Week 1 of the Magic Pro League’s inaugural Spark Split is in the books. The 28 of the 32 members of the MPL played 20 Best-of-3 Standard matches of the course of last week, which were then highlighted during the new four-hour Magic Pro League Weekly show on Saturday.

The players brought a variety of decks, with Azorius Aggro and Esper Control being the most popular, at seven and six copies each.

Match of the Week

The Match of the Week for Week 1 comes courtesy of the Sapphire Division’s Pitor Glogowski and Andrea Mengucci. Glogowski chose Esper Midrange for Week 1, which is one of the decks that gained a lot from War of Spark’s release, while Mengucci played one of the Standard format’s pillars, Mono-White Aggro.

In Game 1, Glogowski stumbled on mana while Mengucci pulled ahead with an army of one-drops and a flipped Adanto, the First Fort.

Glogowski’s deck provided too much mana to start Game 2 and he looked to have lost the match without playing much Magic. At one life, he was facing an imposing board from Mengucci—a Benalish Marshal, a flipped Adanto, the First Fort and two Vampire tokens, a Knight from a History of Benalia, a Snubhorn Sentry, and a Dauntless Bodyguard—against just a Hero of Precinct One and a Deputy of Detention on Glogowski’s side of the battlefield.

Glogowski drew his card—a Hostage Taker. After tanking for a minute, he played the Hostage Taker, targeting his own Deputy of Detention and creating a Human token from the Hero of Precinct One. He then replayed the Deputy, creating another Human token from the Hero of Precinct One and targeting Mengucci’s three Conclave Tribunals with the Deputy’s ability. Exiling those Conclave Tribunals freed a second Hero of Precinct One and a Teferi, Hero of Dominaria, the latter of which tucked Mengucci’s Benalish Marshall, effectively stabilizing the game.

But Glogowski wasn’t done yet. After Mengucci drew a land and had no plays, Glogowski untapped and drew a Finale of Eternity, which he can cast for the full 10 mana—destroying Mengucci’s three best creatures and returning all of the creatures from Glogowski’s graveyard to the battlefield. It was a devastating blow to Mengucci, who conceded after untapping and drawing another land.

Game 3 wasn’t quite as dramatic. Both players had solid starts—Mengucci with a one-two-three curve into Benalish Marshal and Glogowski with a Hero of Precinct One into Oath of Kaya to kill the Marshal. Mengucci looked to pull ahead when he answered the Hero with a Baffling End into a second Benalish Marshal, but Glogowski found a Teferi, Time Raveler to bounce the Oath of Kaya and kill the second Marshall, from which Mengucci couldn’t recover.

Magic Pro League Divisional Rundown

The Magic Pro League is divided into four divisions: Emerald, Pearl, Ruby, and Sapphire. Each division has eight players that will play a seven-match round robin tournament over five weeks to determine a winner. The winner of each division will advance directly to Day 2 of Mythic Championship III in June.

The Emerald Division

The MPL’s Emerald Division only had three matches in Week 1, with Shota Yasooka’s match against Martin Juza being rescheduled to a later week. Seth Manfield (Mono-Red) defeated Alexander Hayne (Esper Midrange) 2-1, Grzegorz Kowalski (Dimir Control) defeated Christian Hauck (Azorius Aggro) 2-0, and Brad Nelson (Azorius Aggro) defeated Matthew Nass (Esper Control) 2-0.

The Pearl Division

The Pearl division played a full set of four matches in Week 1, resulting in clean top and bottom halves of the standings. Lee Shi Tian (Azorius Aggro) defeated Luis Salvatto (Esper Control) 2-1, Andrew Cuneo (Esper Control) defeated Javier Dominguez (Mono-White) 2-0, Eric Froehlich (Mono-White) defeated John Rolf (Mono-Red) 2-0, and Brian Braun-Duin (Esper Midrange) defeated Shahar Shenhar (Esper Control) 2-1.

The Ruby Division

The Ruby Division was missing two of its players for Week 1, as both Jessica Estephan and Janne Mikkonen joined the Magic Pro League the Monday of Week 2. But four of the six players that were present played two matches each, bringing the division’s match total to five in Week 1.

William Jensen (Azorius Aggro) won both of his matches, defeating Reid Duke (Azorius Aggro) 2-1 and Ben Stark (Rakdos Aggro) 2-1. Stark also lost his second match to Lucas Esper Berthoud (Gruul Aggro) 0-2. Berthoud lost his second match to Duke 2-0, while Ken Yukuhiro (Bant Aggro) defeated Carlos Romão (Esper Control) 2-0 in both players’ only match of the week.

The Sapphire Division

All eight players from the Sapphire Division were active for Week 1 and played two matches apiece.

Piotr Glogowski (Esper Midrange) won both of his matches, defeating Andrea Mengucci (Mono-White Aggro) 2-1 in our Match of the Week and Mike Sigrist (Esper Control) 2-1. Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa also won both of his matches, defeating Autumn Burchett (Mono-Red Aggro) 2-1 and Márcio Carvalho (Mono-White Aggro) 2-1.

Carvalho lost his second match, as well, going down 0-2 to Rei Sato (Azorius Aggro). Sato lost his second match to Burchett, 0-2. Like Carvalho, Jean-Emmanuel Depraz also lost both of his matches, losing to Andrea Mengucci 0-2 and Mike Sigrist 0-2.

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