What was number of Vintage players last year?
Legacy was declining this year, 300 comparing to 450, most probably due to GP Birmingham next week.
Congrats to @Thiim wining trial Vintage event and scoring 9th place on main Vintage event, also congrats to @PeAcH on his Top16 and 5th place out of 45 players on Old School event!
tl;dr this top8 means very little format wise, reasons at the bottom
A brief premise about the format and this event that's now been held for the 3rd time.
It'd require a longer discussion, but while Legacy is still popular, EU Vintage is not doing that well at all.
MKM series dropped us and Europe has now only 4 "eternal" events with Vintage in it: two now laughable Ovinos, Nebraska's War and Eternal Weekend. Due to WotC EU/Italy (willingly?) ignoring official statement on proxy play and outdated and narrowminded preconcepts none of these is allowed to be with proxies. Old School here is not the nostalgia format, but it's the P9 format that vendors and vendor TOs are trying to push at the expense of Vintage.
Shouldn't be a surprise that EW EU it's a half-assed disappointment and it might not be entirely TO's fault tbh. First one had video coverage then it's been cut. First place gets the choice between painting (which WotC hands out for free) OR store credit. Play area is secluded and you can't spectate even if you're an enrolled player, due to TO history of theft. Attendance raised at first to then plummet this year, Legacy had less than Nebraska's War (that's now The de-facto Eternal Tournament). Being in Paris it's a huge detractor, really expensive. Advertisement could be miles better, it's always announced really late, especially prizes and who in his right mind other than a saboteur would schedule it the very weekend before the ONLY ONE Legacy GP in EU after 1y hiatus? For example none of our Italian Legacy big names even ever considered making it, most didn't even know it existed! One final funny detail, top8 was played with 90 min rounds and SUDDEN DEATH after. Don't get me wrong though in the end it was a decent event to partecipate to.
Regarding the metagame, long are gone the days when we in EU were innovating with TPS to battle 4Trinisfere MUD, now the majority are playing outdated or suboptimal stuff, close to no one is willing to change archetype. Low percentage of Shops is not due the price of the cards (no one is buying into Vintage anyway or into another archetype), but to the fact that there simply are few MUD players left, for example most of the old times players were Stacks aficionados that don't like the aggro approach. Low win % and top8 presence is explained by "the lack of a big overlap between good Shops specialists and people on up to date lists" and the good blue players know and exploit this, by respecting the MU less.
Top8 was: JAA Lopez was on Grixis Control, Zarzoso on UWR Mentorpyro, Henrik Storm on Eldrazi MUD, Cob, on a multi Combo deck, Nieto on Dredge, AR Villardell on my same deck, FRANCESCO GIANI leaguemate of mine from Italy and yours truly on @chubbyrain deck.
Winner was on Silence mentor (one main, one sideboard), which was a great choice for the meta.
I have scanned copies of all the decklists except for the top 8, which the TO took to post online later this week. I do have the top 9-16 decklists typed out but not the top 8 yet.
To add to @log, 9-16 were made up of 3x Shops (Thiim being the 9th seed), 1x 4c Leovold Control, 1x 5c Fish, 1x RUG Jace Control, 1x Xerox Mentor, 1x Outcome Oath Combo
@log I can feel the frustration in your message, and I get that it comes from a place of someone who is very passionate about the format. Still I think you might have come across harsher than you meant to.
I don't want to downplay the very real accomplishments of the players in this event. At least 120 players showed up to play vintage, a large number of them were seriously trying to top 8, but only 8 of them did. When I came into the format back in 2002, the idea that we could have even one 120 championship a year would have been mind boggling - the fact that it's 15 years later and we have multiple championships across the world is still exciting to me.
This next bit is directed at the site at large, not at any one person, so try not to take it personally.
I understand that for a lot of people the format is frustrating, and in many cases that's because they just want things to be better for everyone, and that's not a bad thing. When you're coming from that perspective I know it's easy to see every thread as a piece of evidence for your position - and surely if other people can just SEE that, we get this over with and the format will be great.
But sometimes people who enjoy playing vintage just want to play vintage. They want to talk about vintage and get excited about other people playing vintage and they want to congratulate other people for their vintage successes - make no mistake, this win was a real accomplishment no matter what decks the other 119 players were on.
I'm not going to stop people from saying they're generally upset with the format, or suggesting changes ... I wouldn't want to, and it would be unenforceable if I tried.
But if you can't find something to be excited about regarding Vintage Champs, maybe vintage just isn't something you're excited by right now ... and that's fine, it doesn't have to be. There are a lot of games out there and life's too short to spend a ton of time on a hobby that you don't find enriching.
Regarding top 8 corrections, JAA Lopez was on Grixis Control, Zarzoso on UWR Mentorpyro, Henrik Storm at his second top8, danish taxing player on Eldrazi MUD, Cob, from the US, but not a Vintage regular as confirmed by @qq on sort of PO, AR Villardell on my same deck, FRANCESCO GIANI leaguemate of mine from Italy and yours truly on @chubbyrain deck. From what I remember on top of my head, top 16 figured @thiim which I own my top8 to on Traxos MUD, Enrico Vair from Italy with BUGR Xerox and @peach on my same deck.
José Alacio was said to be on Moatzu Control because his nick on MOL is Moatzu and he plays his version of Grixis Thieves (and has been having success with it in the last 8 months), Alfonso was on Togores mentor because this is the deck Togores and Sergio Matesanz play in the LMV and on MOL.
Regarding Axel Cob, we saw some of his hands and we called it Fantasy deck because it had all the combos (PO, Dark Petition) and tried to do a lot of things.
Sorry if archetype names were missleading, but we did what we could with the info we had LIVE on site.
BTW it was great meeting you @Log and being able to talk about a little bit of everything during the EW.
If I didn't make it clear before because I was distracted by my rant, I'm super grateful that @PeAcH and @Log were able to gather info about the event, I don't know how I would have found anything out without them.
In my mind, at least, the best things about vintage have always been built by the the players, and I think this is an example of that.
I finally have time to edit my response and answer.
@qq That doesn't look like the full Silent Mentor package (multiple MBT and Stony Silence main), just has one rod effect main and one in the sideboard with a manabase much like @13NoVa EW NA deck. I'm not sure about the choice, I preferred @ChubbyRain approach that had 3 decks in top 16, at least before Traxos.
@Brass-Man I might have expressed myself really bad, but I wasn't complaining about the format or the metagame at all, I was presenting the dire situation Vintage is in EU and complaining about the fact that this leads to a less up-to-date playing field. One should look at tournament results here knowing that and with so few event here, there is no way one would play enough to grow tired of any imbalance of the meta, if there were one or not.
@PeAcH It was awesome meeting you and all the other guys, I will eventually come to the LCV, I'll let you know via PM.
@matori WotC hasn't been about EW on the mothership since the most recent 2-3 editions IIRC.
@Tittliewinks22 Francesco played an UWR Landstill that is basically a drain control shell in the Jeskai colors that tries to leverage the fact that he usually is the most experienced player by using Standstill. (Francesco is an old guard player, even traveled to Gencon back in the days)