Monday, 8 January 2018

Life in the North - building a place to play and judge

Hello World, and welcome back to Exile!

It's been a long, long time since I've written a Blog post, mostly due to the amount of hours I have been putting into building up our new game store; North Of Exile Games.  

The Life Of The Entrepreneur

Working for yourself brings it's own unique set of challenges and rewards, and I have certainly enjoyed all of the challenges these past 6 months have brought.  One thing that I learned quickly about being your own boss is that there is suddenly no such thing as a 'day off'.   Even now, it's Monday afternoon and I am sitting inside our store - which is closed today - writing this long overdue Blog post.

My last post here was an emotional one, as I was filled with the excitement that comes from having a long-standing dream come true - I was about step into the exciting world of entrepreneurship and open up my very own game store.   I didn't know if we even could be successful opening a game store in a small town that had never had one before, but I was optimistic that my partner and I could put our enthusiasm to good use, and at least make a good attempt at it.

I'm happy to relate that our first 6 months in business have been very successful.   We achieved 'Core Level' status as a store within 10 days of our first opening, which allowed us the opportunity to host prerelease events for Magic's Ixalan set in September.  Our Friday Night Magic Events have reached into the mid-20's for attendance multiple times, and we managed to get 34 players here for a casual 'Pizza & Magic' event that helped us to level up to 'Advanced Level' status within our first 5 months of being in business. 

A typical FNM for us, with a variety of formats happening

We hosted a $5 casual Magic event, and bought everyone pizza as thanks
for coming out - this helped us reach 'Advanced level' in under 5 months!

Reaching 'Advanced Level' status as a store was a major goal for us when we were opening up, as being an 'Advanced Level' venue is the minimum requirement to be able to host Premier level events such as Preliminary Pro Tour Qualifiers, Star City Games Invitational Qualifiers and Face To Face Trial events.  We knew that once we reached Advanced we would have a big advantage over other stores in Central Ontario, thanks to us having a Level 2 Magic Judge (me!) who can officiate those Premier level events for us.

Stay tuned for a special post coming soon, where I will recap the recent events from us holding our first ever Competitive REL Magic event in the store this past weekend, a 'Face To Face tournament series' trial event.

But before I go, let's take a look at some of the fun and games that have been happening in our new store, and have a glimpse at some of the awesome people who help comprise our constantly growing gaming community.

We've got D&D players in here almost every Sunday evening

We had a blast hosting our first ever Hallowe'en 
party in the store!

Janis & I got into the Pirate-spirit of things when
Ixalan was released!

Landen, Jay and Nolan are just a few of the friendly
faces you can often find at our Magic events!

On December 31st we hosted our first ever Store Championship
(formerly 'Game Day') Magic event!  We had a great turnout!

Christian and Serge had an EPIC match in the finals of our
Ixalan Store Championship, with Serge eventually getting the win! 

We host board game nights every Saturday, with over 40+ demo
copies of board games to enjoy, including Lords Of Waterdeep!


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