We’re proud to officially announce the return of our pro
Magic: The Gathering teams, Massdrop East & Massdrop West!A new season is upon us, and there is plenty to look forward to. This year marks The Pro Tour 25th Anniversary, and after more than a decade, team competition has returned.
The Massdrop teams are coming off of a successful run in last year’s Pro Tour coming in 10th (Massdrop East) and 12th (Massdrop West) respectively. Tim Wu was neck and neck in the race for the Pro Tour Draft Master, ultimately finishing in 5th place.
Both the Massdrop East and West teams have done some shuffling so you should see some familiar faces in different places. We’ve seen the departure of Pro Tour Oath of the Gatewatch Champion Jiachen "JC" Tao to the Magic R&D team itself, joining ex-East West Bowl member Andrew Brown. We’re also welcoming Shaun McLaren into the mix. A man who needs no introduction, but if you want to know about him and the rest of the teams, check out their descriptions below, and be sure to follow them.
There’s plenty more action to come as this season unfolds so stay tuned and be sure to wish them luck.
Now it's time to meet the teams...
Pascal Maynard (Captain)
He has 13 Grand Prix Top 8's including 2 wins, a Pro Tour Top8, but most importantly, he picked a foil Tarmogoyf for value in the Top 8 of GP Las Vegas. He enjoys playing limited more than other formats but a strong constructed linear strategy can make him sleeve 75 cards.
· Profile: https://www.massdrop.com/profile/PascalMaynard/· Twitter: @PascalMaynard· Twitch: /PascalMaynard· Instagram: Pmayne
Within his first year of getting into the game, Eric Severson qualified for the Pro Tour, making his first appearance at PT Theros. Since then, he has found continued success at the Grand Prix circuit with 5 top 8s and exactly enough Pro Points for Gold status the last two years running. He currently balances his time playing with a PhD program in Mathematics at UC Davis, drawing on the same passion for problem solving that led him to excel in Magic.
· Profile: https://www.massdrop.com/profile/EricSeverson· Twitter: @EricESeverson
He won the first PTQ he played in, qualifying him for Pro Tour Chicago 2000 and sparking his interest in competitive Magic. He represented Canada at Worlds in 2002 and played on the Pro Tour for several years after that before leaving the game to pursue other interests. After a long hiatus, he returned to the game in 2012 and has been a mainstay on the professional circuit ever since, amassing eight Grand Prix Top 8's, including wins in Atlantic City 2013 and Atlanta 2014, and representing Canada as National Champion in 2013. While he has yet to break through to the elimination rounds in a premiere event, he has performed consistently over the past five years, making Day 2 of all nineteen Pro Tours since Return to Ravnica.
· Profile: https://www.massdrop.com/profile/JonStern/· Twitter: @JonSternMTL
He’s been on the Pro Tour for three years and constantly tries to innovate and explore. Together with Jiachen Tao, he is responsible for the Blue-Red Eldrazi deck that dominated Pro Tour Oath of the Gatewatch. Ben has seen some success at the Grand Prix level as well with Five Top 8s in a variety of formats. Ben also hosts the podcast Allied Strategies, where he constantly plays the straight man foil to his goofy co-hosts.
· Profile: https://www.massdrop.com/profile/BenjaminWeitz/· Twitter: @bsweitz123
He won Pro Tour Born of the Gods and was runner up at Pro Tour Khans of Tarkir. He has five Grand Prix Top 8s to his name and was captain of the Canadian Nationals Team twice. Shaun is known for his silly high energy streams at twitch.tv/shaunmclaren and "creative" plays. Shaun's preferred Magic decks involve cards like Wall of Omens, Tireless Tracker, and Sphinx's Revelation because drawing cards is fun.
· Profile: https://www.massdrop.com/profile/ShaunMcLaren· Twitter: @ShaunMcLaren· Twitch: /ShaunMcLaren
A Gold level pro with two GP Top 8’s. He prefers combo strategies, winning his first invite to the Pro Tour with Rally the Ancestors, finished 11-5 at PT Kaladesh with Marvel, and 2nd place at GP Indy ‘16 with TitanBreach. He is a programmer by day, serviceable Rocket League player by night, and enjoys spending time with his wife and 3 dogs.
· Profile: https://www.massdrop.com/profile/RobPisano· Twitter: @rob_pisano
Mark Jacobson (Captain)
After endless maniacal grinding, Mark finally landed a spot on the train, converting a top 8 at GP Toronto in 2015 into a 12th place finish at the aptly named Pro Tour Magic Origins. Soon after, with his east coast testing group dwindling in numbers and the California crew having similar issues, he played matchmaker and thus East West Bowl was formed. Since then he accomplished Gold status in two consecutive seasons with the help of a top 8 at GP Houston and 23rd at PT Kaladesh. Known for his long-winded stories and penchant for mindgames, Mark is often found playing creature based combo decks. Born and raised in not-West Philadelphia, he goes back to his roots this season as the captain of Massdrop East.
· Profile: https://www.massdrop.com/profile/MarkJacobson/· Twitter: @markjmtg
He’s been a constant fixture on the Pro Tour since 2009 with a Pro Tour win at Pro Tour Khans of Tarkir. Despite such a long active career, he still finds unique ways to enjoy every game he plays along the way.
· Profile: https://www.massdrop.com/profile/AriLax/· Twitter: @armlx· Twitch: /armlx
His first Pro Tour was in NY '97 (JSS). From there he has been around the competitive scene off and on for the last twenty years. Balancing fatherhood and competitive magic, he has been able to stay a fixture on the pro scene for the last 3 years. Scott has also won GP: Sydney, in combination with multiple Grand Prix Top 8's in multiple formats. Scott is also a proud member of the Keto community, changing his life and multiple others along the way.
· Profile: https://www.massdrop.com/profile/ScottLipp/· Twitter: @spanky_kc· Twitch: /Spanky_kc
You may have drafted a few dinosaur strategies over the last several weeks, but returning Massdrop East member Timothy Wu is LITERALLY a dinosaur! This 40-something fossil started playing while attending college in 1995, when he quickly fell in love with both the competitive and collectible aspects of the game. After several PTQ near misses, his first Pro Tour appearance was at New York in 1999. After half a dozen Pro Tours he retired from the game in 2004, but picked it up again in 2014 when his Magic year ended with a top 8 appearance at GP Baltimore (Khans of Tarkir limited). Since that qualification he has strung together enough good finishes to remain on the Pro Tour, attaining a Silver Pro Players club level in 2015, Gold in 2016, and retaining his Gold level for 2017. He placed 10th at Pro Tour Amonkhet, missing top 8 on tiebreakers, and is known primarily for his drafting skill, finishing 2nd in the 2015-2016 Draft Master standings and 5th in the 2016-2017 Draft Master standings.
· Profile: https://www.massdrop.com/profile/TimothyWu/· Twitter: @wutings
He has made the elimination rounds of three Grand Prix (Seattle 2015, Columbus 2016, New Jersey 2017), including a win in Seattle. As a result of two of these Grand Prix, Rishadan Port has quickly become his favorite card. He can usually be found streaming Legacy on Twitch sporting his spirit animal (Snoopy) emojis.
· Profile: https://www.massdrop.com/profile/JarvisYu/· Twitter: @jkyu06· Twitch: /jarvisyu
He’s made himself a constant on the Pro Tour the hardest way - 17 PTQ wins (so far). He won 10 of those as his prolific Magic Online alter ego "stainerson," and he recently mathematically locked himself for an At-Large berth in the 2017 Magic Online Championship.
· Profile: https://www.massdrop.com/profile/TommyAshton· Twitter: @stainerson
It has taken over a decade, but team competition is back in the Pro Tour with a very special one-off event August 3–5, 2018. Pro Tour 25th Anniversary will be a special Team Trios Constructed tournament that features our return to teams in the conclusion to the 2017–18 season.
2018 PRO TOUR SCHEDULE
More tour details here:https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/organized-play/2018s-pro-tours-and-2017s-worlds-2017-07-19
When it comes to Magic: The Gathering, these are the guys to know.
If you have any questions be sure to ask them and join the discussion.
You’ll have to wait for the Pro Tour this weekend to talk about Draft or Standard tech!
Make sure to follow the teams and stay tuned for the return of weekly articles after the Pro Tour in Albuquerque Nov. 3rd-5th!