US National Champion Michael Hamilton Wins First-Ever Flesh-and-Blood World Championship
Michael Hamilton battled through three days of competition to become the first flesh and blood World Champion and win $100,000 today in San Jose, CA by defeating Christopher Iaali in the tournament final.
After years of events, this weekend was the culmination of hard work for the competition flesh and blood players. Hamilton emerged victorious after 16 rounds of Classic Constructed, Draft and Blitz to enter the top eight where he rode Iyslander, Stormbind to add another accolade to his already impressive CV.
Hamilton is a two-time call-up champion and United States national champion. He entered the tournament as one of the most accomplished players on the pitch and can now qualify as the very first flesh and blood world champion.
“After winning Nationals with a very original deck, I really wanted to see what I could do if I put in all the time…it really paid off,” Hamilton said in a post-game interview.
He entered the top-eight group as the eighth seed. He won an Iyslander mirror match against top-ranked Viet Pham in the quarter-finals. He then beat Pei-Tung Liao and Iaali running Briar, a match Hamilton said he practiced a lot against in the build-up to the tournament.
The last game between Iaali and Hamilton was a great display of high level flesh and blood. It was a delicate dance between the two players looking for their big game-changing attacks. Each roster wants to play a slower game plan that depends on resource accumulation and works towards a scenario where a key turn will do break the game.
Briar was one of the most successful decks in the competitive scene. He entered the tournament with 922 Living Legend points, approaching the 1000 mark for him to receive a Classic Constructed ban. Living Legend is a smooth rotation system flesh and blood used to keep the metagame fresh. Briar is avoiding living legend status for now and Iyslander will earn 300 points off his total, taking it to 492 points.
Along with the World Championship was the Calling: San Jose tournament, which was another major tournament. In a surprising result, Chandler To won the event with a Rhinar decklist, a sizable underdog roster entering the event.
He beat Patrick Requejo and his Bravo list in the final.
The World Championship and Call awards invitations to professional tournaments, which are the gateway to competing in major Pro Tour events and the 2023 World Championship. Players will begin fighting for their spot the next year with the upcoming Pro Quest season and the release of flesh and bloodis the next set Dynasty the 11th of November.