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Community Favorites and Challengers

Meet the field of community favorites and Challengers looking to grab their share of the $1 million prize pool at the Mythic Invitational.

adver (Taiju Sugiyama, @advers5) – A graduate school student who's been playing Magic since 2015, adver is taking his first step into competitive Magic at the Mythic Invitational. His path here? Only being one of the top 8 ranked players during the qualifying season – so don't let that lack of experience suggest he doesn't have the chops to hang with the pros.

Aje8 (Andrew Elenbogen @ajelenbogen) – Winner of Pro Tour Guilds of Ravnica where he defeated Hall of Famer Luis Scott-Vargas in the final, Aje8 announced his presence in high-level Magic about as loudly as anyone in the history of the game. He likes to take a mathematical, analytical approach to deckbuilding and playing, and has certainly spent much of his substantial mental energy delving deeply into the Duo Standard format.

AliaDeschain (Beatriz Grancha @AliaDeschain) – Qualifying through the Arena qualifier season, AliaDeschain has been playing Magic since 2003. A lover of esports and Magic, she sees Arena as a perfect fit. She says she "likes to win by using the combat step", so expect some no-nonsense play from a player who sees everyone else in the tournament as a rival. "I want to beat them all" ... that says it all.

Amazonian (Amy Demicco @coL_Amazonian) – A Boston native defending her home turf, Amazonian has been playing since 2009 and is coming off a third-place finish in the most recent Twitch Rivals MTG Arena tournament. A mechanical engineer by trade, she's been streaming Arena regularly since it came online, often with her cat "Scraps McGee, Cat Detective" at her side.

AnnaMae (Audrey Zoschak @AnnaMaeStreams) – Coming in to the game in 2014 through Commander, that had been AnnaMae's primary format until she started playing Arena about a year ago. With a young and unsolved Duo Standard format, she's looking to approach the field with non-metagame strategies and push them to their limits.

AutumnLilyMTG (Autumn Burchett @AutumnLilyMTG) – The newest Mythic Championship winner fresh off their MC Cleveland victory in February, AutumnLilyMTG continues to blaze a trail through Magic history as the first non-binary transgender player to win a major tournament. Will Mono-Blue Tempo again be a weapon of choice? One thing's for sure – no level of pressure will intimidate AutumnLilyMTG.

BDM (Brian David-Marshall @Top8Games) – If there’s a hat to wear across the 25+ year history of Magic, BDM has worn it. Player, store owner, tournament organizer, writer, commentator, and more, the Pro Tour Historian has been a part of the game at every step along the way. After hanging up his coverage microphone last month at Mythic Championship I in Cleveland, he now gets to see what life is like under the hot lights of competition.

bolov0 (Thiago Saporito @bolov0) – Want to know who the No. 1 ranked Mythic Constructed player was last season? Look no further than Brazilian Pro Tour standout bolov0. Alongside MPLers Carlos Romao and Marcio Carvalho, bolov0 finished second at Pro Tour 25th Anniversary last year and has his focus on making it to the MPL alongside his friends and teammates.

CalebDMTG (Caleb Durward @CalebDMTG) – One of the most prolific Magic streamers for the last few years, CalebDMTG has plenty of IRL tournament experience. He's played in six Pro Tours and has three Grand Prix Top 8s, coming a long way from humble beginnings in rural Wisconsin, where the closest game store was up to 2 hours away.

cedricaphillips (Cedric Phillips @CedricAPhillips) – Caster for the SCG Tour, content coordinator for StarCityGames.com, and general entrepreneur, Phillips has been a fixture in the Magic community for years. With one Pro Tour and two Grand Prix Top 8s under his belt, this event marks his return to high-level play.

gabyspartz (Gaby Spartz @GabySpartz) – When Arena was first showed off to the public, it was in the capable hands of gabyspartz when she battled Amaz in the debut showcase. As a full-time streamer, she's thrilled to see the Magic streaming community take big strides into the esports ecosystem. If she's not streaming Magic, you'll probably find her playing video games or tabletop games with friends.

Jamietopples (Jamie Rigatti @jamietopples) – With a play style described as "like the Goblin Guide with an upside-down map", expect excitement when Jamietopples shuffles up and plays. There's a method to that madness, as evidenced by her 10th-place finish at Grand Prix Cleveland in 2017 ... but she admits that against this field of pros, she's "the most underdog of underdogs."

jesstephan_ (Jessica Estephan @jesstephan) – jesstephan caught the attention of the Magic competitive world as the first woman to win a Grand Prix when she took home the title at Grand Prix Sydney 2018 with teammates Ryan Lewis Jonns and Lachlan Saunders. Describing her play style as "does the game really need to take longer than four turns?", she sees herself on the cusp of a future that she's wanted for a long time.

Teruya Kakumae (Teruya Kakumae @fushiginokunin5) – A regular at Pro Tours over the last few years, Kakumae found his way to the Mythic Invitational through the MTG Arena qualifier season. He and his teammates on the Japanese super team Musashi won the first Team Series Championship in 2017, and now he's looking to make his mark on the individual stage.

Zachary Kiihne (Zachary Kiihne @ZKiihne) – Kiihne's been a regular at Grand Prix and StarCityGames.com Opens the last few years and has had a taste of high-level play at two Pro Tours. He's scheduled to graduate from UMass Amherst in May as a computer science and economics major, and freely admits that he's looking to step up his game against the level of competition he'll face in Boston. "There's no room for mediocrity."

legenvd (Luca Van Deun @LegenVD) – Since he started playing in 2004, there isn't a color, deck style, or archetype legenvd hasn't played and enjoyed. Duels of the Planeswalkers got him back to the game after a hiatus, and now Arena has him reaching new heights. With a Grand Prix Top 8 to his name he's familiar with tournament pressure, but knows that he may need a little luck for a deep run in this power-packed field.

Lewk (Lewk Faley @lucasfaley) – There must be something in the water in Iowa City. Both Lewk and wyattdarbyMTG hail from there and the two frequently battle on weekends as friendly rivals. He proved to himself that he belonged in competitive Magic when he qualified for his first Mythic Championship at Pro Tour Oath of the Gatewatch in 2016. Now he sees this tournament as his chance to make it on the big stage.

LSV (Luis Scott-Vargas @lsv) – Arguably the most popular and recognizable Magic player in the game today, LSV is coming off back-to-back Top 8s at 2019 Mythic Championship I and Pro Tour Guilds of Ravnica. That brought his Top 8 total to ten—enough for two Hall of Fame careers. But did you know he also used to be a competitive Street Fighter player?

Merchant (Connagh Hawkins @coL_Merchant) – Merchant got an unconventional start in Magic – he started with Unglued! After playing off and on until 2009, he started playing regularly with Innistrad in 2011. He sees it as a big honor to share the stage with players like Reid Duke and William Jensen, excited by the chance for the world of the pros and influencers to collide in one big event.

MTGNerdGirl (Brittany Hamilton @MTGNerdGirl) – Saying that "most of [her] life revolves around gaming," MTGNerdGirl has been playing Magic since 2000 when her D&D group introduced her to the game. After an 0-2 start at Grand Prix Las Vegas 2013, she ran off twelve straight wins to make the Top 32, stunning her casual play group in the process.

muffinpastrypie (Ashley Espinoza @Muffinpastrypie) – In what time she can find around streaming, muffinpastrypie is a nursing student in an accelerated program. A Magic player since 2014, the release of Arena re-ignited her interest in the game and now she finds herself on the game's biggest stage.

NessaMeowMeow (Vanessa Hinostroza @nessameowmeow) – A job opportunity at a local game store got NessaMeowMeow into Magic – she had to learn the game as a condition of being hired – and she became immediately hooked. Just two short years later she's cosplaying and streaming Magic as a major contributor to the game's community. She shares a friendly rivalry with MuffinPastryPie and AnnaMae, two of her closest friends.

numotthenummy (Kenji Egashira @NumotTheNummy) – Another top Magic streamer, numotthenummy lives and breathes the game (and probably with a headset on the whole time). He just got married, so a high performance in Boston would make for an unforgettable month. He's been at the game since he was 8, describing Magic as "the biggest part of my life for the better part of 20 years."

pterodactylsftw (Sheila Weidman @Pterodactylsftw) – A regular tabletop Magic player in college, pterodactylsftw brought that passion to a new play group when she moved away. She describes herself as super-competitive, and when she loves something like Magic she gives it her all. From weekly FNM play to the grand stage of the Mythic Invitational, pterodactylsftw is ready to take on all challengers.

quicksort (Edoardo Annuziata @edo_annunziata) – A Magic player since 2004, quicksort is making his debut at a major Magic tournament. He earned his slot with a top 8 finish in the MTG Arena qualifier, suggesting this self-described casual player is ready to take the next step. But high-level competition isn't new to quicksort – he participated in math competitions in high school in his native Italy, finishing second in the 2014 national tournament.

Savjz (Janne Mikkonen @Savjz) – A former Hearthstone player, Savjz has been streaming games for five years and has built up more than half a million Twitch followers. A Magic player since 1999, his on-again/off-again relationship with the game is most definitely back on when he got into MTG: Arena during the open beta. Along with good friends sjow and thijs, he's looking to take his best shot at the MPL players at the Invitational.

sjow (Jeffrey Brusi @LiquidSjow) – No stranger to major gaming tournaments, sjow is setting aside Hearthstone and Starcraft to take his shot at Magic: The Gathering. Arena got him back into the game after a 10+ year hiatus, and this full-time streamer has worked his way up to a top-200 Mythic Constructed ranking.

Skybilz (Allison Maino @Skybilz) – A streamer who also enjoys speed-running retro games, Skybilz has been a performer of one kind or another for much of her life. The spotlight's no stranger to her, having sung twice at Carnegie Hall. She found Magic during grad school, turning to the game as a way to relax.

Ondrej Strasky (Ondřej Stráský @OndrejStrasky) – Just when he thought he had retired from Magic, Arena came along and pulled Strasky back into the fold. Strasky had been a regular at Grand Prix and Pro Tours, and here in Boston he has his eye on exacting revenge against bolov0 who beat him in the Top 8 of Pro Tour Khans of Tarkir.

TheAsianAvenger (David Nguyen @Theasianavenger) – In a field of many aggro players, TheAsianAvenger happily admits he enjoys grindy games. In fact, the fewer the win conditions, the better! Away from Magic, he played in a major-label band that toured with twenty one pilots and Fitz & the Tantrums. He got his start playing Magic at Superstars (now ChannelFireball) in the Bay Area, a mecca of high-level Magic over the last decade.

Thijs (Thijs Molendijk @G2Thijs) – Magic had always seemed just out of reach for Thijs until MTG: Arena came along. He jumped in with both feet -- bringing along his 600,000+ Twitch followers -- and is eager to see how he stacks up against the competition in Boston in his first major Magic event. After achieving nearly everything he's wanted as a Hearthstone player, he welcomes this new challenge.

thundermo_hellkite (Matthew Moreno @Thundermo_HK) – A "Timmy that really wants to be a Spike,", thundermo_hellkite has been slinging spells since 2009. He describes his streaming community as his second family, so expect plenty of support online during the event. In his spare time, he's building a "Ninja Warrior" course at a local trampoline park!

wyattdarbymtg (Wyatt Darby @WyattDMTG) – wyattdarbymtg describes winning Pro Tour Dominaria last year as "a life-changing moment", allowing him to play Magic full-time. His sights are firmly set on making the MPL next year, fueling a competitive drive that has seen him get a top-100 Mythic Constructed ranking while also competing regularly at tabletop Mythic Championships.

Yellowhat (Gabriel Nassif @gabnassif) – Magic Hall of Famer, Player of the Year, and two-time Pro Tour champion, there's not much Yellowhat hasn't achieved in the world of Magic. This Paris native started playing in major Magic tournaments at age 16, amassing a stunning resume over the last 19 years. No stranger to dramatic moments, Yellowhat owns one of the most iconic plays in Pro Tour history when he arranged his mana before drawing the seven-mana Cruel Ultimatum at Pro Tour Kyoto.

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