|2016 World Championship|
|Date||1–4 September 2016|
|Location||Seattle, Washington, United States|
|Format||Eldritch Moon-Shadows over Innistrad Booster draft, Standard, Modern|
The 2016 World Championship, the 23rd Magic World Championship, took place on 1–4 September 2016 in Seattle, Washington, United States. It was being held concurrently with the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX). The final was between the only two non-Platinum players in the field: Brian Braun-Duin, who qualified via the Grand Prix Master slot, and Marcio Carvalho, who was the 2015–16 Draft Master. After a well over two hour long match, Brian Braun-Duin won and was crowned the 2016 World Champion.
The following players are invited to the event:
|Player||Method(s) of qualification|
|Owen Turtenwald||2015–16 Player of the Year |
Most Pro Points – North America
|Brian Braun-Duin||Grand Prix Master|
|Seth Manfield||2015 World Champion|
2nd most Pro Points – North America
|Niels Noorlander||2015 Magic Online Champion|
|Kazuyuki Takimura||Pro Tour Battle for Zendikar winner|
|Jiachen Tao||Pro Tour Oath of the Gatewatch winner|
|Steve Rubin||Pro Tour Shadows over Innistrad winner|
|Lukas Blohon||Pro Tour Eldritch Moon winner|
Most Pro Points – Europe
|Luis Scott-Vargas||3rd most Pro Points – North America|
Outstanding Hall of Famer
|Reid Duke||4th most Pro Points – North America|
|Martin Müller||2nd most Pro Points – Europe|
|Joel Larsson||3rd most Pro Points – Europe|
|Shota Yasooka||Most Pro Points – APAC region|
|Yuuya Watanabe||2nd most Pro Points – APAC region|
|Ryoichi Tamada||3rd most Pro Points – APAC region|
|Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa||Most Pro Points – Latin America|
|Thiago Saporito||2nd most Pro Points – Latin America|
|Oliver Tiu||Constructed Master|
|Marcio Carvalho||Draft Master|
|Sam Pardee||Most Pro Points of otherwise unqualified|
|Ondřej Stráský||2nd most Pro Points of otherwise unqualified|
|Andrea Mengucci||3rd most Pro Points of otherwise unqualified|
|Brad Nelson||4th most Pro Points of otherwise unqualified|
|Mike Sigrist||5th most Pro Points of otherwise unqualified|
Players qualifying via multiple methods pass down extra invitations to the players with the most Pro Points among otherwise unqualified players.
Thursday, 1 September
Friday, 2 September
Saturday, 3 September
- 4 rounds of Modern
Sunday, 4 September
- Semifinals and final, featuring Standard
Like at Pro Tours, the World Championship starts with a Booster draft; the format at this iteration of the event was Shadows over Innistrad block draft. The main feature drafter was Player of the Year Owen Turtenwald, who drafted a White-Blue deck that the commentators deemed to be of medium quality. He went 1–2 with the deck, losing in the third round to Yuuya Watanabe, who was the secondary feature. Watanabe had drafted White-Black to Turtenwald's right. The three players who won their draft pods were Jiachen Tao, Mike Sigrist, as well as Marcio Carvalho, who had previously posted perfect 6–0 records at both Shadows over Innistrad Pro Tours.
Four rounds of Standard followed; the format was fairly well-explored at this point, and no major innovations were expected. Bant Collected Company decks were played by 13 of the 24 competitors, though they were split between Bant Company (7 players), Bant Humans (5 players), and Bant Spirits (1 player). The remaining 11 decks all featured Emrakul, the Promised End, some being Emerge decks, three being Jund or Black-Green Delirium decks, while Steve Rubin showed up with a Green-Blue Crush of Tentacles deck. The Emrakul decks ended up being more successful than the Company decks. Two players went 4–0 in Standard: Brian Braun-Duin and Lukas Blohon.
At the end of the first day of competition, two players co-lead the tournament: Brian Braun-Duin and Marcio Carvalho, each at 6–1. Two players were 1–6 and likely eliminated from contention for advancement to the final four: Martin Müller and Niels Noorlander.
The second Shadows over Innistrad block draft featured two players: Draft Master Marcio Carvalho and reigning World Champion Seth Manfield, at 6–1 and 5–2, respectively. Manfield took his Blue-Red deck to a 2–1 finish, while Carvalho was equally successful with his Green-Blue deck splashing Ulrich of the Krallenhorde. Carvalho had, until his round 10 loss to Jiachen Tao, been undefeated in his 17 last Booster draft matches at the Pro Tour and World Championship level. Four players went undefeated on what was a very short day of play: Shōta Yasooka, Joel Larsson, Niels Noorlander, and Jiachen Tao. On the other hand, fully five players left after having not picked up a single point: Ondřej Stráský, Mike Sigrist, Reid Duke, Sam Pardee, and Kazuyuki Takimura.
After two days, Marcio Carvalho was the sole leader at 8–2, with five players following behind him at 7–3. On the other end of the standings, the number of players who had picked up their sixth loss, meaning probable elimination from contention, had increased to ten. Players with a 5–5 record at this point would likely require a 4–0 record on day three and hope that their tiebreakers would be sufficient to see them advance.
The last day of Swiss competition was Modern. Ten players opted for Abzan or Jund, while no other decks were played by more than two competitors. At the top of the standings, the field was narrowed down as Luis Scott-Vargas in round 11 fell to Thiago Saporito, who in turn was eliminated by Seth Manfield in round 12. Not many had guessed Jiachen Tao to be among the top contenders at the World Championship, but he was right in contention until his round 12 loss to Oliver Tiu. By the last round, Brian Braun-Duin and Marcio Carvalho had both locked up slots in the final four. Braun-Duin faced Lukas Blohon, who just needed a draw to make it, but with each win being worth a Pro Point, Braun-Duin played it out and defeated Blohon. Oliver Tiu needed a win against Marcio Carvalho, and managed to get there in three tight games. The last relevant match was Seth Manfield against Shōta Yasooka, where the winner would have to hope that a 9–5 record would be good enough and that their tiebreakers saw them through. In the end, Yasooka won, and edged out Lukas Blohon on tiebreakers, and as such took the last Sunday slot. Luis Scott-Vargas also achieved a 9–5 record in his last tournament before retiring from professional play in order to do coverage, but his tiebreakers were significantly worse.
The top four featured multiple players who weren't considered among the superstars of the game. Neither Brian Braun-Duin nor Oliver Tiu had Pro Tour top eights on their records, and Marcio Carvalho and Brian Braun-Duin had indeed qualified for the World Championship without achieving Platinum status for the season, the only players in the entire 24-man field for which this was true. The veteran of the top four was therefore Japanese Hall of Famer Shōta Yasooka, who made it to the final of the very first iteration of the modern-day World Championship, the 2012 Players Championship.
Ultimately, Yasooka was dispatched rather handily by Brian Braun-Duin in their semifinal match, with Braun-Duin's Bant Humans winning 3–0 over Yasooka's Bant Company. In the other semifinal, Marcio Carvalho, also equipped with Bant Company, defeated Oliver Tiu on Red-Green-Blue Turbo-Emrakul by three games to one. The final was, as such, a match between two Bant decks sporting Collected Company where, in addition to the title of World Champion, the contestants also battled to level up in the Pro Players Club; the winner of the World Championship is automatically elevated to Platinum status. In a very long and hard-fought match noted by Marshall Sutcliffe to be one of the best he has commentated on, Brian Braun-Duin won 3–1 to become the World Champion.
|Place||Player||Prize||Pro Points||EES draft record||Standard record||EES draft record||Modern record|
|15||Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa||$5,000||7||1–2||3–1||1–2||2–2|