On Sunday february 5th at 13:00 CET the first properly announced and planned version of the Invitational will take place. In this article we will go over the tournament structure, the participants and why they are in as well as what they are playing for and why this event should interest you as well.

The Tournament Structure

The Invitational is an eight player single elimination bracket event with full video coverage. Lets break down what that means part by part.

Eight Player

This is the easiest part: there are 8 players in this event.

Single Elimination

You snooze, you lose… I mean, erm… You lose, you are out. As soon as a player loses a best-of-three match they are eliminated from the tournament. Yes, that means half the players will be eliminated after round 1.

Bracket Event

Rather than being paired randomly, the players are in a premade bracket that the players know beforehand. This allows players some minor planning ahead and provides some added drama.

Full Video Coverage

Every single play of the entire event will be on camera, that means all matches will be played one by one, rather than consecutively as would happen in a regular event. That means it will take as long as the 7 matches last (4 quarter finals, 2 semi finals and a final match).

The Participants

Jelle Gyselinck (Wild Card)

unnamedAge: 29

Why and how did you start playing Gentry ?
I have been playing Gentry since the first Gentry Finale, now called ‘Open’ because I happened to step by and was talked into participating. I borrowed a BW Heroic deck, changed a few cards around and started winning matches until I was the only one left standing.

What is your favorite deck?
That would be 4 color Blink, I’ll leave it to the readers to guess which color I don’t play.

Favorite card from Aether Revolt?
There are so manygreat cards to chose from, picking is hard. I guess if I had to name just one it would be Rogue Refiner, at least that one draws a card.

Why will you win the Invitational?
Obviously I will win, I am not used to losing.

Tom Vandevelde (Wild Card)

11201932_10153982880332150_1057348574141370568_nAge: 29
Why and how did you start playing Gentry ?

I’ve been playing Gentry since the early days of the format. Niels invited me to one of the very first tournaments and the concept had immediate appeal. Nothing beats brewing for an undiscovered format.

What is your favorite deck?

Grixis in Modern, because of the many intricate decisions playing the deck entails. I’m a big fan of flexible, efficiënt cards, and Grixis (whether it’s a more aggressive Delver build or a more controlish variant) offers exactly that in Snapcaster Mage, Lightning Bolt and Kolagan’s Command.

Favorite card from Aether Revolt?

Even not having played the new cards much, there is plenty to like in Aether Revolt. Because of my love for graveyard shenanigans and efficiënt creatures with enter the battlefield triggers, I’ll pick Renegade Rallier for now. The Revolt mechanic is right up my alley.

Why will you win the Invitational?

Because my ridiculous on-camera losing streak has to end sometime, right?

Tom De Wael (Bredene Leaderboard 1st Place)

tomAge: 42

Why and how did you start playing Gentry ?
I started playing Gentry early 2016 because I wanted to play a cheaper, accessible format to play against my collegue and friend Simon. My first deck was something i threw together from my Battle for Zendikar and Oath of the Gatewatch prerelease pools (so it’s possible!)

We got into Gentry thanks to Niels and the information he posted at the time about the League format

What is your favorite deck?
It’s like asking which one of my kids i like most. Unlike others who have a clear favorite deck, I like brewing (current counter at 9 decks) and I like to change decks for every Gentry event (and daily for our lunch break Gentry match).

Favourite card from Aether Revolt?
As a believer that rares DO matter in Gentry, I really want to make Paradox Engine work.
As far as commons and uncommons go I am glad Shock is back.

Why are you going to win the Invitational?
Huh? I am just glad to be there and hopefully i can get something funky up and running by then.

 

Michiel Van den Bussche (Winner previous Open)

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We were told Michiel is the one on the right
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Age: 28

Why and how did you start playing Gentry ?
My first contacts with the Gentry format were through Niels Viaene, the league commissioner himself. I had told him about the local Magic scene in Sint-Niklaas and he thought Gentry would be a perfect fit for the format. As one of the people behind the scenes in Sint-Niklaas Magic, I tried to demonstrate people what the format was all about. When Eldritch Moon was released, i started brewing up a lot of decks. I have been playing since then.

What is your favorite deck?
My current favorite is the Improvise deck. You play some 0 cost artifacts which function as a mox. I have always had a soft spot for combo/ramp decks, and i am very glad to see my favorite archetype present in Gentry from time to time.

Favorite card from Aether Revolt?
My card from Aether Revolt has to be shock. I remember 13 year old me flinging my Onslaught shocks at many creatures and players quite fondly.

Why will you win the Invitational?
I will win this invitational because of my testing with Kenneth Pletinckx. We both have completely different ways of attacking a format that complement each other very well.

Kenneth Pletinckx (Sint-Niklaas Leaderboard top 2)

IMG_20160529_163847213[1] (1).jpgAge: 27

Why and how did you start playing Gentry ?
I started playing Gentry in Ghent. Then it was introduced in Sint-Niklaas with some pushing and a lot of help from Michiel Van Den Bussche. I don’t know the exact date but it was somewhere during Eldritch Moon, as we put a lot of effort into fine-tuning Emerge.

What is your favorite deck?
My favorite deck is pretty obvious. UR Spells! No two games are ever the same and it’s very enjoyable to play. It doesn’t really have any horrible matchups and a solid sideboard.

Favorite card from Aether Revolt?
The card from AER I like the most is Walking Ballista. It’s not really Gentry-viable as it’s a rare with a relatively low impact by itself, but it has a Hangerback Walker-esque vibe and the same resilience to removal.

Why will you win the Invitational?
Why am I going to win the invitational? I love my deck choice and I’m confident that it’s good enough to beat anything people can throw at it. I also want to convince people that the Sint-Niklaas Gentry community is no joke!

Alan Schuer (Sint-Niklaas Leaderboard top 2)

20170123_165938[1].jpgAge: 31

Why and how did you start playing Gentry ?
I started playing Gentry last september, after Anouk Burny introduced me.

What is your favorite deck?
RG Energy, it is a fast deck that is very good at punishing slow starts.

Favorite card from Aether Revolt?
Winding Constrictor takes that title, more counters is always good.

Why will you win the Invitational?
I will win through superior preparation and a healthy dose of beginner’s luck.

Pepijn Degryse (Gent Leaderbord top 3)

ProfielFoto[1].jpgAge: 22

Why and how did you start playing Gentry ?

I started playing gentry around the Origens – Battle for Zendikar block because of the League of New and beginning magic players.

What is your favorite deck?

My favourite deck of the current standard is Grixis Control. I like holding a lot of cards and controlling the pace of the game.

Favourite card?
My favourite card from AER is probably Hungry Flames. Killing a creature AND dealing damage to their face, kind of everything you want.

Why will you win the Invitational?
I’m going to win because the Jankiest deck always triumphs! (Almost always, like at least 50% of the times)

Niels Vandevelde (Gent Leaderboard top 3)

profielAge: 28

Why and how did you start playing Gentry ?
I started playing Gentry when Fate Reforged came out. My brother taught me how to play magic when we were younger because he needed someone to test against. I kept an interest in Magic during my youth, but never really got into it until I moved to Ghent and found the League of New and Beginning Magic Players. Since then I have been a regular in the league and am always looking to improve my game and beat the top Gentry decks.

What is your favorite deck?
My favorite deck right now is Grixis midrange. The strong and cheap removal options of red and black bolster your early game against the aggro decks, while blue’s card draw and counters keep your end game strong and make it harder for combo and control to lock up the win.

Favorite card from Aether Revolt?
Aether revolt’s top card award goes to Vengeful Rebel. A removal spell that comes with a respectable body, sign me up baby!

Why will you win the Invitational?
I’m going to win the invitational because I’m the only one who believes Black is the best color in magic. I will destroy the creatures and hands of anyone who says otherwise.

Only two people that are in the Gent Leaderboard top 3?

Noticeably missing from this list is Edouard De Man, who made top 3 of the Leaderboard in Gent as well but won’t be able to attend. His slot was used to allow an additional wild card.

The Bracket

filled bracket.jpg

What are they playing for?

At the end of the season, just before the next set, Amonkhet comes out, there will be another Gentry Open. People who are in the lead of a leaderboard will get a bye on this event. The winner of the Invitational will receive a bye as well so this is a chance for these players in the top of their leaderboard to both help themselves and their community.

Help their community? Yes, you read that correctly. If the winner of the Invitational were to be leading their leaderboard at the end of the season, they will be skipped and the next player in line receives the bye.

Why you should be interested

All matches will be played out one by one and will all be on camera with caster coverage. That means you will get to see each player, each deck, perform, giving you a great view of the metagame for the coming Open. Join us on our twitch.tv channel (there is a button on the main page as well)to see all the action.

If you are present on-site you get a chance to enjoy a few side events as you can see on the facebook event page while hanging out with a bunch of people from The league of new and beginning Magic players, a group that embraces a fun and learning environment.

This event also takes place the same day the Pro Tour Dublin Top 8 is streaming. This will be shown as well.

After the event all decklists will be shared in the decklist tab on this site and videos of all matches will be available on our Youtube channel.

That is all I have to say about the event. I hope I made clear how awesome this event will be and that it will be even better if more people attend to have a side event playing audience.

See you at the Invitational,
Niels

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Niels Viaene came into contact with Magic first through the Kazz & Zakk starter set in 1996, but it wouldn’t be until 2000, around the time Prophecy came out that he actually started playing magic thanks to his nephew. Niels’ Magic career has been a roller coaster up to now, including Grand Prix Paris 2009 top 8, Pro Tour San Diego 2010 top 8, becoming a L3 Magic Judge in 2015 and managing the community effort that is the League of New and Beginning Magic: the Gathering Players, the birthing ground for Gentry since 2012. All this comes from a deep love for the game that is far from diminishing.

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