Team: ChannelFireball Ice
Qualified via Pro Club Platinum Level and GP Louisville Top Finisher
Pro Points: 223 lifetime (22 in 2016-17)
Pro Tour Debut: Pro Tour Los Angeles 1999
Pro Tours Played: 22
Best Pro Tour Finish: 2nd (PT Magic Origins)
Pro Tour Median Finish: 73.5
Top 8: 2 Pro Tours and 6 Grand Prix (2 wins)
Record on the Last 8 PTs: Limited 32-15-1 (59.8%), Constructed 38-24 (61.3%), Total 61-39-1 (60.7%)
Mike’s PT results: http://www.mtgptresults.com/player/mike-sigrist
Planeswalker Level: 48 (Archmage)
Q: You have been a Magic player since the earliest days of the game, and it’s been 18 years since you played in your first PT. Yet it wasn’t until the end of the 2013-14 season that you Top 8’d your first (and second) GP. While it might be considered remarkable that you managed to qualify for the Pro Tour time and again without ever making the Top 8 of a GP, it is surely more remarkable what happened afterwards. What propelled you from a (no offense) rather average Pro Tour player to a player that makes the Top 8 of two Pro Tours in the same season and wins the Player of the Year race all of sudden?
A: When I was a bit younger I didn’t take the Pro Tour as seriously. I would prepare very little or not at all for Pro Tours. You’d see great players like Kai Budde and Jon Finkel putting in the work and absolutely crushing Pro Tours, while I would just show up hoping to get lucky. Coming back to the competitive scene around Pro Tour Return to Ravnica, I wanted to take Pro Tours more seriously, and was lucky enough to get a shot at testing with Team Face to Face for Pro Tour M15. The guys on Team Face to Face showed me what it takes to prepare well for a PT and that was just the push I needed to improve my results. A little luck never hurts either.
Q: You are part of Team ChannelFireball Ice. The team consists mostly of very experienced players with strong egos. How did it come together, and how does it relate to Team CFB Fire? Are other players testing with you? Is there any concern that the strength of personalities might lead to problems?
A: When the team series was announced we had to split our testing team into two separate rosters. One roster is Face to Face games and the other is CFB Ice. Dividing the testing team along sponsorship lines was fairly difficult but we managed to work it out so that myself, Ondrej Strasky, and PV would join a CFB roster and the rest of the testing team would remain Face to Face. We needed to find some strong players to fill out our two rosters while also providing value to the testing process as that is extremely important to us. Lucky enough, EFro was looking for a team, and having tested with him before we knew he’d be a great fit. EFro mentioned Ben Stark, and after some consideration he agreed to join us. Ben is someone we’ve always wanted to test with because of the value he provides to Limited testing—an area we wanted to improve. Joel is another strong Limited player and after talking to him about the team and our goals, he was in. Team CFB Ice won’t be testing with CFB Fire—we are going to stick with our previous testing partners, Face to Face. As far as egos go, most of us have worked together before in some capacity, and we’re also good friends. There’s a mutual respect among us all and it won’t be an issue to make it work.
Q: Among professional Magic players, you are unique in having a family. Magic is notorious for creating “incomes” with a high variance and reasonable “salaries” only at the best of times. While a player without a family can choose for himself that he is okay with that situation, you have responsibilities to other people. Financial stability is a huge asset for a family, but not something that is often afforded by the Magic Pro Life. How do you make that work?
A: It’s not easy making a living playing Magic, that is for sure. The variance in the game makes living off of prize money impossible. It’s important to supplement that income with both producing content and climbing the Pro levels. When you combine it all, though, it’s pretty steady. I won’t become a millionaire playing Magic, but I love the game and the people, and I will continue to play Magic for a living as long as I am able. Having such an unconventional source of income affords me the luxury of staying home with my twin daughters while my wife goes to work during the week. This not only saves us money for childcare, but also gives me the opportunity to spend more time with my daughters. I feel blessed to have this extra time with my girls and that I get to play the game I love for a living.
Q: What does an American do in Dublin on Super Bowl Sunday? And who is going to win?
A: I plan to watch the game with friends and fellow Patriots fans William Jensen and Paul Rietzl. I’m not exactly sure what they have planned, but I’m sure we’ll end up at a pub or sports bar if they’re open. As a resident of Foxboro, MA, I am fairly confident that Brady and Belichick will bring us home another trophy. Hopefully, I will too.