The rules are simple: You make 4 picks: Day 1 winner, Day 1 Biggest Ratings Gain, Day 2 Winner, and Day 2 Biggest Ratings Gain. Whoever makes the most correct picks wins!
Here's who's registered for 2e Worlds Day 1:
Michael Van Breemen 1995
Eric Robinett 1913
Jared Hoffman 1785
Tjark Ott 1783
Christopher Jansa 1758
Stuart Motley 1730
Ben Liebich 1723
Maggie Geppert 1713
Nick Yankovec 1676
Thorsten Wanek 1601
Fritz Meissner 1599
Daniel Giddings 1584
"Expert" Picks and analysis:
Day 1 Winner: This 13 player field is loaded with talent. I think with 6 rounds and a top 7 cut line, there's room for people with Earned byes to play it a little safe. That said, it should also be a competitive field, so emphasis on "little" ... can't take it too easy! While any player in this field could make a run, I think Eric is well positioned to have a good day. Assuming he doesn't get cute and plays what he knows, that Borg deck is hard to stop, even if you see it coming.
Day 1 Most Improved: This one is even harder than picking a winner, but I'm going with Nick Yankovec. His sub-1700 rating gives him a lot of upside in this field and I think he might be a little salty that nobody is picking him to play Khan in the affiliation draft. Here's the thing: With 5 Space Voyager in the meta, Khan is a great oblique meta play, and Nick might very well be the most experienced Khan player in the game. It wouldn't shock me if he made some noise and knocked off one of the top dogs along the way.
Day 2 Winner: I think MVB is tired of only having one 2e Worlds title. He has the talent to win any tournament he enters, but does he still have that eye of the tiger to make him a truly dangerous opponent? That remains to be seen, but if he does, look out! Even if he doesn't, I'm going with the talent and experience he brings to the table and going chalk: MVB to win.
Day 2 most improved: normally the player going 3-0 stands to gain the most rating points, but with MVB already way ahead of the field, a plucky 2-1 performance by the right person could pay dividends here. Enter the Dark horse: Christopher Jansa. He's a criminally Underrated player who doesn't have the notoriety of some of these other players but does have some results. I could see him making day 2 and then making a splash with a 2-1 podium finish and a big Ratings Gain even if he does take a loss to MVB along the way.
But wait, there's more! There's a rub: the boys across the pond have made it more interesting... the person who finishes highest in the Friday Hall of Fame event that doesn't make top 7 of day 1 gets the 8th qualifying spot. First off, whoever made that decision needs a raise, because that's awesome. Second off... now we have a tiebreaker opportunity! Whoever correctly picks the Hall of Fame qualifier gets an edge in the main Pickem game. There's currently 8 players registered, and some of the big dogs won't be in the field because they'll be playing 1e. Here's the thing though. Unlike picking a winner or a Ratings Gain, this isn't so easy. Who's going to do well here but miss the cut in the main event is the question one has to answer. For me, I'm going with Thorsten Wanek. This guy is an old school player who hasn't been as active recently, but still has the talent. I wouldn't be surprised if he came up with something creative for Hall of Fame and catches a couple people off guard. He's right on the Day 2 bubble for me in the main event, so a good showing here might just put him over.
Day 1 Winner: Eric R
Day 1 Ratings Gain: Nick Yankovec
Day 2 Winner: MVB
Day 2 Ratings Gain: Chris Jansa
HoF Qualifier: Thorsten Wanek
So there it is!
Now it's your turn. What do you think will happen this weekend? Get your picks in now for ultimate bragging rights!
And most importantly, good luck to all the players heading into the arena this weekend. I'm looking forward to seeing games and hearing stories and I can't wait to see how it all shakes out!