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Australia and New Zealand Winter Preliminary Results

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The Australia and New Zealand Winter Preliminary took place over the weekend, with the winner being awarded a seat at the Asia-Pacific Winter Championships in California. NaviOOT ended up taking the slot, beating Flamingobums in the final. The format was best of five Conquest with a ban.

The tournament featured 8 players, all of whom were Australian: Ender, IcySenpai, ProfessorOak, Swishface, Ancientelder, Fan810, NaviOOT, and Flamingobums. It was played as a double elimination knockout event.

NaviOOT and Flamingobums were the story of the tournament. They were the most notable players in the event and also known to be good friends. In the first game of the day, Flamingobums beat NaviOOT 3-2 to send him down to the lower bracket. NaviOOT then beat Ancientelder, IcySenpai, Swishface, and ProfessorOak to fight his way through to the final for a rematch.

NaviOOT's decks were Freeze Mage, RenoLock, Control Warrior, and Druid. Flamingobums brought Tempo Mage, Secret Paladin, ZooLock and Patron Warrior. NaviOOT banned Warlock, Flamingobums banned Mage. Those were the same bans as in the first round. In the first game of the final, Flamingobums beat Warrior with his Paladin, largely thanks to an early Divine Favor. For the second game, NaviOOT stayed with his Control Warrior, while Flamingobums chose to use his Tempo Mage. Flamingobums drew a terrific early curve and soon extended his lead to 2-0.

This meant Flamingobums just needed to win one game with Patron Warrior. NaviOOT again requeued his Control Warrior, which this time drew all the answers and won easily. He then carefully navigated a tricky RenoLock matchup to tie the scores 2-2. This left him with an unfavoured Druid matchup for the final game. NaviOOT drew better midrange options than Flamingobums, and balanced his ramp and minions well to take down the match 3-2. He will now play in the APAC Winter Final later in the month, and won $3,000 for his efforts.

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