Luis Salvatto made the Top 8 of Grand Prix Stockholm today, tying Seth Manfield in the Player of the Year race and forcing a playoff to determine who will be the 2017-18 Player of the Year.

GP Stockholm was the last event in the 2017-18 Pro Tour Season, and three players were in contention for Player of the Year going into the tournament. Seth Manfield was in the lead, but just barely, with both Luis Salvatto and Reid Duke within a good finish of either tying or overtaking Manfield.

Both Salvatto and Duke travelled to Stockholm to play Modern and take a shot at winning Player of the Year, while Manfield was content to stay home. Duke had a rough Day 1 and failed to make Day 2, knocking him out of the running. Salvatto, on the other hand, not only made Day 2 but converted that into a Top 8, tying Manfield for Player of the Year.

Having made the Top 8 of GP Stockholm, Salvatto only needed to win his quarterfinal match against Ondrej Strasky to pass Manfield and become Player of the Year. Many pros, including Salvatto, had chosen to play UW Control in Stockholm, but Strasky was prepared for a control-heavy metagame with Bant Spirits and defeated Salvatto in a quick two games. Salvatto’s loss ended the Player of the Year race in a tie between himself and Manfield, forcing a playoff whose location and format will be announced at a later date.

The last time the Player of the Year ended in a tie was the 2010 season between Brad Nelson and Guillaume Matignon. Nelson had been at the top of the standings for most of the season, but at the 2010 World Championship, the last event of the 2010 season, both Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa and Matignon could overtake Nelson with a finals appearance or by winning the tournament, respectively. Damo da Rosa and Matignon met in the semifinals, with Matignon winning and then defeating Guillaume Wafo-Tapa in the finals, winning Worlds and tying Nelson for Player of the Year. Nelson went on to win the playoff, which was held at the following Pro Tour in Paris.

Both Salvatto and Manfield will be playing next weekend at the 2018 World Championships in Las Vegas, so it is possible Wizards will choose to hold the playoff next weekend. But Wizards has yet to announce anything, so stay tuned for details about when, where, and how the 2017-18 Player of the Year playoff will be played.

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