March 15-17, 2019
Tampa Convention Center
Tampa, FL, US
Eapen Soars Highest in Tampa
Arclight Phoenix is all anyone had on their minds coming into the main event here at Magicfest Tampa Bay, and the bird didn't disappoint - four copies advanced to the Top 8.
But none could stand up to Roshen Eapen, who came to Tampa just a few weeks after making the semifinals at Grand Prix Cleveland. Back-to-back Top 8s are the stuff Magic dreams are made of, but Eapen didn't just repeat - he did even better by knocking off a star-studded Top 8 to win the entire tournament.
It was a killer road. Sam Black, Brian Demars and Matt Costa - three longtime and highly decorated competitors. The latter two were sporting the Izzet Phoenix deck that dominated over two events this weekend (and it won Bilbao).
But nothing could stop Eapen, as he chose to take the draw against every Phoenix deck he played, a rebellious choice that proves the conventional wisdom isn't always so wise. With his deck sporting plenty of discard, all Eapen wanted to do was keep the Phoenix players low on cards to prevent the birds in the graveyard where they belonged.
It worked like a charm, and as a result Eapen will add a GP title and a trophy to his quickly growing list of accomplishments.