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Day 1 Team Analysis from Pro Tour Born of the Gods

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Fifteen different teams. One full day of top-level Magic.

The Pro Tour began with a three-round Draft and five rounds of Modern Constructed.

The recent addition of Born of the Gods to Draft (BNG-THS-THS) forced players to reevaluate the format from its predecessor (THS-THS-THS). Meanwhile, the Modern format got its own major update in the banning of Deathrite Shaman and the unbanning of Bitterblossom and Wild Nacatl. These changes turned the format on its head, reducing the power of Jund while bringing back Faeries and Zoo into the list of viable archetypes.

The Pro Tour is the premier event in Magic: The Gathering for a reason—adapting to all these changes within the span of weeks is extremely difficult. Many players team up in order to solve the Draft and Constructed formats, often holing themselves up in an apartment or house for a week, doing nothing but eating and breathing Magic.

In recent years, teams have grown in importance, with more players formally combining forces and making sponsorship deals with Magic websites. Notably, ChannelFireball acquired Team Pantheon this year, the team previously wearing StarCityGames.com's colors. This team has been a dominant force on the Pro Tour stage, comprising many Hall of Famers like Jon Finkel and Kai Budde and rising stars like Matt Costa and Sam Black.

ChannelFireball's original team may be credited with starting the whole "super team" trend. Headed by Luis Scott-Vargas, this team has the largest contingency from the Top 25 list including the top two: Ben Stark and Josh Utter-Leyton.

Almost everybody thought these two teams would dominate again at Pro Tour Born of the Gods. We'll see how they matched up to expectation a bit later.

Out of the fifteen rosters I collected for this Pro Tour, the smallest team was composed of five members, and the largest had twenty-one. The average size was about ten. The total number of players was 394, so the average team composed about 2.57% of the entire field. The largest team (Team Revolution) composed 5.33% of the field.

Team Name # Players
13 Angry Men 10
Card Monster Games 5
CFB Pantheon 15
ChannelFireball 15
Doge 8
Elaborate Ruse 12
FacetoFaceGames 13
Finland-US 7
Flipsidegaming.com 6
Japan 5
MTGMadness 10
MTGMintCard 8
No Team 242
Revolution 21
Seattle + Michael 5
TCGPlayer.com 11

While I have fifteen different teams on my list, it's likely I'm missing many more. In the data, 242 players are listed as "No Team"—but it's more likely that they did collaborate with others in some capacity. Either I don't have their roster or their team wasn't "formal" enough to have a defined team list. This isn't that surprising, as formal teams require a lot more organization to create.

If you want to check out who's on each team, see my Pro Tour Born of the Gods team roster page. Now, to the data!

Thanks to Chris Mascioli (@dieplstks) for doing most of the work on these.

Let's start with Limited.

Limited Results

Having a team to test Limited with has obvious benefits, especially if you have eight or more members. That's a queue ready to fire right there! Not only that, but having Limited specialists on a team is key because they can break down the format, discern what the best picks and archetypes are, and then share that information with everyone else.

Limited Win Percentage
MTGMadness 73.33%
ChannelFireball 66.67%
Japan 66.67%
Seattle + Michael 64.29%
13 Angry Men 63.33%
TCGPlayer.com 60.61%
FacetoFaceGames 57.89%
Elaborate Ruse 52.78%
CFB Pantheon 51.11%
Flipsidegaming.com 50.00%
MTGMintCard 47.83%
Finland-US 47.62%
No Team 47.39%
Revolution 42.37%
Doge 33.33%
Card Monster Games 28.57%

Team MTGMadness has a stunning win percentage of 73.33% out of thirty matches! Talk about a strong start. Not too far behind are ChannelFireball and Team Japan.

Marking the 50% line is Flipsidegaming.com. Below that, people labeled "No Team" performed at 47.39%, with twelve teams outperforming that number. We do have a few teams doing worse: Team Revolution (with 21 members), Team Doge (8 members), and Card Monster Games (5 members).

Here's Constructed.

Constructed Results

Constructed Win Percentage
Flipsidegaming.com 66.67%
MTGMintCard 65.00%
TCGPlayer.com 62.96%
CFB Pantheon 62.50%
Finland-US 61.76%
MTGMadness 58.00%
Elaborate Ruse 57.63%
ChannelFireball 57.33%
Seattle + Michael 56.00%
FacetoFaceGames 55.56%
Revolution 52.58%
Card Monster Games 52.38%
13 Angry Men 50.00%
No Team 46.02%
Japan 40.00%
Doge 37.84%

Constructed is clearly a different beast. The order of the teams is seemingly random compared to the last table. We have previously middling Flipsidegaming.com at the very top, along with MTGMintCard and TCGPlayer.com. MTGMadness continues to do well for itself, at 58%, but Team Japan falls drastically to second-to-last. Yikes!

Perhaps mistakes were made.

Out of the list, Team Doge is the only one who did worse than "No Team" in both categories. Such underdoge.

Overall Performance

When we combine the formats to look at the overall performance, this is what we get:

Overall Win Percentage
MTGMadness 63.75%
TCGPlayer.com 62.07%
ChannelFireball 60.83%
Flipsidegaming.com 60.42%
Seattle + Michael 58.97%
MTGMintCard 58.73%
CFB Pantheon 58.12%
FacetoFaceGames 56.44%
Finland-US 56.36%
Elaborate Ruse 55.79%
13 Angry Men 55.00%
Japan 50.00%
Revolution 48.72%
No Team 46.54%
Card Monster Games 42.86%
Doge 36.07%

MTGMadness heads the pack, with a pretty exceptional showing in Constructed and Limited. TCGPlayer.com is not too far behind. Japan averaged out to a 50% here, dropping the ball in Modern. And in last place is Team Doge…

(Credit Chris Mascioli)

It's worth mentioning here that while Team Seattle + Michael appears to be doing admirably, it's really more just Team Michael at this point, with his 8-0 start. Without Hetrick, the team would fall to 40%.

Team Head-to-Head Looks

Now for the Team Head-to-Heads!

The following tables are best viewed in Google Spreadsheets, so here's the link to them. To find Team A's win percentage against Team B, simply find Team A in the left-hand column and Team B at the top. The number at the intersection is what you're looking for. There are three sheets, which you can navigate by clicking the tabs at the bottom.

If the number is missing, either it's because Team A and Team B are the same team (meaning a 50% win percentage) or they never encountered one another in the event.

Note that we're not working with a ton of data here, especially with the smaller teams. It's not like every member of Team A played against all the members of Team B. Only a small fraction of each team played against one another. We can't infer too much, but this is still pretty fun to look at.

Notable Highlights:

  • Nobody went 100% against CFB or MTGMadness.
  • Only Team Michael and 13 Angry Men had positive records against MTGMadness.
  • Only Elaborate Ruse and MTGMadness has positive records against CFB.
  • While no one went 100% against CFB, they only went 100% against one team: TCGPlayer.
  • On the other hand, MTGMadness and 13 Angry Men went 100% against six different teams.
  • CFB Pantheon and Flipsidegaming.com went 100% against five different teams.
  • No Team only had a positive record against Team Doge.
  • Team Doge only had a positive record against Team FaceToFaceGames. (I'm not sure who should feel worse about this? Judge!)
  • The two teams with the highest win percentage against No Team at 70% were Team TCGPlayer and Team MTGMintCard.

Feel free to point out other fun stats in the comments or on Twitter. Chris and I will be doing this again tomorrow for Day 2, so stay tuned and watch the coverage.

Make sure to follow me on Twitter (@mulldrifting) while you're at it.

Meanwhile, root for #TeamDoge. They could use the support!


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