AndreasecobaronenPetersen meets with Simon Nielsen for an interview as Simon joins team Snapcardster x MTGMintcard for the new season of the Magic Pro Tour Team Series.

Andreas already had the pleasure of doing an interview with Simon last year, so if you want to know more about the Danish WMC champion, check out that article!

Welcome Simon and thank you for being here today! I want to know why you joined this project and what you expect the new season to bring.

Honestly I haven’t been much of a fan of the Team Series. As you might be able to tell, not a fan of conformity at all! But when I had the chance to join this focused of a group with all these good Danish players (all of them I consider better than myself), it seemed like a great opportunity to join in on! Denmark has had such a strong year, and I could easily see all of us reach Gold status again for next year. My personal goal now is to reach Platinum by the third cycle, once my mediocre 6-point cycle from last winter rotates out.

Aside from being the guy from coverage with the tie and colorful shirts, how would you describe yourself as a Magic player? Maybe tell us about your favorite format or your strengths as a player, your role on a team or whatever else you’d like to share.

Most of all, I think of myself as a Standard player. Even if I don’t have an event to test for I still grind Standard online, have experience with most of the decks and own most of the cards online. I used to brew a lot and thought of myself as the creative player, but as the story so often goes, I started winning more once I stopped only playing my own decks. So now I mostly think of myself as the hard worker. When you think of people like Pascal Maynard, Sam Pardee and Javier Dominguez, they’ve gotten good mostly through hard work. Some years ago they started having a lot of Grand Prix success, and now they are PT Top 8 mainstays. I’d like to think that I am now where they were back then, and it makes me hopeful for the future if I can keep the flame on.

Also, I know I am not as smart as a lot of the other pros I surround myself with, and I don’t try to hide that. I have my two mantras “never overestimate me” and “simple deck for a simple player”. That last one I think is kinda important, as I’ve felt much better with a simple deck in my hands, such as Modern RG Valakut. The advantage of playing a simple deck is that you get the headspace to focus on the actual hard decisions (of which there are more than you think), so that you will play better. I think this is very underrated. A lot of good players think they need to play a hard deck otherwise they are not leveraging their skill edge over the opponent. I think it’s the opposite. When you play a hard deck, you are way more likely to make mistakes, thus ruining your skill edge over the opponent.

Despite always stressing around missing alarm clocks or needing cards, you seem to consistently get good finishes at Grand Prix’s. What is your secret recipe and how do you plan on doing the same at the Pro Tour moving forward?

First of all, I think part of the reason is that I don’t actually stress over those things. I don’t waste my time worrying, and I’m generally calm when I go into a match (even if I missed the previous round due to oversleeping).

Right now I think that one of my biggest strengths aside from playing tons of Magic and having a great network to discuss ideas with and learn from, is that I really try to be nice to my opponents and make the match as pleasant as possible for both of us. And I think I’m playing better because of it!

Because when you go into a high-stakes competitive match of Magic, there is a ton of tension. This can make it really hard to think straight sometimes and keep your focus. But when I crack a joke, smalltalk and generally try to treat my opponent as a friend, I remove that tension and I can play much better. Obviously so can they, but I’m not nearly good enough yet to not solely focus on my own game.

As for the Pro Tour, it’s harder. Your opponents are better, stakes are higher, tension is unavoidable. But as long as I keep qualifying and do smart practice with people better than me, I know that PT success is inevitable. When I walk into a GP hall, I can envision myself in the top 8. But I’m not quite there for the PT yet.

Last topic for today is streaming. Give me a sales pitch on why I should tune in to your stream (when and where would also be nice).

My stream at the moment is something I do every now and then. It’s often Standard or whatever format I’m preparing for, and I try to focus on explaining my thought process, so hopefully it’s both entertaining and educational. I’m still not afraid of trying out new and weird Standard decks!

You can find me at twitch.tv/redbuttontie. Since I don’t have a schedule, you’ll have to follow me on Twitter @MrChecklistcard to see when I stream. I also post my decks there!

That’s all I have for today. Thanks for stopping by and welcome to the family!

This article was written by Andreas Petersen in a media collaboration with mtgmintcard.com

Andreas Petersen

Andreas Petersen

Andreas is probably better known as "ecobaronen" on MTGO. After 2nd place of Team Trios #GPMadrid playing Modern he's heading to his second Pro Tour in Minneapolis this year. Andreas has an opinion about every constructed format except Standard.