In 2014, I was the host of an interview-style podcast about Magic: The Gathering, called 'The Deck Tease.' Content creators, pro players, and Wizards of the Coast employees would come on the show, and I would get to know them on a more personal level. One of the pro players whom I had the pleasure of interviewing was Magic: The Gathering Hall of Fame member, Kai Budde.
At one point, I asked Kai what caused him to lose interest in Magic - especially after coming off of a particularly high point in his career. Kai replied that he didn't have as much interest in playtesting or competing if the friends who made the journey with him weren't playing too. At the time, his response didn't make any sense to me.
I just couldn't imagine being on top of the world, being at the peak of your career, and not wanting to carry on simply because your friends couldn't be there, too. That was so foreign to me. This sentiment would be echoed by Luis Scott-Vargas, who appeared on 'The Deck Tease' several episodes later. Luis said that his good friend Paul Cheon made the Pro Tour worth going to.
The word 'community' kept coming up in one interview after another. But the concept didn't really hit home for me until later that year, when I got invited to participate in the 2014 Magic Online Community Cup.
I was a last minute invite to the party, and so I spent much of the week leading up to the event with my primary concern being to do well, and not lose. All I could think about was jamming as many Vintage Masters drafts as possible. The possibility of making new friends or networking wasn't even a blip on my radar.
The Community Team did end up defeating the Wizards Team. But when I look back on that weekend, I don't think about the sweet pulls that we opened, or exactly how many points we won by.
I think about the night we celebrated our win by going out for karaoke. I remember that I cried the night before we went home because I had become so attached to my team that I did not want to leave them. Or that my team and I still keep in touch to this day, and support each other's endeavors.
The community is what matters, and as Cardhoarder's new Community Manager, I look forward to applying everything I have learned as a long-standing member of the Magic community to making Cardhoarder, and its community the best that it can be.