After earning their spots through the Qualifiers we've held for the past six weekends, sixty-four players will battle next weekend for the top spot at the $5K Championship.
… and meet a handful of them below.
Meet the Competitors
4LW, Multiple Top #1 in Ladder (AM); Seasonal Top 8; Worlds Competitor.
A student pursuing their PhD in Philosophy in João del-Rei, Brazil, 4WL teaches philosophy, and does translations and text reviews.
Playstyle: "I prefer reactive lineups where I get to have multiple options to answer my enemies' threats. It gives me a greater feeling of control of what the outcome will be."
Camilari, 3x Top Cut in Seasonals (EU); Top 10 Qualifier to Worlds EU
Camilari, 28, lives in Madrid (Spain), and works at a petrol station while studying business administration and management.
Playstyle: "I prefer control/combo decks, but I usually play the most broken decks I can fit in a lineup."
DaneBlast(tombsimon), Top 30 in Ladder (EU)
DaneBlast is a Linguistics student and professional Magic player from Denmark, who considers Runeterra a better game. "Until now I hadn't taken LoR seriously that much," DaneBlast says, "because I only have time for it in Magic's off seasons, but in January I decided to give it my all, and right now I have my Mastering Runeterra Open win and I'm currently sitting at top 30 of the EU ladder.
Playstyle: "I prefer synergistic Aggro decks, or Combo decks in general. My favorite archetype is Thralls, even though I haven't played it in ages. I'm not a fan of Control, or grindy Midrange."
A Computer Science student at Princeton, New Jersey, this Championship is h3ko's first major tournament outside Seasonals open rounds.
Playstyle: "I really enjoy Midrange/Combo decks. My favorite deck of all time has to be Draven/Ezreal Tri-Beam."
IzziOwned, Top #1 in Ladder (AM) last season, Top 4 in Fight Night Brazil.
IzziOwned hails from Rio Claro, Brazil, and studies Statistics. "I never played card games until I started playing runeterra in April last year," IzziOwned says, "so you could say I'm new to this game format."
Playstyle: "I usually like to play Control or Combo decks."
Luna, Masters (EU) every season since Beta
"This is my very first tournament outside Seasonals," says Luna, a recently-graduated veterinarian assistant from Belgium in search of their first job. "I've qualified for all Seasonals, but I never got further than 7-2. And, well, I've also missed one check-in because I woke up 2 minutes too late. I'd like to start playing more community tournaments, and maybe try to get into a team, which would motivate me to play more and try harder."
Playstyle: "My favorite archetype is Elise-TF Go Hard. I love decks with lots of decision points, that require lots of thinking for the perfect play each turn.
"On the other hand, I hate playing (and playing against) Combo decks (Lee Sin, mostly) or decks which win with a single frustrating card (Old Watcher deck, Iceborn...)."
Minasia, 2x Top #1 in Ladder (AM), Deemed 5head Gamer by Riot Phreak (when he casted Minasia in the first Seasonal Open Rounds)
Aged 18, Minasia is the Wobbly Wombats' youngest player. "And have historically been an LP daytrader on ladder, haha! I've played card games like Hearthstone and Duelyst casually, but LoR is the only game I've ever been good at (my next closest was being hard-stuck at Plat in League)."
Playstyle: "Not too sure, actually. I tend to like decks that win in a rather unorthodox way. For example, I really like Thralls, or how Azirelia relied on setting up your engines and using Blade Dance/Soldier synergy instead of the normal pattern of play units, trade, attack every other turn. I loved TK Raka and Lucian Hecarim back when it was good, etc. I guess you could say I like Combo."
Owi, Seasonal Champion, Rise Of The Underworlds; 2x Seasonals Top Cut; Second place, Masters Europe Chronicles Of Targon
Owi lives in southwestern France, and after working different jobs in the last ten years, is now devoted entirely to the creation of LoR content on YT, Twitch, coaching, and tournaments.
Painas, Seasonal Champion, Top #2 in Ladder (EU)
"I'm 42 years old and live near Barcelona, Spain," says Painas, "and I'm an electronics engineer. I've been passionate about strategy and card games since I was young -- I played chess competitively until I was 18, and then I started to play MTG competitively, but mainly for fun and to travel with my friends. As of late, I play almost all Riot games for fun, and I'm trying to be competitive in LoR."
Playstyle: "I like Aggro and Combo, but usually I end up playing the meta decks."
A chemist, and a multitasker. "I've played all the qualifiers on my phone, while playing Magic events on my computer," says Pykamancer. "High chance I'll be doing the same this weekend. If it’s not broken, why fix it, right?"
Playstyle: "I always go for three-good-decks lineups. You will never catch me doing the 'beat the best deck with these two suboptimal decks with a 55% win rate if you squint your eyes and draw perfectly,' by the way. Ahri Kennen is getting banned in 100% of my matches, and I will be playing Ahri Kennen and two other good decks."
Random7HS, Second Place, Seasonals; Worlds Competitor;
Random7HS is a software engineer from Silicon Valley, and member of the Wobbly Wombats.
Playstyle: "Feel the Minah is my favorite deck because it is one of the few decks I've made by myself. In general, I prefer late-game Combo and Control decks. Specifically, my favorites are the aforementioned Feel the Minah, Deep, Karma Ezreal and Spooky Karma."
RhoombaWhack, Masters every Season since release
LoR is the fourth CCG that this computer science college student from North Carolina has played competitively, after Pokemon, Hearthstone and Eternal. "In general, I'm sitting at a lower Masters placement during the school year," says RhoombaWhack, "but I get to around Top 100 when I have time to grind."
Playstyle: "I used to be a big Aggro lover! However, over time I have realized that one of the benefits of aggro (short games) in Ladder does not carry over to Tournament play. This has caused me to shift to play more midrange decks, especially because I do not like playing decks that struggle to be proactive."
Saltysimon, Captain, Team Sweden in EU Masters; Top #1 in Ladder (EU); Top Cut, Seasonals
"I am currently, for some reason, studying to become an account manager," says Saltysimon, a 24 years old waiter & bartender from Sweden who's been playing card games for almost a decade. "And I've been streaming a bit for about a year."
Saltysimon arrives to this Invitational with an impressive record: the only player to have reached Top 4 in two different Qualifiers.
Playstyle: "I prefer to either go triple Aggro or triple Control -- I hate playing midrange decks. But my approach to tournament lineups is to play whatever are the best decks/lineups, more than what I prefer to play."
Shadawx, Winner, Dreamhack; Builder of the Best Decks (source: self-assessment)
Another Wobbly Wombats representative, Shadawx lives in Ontario, Canada. 31 years old and father of two, he graduated from game development and design, and currently works as a Full stack developer. "I don't care for Ladder," says Shadawx, "so I don't grind much to climb and I just enjoy playing whatever I feel like that day."
Playstyle: "I can play anything, but I guess on Ladder I like aggro or quick decks, while for tournaments I usually go for Combo or Control."
Sirturmund, Winner, Mastering Runeterra Qualifier#2
One of our staple writers, MonteXristo, had the misfortune of running into Sirturmund in round 7 of the Seasonal.
"I was 6-1 at the time," Monte recalls, "with no ladder placement for x-2 blessing so I HAD to win. Seeing his name appear on my screen psyched me out and I ended up losing a very close set, I remember it coming down to a single turn.
"I was playing Sivir Leblanc, and he was on Lee Sin. There were multiple Eye of the Dragon on the board and I needed to Rally, to force blocks going into my open attack, so I could seal out the game… but instead I thought, 'I have Might in hand, I'll just get more value out of the rally next turn', completely forgetting that he was going to spawn dragonlings and heal up on top of having mana available to answer my threats in other ways.
"Needless to say I was tilted when the turn rolled over and I realized my mistake -- Sirturmund went on to play flawlessly and win the set."
The happy coda? Fast forward to now: they have become writing partners.
Squallywag, 2x Top 32 and 1x Top 4 in Riot Tournaments.
Squallywag is from Pittsburgh, and attends Duquesne University.
Playstyle: "I like to play decks with a big blind bald man, who kicks away everything in his sight."
… we'll introduce you to more Competitors tomorrow! =)