I am back, but sadly for Bob Healey and all of the other 5 or so people that believe my life revolves around all things Jund, this one will not be for you. Even though my friend Jesse has taken my Suns out Jund’s out line a little too far, this one will be about Sportsmanlike Conduct.
It’s not something spoken about much, but is something that I wanted to talk about. We have so many people from so many different corners of the world, and so many walks of life attending our large tournaments. The people who attend Magic tournaments are honestly some of the most interesting and wide ranging people I have ever met. I have learned so many new things from all of the friends that I have made. I wouldn’t trade if for anything. So many people ridicule me because of the money required to play this game, but in the end it was all worth it because I believe that it has shown me many ways to improve myself as a person.
Going to a Magic tournament is a privilege not a right. You do not deserve to be there more than any other person in that room. I am going to go over some experiences and what I believe we should all be doing every time we attend a tournament.
BE COURTEOUS TO YOUR OPPONENT
This one is somewhat straight forward. You are both people and you both have been paired at X table to battle. Every time I sit down with someone I greet them with my name and say that its nice to meet them. I really mean that, I have made some really great friends playing magic, and any opponent has the potential to be one of them. At the WMCQ I played against someone playing GR Ponza and I was playing Lingering Jund. Horrid matchup for me. While me and my opponent were shuffling he was talking about how his opponent last round was somewhat rude and very quiet. He also made a comment about how I was being one of his more interactive and fun opponents. I laughed with him and then let him know that I planned on stone facing him during the match. He drew 3 lands in both of the 2 games we played and I Thoughtseized and Lightning Bolted everything that costed less than 4. I won that match and we chatted a bit after that about how it was a great match for him and how this was what he was hoping for rather than the two affinity decks he played before this. We said our goodbyes and off we were. No harm, no foul, and neither of us left with a bad impression of the other person.
THE POST LOSS SALT SHAKE
Someone has to lose. It is a part of the tournament. Your opponent luck sacked you in game 3 to steal the match from you. You mulled to 5 in two games and didn’t even get to play. You misplayed somewhere and that put you on tilt for the rest of the match. No matter how it comes about it will come for you. Being tilted, salty, or just plain mad is FINE! I do not think that this behavior is something that you should never ever bring out. It is how you bring it out and how you act while in that state that I believe we need to correct. I was playing against a friend who I beat, the dude was SALTY but he was my buddy and I knew he didn’t mean anything. And he even told me how he felt and that he didn’t mean anything negative towards me. He flat out said how he was feeling and that I shouldn’t take it personally. He basically said that he wanted to vent to me. That is what we need. Especially towards players we know. And even with players we don’t if we simply and calmly say to them, “Yeah, I am just kind of salty after that loss.” Most people will understand.
Just this past weekend I played in a sealed PPTQ where I lost 3 straight win-and-ins to top 8. I was super salty at myself. I had a few misplays in games that really cost me. I was fully on tilt towards my last round opponent and I know the guy pretty well, but I never came out and said it to him. I should have, but we were one of the last matches and many people were watching. He told me that he would avenge me and I joked that it meant he was going to lose, haha. But after a little bit of the head judge setting up and me packing up I looked at him and told him to win it. Being salty isn’t bad as long as we do not act negatively towards anyone else. We should talk it out with our opponent and then go and Shake it Off or Let it Go. Find ways to vent and get rid of the salt. Maybe go create some “salted” crackers.
SAYING SOMETHING INAPPROPRIATE TO SOMEONE YOU DON’T KNOW
By now I believe everyone who reads this will have heard of the incident at the SCG Open. I am still sort of shocked by what happened and by some of the reactions that I have seen. This is bad people, no good can come from this. So many situations come into my head about what exactly was said and so many repercussions stem from these thoughts that it baffles me that I even have to sit and think about this. We want this sport to grow, and in order for that to happen we need everyone. To defend the words said is to alienate a whole gender from this game, and that is the last thing anyone wants.
At the end of the day if we can simply improve the experience we ourselves and others have than the day is already great. If we add winning on top of that then sign me up. But at the end of the day I have only had a few tournaments that were truly bad. Outside of that there was always something that brought me joy and made the whole experience worth while. Taking someone to their first Open and having them tell you how they almost beat Todd Anderson. Traveling with Kevin Jones to a tournament last minute and barely finding a hotel room. Then one of the three of you pays more so they can have one of the two beds to themselves. Trying to sleep while a group of MTG players deliberate where they are going to find a place to stay. Getting to see the countless friends you haven’t seen in weeks, months, years. Magic tournaments are some of the greatest experiences one can have. Lets keep them that way.
One other thing that I wanted to mention! I recently asked my Facebook friends and received a small amount of feedback from them. Now that SCG opens are starting to feature teams more and more, it seems like having a season by season MTG Fantasy Draft would be a reasonable thing to do. What does everyone think? If anyone has any ideas about this please let me know!
As Always Stay Humble and Hungry