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The Vintage Super League (VSL) was a weekly streaming feature of an all-star cast of Magic players competing in Vintage.[1] It was created by Randy Buehler and Shotgun Lotus in 2014 and aired until 2019.

Description[]

Rather than have a singular tournament in which competitors play simultaneously, the Vintage Super League typically only has five matches every week, but every match is streamed live with play-by-play commentary by other competitors in the league. The League features ten players and is played round-robin, with every player playing every other player once in a best-of-three matchup. Every competitor has to play the same deck for three consecutive weeks, but is allowed to switch decks after the three weeks are up. Their opponents for each week is known, though their deck is unknown for the first week. After the round-robin section is complete, a playoff between the top 4 players is held. Players may change their decks before the playoff as well.

Competitors[]

Season 1 Season 2 Season 3 Season 4 Season 5 Season 6 Season 7 Season 9
Randy Buehler
Rich Shay
Eric Froehlich Andreas Petersen
Stephen Menendian Oliver Tiu Stephen Menendian Stephen Menendian
Luis Scott-Vargas Rodrigo Togores Rodrigo Togores Matt Sperling
Bob Maher Shuhei Nakamura Bob Maher
Tom Martell Paul Rietzl Brian Coval
Chris Pikula Brian Kelly Brian Kelly Reid Duke Brian Kelly
David Williams David Williams Kai Budde Kai Budde David Williams David Williams Cyrus Corman-Gill
Josh Utter-Leyton Kai Budde David Ochoa Kevin Cron Kevin Cron
Rachel Agnes
Chris Pikula Erin Campbell Erin Campbell
Saffron Olive
Andy Markiton
Andy Probasco
Seth Manfield

The first season of the Vintage Super League included the following players:

After the first season, Josh Utter-Leyton, who finished in last place, was replaced by Kai Budde. David Williams finished last in the second season and subsequently lost his place in the league. The third season was a special season with only eight players (Kai Budde opted out) and double elimination rather than round-robin Swiss style, and no players joined or were relegated. From this season onwards, new players are determined by a new play-in tournament.

For season four, the season resumed the ten-player Swiss, opening a spot for David Ochoa who defeated Nick Detwiler in the qualifiers, and as such joined the VSL in season four, alongside a returning Kai Budde. In this season, five players finished in joint last: Bob Maher, Tom Martell, Stephen Menendian, Kai Budde, and Chris Pikula. These players were all relegated to the qualifiers, which expanded to twelve players to accommodate the five open slots. Of these, Budde and Menendian managed to requalify, while the three new members who won invitations to the league were Shuhei Nakamura, Paul Rietzl, and Brian Kelly.

For the sixth season, Luis Scott-Vargas, Shuhei Nakamura, and Kai Budde opted to take a break from the league, and Stephen Menendian was relegated to the qualifiers as last place. In their place, David Williams, Chris Pikula, and Bob Maher rejoined the league after having previously been eliminated. The series format shifted to three pods of four players, which opened up two more spaces; Oliver Tiu, Rodrigo Togores, and Rachel Agnes won places through qualifiers.

Due to new changes to the Vintage banlist, the seventh season relegation tournament was not held in order to begin as soon as possible, and there is a new "no repeats" rules to showcase variety. Chris Pikula, Oliver Tiu, Brian Kelly and David Ochoa stepped down in this season, being replaced by Stephen Menendian, Reid Duke, Kevin Cron and Erin Campbell. The format was a hybrid of seasons 5 and 6; the pods of four were retained to allow players weeks off, but the 9-round robin result will be used to determine the playoff matches.

Season eight was produced alongside the various Team Leagues, and brought that feature over to Vintage as well. Eight teams of three meant twelve more competitors; some teams were entirely new recruits, and some season seven competitors brought a third (and a second. Only one team (Duke, Froehlich, Buehler) was formed entirely from the previous. Togores sat out. Two new teams were Snapcardster's Danish group of Andreas Petersen, Michael Bonde and Thomas Enevoldsen and Blue Crab Club of Seth Manfield, Ari Lax and Jarvis Yu. Shay brought in Kelly and Andy Markiton; Menendian and Cron brought Jason Jaco; Rietz and Williams brought in Matt Sperling (with Maher as alternate); Agnes and Campbell brought in series producer Athena; and Scott-Vargas brought back Utter-Leyton alongside Matt Nass and Sam Pardee. The bracket started with three rounds of standard swiss, then taking the top four for another bracket.

Season nine expanded the roster to sixteen players from the previous. Each player had six opponents, and those with four wins and above get spots for the post-pod playoffs. Despite the large roster from the previous season, there were still three newcomers: Brian Coval, Cyrus Corman-Gill, and SaffronOlive. Sperling, Manfield, Markiton, Petersen and Probasco returned from the Teams season, and Shay, Buehler, Maher, Agnes, Campbell, Cron, Menendian and Kelly made up the experienced contingent. Eric Froehlich stepped down, leaving only Shay and Buehler to have played all nine seasons.

Winners[]

Season Start Winner
1 August 19, 2014 Stephen Menendian
2 January 27, 2015 Eric Froehlich
3 July 7, 2015 Randy Buehler
4 November 24, 2015 Luis Scott-Vargas
5 May 3, 2016 Eric Froehlich
6 January 3, 2017 Oliver Tiu
7 December 5, 2017 Reid Duke
8 July 17, 2018 Team ChannelFireball
9 April 2, 2019 Andreas Petersen

Other Super Leagues[]

Following the popularity of the VSL, other Super Leagues, also hosted by Randy Buehler, were created. The Standard Super League started on April 28, 2015, and was won by Owen Turtenwald. A second season was held over the summer that year; this season's winner was Gaby Spartz. Meanwhile, the Modern Super League debuted on September 15, 2015, and was won by Shaun McLaren. The Super Leagues culminated with a Super League Championship in October–November 2015; this event contained the top finishers from season three of VSL, the second season of the Standard Super League, and the first season of the Modern Super League. It used the Standard format, and was won by Paul Rietzl.

In 2016, the Community Super League was introduced. Instead of focusing on established formats and top players, the Community Super League featured prominent pundits, podcasters, and commentators playing various whacky formats. There were ten competitors - three of which are teams - comprising of streamers Paul Cheon and Kenji Egashira; commentators and streamers Gaby Spartz and Marshall Sutcliffe; video content creators Brian "The Professor" Lewis, Anthony "Wedge" D'Aconto and team LoadingReadyRun (Graham Stark and James Turner); podcast teams Magic The Amateuring (Maria Bartholdi and Meghan Wolff) and The Girlfriend Bracket (Erin Campbell, Kriz Schultz, Katie Neal and Hallie Santo); and R&D member Aaron Forsythe.

In 2017, a new initiative was started for a Team Draft Super League, using eight teams of three. The series is set to premiere on May 16, and will feature top-level players such as Peach Garden Oath, and Hall of Famers Luis Scott-Vargas, Ben Stark, Eric Froehlich, Jon Finkel, Jelger Wiegersma and Paul Rietzl. The team-based format was popular, but Team Draft was very much away from the average player's experience - from that, a Modern and Standard Teams Super League ran for two and one seasons respectively.

References[]

  1. Jacob Van Lunen (September 25, 2014). "Vintage Super League!". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.

External links[]

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