Ten Minute Magic (April 22, 2016) – Judge Lawsuit, DFCs at the Pro Tour, and Grand Prix Barcelona News
Join Joseph Dunlap and Ben Cottee in this week’s episode of Ten Minute Magic, a weekly podcast format that highlights recent news in the world of Magic: The Gathering and looks at exceptional comments from recent Magic content on the internet.
This is what’s going on in Magic: The Gathering this week…
1. Magic Judges Lawsuit
Two class action lawsuits have been filed by former Magic judges. According to a statement from Wizards of the Coast, the lawsuit claims Wizards is employing judges for running events. Wizards has always tried to distance themselves as much as possible from this, as having thousands more employees at minimum wage is not preferable to the company. The Magic judge community gives their time freely (although they do get “paid” in judge foils, product payments, etc.), solely out of their love of the game, which is something Helene Bergeot recognises in her community message.
Competitive Magic would be seriously damaged should the current judge setup fail, another fact that makes the judge spoilers episode seem so mishandled. In fact some of those involved, notably L3 judge and regional co-ordinator for the Southeast Justin Turner is one of the named plaintiffs.
Wizards’ statement is short and fairly dismissive of the lawsuit, and it is doubtful we will get any more details until it is completed unless one of the judges releases any details. Regardless, Wizards/judge relations will be further damaged and the healing process will take even longer.
2. Double Faced Cards at Pro Tour Shadows over Innistrad
The latest Twitter storm in Magic began on Sunday in relation to the Shadows over Innistrad double faced cards. A number of complaints on the drafting setup in relation to double faced cards came to light, the most prominent from the often ‘Sick of It’ Matt Sperling of Team Ultra Pro. Jon Finkel joined in the complaints that the rectangular tables made it especially hard for players at the ends of said tables to see the double faced cards in a timed draft, while also not looking at people’s hands.
Helene Bergeot commented that she was following all the conversations and a communication on DFC would be made ahead of the Pro Tour. That came on Tuesday 19th April, when they announced that just for the Pro Tour all booster packs would be sleeved. That’s right, no more DFCs, at least in the draft portion. Many praised this as the best fix under the circumstances, but others pointed out some issues with this solution:
- You couldn’t get square or circle tables?
- DFCs are the signature feature of the set.
- People have been testing in groups based on the impact and signaling of DFCs.
- And a question from Owen Turtenwald: What if we want to read the back side during the draft?
What should I do if I want to read side-B of a card mid draft? #PTSOI
— Owen Turtenwald (@OwenTweetenwald) April 19, 2016
3. Fabrizio Anteri Continues to Dominate – Can He Transfer it to the Biggest Stage?
Five wins out of ten Grand Prix Top 8 showings is amazing considering how fresh Fabrizio Anteri is to the Magic scene. His semi final opponent Heuy Jensen, for example, has been in the competitive circuit since the late 90’s and only has four Grand Prix wins under his belt. Fabrizio has joined an illustrious and short list of those with five Grand Prix wins, including the mighty Kai Budde.
The question now is can the newly minted Platinum Pro transfer this form to the big stage at Pro Tour Shadows over Innistrad? He is a member of Team EUreaka which have been putting up fantastic results over the past two years and is a limited master (and you should definitely go back and read his Shadows over Innistrad initial impressions article here on Manaleak). With Brad Nelson now on this team, we can expect a great Standard deck in his hands for the Pro Tour. Things are just getting started for Fabrizio.
4. Wizards of the Coast in PR win!
In the same tournament that Fabrizo won, there was a technical difficulty that viewers didn’t even get a whiff of. Apparently, after pairing round 15, round 14 results were lost and it was estimated that to reenter the results and recalculate breakers would have lost an hour of running time in the event. In conjunction with Wizards, the TO decided to apply round 15 results but use tie breakers from the previous round. After everything had been re-entered properly it resulted in the 8th and 9th positions being switched.
On Monday, Wizards confirmed this person would not only receive the invite their 13-2 result granted them but they would get an invite to the following pro tour (so free flights to Sydney and Honolulu) plus the quarter final GP payout of $2500. This corrective course was probably exactly what they should have done, but the speed and transparency won hearty approval all round from the community – a rare win for WOTC in recent months!
Thank you for joining us in Ten Minute Magic. We would love to hear your feedback on the presentation, format, and length – the idea is to run through Magic news and recent article discussions in roughly ten minutes – so please leave a comment with your thoughts and we look forward to hearing from you.
Joseph and Ben