How Matt Sperling Could Have Written His Article by Matteo Orsini Jones

Bringing it Back with Baneslayers – PTQ Reading Report *1st* by Matteo Orsini Jones


Recently Matt Sperling wrote an article on his completely-unrelated-but-for-no-real-reason-still-identically-named site mtglampoon in which he basically called a bunch of people he doesn’t know undeserving morons (not in so many words – the words he did use were actually worse).

The post here.

Now apparently this is satire, but the trouble is, it’s not funny. Satire is funny when you call up on home truths, find the subtle nuances of friendly relationships and pick up on the small habits that you know you can mock in jest without anyone becoming offended. What this did was to call out people he’s never met, or even heard of (as he claims) because he thinks he should get to decide who gets to decide on who gets to enter the MTG hall of fame.

Now the point of the article is obvious – he disagrees with how the Hall of Fame is voted, and it’s just as obvious there are personal reasons involved – either he’s bitter that he didn’t get a vote and/or he’s bitter that his friends either haven’t made it or he doesn’t think they will. I might be wrong here, but then I don’t see what else would make him turn his “satire” so personal.

My first impression of this article was that either Sperling is an ignorant moron, or that he made some kind of next level satire that I failed to understand. He’s been claiming the latter on Facebook posts, so we’ll give him the somewhat undeserved benefit of the doubt in this case. I thought therefore that I’d give an idea of how the article should have been written. Jacob Van Lunen made a note on Facebook in which Sperling decided to continue insulting him, so I thought I’d keep a JVL insult in there just for integrity’s sake.

Breaking Down the Hall of Fame Selection committee, by Matt Sperling Matteo Orsini Jones

Around this time of year, every year, the internet goes wild with discussions of the Hall of Fame, WotC’s way of remembering the truly great figureheads of the game; those to whom all small children can look up to and think “one day, I want to be just like him!”. People like Bram Snepvangers. But, you might ask, “how do they decide who makes the Hall of Fame?”, and that’s a very good question, with a very good answer: By employing those who know the Pro Tour inside out and those who have been here from start to finish, seen the highs and lows, the top 8s and near misses, and experienced the charisma of the top players first hand, to spend a month poring over past events, interviews, articles, and eventually choosing a small group of players who undeniably deserve their name to be immortalised as a symbol of unrivalled contribution and excellence at the game we love.

What? that’s not how it works?

Nope. the voters are split into 2 groups: The “players”, who have accrued over 100 pro points and thus know the tour and its players pretty well, and the “committee”, who have been selected “ for his or her place in the history of the game”, so people like Mark Rosewater, head designer and possibly the most well known person in Magic; Brian David Martial, Pro Tour Historian and long-time coverage reporter; Joey Pasco, Nice Guy and 3-time FNM top 8er and Hanno Terbuken, whose name was actually the inspiration for a Street Fighter move (the discrepancy in spelling is down to a translation error and lack of an alphabetised system in the Japanese written language).

These two groups of people each get to submit 5 names, each submission is added to the pollcount, then each submission from half of the voters is re-added to the poll count, then Shuhei Nakamura is inducted into the hall of fame. Simple.

Wait, what? Now I’m no expert in statistics, but 3 years of physics degree make me think something in that might make the results a little skewed and, to use a scientific terminology, unfair. Apparently, the selected committee’s votes count for twice the votes of the players. Just to verify, I talked to my good friend level 8 pro and expert in all things dodgy Tomoharu Saito (little known fact, he served 4 years as a volunteer in the police force and dedicates much of his spare time to teaching children the importance of honesty and integrity with his business partner Katsuhiro Mori), who also confirmed that something was slightly fishy here (and being Japanese, he also has fairly authoritative word in what is and isn’t fish).

Now come on, how on earth is that reasonable? Trust me, I’ve got nothing against Joey Pasco, and top 8ing multiple FNMs is certainly an achievement, but why should he get 2 votes when I, having been to nine whole pro tours, don’t even get one? This revelation made me want to go deeper, and so I set about checking out the other names of people who get multiple votes and expose them as the frauds they are

Rui Oliveira – I mean come on Olivier, you’re already in the hall of fame and you already get 2 votes, do you really need this many to guarantee the Americans don’t get in? Scrambling your name around and claiming to be a reporter may have WotC fooled, but it’s not working on me. If SteveOMS doesn’t make it this year, I think we know why.

Gijsbert Hoogendijk – Again, a blatant act of creation of fake names by the Europeans to keep out deserving Americans. I’m guessing this is just you guys’ way of trying to fool Americans by creating Amsterdamish names and assuming we won’t notice because we don’t speak German. I’m starting to think this double vote thing is just a conspiracy by WotC EU and JP to balance the numbers in the PT. I mean come on, Naoaki Umesaki? This is obviously just a joke Anagram of “I AM A NUKE AS I, OK?” that’s been made to sound believable by plugging in that guy’s name who owned a Jitte. Hiroshima was over 60 years ago, learn to let go guys.

Damien Hiller – Formula 1 might not be big in US, but you ain’t got me fooled. try harder next time

Jacob Van Lunen – isn’t he friends with that guy who won a Pro Tour? I had a Twitter conversation with PVDDR once, so where’s my ballot card?

Having gone through and researched all the names, I came to a frightening discovery – only 5 of them are actually real. Once again, WotC’s underhand dealings and frankly frightening policies have come to light, and yet as with the years before nothing will be done about it because their big-wig corporate lawyers will just brush it under the carpet and tell the public to move on.

I never wanted to change the world, but hopefully this undercover report will change the way you think about the Hall of Fame.

Signing out,

Matteo Orsini Jones

shameless plug to follow me on twitter (@matteooj), subscribe to me on my blog or youtube (draftingwithmatteo)

(This post originally appeared on Matteo’s blog, found here)

Editors Note – Please note that this article is strictly the comments of the author that may or may not be shared by mtgUK and its staff.


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