Gustavo Chapela was the Latin American Champion in 2000, and has kind of disappeared in the meantime. This tournament has been a resurgence for him, and at 8-2-2, if he wins out, he could be the first Mexican to make a Pro Tour Top 8. In his way is TOGIT's Osyp Lebedowicz, who also needs to win out to make the Top 8, which would be his second.
After a 25-minute delay during which Chapela was made to replace his worn sleeves, the match was underway. Chapela, already feeling a little downtrodden, had to mulligan a zero land hand, and then missed his third land drop.
Osyp's hand was pure octane; he put out turn-2 Lightning Rift, turn-3 morph, and turn-4 Astral Slide. Chapela found a third land and put out his own Slide, but Osyp put out a second Rift, making any cycling decisions for Chapela very difficult.
By turn 6, Chapela actually had more land than Osyp, five to four, and had his own Angel in play face down. Each cycled card triggered four abilities. Gustavo slid out his own Angel and played another, but Osyp could prevent them from hitting him with his Slide and Chapela eventually fell to the Rifts.
Lebedowicz 1 – Chapela 0
The sideboarded games looked to be interesting; Osyp took out all four Slides and all four Rifts for big creatures (like Akroma and Avarax) and Demystifies. Chapela left his enchantments in.
Chapela played Lightning Rifts on turns two and three, but Osyp had Demystifies for both of them. Chapela played a face-down Angel on turn five, flipped it and got one hit in on turn six, and then Osyp whacked it with Akroma's Vengeance. Chapela's Jareth, Leonin Titan on the next turn met the same fate.
Chapela then ran out of stuff to do, and then Osyp went on the offensive with Avarax. Chapela played an Astral Slide, but Osyp had the third Demystify and dropped a second Avarax. Chapela took one six-point attack then blew them away with his own Akroma's Vengeance.
Osyp deployed his last two Avarxes, but Chapela had two more Astral Slides. For the next few turns, Gustavo "cantrip Fogged" to prevent any damage from getting through, but at one point Osyp had a little surprise for him: Akroma's Blessing in response to the Astral Slide activations. No fear; Chapela had a second cycling card and removed the red Beasts anyway. And again. And again.
With neither player drawing what would be the back-breaking Akroma's Vengeance, they both had to keep committing permanents to the board. Chapela played an Angel, and Osyp played his own first down and then flipped it. Akroma, Angel of Wrath came down for Osyp and he followed it up with Jareth, Leonine Titan. Eventually Chapela would run out of cycling cards and die immediately.
Chapela found a second Angel, but did indeed run out of cyclers. Akroma, Jareth, and the gang swung in, and Chapela could only toss his cards down and extend the hand.
Final Result: Lebedowicz 2 – Chapela 0
One more win and Lebedowicz will make his second Top 8.