After its formation in early 2016, Team Axion proceeded to have a good first year with several members having strong Grand Prix finishes, playing on Pro Tours and even finishing the year with Silver Level status in the Pro Player’s Club. There were a few rosters changes during the year with Leo Kaye, Matthew Gregory and Andrew Humphrey departing and Steve Bains, Francesco Giorgio and Niels Molle joining the team.
Whilst we were happy with our performance in our first year and the rapid improvement and development shown across the board by the team members, we are looking to build on this and provide even stronger results in the coming year. The yellow shirts and purple hoodies have become a mainstay at events across England and are a common sight near the top tables of European Grand Prix. We hope to make this the case for the Pro Tour during this year and to provide increasingly strong Grand Prix finishes.
Team Axion also remains committed to the UK Magic Community and to both aiding and improving the Magic scene and the quality of UK Magic: The Gathering. So if you see one of the team at an event please don’t hesitate to come and and chat!
James is an English Magic player based in the Midlands, he has been playing competitively since Shards of Alara. He is a huge American Football fan and can often be spotted wearing Seattle Seahawks attire. His main goal is to qualify for the Pro Tour, something he has yet to achieve despite having come close many, many times.
Steve has been playing since Lorwyn and has been an active member of his local Magic community for many years, both running a local club and judging local events. He has some strong Grand Prix finishes, including a 12th place finish at Grand Prix Paris 2016 after an 11-0 start in the swiss rounds and competed in Pro Tour Hawaii 2016. Steve is strongly committed to making UK Magic great and works tirelessly to assist those around him in making this dream into a reality.
David is an English player originally from Northampton but now based in Oxfordshire. He started playing Magic during the release of Gatecrash, having previously been a competitive Duel Masters player when he was younger. He has always aimed to be successful and has never played the game casually. David’s résumé includes a Pro Tour day two and a MOCS Top 8. He approaches the game with the aim to always learn something new even if he loses. His own personal long term aim is to hit the Pro Player’s Club and establish himself as a name to be recognised not just on the European circuit but on the Pro Tour circuit. David joined Team Axion with the aim to give back to the community and help bring up the UK Magic scene to compete with the rest of the world.
George has been playing competitively since 2014 and is the perennial grinder; he can be found at a Magic event nearly every weekend either at home or abroad. George has attended one Pro Tour and finished well in a handful of Grand Prix and these results have only served to spur him to further improve his game and become a Pro Tour regular. His role in the team is often to analyse metagames and obscure decklists for the latest tech and as such prefers the ever-changing nature of the Standard format.
Henry started playing Magic in 2012 just before the release of Gatecrash. He started playing competitive Magic in late 2013 when Theros was released and has finished in the Top 8 of several large independent cash events including the MSI 10k event. Henry joined Team Axion in January of 2016 and his long term goals are to qualify for the Pro Tour and to achieve a Top 8 at a Grand Prix. He enjoys playing midrange decks and his favourite format is Standard.
Joao started playing competitive Magic in England in 2007 and has been a PTQ and Grand Prix grinder since Zendikar. Joao had his breakthrough in Grand Prix Madrid 2014 with his trusty Jeskai Ascendancy deck before qualifying for the Pro Tour via Grand Prix Bologna in 2016, cashing several GPs along the way. He enjoys thinking outside the box and is one of the more creative team members when it comes to fresh ideas. His approach is one of gradual improvement and he is constantly looking for flaws to fix in his game. His aim is to Top 8 a Grand Prix and return to the Pro Tour.
Since he started playing Magic in 2012, Francesco has fully immersed himself in the competitive aspects of Magic. He had his breakout in 2014, after moving to England and winning a PTQ and a WMCQ back to back and has been a constant presence on the Pro Tour ever since. Francesco joined Team Axion in 2016, with the aim of contributing to the development of a major mainstay team at future Pro Tours. Francesco is at his best with a 40 card deck, but also enjoys the Standard format. His achievements include, being a finalist at GP Madrid 2015 and being part of the English Team at the 2014 World Magic Cup, finishing in 3rd place.
Tom Law has been playing Magic since Odyssey with a hiatus for his studies between Future Sight and Avacyn Restored. Tom’s Magic achievements include four Grand Prix Top 32s including finishing undefeated at Grand Prix Lille 2015 (but still not making Top 8!). His Magic philosophy is to help improve those around him so that they can help to improve him; this was the motivation behind forming Team Axion. His goals for Team Axion are to continually improve British Magic and to compete regularly at Pro Tours.
Craig McGregor had been playing Magic sporadically since Fifth Dawn. His current focus is on grinding Grand Prix and collecting those precious Pro Points. A Spike through and through he loves constructed formats and has never built a casual deck in his life. When he's not slinging spells you can usually find Craig at the poker tables up and down the country making an honest living.
Niels Molle is an English based player originally from the Netherlands. He started playing Magic as a young kid during Stronghold. After a hiatus of a couple of years Niels returned to the game during Planar Chaos, and has been playing competitive events since then. Niels’ résumé includes two Grand Prix Top 8s, as well as several cash finishes. His approach to the game is that you have to establish long term goals for yourself and work towards achieving those goals no matter how far away they may seem. His own personal long term aim is to Top 8 a Pro Tour. Niels joined Team Axion in November 2016 with the aim to both improve his own game, and to help the team to achieve even greater results.
Kayure began playing Magic competitively in M13. After minor success on the English circuit, his breakthrough year was the 2015/16 season, when he was a member of the English World Magic Cup team, the winner of GP Bologna with Blue-White Eldrazi and attained Silver Pro status. One of the founding members of Team Axion, Kayure has a keen desire to help English Magic thrive and will always take time to speak to any player. Though his best results have come in Modern, Kayure’s love for the game means he is happy playing any format.
Raoul has been playing competitively since Time Spiral and has competed in four Pro Tours and the 2015 World Magic Cup. He comments that his favourite aspect of Magic is the theory behind it, and his favourite formats are Limited. When asked for his most memorable Magic achievement, he said it was beating Yuuya Watanabe playing for day two of Pro Tour Born of the Gods – and he modestly adds that he had a fairly favourable matchup of RUG Scapeshift against Watanabe's Nykthos Kiki-Pod (!) Raoul is originally from Germany, and is currently based in Norwich, studying for a Master's degree and working in the Translation industry. He is one of the spiritual ‘founding members’ of Team Axion.
About Team Axion Now:
Team Axion Now are a group of players working closely together, with the aim of improving their results on the competitive circuit. Their intention is to work together to transform from big fishes in a small pond into great big sharks in the biggest pond of all - the Pro Tour. We really hope that these reports inspire others to get involved in competitive Magic. You can catch up with Team Axion Now on their facebook page