This article was originally posted on: mtgprotalk.com by Dan McKeown.
On Saturday, June 2, 2018, at PT Dominaria, Swedish Magic: The Gathering player Elias Watsfeldt secured his invite at the 2018 Magic World Championship by earning the Draft Master spot. The Draft Master is the awarded to the player who finishes the season with the most Limited match points from Swiss rounds at individual-format Pro Tours. Let’s look at how Watsfeldt secured this invitation.
Watsfeldt earned the Draft Masters title by accumulating 49 points in 18 draft matches. His final record was 16 wins, 1 loss, and 1 draw over three Pro Tour events. In his preview article for PT Dominaria, Rich Hagon provides an excellent bio for the Swedish Silver-ranked Pro:
“Hailing from Sweden, 25-year-old Watsfeldt made his debut at Pro Tour Paris 2011. From fourteen PT starts, he averages a 58% win rate, which is four points behind his Grand Prix win rate of 62%. At the GP level, he has five Top 8s, two of which came in team play, including 3rd place at GP Madrid 2018, his first GP Top 8 in five years, although he hasn’t been a regular GP player for much of that time. His premier event Booster Draft win rate of 63.7% is very, very high, and only two players have a better Pro Tour record this season. Currently a Silver pro, he’s won more than $20,000 and has 121 lifetime Pro Points.
Through the Jungles of Ixalan
At the first Pro Tour of the season, PT Ixalan, Watsfeldt leaned on the heavy tribal themes of the set favoring Green-Blue merfolk in both of his drafts. He spoke to the Magic coverage team about his thoughts on the Ixalan draft format: “I like it,” he said. “Whenever there’s a swingy format, every decision matters and his strategy for the format; “I like the slightly cheaper cards, generally speaking… but there is potential for the slower decks.”
For the second event of the 2017-2018 season, PT Rivals of Ixalan, Watsfeldt decided to mix things up a bit by taking a Red-Green dinosaurs deck to a 3-0 finish on Day One. He returned to his favored archetype however on Day Two taking yet another Green-Blue merfolk deck to a perfect finish in the Draft rounds.
Securing The Title
Leading up to PT Dominaria, Watsfeldt held a 6-point lead over Alexander Hayne, Pascal Vieren, and Craig Wescoe. There were several others waiting in the wings as well should Elias stumble in one of the best limited formats of recent memory. Watsfeldt quickly dashed any hopes of the underdog gaining the upper going 2-1 in his Day One draft. Then on Day Two he played his first match to a draw, giving Elias the final point to put his next closest rival Team Connected Company member and Channel Fireball author, Andrea Mengucci out of the running for good.
The low-key Watsfeldt talked to coverage’s Tobi Henke soon after clinching his spot in Worlds. “It was nice to have things end this way, and end this early,” Watsfeldt said. “It will be nice to go to Vegas and play in the World Championship. The best part is that the pressure is off my shoulders. Now I can relax and enjoy my vacation.”
While Watsfeldt has locked up the Draft Masters slot, there is now the issue of Constructed to contend with. Elias has struggled to put up solid results in this season’s Constructed portion only picking up 48 points out of the possible 90. This year’s Worlds is Standard and Dominaria draft so it is essentially PT Dominaria 2.0. The field is smaller at Worlds with only 24 players so he has around three months to get some more Constructed testing under his belt. Be sure to check out MTG Pro Talk in the future for more analysis of your favorite Magic: The Gathering Teams and Pros.