The first time I watched a streamed competitive Magic tournament was Pro Tour Journey Into Nyx. I was at my friend’s house – he’d been playing on and off for years, and as far as I was concerned was the absolute authority on the game – and I asked him what the deal was with no women. Were they not good enough to compete at that level, I asked, or were there just far fewer of them?
The latter, he said. It didn’t occur to me to ask why.
When Meghan Wolff posted her article on Star City Games about women in Magic, a lot of it resonated with me. Finally I understood why we were so heavily outnumbered, what stood in the way of women breaking into the game.
That article changed me. I was angry. I wanted things to change.
And change they did, albeit slowly. We got visibility. We got louder. Unfortunately, so did the people who resented it.
I’ve spent the past couple of months getting very heavily involved with the community. I’ve written blog posts celebrating diversity and representation and discussing how we can make it a better place. I’ve been using my position as a judge to make things a little better. I have, as one of my friends said, “put myself out there as a lightning rod to give a voice to those who did not have one.”
The reaction has been equally wholesome and vile. But, as another judge friend pointed out, video game logic applies: if you encounter enemies, you’re going in the right direction.
Now, I’ve spent today watching a tournament with several female players competing. I’ve seen the comments levelled their way by some people in the community – accusing them of not belonging in this game, accusing them of only qualifying because their boyfriend was playing for them, accusing them of only getting an invite in the first place because of their gender.
I watched these ladies hold their own against some of the biggest names in Magic, knock MPL players out of the competition, and be completely unapologetic about their presence.
Of course, the comments came in. Some of them were horrendous. But actions speak louder than words.
The tournament has had its detractors – people have criticised the format, the production, the rules. I agree with much of it. But for me, this is the tournament I’ve been looking for, ever since I asked my friend what the deal was six years ago.
We’ve always known women deserve to be here. Now, thanks to the Mythic Invitational, The World Will Know.