Amid Tanking Coverage, PT Brussels Carries On – "Magic: The Gathering"

Joel Larsson of Sweden is the Champion of Players Tour Brussels, a large-name professional Magic: The Gathering event!

Amid Tanking Coverage, PT Brussels Carries On - "Magic: The Gathering"
Joel Larsson's winning Pioneer decklist. Source: Wizards of the Coast

Larsson, back from retirement after having won Pro Tour Magic Origins back in 2015, used a homebrew deck dubbed by sources in the media as "Swedish Sultai", an apt name considering its origin and its color typing. All jokes aside though, the deck was fiercely powerful, having been able to overpower such archetypes as Bant Spirits, Lotus Breach (a relatively new archetype making use of a card from Theros: Beyond Death called Underworld Breach), and Blue-Black Inverter (also a new archetype, thanks to another new card – Thassa's Oracle).

"Swedish Sultai" made extensive use of a new card from Theros: Beyond Death as well – Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath. With four copies of this card in the main deck, it was surely a valuable asset for Larsson to make use of. After all, cards like Growth Spiral are nothing to scoff at – and this card does all that and more.

Amid Tanking Coverage, PT Brussels Carries On - "Magic: The Gathering"
Source: Wizards of the Coast

Despite the acclaim that Larsson has attained by coming back from professional Magic retirement to win this tournament, coverage for this event was abysmal. Twitch covered Players Tour Brussels at 2AM Central Time, meaning that many players in the United States were not going to be awake to invest their time into watching it. While obviously America isn't the entire world, they make up a very significant portion of the viewership of professional Magic: The Gathering events. Compared to the viewership of the first Mythic Championship event (which clocked in at 55,552 viewers), Players Tour Brussels only had about 17,811 people watching it.

Granted, this event saw more coverage than Players Tour Nagoya, also this weekend, which only saw 6,488 people viewing the stream (albeit which was in Japanese). Either way, though, the coverage for tabletop Magic events is faltering. Could Magic: The Gathering: Arena be partly at fault for this, or is it indicative of a bigger issue?

At whatever rate, congratulations to Joel Larsson for winning Players Tour Brussels!

Amid Tanking Coverage, PT Brussels Carries On - "Magic: The Gathering"
Source: Wizards of the Coast

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About Joshua Nelson

Josh Nelson is a Magic: The Gathering deckbuilding savant, a self-proclaimed scholar of all things Sweeney Todd, and, of course, a writer for Bleeding Cool. In their downtime, Josh can be found painting models, playing Magic, or possibly preaching about the horrors and merits of anthropophagy. You can find them on Twitter at @Burning_Inquiry for all your burning inquiries.
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