@stsung I mostly agree on what you said, it's usually one or more of those reasons, depending on the specific group of players and also the few chances of playing Vintage just generate a loop (few tournaments- > few "prepared" players -> low attendance/competition -> fewer tournaments etc.)
The Danish guys are just sort of a proof of that: Thiim came 9th with Traxos (that'd be the Shops specialist on a close-to-stock list) and Henrik made top 8 with something that looks close to unplayable (Eldrazi + actual Spheres?! that'd be the veteran player on a questionable deck.
Here we have also another kind of player, those that used to be REALLY good back in the days and just are not up to date anymore, but it's hard to show them without having them play on MODO or in the US. They're just so much better equipped than the average Vintage player that they can show up with anything and being a contender, especially on stuff that punishes the unprepared like Standstill, Remora, etc.
@ribby Thanks. We've been there for a while, IMO. The most common mode of Fiery Confluence was the "6 to opponent's face" as it closed out the game in a hurry with life-loss and Bolt-Snap-Bolt. I think Mentor getting restricted along with Gush made the control role worse and incentivized decks to try and exploit tempo more effectively, with cards like Wasteland. Shops is still the best tempo deck, but the URx decks can definitely fit into that role.
Edit: Also, Smash on a Precursor Golem is so good. About as good as Fiery Confluence on Precursor.
I'm gonna scoop up all the "Didn't drop but still last" prizes from here on out! Every misplay = tons of knowledge. Thanks for putting this together and I am looking forward to haphazardly piloting a new deck at the next event!
I understand you played in a number of February events, so I am looking forward to seeing those.
I played in the 1/27 event, but did not record data (was streaming and felt emotionally drained after 0-2'ing the top 8 and 0-3'ing a league).
I generally don't have time to spend a whole Saturday afternoon playing in these events on a weekly basis, but I would be inclined to enroll one or more a month simply to help you with the data collection. I could also help you crowd source the help, if that's becoming a bear.
Any help is appreciated, even if it's just helping to enter round data after the event. The time commitment is rough, but if someone plays the event, takes a screenshot of standings, and watches the "not-32", we can do the rest of the work later with flexibility. Hopefully, we can crowdsource that.