The Team

 

Age: 32
Hometown: Wading River, NY
Favorite Card: Fact or Fiction
Twitter: @JimDavisMTG

Jim Davis27th PlaceSCG Worcester Open
Sultai Control aka 'Big Leo 6'Legacy4/8/2017
Creatures (16)
2 Baleful Strix
4 Deathrite Shaman
1 Scavenging Ooze
3 Tarmogoyf
2 True-Name Nemesis
3 Leovold, Emissary of Trest
1 Dryad Arbor

Planeswalkers (3)
3 Jace, the Mind Sculptor

Lands (17)
1 Snow-Covered Forest
1 Bayou
4 Misty Rainforest
2 Polluted Delta
2 Tropical Island
3 Underground Sea
4 Verdant Catacombs
Spells (24)
2 Chrome Mox
3 Abrupt Decay
4 Brainstorm
2 Fatal Push
1 Flusterstorm
4 Force of Will
1 Murderous Cut
1 Umezawa's Jitte
3 Green Sun's Zenith
1 Painful Truths
2 Ponder
Sideboard (15)
2 Pithing Needle
1 Nimble Mongoose
1 Reclamation Sage
1 Tireless Tracker
1 Dead Weight
1 Dread of Night
1 Mindbreak Trap
2 Surgical Extraction
1 Marsh Casualties
4 Thoughtseize
It’s hard to imagine, but Jim Davis almost never started playing Magic. When he was in high school his friend Matt bought a 7th Edition Starter Kit and asked him to play, but it took quite a bit of convincing. Now it’s hard to imagine Jim doing anything else. From his years on the Pro Tour in the late 2000s to his resurgence on the SCG Tour in recent years, the 2015 SCG Tour Player’s Champion now does Magic full time. He writes articles for Starcitygames.com, is one of the most popular Magic streamers, is consistently near the top of the SCG Tour leaderboard, and of course is a founding member and co-manager of Team MGG. Jim has a natural inclination for control decks, but has demonstrated his versatility over the years by achieving success with a wide variety of decks in various formats.

Outside of Magic, Jim enjoys staying active and loves playing both hockey and golf. While attending college at Stony Brook University, Jim was the captain of the school’s Roller Hockey B team and was the host of a weekly radio show on WUSB 90.1 FM. Jim also plays bass and sings backups in a band called Teach Me Human.

Jim’s combination of experience, accomplishments, dedication, and leadership make him a natural choice for captain of Team MGG.

 

 

Age: 21
Hometown: Ronkonkoma, NY
Favorite Card: Elvish Visionary
Twitter: @TheBetterJessup

Andrew Jessup5th PlaceSCG Worcester Open
ElvesLegacy4/8/2017
Creatures (31)
1 Birchlore Rangers
2 Craterhoof Behemoth
4 Deathrite Shaman
4 Elvish Visionary
4 Heritage Druid
1 Llanowar Elves
4 Nettle Sentinel
4 Quirion Ranger
1 Reclamation Sage
4 Wirewood Symbiote
2 Dryad Arbor

Lands (18)
2 Forest
2 Bayou
2 Cavern of Souls
4 Windswept Heath
4 Wooded Foothills
4 Gaea's Cradle
Spells (11)
4 Glimpse of Nature
4 Green Sun's Zenith
3 Natural Order
Sideboard (15)
2 Pithing Needle
1 Scavenging Ooze
4 Abrupt Decay
2 Surgical Extraction
2 Cabal Therapy
4 Thoughtseize

The youngest member of Team MGG, Andrew Jessup’s story is also the most unique. Andrew was born handicapped, but through many surgeries as a child and hours of physical therapy he was able to fully recover. He would spend much of his childhood completely immersed in sports, until his surgically built body eventually folded to the demands of athletics. Despite not feeling that interested in the game at first, once he discovered the complexity and challenge of Magic he was completely hooked. Magic was so difficult and complicated that it required the same amounts of practice that sports did to keep up with, and big Magic events quenched the thirst for competition that sports had in the past. Relative to the other members of Team MGG, Andrew has only been playing competitive Magic for a short time, but in that time he has achieved both many successes and the respect of his peers.

While he is no longer able to play himself, Andrew remains a huge sports fan and follows almost all of the major sports. He is also a huge fan of hip hop, with his favorites being Nas, MF DOOM, Black Thought.

Andrew’s level head and analytical thinking bring an air of logic to Team MGG, as he always is able to be rational and the team’s voice of reason.

 

 

Age: 24
Hometown: Ronkonkoma, NY
Favorite Card: Siege Rhino
Twitter: @Jessupinator

There’s no question that Dan Jessup is the most intense member of Team MGG. Dan’s fiery competitive spirit comes from a lifetime of playing team sports all throughout middle and high school. Dan played lacrosse, soccer, and baseball, and even gave up a home run to a young Mike Trout while pitching at a travel tournament in New Jersey when he was 13. When high school was over and a sports injury prevented him from going to college to play lacrosse, Magic was the natural choice to fill the competitive void. Dan is often the bullshit test for the team, as he routinely picks up the most powerful deck in the format and learns it inside and out. If whatever deck the team is working on can’t beat Dan playing the formats bogeyman, it’s time to scrap it and move on. Dan is not scared to brew himself however, and has been known to bring a homebrew to a tournament now and then as well.

Dan is still a huge sports fan and is a lifelong gamer across multiple platforms. Before getting into Magic Dan played competitive Call of Duty, and when he is not playing Magic he also enjoys playing Hearthstone.

Dan’s strong competitive disposition combined with a lifetime of team skills are a valuable asset to Team MGG, and his competitive spirit helps to drive the team.

 

 

Age: 26
Hometown: Merrick, NY
Favorite Card: Nihilistic Glee
Twitter: @MTGFranklin

Frank Skarren is a lover of all different kinds of games, from computer games like Overwatch to social games like Werewolf, but no game has had more of an impact on his life than Magic. Many of Frank’s best friends are scattered all across the country, as they are players he has met travelling domestically and abroad to Magic events. With those friendships also comes respect, as Frank is widely considered to be one of the best limited players in the world. With a pair of limited Grand Prix trophies on his shelf (Charlotte 2013 and Philadelphia 2014), that reputation is well earned. Frank is no slouch in constructed formats either, with excellent results at both the Pro Tour and the SCG Tour. Frank is somewhat new to the SCG Tour, but is quickly making a name for himself on the circuit.

A lifelong gamer, Frank enjoys games of almost any variety. His favorite aspect of gaming is people, which is why he tends to prefer group games over single player games. Aside from gaming, Frank also loves the outdoors, going for bike rides and walks whenever he can, and enjoys Indian food.

Frank brings a unique perspective to Team MGG, along with tight technical play and a love for travel and friends.

 

 

Age: 23
Hometown: Baltimore, MD
Favorite Card: Snapcaster Mage
Twitter: @40cardfriedman

It would be easy to sit down against an opponent wearing a cowboy hat and a tank top and think you’ve got an easy round ahead of you, but if the man under the brim is Ben Friedman you’d be making a serious error of judgement. Ben’s colorful personality belies his highly competitive nature and talent at the game. Ben has been playing competitive Magic since he was a teenager, experiencing success both on the SCG Tour and the Pro Tour. He is a lover of blue decks, especially in Legacy, but is willing to play whatever he feels gives him the best chance at victory. Win, lose, or draw Ben always has a smile on his face and a joke at the ready, which makes him a favorite both during events and during after-hours festivities.

When he’s not playing Magic, Ben enjoys listening to country music, cracking jokes on Facebook, and working out at the gym. His ideal day sees him doing all three at once! Ben also has a fondness for travel and for people, which makes him well suited for life as a professional Magic player.

Ben’s ability to keep it light with his easygoing attitude combined with his talent and instincts at the tables make him a valuable asset to Team MGG.

 

 

Age: 24
Hometown: St. Petersburg, FL
Favorite Card: Mulldrifter
Twitter: @Bradborygmos

Brad Carpenter had been playing Magic sporadically since Champions of Kamigawa was released to a smattering of success at the Grand Prix and Pro Tour level, but really decided to devote himself to the game in 2015. He began competing in every SCG Tour event he could and the results were quick to follow. Brad was a force on tour in 2016, cumulating in a berth at the SCG Tour Player’s Championship. While Brad has enjoyed many successes over the last two years, the most important thing to him in Magic is not the individual games and results, but rather all of the interesting places he gets to go and people he gets to meet. Brad’s friendly and social nature should not be taken for weakness however, as he is not someone you want face down in an important match.

When Brad is home and not playing Magic, he sings in a new pop punk band that is just coming together. While normally a relaxed and mellow person, Brad uses music as a creative and emotional outlet that is in stark contrast to how he approaches Magic. He also enjoys tennis, going to the gym, fantasy football, and World of Warcraft.

Brad’s laid back and relaxed attitude brings a calming presence to Team MGG, and his work ethic and desire to improve helps to motivate the team..