By Niels Viaene

All the updates for the December leaderboards are in and, as the Giants of Gentry article series show, there are quite a few people that are starting to look good. But lets not forget the two things we are fighting for here: A bye on the next Open for whoever is in the lead at the end and a slot at the Invitational for a total of 8 people to win a bye before everyone else. But which 8 people exactly?

There is a single odd one, the player that gets a slot in the Invitational way before anyone else and that doesn’t even need to be on any leaderboard to secure the slot. This is also the only name that is currently known for the Invitational. The last Gentry Open winner, Aron Fonteyne.

Next up are the leaderboards, and here we look at the size and density of leaderboards to determine the number of slots that it feeds into the Invitational. Size and ‘density’? What is the density of a leaderboard? The density is how many players are coming for a lot of events and is most easily determined by the amount of points the player on top has. The difference between Outpost Gent and Brainfreeze St Niklaas is a great example in that they are near in size (42 vs 35) but have a bigger gap in density (104 vs 73).

So how many slots does each leaderboard get?

Outpost Gent: 3 Slots
Brainfreeze St Niklaas : 2 Slots
WEC Gent: 1 Slot
Bredene: 1 Slot

In case someone takes multiple slots there is a priority queue: Champion slot > Large Leaderboard slot > Small Leaderboard Slot. This means that if Jelle stays on top of both the OPG leaderboard and the WEC leaderboard, his OPG one will be used and he will get skipped over in the WEC. To determine which is “smaller” add the total number of players and the amount of points the leader has.

Once everybody is known a date will be sought in february for the Invitational. In case people really can’t make it, their slot will pass on to the next person in the leaderboard unless there is too large a gap. In case that happens there will be either a community vote or the organizers will give a wild card.

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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