Papa Longo’s Story Time—Team Draft League

I was lucky enough to be invited into Matt Jones and Hugh Kramer’s Team Draft League. I started in its second season. The rules of the draft league are relatively simple; you put together a three person team and battle once a week (eight weeks this season) against another team. The top four teams with the best record go on to a single elimination play off.

Determined to win in my first season, I assembled a monster crew consisting of Jamie Parke (who you might remember from such Top 8’s as ProTour Journey into Nyx, 2008 World Championships, 1999 World Championships, et al.) and Colette LeRoux (who won a Grand Prix Trial).  Our team name was “Protect Ya Deck” and the draft format was Theros, Born of the Gods and Journey into Nyx (fitting for titans such as ourselves).

Team Draft League absentee ringer, Jamie Parke.

Our first week we played Hail Slaton and they came into the Dojo* all business and quickly dispatched us (bunch of lucky chumps if you ask me). The following weeks of that season went by quickly and we put up a zero wins.  Apparently Jamie was too busy Top 8’ing PTs and GPs to play with us, so we always had to get a substitution for him. Along with our ringer all hopes of a TDL title disappeared.

Grand Prix Trial winner, Colette LeRoux.

I told myself that the next season would be different I just needed one win to do that so my goals weren’t very lofty. I changed the team’s name to “Stabber Crew”. Knowing Jamie couldn’t commit to this anymore I reached out to Chris Manning (who William Jensen said is “the best player who isn’t a household name” and who also recently Top 4’d Team GP Providence) and my original teammate Colette Leroux (who won a GP Trial). We won our first match that season (achievement unlocked) and afterwards Colette disappeared from NYC.

Good man, Dan OMS.

I was forced to find another gamer and luckily Dan O’Mahoney-Schwartz (who Top 4’d PT DC with Team Antarctica and is a good man in general) was able to be our substitute for most of the season. We played like warrior poets (only losing one week) and managed to make the playoffs, breezed through the semis, and lost in the finals to the Brendaxian Mobliterators (bunch of lucky chumps if you ask me).

“Best player who isn’t a household name,” Chris Manning (center).

This season because of a loop hole I was able to run back the Manning and O’Mahoney-Schwartz terror squad in the form of “The Longo Khan”. We had two losses this season so far (obviously to a bunch of lucky chumps) but managed to make the playoffs on tie-breakers.  We won our semifinals match against Team PBJ and are waiting to take on the winner of the Khans of Kadarkir/Hooting Tandrils match. 

I don’t know what the prizes for winning this season are* and I don’t care, getting to play with this group of magicians is a prize in and of itself. Just kidding I think the prize is cash and I’d rather have that.

(what we call our little slice of the Magic-verse)

editor’s note: cash and championship playmats

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