Hartfordfestivalen! Organizer’s Report

On April 6, 2019, New England Old School and Diamonds Mined co-hosted a multi-event Old School Magic “festival” in Greater Hartford, at Elks Lodge #1893 in Manchester, CT. Enthusiasts of antique cardboard traveled from eight states in the Northeastern U.S. to participate, along with mages hailing from Maryland, Ohio, Wyoming, and Serbia/parts unknown, who journeyed from even further afield.

48 players participated in the Old School 93/94 “main event,” which was abbreviated to four rounds of Swiss pairings to leave more room for activities. Decks were constructed using the Atlantic 93/94 B&R list. After these opening rounds, the action shifted to four different “breakout” side events, in which players could choose their own adventure: Old School Brawl, the Wizard’s Tournament format aka Alpha 40, Premodern, or an Old School draft featuring 4th Edition, Chronicles, and Fallen Empires.



This event was a Magic tournament named after a Magic tournament named after a music festival named after a small town in Sweden. “Hartfordfestivalen!” is a nod to the Arvika “Festival” Old School Magic tournament, held annually in Arvika, Sweden since 2015. That Old School gathering originally took its theme from Arvikafestivalen, a music festival that in its heyday brought the likes of Nine Inch Nails, New Order, The Cure, Motörhead, and Tool to a village of about 14,000 people in the Swedish countryside.

Our “mascot” card for the event was Deathgrip, with its shriveling heart in the clutches of a black mage, as a cheeky reference to an old nickname for Hartford, “the Heartbeat” of Connecticut. The artist behind Deathgrip, Anson Maddocks, was kind enough to produce a commissioned painting on the back of a Deathgrip artist proof; this re-imagining of Deathgrip was given out as a prize for the top combined finish through both the main and side events.


The “festival” format for the event was conceived as a celebration of various sub-formats that have been gaining traction among Old School playgroups in our neck of the woods. Even though Old School has a static pool of only 981 cards, the number of ways to play with these cards is practically limitless, and this past year especially has seen a proliferation of Old School Magic variants, not merely invented on paper but actually played and enjoyed in dining rooms and brew halls and game stores and Skype sessions alike. Our aim for this event was to have a platform to slightly “scale up” the experience of New England Old School’s smaller, more informal meet-ups in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Connecticut, where players regularly bring their 93/94 decks but also bring Brawl or unsleeved ante or Ice Age 60 or Beasts Singleton or Premodern/Middle School or even just a small stack of their “Deckmaster cards” from August ’93. Our hope was that this tournament structure would also contribute to a more laid back feeling, with the shortened “main event” not even having a clear winner, discouraging spiking to some extent and providing seven-plus hours of “just playing some cards” with old friends, and hopefully some new friends, too.


This event was organized as a fundraiser for Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford. As the premier youth development organization in Hartford, BGC Hartford touches the lives of nearly one in every three children in Hartford Public Schools, serving more than 10,000 youth annually through programs focused on academic enrichment, character and leadership development, and healthy lifestyles.

All proceeds from Hartfordfestivalen! ticket sales after expenses were donated directly to BGC Hartford. We also conducted a raffle of unique Old School items which were donated by some of the players, including a Mox Jester playmat signed by Dan Frazier, 90s-era Duelist magazines, a Homelands comic book, a Collector’s Edition box, and a unique hand-painted border extension alter of Nicol Bolas, with 100% of the raffle ticket sales going directly to the charity as well.

All told, the players at Hartfordfestivalen! raised a total of more than $942 in support for Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford. The generosity and kindness shown by the Old School Magic community continues to impress and inspire, and we’re happy to continue in the tradition of charitable activity fostered by our fellow playgroups across the United States. On behalf of BGC Hartford and the youth and families they serve, and from all of us at New England Old School, thank you!


First! Underworld Dreaming to a Win in Hartford, blog by James Rosenblum

Tournament Report: Hartfordfestivalen 2019, blog by Andrew Oliva / Ready to Role

All Tings Considered, Episode 58, podcast interview



hartford main event standings.png

Alpha 40 Runner Up: Hart Prendergast — Many, Many Sinkholes

Alpha 40 Champion: Hunter Prendergast — The Vise

Premodern Runner Up: Jared Doucette — Goblins

Premodern Champion: John Grudzina — UW Landstill

Brawl Runner Up: James Rosenblum — Sol’Kanar

Brawl Champion: Michael Scheffenacker — Rubinia

Draft Runner Up: Brian Selden (3-0, pod winner, 6-2 in games)

Draft Winner: Ted Kwartler (3-0, pod winner, 6-1 in games)

Best Unpowered: Andrew Oliva — Erhnam Burn’Em


Keith Shaffer — “Howling Salve”

hm Keith Shaffer Howling Salve v2

Adam Merkado — “Ice Ice Maybe”

Merkado - _Ice, Ice, Maybe_

Scott Bradley — “Nether Void Something”

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Levi Baumgardner — Tax + Tower + Djinns

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Matt Mucci — Diabolic Machine Tron

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Andy Baquero — “Living Cyclone”

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Shaun Augeri — Hell’s Caretaker Control (What is Dead May Never Die)

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(alphabetical order by first name)

Al Iemma – BW Dreams

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Andrew Oliva — Erhnam Burn’Em

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Brett Attmore — Grixis Workshops

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Brian Selden — BR Hymn Troll Disco

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Chris Mason — Twiddlevault

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Chris McCubbin — “Sped Funhouse” aka Temple of Sped

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Chuck Lignelli — “Nobody Wins”

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Dave Firth Bard — Zelyon Mono-Green Weenie

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David Baker — “5C Control” aka The Deck

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Hart Prendergast — Jund Void Ponza

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Hunter Prendergast — UR Counterburn

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James Lebak — URw Falcon Counterburn

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James Rosenblum — Underworld Dreams Combo

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Jared Doucette — “Fangel’s Omelette” aka Jund Reincarnation

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Jason Dorman — “Esper Gasoline” aka Deadguy Ale

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Jason Morawski — Artifact Aggro

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Jason Schwartz — “Bruise Bots” aka Ub Workshops

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Jason Seaman — Grixis Disco

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Jeff Grasso — “TrolLDiscard” aka BR Hymn Troll Disco

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Jeff Johnson — Black Rack

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John Bocon — Underworld Dreams Combo

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John Grudzina — UW Workshops

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Josh Langdon — Temple of Sped

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Justin Dale — White Weenie

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Justin Iskra — “Temple of Doom” aka Esper Flyers

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Luke Zinnen — Twiddlevault

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Manny Moutinho — Black Rack

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Marc Flore — “Wild Angels” (Honorary Retroactive Spice Award)

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Matt Asente — Revised Mono-Black

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Michael Scheffenacker — Temple of Sped

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Mike Frantz — BRW Nether Void Ponza

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Nathaniel Houle — Esper Control

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Nils Erickson — “4C Troll Catalina Mixer”

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Paul DeSilva — “5C Goodstuff”

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Paul Kovalov — Power Monolith

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Phil Pellerzi — RG Ponza

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Robin Lundh — “Not Very Arabian Aggro”

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Seth Roncoroni — Temple of Sped

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Ted Kwartler — “Salt and Pepper” aka WB Midrange

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Tim Moran — Temple of Sped

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Travis Turner — Pink Weenie

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Dave Firth Bard — RG Berserk

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Jason Schwartz — “Copy My Juggernaut”

ha Jason Schwartz Copy Juggernaut.jpg

Jeff Grasso — BR


Nils Erickson — “Alpha 41”

ha Nils Erickson Alpha 41.jpeg

Tim Moran — RG



Andrew Oliva — Rubinia

hb Andrew Oliva Rubinia.jpg

Brett Attmore — Sol’Kanar

hb Brett Allan SolKanar.jpeg

Chuck Lignelli — UB Bolas

hb Chuck Lignelli UB Bolas.JPG

James Rosenblum — Sol’Kanar

hb James Rosenblum SolKanar.jpeg

Jason Dorman — Chromium

hb Jason Dorman Chromium.jpg

Justin Iskra — Blackblade

hb Justin Iskra Blackblade.jpeg

Michael Scheffenacker — Rubinia

hb Michael Scheffenacker Rubinia.jpeg

Shaun Augeri — “Craster’s Keep” aka Uncle Istvan

hb Shaun Augeri Uncle Istvan.jpeg


Adam Merkado — PandeStifleNaughtBurst

Merkado - _PandeStifleNaughtBurst_.png

Jared Doucette — Goblins

hp Jared Doucette Goblins.jpeg

Jason Morawski — Tinker

hp Jason Morawski Tinker.jpg

John Grudzina — UW Standstill

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Justin Dale — CounterRebels

hp Justin Dale CounterRebels.jpg

Matt Mucci — Kill

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Robin Lundh — The Rock

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(Feel free to send yours in if you took a photo of your finished draft deck!)

Chris Mason — RG

hd chris mason draft deck

James Lebak — Bant

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Luke Zinnen — “To Do: Cut Lands, Add Spells”

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Mike Frantz: “Ahhhh! The smell of new Magic cards!” (Before)

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Mike Frantz — Goblins (After)

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2019 Old School Magic Winter Derby Results and Deck Photos


The 3rd annual Winter Derby is in the books! This year’s event saw 142 participants, representing 14 countries (Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, The Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States) spread across nine different time zones. Over the span of six weeks, we played roughly 525 matches of Old School Magic via webcam.

wdpic1 florian putting the screws to reinhard during r16.png
“Round of 16” action: Florian with a commanding board presence vs Christian

The Winter Derby is conducted under the Swedish 93/94 B&R list, allowing the full range of original art/old card frame re-prints (Revised, Chronicles, CE/IE, FBB/FWB, etc.), an approach that has become very common for online play internationally. And the stakes? Mostly just glory and bragging rights, along with an invitation to n00bcon 11 for the winner.

Pairings were released in two batches over the month of January, with all participants asked to schedule and play eight individual matches in about four weeks. After the batches were completed, we cut to Top 16 and played out a single-elimination bracket. The Winter Derby Finals were played on February 8th, and featured an American, Michael Scheffenacker (4C Swedish Atog feat. Su-Chi) versus Richard Stebbing (UR Counterburn) of the UK’s Brothers of Fire.

winterderby finals twister in game 2
A climactic Timetwister near the end of Game 2 of the Winter Derby Finals. The match was recorded with commentary; click through for the full VOD.

After all was said and done, Richard Stebbing was named the Winter Derby Champion for 2019, and received the n00bcon invitation! Congratulations to Richard, to all of the Top 16 finalists, and thank you, again, to all of the players who participated. Together, you’ve helped to make the semiannual Derby series a recurring celebration of the international Old School Magic community.

(Does this sound like fun? Join our online community of Old School Magic webcam players, where we post looking for pick-up games in our Facebook group and in the #down-to-play channel on the Old School Discord!)


winter derby 2019 final standings.png


9-16th Place: Markus Lundqvist (16)

wd16 markus

9-16th Place: Rich Shay (15)

wd15 rich shay

9-16th Place: John Tschida (14)

wd14 tschida

9-16th Place: Paul DeSilva (12)

wd12 desilva

9-16th Place: Elias Gröndal (11)

wd11 elias

9-16th Place: Guillaume Denoix (9)

wd09 guillaume

9-16th Place: Pez Unholy (7)

wd07 pez

9-16th Place: Christian Reinhard (4)

wd04 christian reinhard

5-8th Place: Florian von Bredow (13)

wd13 florian

5-8th Place: Ben Twitchen (3)

wd03 ben twitchen

5-8th Place: Ed Arneson (2)

wd02 arneson

5-8th Place: Svante Landgraf (1)

wd01 svante

3-4th Place: Laurence Boulanger (6)

wd06 laurence

3-4th Place: Tobias Mieth (5)

wd05 tobias mieth

2nd Place: Michael Scheffenacker (10)

wd10 scheff

1st Place: Richard Stebbing (8)

wd08 stebbo



(alphabetical order by first name)

Aaron Palaian

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Adam Merkado-Weiss

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Aleksandar Gonzalez

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Alexander Pick

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Alistair Ingram

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Andreas Rosén

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Andrew Oliva

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Andrew Walker

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Andy Swaffar

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Anies van Tol

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Anne Joldersma

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Ash Anabtawi

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Ben Katz

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Benjamin Burke

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Blake Burkholder

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Bryan Manolakos

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Cam Wall

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Carl Bjornstad

19wd carl bjornstad

Carter Petray

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Chris Mason

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Christopher Cooper

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Christopher George

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Constantine Prishvitsin

19wd constantine prishvitsin.jpg

Cory Hanson

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Craig Winzer

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Curt Christian

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Dan Claric

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Daniel Yann Franzén

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Danny Friedman

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Dave Firth Bard

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David Holler

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Dean Costakis

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Derek Walker

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Duncan Devlin

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Eliot Davidoff

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Eric Fletcher

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Erwin Demmer

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Felix Schaub

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Gabe Farkas

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Gordon Andersson

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Henk Willemse

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James Lebak

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Jan Eid

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Jared Doucette

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Jared Miller

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Jason Collins

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Jason Morawski

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Jason Schwartz

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Jason Seaman

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Jason Williams

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Jeff Dehnhardt

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Jeff Grasso

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Jeff Liu

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Jeff Watkins

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Jeff White

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Jeremy Chien

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Jesse Laidlaw

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Joe Schacher

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Joep Meddens

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Johan Råberg

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John McNulty

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John Sexton

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Johnny Chop

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Jonathan Laws

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Josh Burgoa

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Juan Espadas Carmona

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Justin Iskra

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Koos Cramer

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Laurent Rippert

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Leandro Saucedo

19wd leandro saucedo.JPEG

Levi Baumgardner

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Luke Zinnen

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Malte (Lukas Baum)

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Marc Flore

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Mark Jonovitch

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Mark Price

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Mats Furby

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Matt Guido

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Matt Shields

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Matt Sperling

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Matthew Simon

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Max Schroeder

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Michael Angelo Russo

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Mike Harris

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Mike VanDyke

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Nick Cramer

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Nick Ireland

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Norton Fantenberg

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Olga Dushina

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Olof Robertsson

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Owen Fletcher

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P.J. Melies

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Park Cofield

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Paul Fiero

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Paul Kovalov

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Peter Fryland

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Peter Monten

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Phil Shary

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Phillip Dow

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Rajah James

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Robin Lundh

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Roger Thomas

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Ryan Gresco

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Ryan Rudolph

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Ryan Working

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Scott Bradley

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Sean Duffy

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Shane Chiasson

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Shawn Sullivan

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Stan Sterkendries

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Steve McGrew

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Taylor Quail

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Thilo Herzog

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Thomas Meddens

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Thomas Ribet

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Tylür Kahnle

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Viacheslav Ivanov

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Wilhelm Sahlberg

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Will Larson

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Will Magrann

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Winston Wood

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Zachary Dooling

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