Calling: Birmingham Recap

2nd Aug 2023 Kasharn Rao

The first ever United Kingdom Calling has come to a banger of a close, with some exceptional games played across all three days. But who went home with the crown?


More than 400 players congregated in Birmingham to test their might against the best players from all around the world. The vibe was electric, with so much joy and anticipation for an event of this size finally taking place in the UK.

Many big names attended to try claim the title, Gold Foil, PTI, and monarch's share of $20,000 USD, and all the local players came out in droves to support the home front.

Lexi and Dromai continued to be outstanding performers in the overall metagame, but it was Bravo leaving the audience Star Struck, putting on a three-act show in the Top 8 bracket with triple representation.

While the Outsiders - Uzuri, Katsu, and Azalea squabbled and backstabbed, it was the cool and collected Iyslander who calmly broke through the competition, taking out all three Guardians in a row to completely upstage the Showstopper!

Bristol local Samuel Braben piloted the Elemental Wizard to a freezing finish against renowned Pro Tour Champ Pablo Pintor in the finals, claiming the victory for king and country!

Top 8

1st: Samuel Braben - Iyslander, Stormbind

2nd: Pablo Pintor - Bravo, Showstopper

3rd-4th: Sebastian Grøndal - Bravo, Showstopper

3rd-4th: George Keys - Uzuri, Switchblade

5th-8th: Luka Kramaric - Bravo, Showstopper

5th-8th: Stefano Meoni - Azalea, Ace in the Hole

5th-8th: Ashkan Rashid-Sanaty - Katsu, the Wanderer

5th-8th: Ralph Schlauri - Katsu, the Wanderer

While the Calling players cashed hammers, daggers, and magic sticks, more than a hundred feisty competitors engaged in the Blitz Battle Hardened.

Perhaps reinvigorated by his successor's fancy Rune Gate toys, the original dark lord Chane re-emerged to plague Rathe once more, along with some spicy Warriors, vengeful Ninjas, and fiery Wizards (likely powered up for battle with the master class Kano guide published only days before).

The Top 8 featured a diverse cast, with two Kano masters blazing to the Top 4 - but it was Giang Nguyen piloting the original Flesh and Blood hero Ira, Crimson Haze (opting to use Crown of Providence instead of the longtime staple Mask of Momentum) who took out the win!

Top 8

1st: Giang Nguyen - Ira, Crimson Haze

2nd: Bartosz Dominiak - Briar

3rd-4th: Matthew Sarrington - Kano

3rd-4th: Søren Madsen - Kano

5th-8th: Paul Crame - Rhinar

5th-8th: Daniel Li - Fai

5th-8th: Connor McGrath - Kassai, Cintari Sellsword

5th-8th: David Calf - Chane

It wouldn't be a Calling without a truckload of awesome side events! Throughout the weekend players chose the side of Light or Shadow in special events to win double prize tickets!

Demand for Shapeshifter Sealed was so high that on Friday a second event had to be added to accommodate over 140 heroes looking to mix and match all sorts of crazy combinations. World Guide Commoner and Silver Palms Ultimate Pit Fight were also a huge hit, showing just how deep the love for casual play runs.

Whimsically creative cosplays took center stage, showcasing some intriguing takes on fan favourite characters. You never know which cards or characters will appear at these Cosplay Contests, it's always an awesome surprise! Not only that, we got to see some of the stunning new "Fabric" promos that are now being awarded at Cosplay Contests (one of which allows you to create a token copy of Fyendal's Spring Tunic!). Congratulations to Jodie Dorling who won the contest with her Ira, Crimson Haze costume.

Esteemed artists Othon Nikolaidis and Tomasz Jedruszek took time and care to beautifully sign some special cards and playmats for fans of Flesh and Blood's stellar artworks.

Lastly, the event had exceptional coverage on Tabletop 24, along with the always entertaining Push the Point cast, who brought vigor and knowledge to the live stream. Special shout outs from players and content creators from all over the world were played on stream in between games (including an appearance from the notorious 'Garbage Lord Kano'), showing how the bonds made in Flesh and Blood transcend land and sea.

Another Calling down, another step forward in the $1,000,000 Pro Play Circuit. Thank you to Living Realms for hosting the event, as well as our devoted judges, coverage team, and staff!

Catch you next time!