Competitive Magic: on the horse and straight back off.

First off, HUGE congratulations to Holt Hauser and Stephen Murray, who came first and second respectively in Scottish Nationals at the weekend. Team Scotland is looking pretty stacked. Connor and the rest of the Murphy’s Vault team put on an A+ event, the judges kept everything moving in peak judge style, and I gather the whole weekend was a success.

Aside from some minor Event Reporter hitches, of course. We expect nothing less.

chaos orbAlternative name for the WER.

Due to our lack of sanctioned store, I didn’t qualify for Nationals this year. At the time I was quite disappointed. In hindsight, I’m glad I wasn’t tempted to play. It was a busy room, a hyper-competitive environment and SO not the place to hop back in for someone with more than a little bit of performance anxiety. And social anxiety. Actually, just anxiety.

I signed up for the Standard Win-A-Box event instead. A competitive event, but quieter than the main one. Plus a bunch of my friends were playing in it as well, and worse case scenario I come away with a Flooded Strand Nats promo. Seems like harmless, good old EV.

flooded strand

The Scottish Magic community is great. I logically have absolutely no reason to be frightened while playing in an event, because anyone who IS a dick is in the minority, and there’s a whole lot of players at your back if you find yourself in that situation.

Plus I’ve actually gotten to know more people since I stopped playing the Comp events. Apparently spending a lot of time on the internet is a thing.

Anyway, I sit down in round one against someone I’d never met. He’s playing UW God Pharaoh’s Gift. It’s not a fast deck, so by game three people were starting to come over and watch.

That was the end for me.

What if I made some idiotic wrong play and everyone saw? What if I slipped up and someone called a judge? What if I end up crying at this table?

shadow of doubt

I was losing the match anyway, but I scooped far earlier than I should have done. I threw all my stuff in my bag, disappeared into the toilets, and tried not to completely fall apart.

This is what happens to me. It’s the reason I don’t play outside of our local group. Unless it’s a Two-Headed Giant event, because Sean’s there to either stop me or validate me.

Eventually I dragged myself out, got a cuddle from Roisin (LOVE YOU ROISIN) and played round two, with the express goal of getting it over and done with as soon as possible. Much to my surprise I won, and went 2-2 in the event overall.

moment of triumph

The biggest victory of the day was not dropping. Usually by the time I’ve had a cry I’m so wiped and unstable that I pack it in and spend the rest of the afternoon beating myself up in a corner. I don’t know who was more surprised that I played the rest of the rounds out, me or Sean.

I’m never going to be a PPTQ grinder, but it would be nice to be able to go to events and meet up with people and play without dissolving into a shaking, weeping mess every round. Annoyingly, the only way to achieve this is by attending more of them, which fills me with dread. Breaking even record-wise feels like a tiny little victory, even if my last two rounds were against my friends.

me n mattNot this one though. Shame, my deck stomps all over his.

Plus Sean won the win-a-box and we opened seven mythics including two planeswalkers, a Nicol Bolas and a Crucible of Worlds so y’know. I might not have contributed a huge amount but I’m still taking some credit for that.

See you at a PPTQ. At some point. Probably

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