Thursday, 29 December 2016

Judging From The Looks Of These Pictures... 2016 in Review

Hello my dear readers, and welcome back to Exile!

Some of my favorite photos, from judging in 2016...

The very first Face To Face Open I ever judged.  These events are an incredible opportunity to improve your rules knowledge and skill level as a judge.

Win a Face To Face Open, take home the shiny hardware.

The awesome staff at that open, whom I was privileged to work with.

The swag I got at GP Detroit, for VIP entry.   The spellskite mat in the background was especially popular.  This was one of five GPs I would attend in 2016, and the only one I would attend as a player :)

GP Detroit 2016 was particularly special, as there was something new at the 3 GPs that weekend which had never been done before... Wizards had surprised the players arriving at those GPs with Innistrad themed escape rooms!  My friend Ed and I waited in line for almost 2 hours, just so we could literally be the first 2 members of the public to be able to enter into Innistrad.   This is a good example of why it's always a great idea to visit any Grand Prixs that you get the opportunity to... you never know what once in a lifetime surprises will await you!  There was a new card announced (spoiled) inside of the escape room, meaning we were literally the first non-event staff to ever see that specific card.    Little things like that make for some awesome Magic memories.

A gift from my good friend Ed, in celebration of my passing my Level 2 judge exam at GP Detroit which I wrote during the Sunday afternoon.  I  may have set a record for taking the longest time ever to write an L2 exam, but that was a deliberate decision by me to take a break during the test and then redo every question a second time, to ensure I made no silly errors due to misreading a question. 

A photograph of my very first time being appealed at a Grand Prix, coincidentally at the first GP I ever worked - GP Toronto 2016. ruling here was overturned by the Head Judge, for those wondering.   Ask me about it sometime and I will explain why, if you are curious!  

Photos from GP Montreal 2016, including my first time ever getting into a GP Staff photo, and all of the Judge Swag I was given at the end of the weekend.   If you are only interested in judging because you want the fancy swag, trust me - judging will never be worth it to you.  But if you absolutely love spending a weekend working your tail off so that other people can have fun playing the game they enjoy, the bonus souvenirs sure do make a nice treat to take home.

GP Montreal Main Hall

GP Montreal 2016 Staff photo

Judge Swag

The World Magic Cup Qualifier (WMCQ) held at Ryerson University by Face To Face Games.  The winner of this tournament would win a trip to a far off country overseas, in order to represent Canada at an international tournament of 70+ countries!

This is Brad, one of several candidates this year whom I mentored as they tried to become Level 1 judges themselves.  One of the perks of my being a Level 2 judge now is that I am able to certify new L1 candidates, and help our judging community grow.   Brad ended up passing his Level 1 exam at the WMCQ, and has recently been head judging some Grand Prix Trial events at his local store.   Worth mentioning is that all 3 candidates whom I've issued L1 exams to this year have passed, and are now judging in their respective areas.  Yay, judging!!

My first time ever judging in the United States happened this year, when I traveled to Somerset, New Jersey to help judge at a Star City Games Invitational weekend.   These events are huge, and very professionally run by SCG.   Think Grand Prix, with around three quarters of the players, and you're getting pretty close.

Did you know that Star City Games provides judges with their own proprietary blue judge uniforms to wear at their biggest events?   Pictured below is Team Canada @ SCG New Jersey:  
(L-R) James McKay, myself, Chris Lansdell, (honorary Canadian) Rick Salamin, and Seth Black. Notice behind me, the top half of the head of very famous magic judge Riki Hayashi.  His wife is Canadian, so we let him stand in the back.  😝   

This is what the coverage area of a major Star City Games event looks like in person

Staff Photo, GP Providence

A pretty sweet Judge scarf!  Courtesy of GP Providence 2016

I never played any Magic in Providence, but I sure did do a lot of drafting!

End Of The Line

That pretty much sums up most of my favorite highlights from judging in 2016.   Until next time, thanks for joining me again on my Path To Exile.


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