking the first 3 prizes and then held a 5 to 3 prize card advantage (needing only one more knockout to win). He spent the next several turns exhausting every option he had available trying to dig the energy out of his deck necessary to end the game and force a 3rd game. The energy “drought” allowed Aaron to catch up on prizes and eventually take the last one. While Logan’s deck was the only one of its type in the regional tournament that he dominated, the recent cut in card sets forced many players to scramble looking for new decks. It was apparent that most of the field looked to recent successes for their ideas, as the fields in all age divisions were flooded with variants of Logan’s deck. To that end, he was the architect of his own defeat.
The loss, while disappointing for Logan, still marked the conclusion of a great success. While Logan could have sat Nationals out and hoped that his previous point total would net him an invitation to Worlds, he chose to put that on the line and battle it out. The 6-2 record and top cut performance should lock him into an invitation to Worlds. We will have to wait for updated rankings for confirmation, but remain optimistic that the chance he took will pay off. While events at this level are very exciting and fun, they also make for very long and stressful days. Logan was the only junior eliminated from the top cut round that we saw who did not leave the player’s area in tears and being consoled by event staff. Both children handled themselves with better composure that most adults do at these events. We cannot put words to how proud we are of both Logan and Georgia.
For advancing to the top 32, Logan won 18 booster packs, a playmat, a binder, deck sleeves, deck boxes and a backpack. Sunday will give him the day to relax and participate in open league play, where each match played wins both players free promo items and booster packs.
And don’t worry, we did not forget Gym Leader Marthe. We’ll post again soon about her day 2 and her Sunday competing in the Professor’s cup and hopefully have plenty of photos of the weekend.