CFB Pro Showdown #3 was a single-elimination, Standard format tournament accessible to the Channel Fireball Pro members, free of charge. The prizes are awarded in the form of CFB credit. The winner of the tournament plays a match against a CFB Pro (in this instance, Luis Scott-Vargas) and doubles the prizes for everyone if they beat them. The tournament is run via the Channel Fireball Events system and Discord.
The tournament was happening on the same day as Red Bull Untapped International Qualifier III. The timing was very convenient because the Red Bull tournament was happening during the day in European timezones. The CFB Pro Showdown started on Pacific morning, so it was possible to finish the Red Bull tournament, rest, and start the CFB Pro one.
Like in the Red Bull tournament, I was decided to play Bant Ramp deck. Although my performance with it earlier in the day was not stellar, it is still a strong deck. And after piloting it in the competitive setting for a full day, I felt I can even play it better.
Deck 2 Aether Gust 3 Elspeth Conquers Death 4 Growth Spiral 2 Hydroid Krasis 2 Jolrael, Mwonvuli Recluse 3 Llanowar Visionary 3 Nissa, Who Shakes the World 2 Shark Typhoon 2 Shatter the Sky 2 Teferi, Master of Time 4 Teferi, Time Raveler 3 Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath 4 Breeding Pool 4 Fabled Passage 3 Forest 4 Hallowed Fountain 2 Island 2 Ketria Triome 2 Plains 4 Temple Garden 1 Temple of Enlightenment 2 Temple of Plenty Sideboard 2 Aether Gust 2 Dovin's Veto 3 Glass Casket 1 Heliod's Intervention 1 Jolrael, Mwonvuli Recluse 2 Mystical Dispute 1 Narset, Parter of Veils 1 Shark Typhoon 2 Shatter the Sky
G1, Orzhov Rats. 2-0. This was an exciting, on-the-edge match. I tried to pressure a lot in the air with sharks and Krasises. I focused on not allowing Yorion to generate a lot of value by disturbing their plays, bouncing permanents back, and the like. There were some really tricky plays when Doom Foretold was involved because a lot of my things are tokens. There were definitely opportunities where things could go sideways. Still, I felt like I’m in perfect control of the match.
G2, Red Aggro with Torbran. 2-1. I lost the first game being on the draw and won the second on the play after sideboard. The third one was very close. I was pretty close to losing when I was at 4 life, the opponent had a board, and I had just a Nissa and not enough cards in graveyard to escape with Uro. I needed to make a creature from a land and sweep the board after floating the mana. That gave me the fifth card for Uro to escape and gain some life after sweeping the opponent’s board.
G3, Temur Reclamation. 0-2. I think the opponent ended up in the Top 4 or something like that. Very tightly played Temur Reclamation. One of the games where I felt I have just no window of opportunity at all. And because the tournament was a single-elimination one, I was out.
While the system running the tournament is not as pleasant to use as the one used for the Red Bull Untapped tournaments, it works well enough. Single elimination is punishing but allows to make things quick. I was a bit salty in the round I lost because, in that round, approximately third of players got byes to balance the tournament brackets and got a freebie, whereas I lost and was out. The good part was the improvement: in the previous tournaments I was out after the first or second round, this time I was out in the third, and felt good about my play.