The competitive scene in Magic has been changing over the years. With the launch of the Magic Pro League (MPL) followed by the Rivals League, there were two divisions, and throughout the year there were massive league competitions for survival and a ticket to the World Championship.
The MTG Arena driven 2020-2021 season is coming to an end this weekend with the Magic World Championship XXVII.
With the season about to change, here’s an update on the future of the Hareruya sponsorship program.
Keisuke Sato Promoted to Hareruya Pros
Keisuke Sato, who has been playing as Hareruya Hopes since 2017, has won the Challenger Gauntlet and earned a spot in next year’s MPL.
Keisuke has two top 8s on the big stages in the past, at Grand Prix Shizuoka 2014 and Grand Prix Chiba 2016. He has also participated in several Pro Tours, the predecessor of the current championship, and has been active in the competitive scene for a while.
Keisuke’s performance this year has been particularly impressive. He finished in the top 8 of the online Japan Championship 2021 SEASON 2, and followed up with a top 16 finish in the Kaldheim Championship, earning him a spot in the Gauntlet.
Keisuke has proven his abilities in both the tabletop and online worlds, but what’s even more impressive is the variety of formats in which he has excelled. In addition to Standard, where he has been successful this year, he has also been successful in Modern, Legacy, and all other constructed formats.
Keisuke’s training method is simple: he decides on a single deck to play, inputs the metagame deck moves, creates a game plan, and then just practices. The vast amount of input and constant practice is the source of Keisuke’s strength, and is the reason why he has been able to achieve success in all formats.
Above all, Keisuke’s mental strength is well recognized by everyone. In the Challenger Gauntlet, he won the tie-breaker after the preliminary round to determine who would advance to the final round, and then went on to win three straight games on his way to the MPL. That’ s four wins in a row counting from the end of the preliminary round. However, this was a backwater battle where one loss would mean the end of the tournament.
Keisuke won the battle that he could not lose with 《Winota, Joiner of Forces》. His mental strength under pressure is on par with top players, and he has been promoted to Hareruya Pros before the world’s highest stage. We look forward to seeing what the future holds for Keisuke.
About Hareruya Hopes Program｜Hareruya Hopes
Hareruya Hopes, our player support program that began in 2017, will be coming to an end at the end of this season.
In recent years, Sam Rolph has done well in the Challenger Gauntlet and will be in the Rivals League next season, and Toni Ramis Pascual has also participated in the Challenger Gauntlet. They and many other players have been very successful. The Hareruya Hopes project is reaching a milestone, but the players are starting their activities at a new stage. We hope everyone will continue to support them.
Thank you very much for your support of the Hareruya Hopes project and the members of the Hareruya Hopes.
2021-2022 Season Hareruya Pros
Now that Keisuke has been promoted, the Hareruya Pros will be working with four members of the MPL. Here is a look at the Hareruya Pros for the upcoming season.
Arne Huschenbeth is a German pro player with a deep knowledge of Standard, who showed once again how good he is at Standard by making it to the Top 4 of the 2020 Players Tour Online, showing the accuracy of his approaches were.
As you can see in the interview, he took a temporary break after the tournament. He started the last season as a Challenger, but won the right to the Championship at the Qualifier Weekend. He then competed in the Kaldheim Championship, where he won the tournament with his outstanding skills and earned a spot in the Gauntlet.
After winning the Challenger Gauntlet, he quickly earned his place in the MPL. As he said, “If you put your passion and time into something, there’s nothing you can’t accomplish,” and he successfully achieved his goal.
Javier Dominguez is a player from Spain who is closely tied to the World Championship, the highest-level tournament of Magic. He was the runner-up in 2017 and won the Championship the following year in 2018, making his name known all over the world. The player spotlight card was created in honor of his victory, and he is the model for the illustration of the “《Fervent Champion》,” which was played in Standard recently.
Last season, he was in the MPL and competed with the top players throughout the year. With a solid win’s streak and no major breakdowns, he made it to the MPL Gauntlet and fought for a ticket to the World Championship until the very end. He will be working to make even greater strides next season.
Lee Shi Tian
Lee Shi Tian is a Hong Kong player who specializes in constructed games with a wide card pool and many options, such as Modern and Pioneer. He has an excellent sense of deck construction, and has finished in the top eight at three Modern Pro Tours and the first-ever Players Tour Nagoya 2020 held at Pioneer.
Last season, he got off to a slow start and looked like he was going to be relegated. However, he found a way to improve his performance by adopting an aggressive strategy, and his encounters with Cycling decks had a particularly big impact on him, as he started to show signs of recovery with 8 wins.
By the end of the league, he was able to turn his natural strength and obstacles into an advantage, and he steadily won the Rivals Gauntlet to take his place in the MPL. Surviving MPL is a great article looking back at the past year, which can be a starting point for solving problems, not just for Magic. I hope you will read it.
At the End
That’s it for our sponsored projects for the next season. All of our players will do their best to make the tournament scene more exciting next year, and to further the development of the Magic community.
This weekend, two Hareruya Pros, Keisuke Sato and Arne Huschenbeth, will be participating in the Magic: The Gathering World Championship XXVII. We ask for your continuous support of the Hareruya Pros.