This week I’ll be talking about people who we meet playing magic that are the non-magic players. The story will share a similar motif to my first article here, but try to keep a clean slate and enjoy the character’s personal tale. Remember these characters are mostly fictional from my imagination.
Black, The Non-Magic Player
Making Sacrifices are a part of a player’s life as well as others around them, some are big, some are day-to-day small sacrifices, but it impacts all those around us.
February 21, 2013
Today is Larry’s birthday; he is turning 23. Larry recently graduated from New York University majoring in photograph and film. He loves taking pictures of the places he goes and the people he meets. No matter where he goes, he always carries the camera he bought during his senior year in college which took him over a year to save up for. His dream is to travel around the world and publish a book describing every detail of his journey with only pictures. Even more important to Larry than his love of photography is his girlfriend, Allison. They met about 8 months ago at Gencon where he was capturing the allure of gencon with his camera and bumped into Allison. They found out that they had a lot in common that extended beyond games and coplay. Larry never got into the TCG scene but he sees how much joy the game brings to Allison.
Allison began playing Magic with Duels of the Planeswalkers about two years ago and got into paper magic not too much later when Innistrad was released. She couldn’t resist a set filled with zombies, vampires, and werewolves- oh my! From this point on Allison was hooked, she was a regular at her local FNM scene and even started attending bigger events such as SCG opens and Grand Prix that were within a reasonable driving distance. Allison was determined to qualify for Pro Tour Dragon’s Maze. Today is Larry’s birthday, but it was also the last PTQ that Allison could play in this season. The local PTQ was delayed for a week because a snowstorm hit the city and the tournament organizer had no choice but to postpone it. Larry and Allison originally made plans for his birthday weekend to attend a local photography expo and dinner at a Michelin starred restaurant. Seeing how much time and effort Allison took to learn the modern format, Larry decides to tell Allison that he would rather see her win the PTQ than to an expo that he could see the following year.
Larry tells Allison, “The greatest birthday gift I can ever receive for is your happiness.” He knows how much she loved Magic and how happy she would be if she qualified for the Pro Tour. Allison was pumped; she knew she had to take down this PTQ, if not for her but for Larry. Allison dominates the swiss rounds and ends the day with an 8-0-1 record. All the preparation has paid off… she is through to the top 8. However in the quarterfinals, Allison floods on mana in both her matches and is not able to claim the coveted blue envelope. Allison is devastated and disappointed in herself that she missed Larry’s birthday with nothing to show for it. When she gets home, Larry hugs her and tells her, “keep chasing that dream, don’t ever give up because the journey is the reward for that dream and we will get there together one day.”
February 21, 2014
Today is Larry’s Birthday; he is turning 24. Today is a big day for Larry, other than being his birthday, he is meeting with a publisher to discuss funding for his book. Today is also Day 2 of Pro Tour: Born of the Gods in Valencia, Spain. A month ago, Allison finally qualified for the Pro Tour and for the second year in a row couldn’t celebrate Larry’s birthday. Ever since they met, Larry has never stopped supported Allison’s dream of making the Pro Tour and told her to fly to Spain and continue chasing her dream instead of celebrating his birthday.
11 am – Larry is getting ready meet the representative of the publishing company that is interested in his photo book. He brings his portfolio of pictures he has taken in the past year and a few pages of what he would like for his book would look like. “These are great looking pictures, I like the idea of the book” said publishing rep. “Do you have any other pictures? Exotic locations perhaps?”
Larry politely responded with, “Sir, I’m sorry I haven’t been able to travel to many places overseas, I’m a struggling college grad. I was hoping the publishers liked what I was doing and send me overseas to complete my book. I’ll reimburse the company for the expenses out of my cut of the book after it goes on sale.” After a few more minutes of browsing through Larry’s album and portfolio, the man stood up and said, “Larry, we really like your work but in this business we simply cannot afford to take the risk, I’m sorry but we are going to pass. I want to wish you the best of luck.”
Larry is crushed; his dream was being shattered in front of his eyes. Larry starts to think about all the sacrifices he made the past year to help Allison reach her goal but it wasn’t until now that he felt that those sacrifices may have cost him his own dream. But at the same time Larry had no regrets, he was so happy that Allison is fulfilling her dream playing at the Pro Tour.
Larry decides to go home and check the Pro Tour coverage to see how Allison was doing. She is currently sitting at a respectable 4-3 and playing to stay in day 2 match against a Pro Tour Hall of Famer. Game 3 of the match started out as a grind as both players were stuck on 3 lands for a few turns … after a long battle of attrition it became a top deck war. Allison finds herself falling behind and her dream quickly slipping away. Allison was ahead in life at 8-5 but she was dead on her next turn unless she draws a creature to block or a spell. Her opponent passes the turn and she slowly untaps her 5 mountains and draws her card for turn-
It is Lava Axe! Allison is onto day 2 of the Pro Tour! Many people come by to congratulate her on her making day 2 since it was her first Pro Tour. Larry calls her right away and tells her that everything at home is well and he was optimistic that he was going to get an offer. He encourages her to get a good night sleep, eat some good food, and that he would be rooting for her at home.
Larry just lied to Allison; he was not going to root for her at home. There is no way that Larry was going to staying home when Allison’s dream is coming true. Larry hurries to a local pawnshop to sell the camera that he saved a year for and heads straight for the airport. Unfortunately, he finds out that the only flight to Spain that day was to Barcelona. He still buys the ticket without hesitation and arrives 8 hours later in Barcelona. It is 6 a.m. local time and Larry quickly boards the next train to Valencia; his body fills up with excitement and he couldn’t wait to see the expression on Allison’s face when she sees him.
ALLIE! ALLIE!” screams Larry. Allison hears a familiar voice and quickly looks around, the past day have been so surreal and for a moment, she thought that she was either dreaming or hallucinating. But she hears it again, “ALLIE! ALLIE!” … she looks around and sees her boyfriend Larry there jumping up and down screaming her name at the top of his lungs! Allison sprints into the crowd past the cameras and into Larry’s arms.
At this very moment, Allison starts to realize all the sacrifices Larry have been making the last two years for her dream to come true. She knows that no ordinary person would fly across the Atlantic on zero notice just to watch her play at the Pro Tour. Larry tells her to finish strong in the tournament and maybe even secure a top 8 spot and that he’ll be in the stands screaming and rooting for her every step of the way. Allison finishes the tournament in 50th place. Even though she did not win, she feels that she accomplished her dream and now it’s time to help Larry accomplish his.
A week after the tournament Allison decides to sell her Magic collection, except her Pro Tour deck, in order to buy Larry an even better camera. She was putting Magic on hold for something that is more important to her, Larry’s dream. She even had some money left over to start a new adventure- together with Larry.
February 21, 2015
Today is Larry’s birthday; he is turning 25. Exactly one year ago is the last time Allison played competitive Magic. Today Larry is spending his birthday with Allison traveling to different places around the world. Larry is focusing on taking his pictures and putting his book together. Allison’s main focus now has shifted from winning tournaments to supporting Larry’s dream. They were engaged last month and plan to get married later this year.
February 21, 2016
Today is Larry’s birthday; he is turning 26, this book was published last week. Allison is starting to get back to playing Magic again, but not competitively. She still enjoys hitting up her local LGS for pre-releases and FNMS. After publishing their book, Larry actually had more free time and joins Allison at the battlegrounds from time to time. One of Magic’s slogans is “Play the game, see the world”, but Larry and Allison like to think of it more as “Play the game AND see the world”.
You make them, I make them, and we all have to make them at some point in our life. It is something that may leave regrets in your mind; making sacrifices for others is something you should aspire to. Making sacrifices in life is never easy, when you are playing Magic there’s probably someone at home waiting for you. Whether it is a parent who wants to see their child a little more before they leave for college or a spouse who wants to spend the weekend with you- someone is making a sacrifice. We should never forget about the sacrifices our families make when we are traveling to play Magic. They are often taking a back seat in our lives so we can enjoy the game we love.
If you find yourself grinding away at tournaments every weekend and constantly traveling long distances to play Magic, take 5 minutes right now to reflect and ask yourself this question. Is there anyone in your life that’s been supporting you (not just financially) playing this game that you might have been taking for granted?
It is very easy at times to overlook and forget about the person that is closest to us because we get comfortable. We always assume that they will be there to support us but we should make every effort to be better. We should strive to be the person that they are to us; people who will sacrifice their own needs to see us happy and pursue our dreams and goals. One of the traits that the military tries to instill in every person is selfless-service, they define it as: putting the welfare of the nation and your subordinates before your own. While we may not wear a uniform it doesn’t mean we can’t do our share. Make a commitment to your loved one and to yourself that you will go a little further to see them, endure a little more pain (watching a bad movie that they like), and see what little effort you can take to improve their lives.
I’ve talked about how Magic will always be there for us whenever we want to play, and that has not changed. We should take the time and effort to thank the people in our lives that were there for us by making a few sacrifices for them. Playing Magic shouldn’t always be about only you or the other person but compromise. Hey, we all can’t be level 50 Archmages or Pro Tour champions, but the best players will know how to balance the two and still enjoy the game they love.
For the next week’s article, I’ll be talking about Red… until then Thanks for reading and the support! As always leave any suggestions/comments!
Blue (The New Player): We are all interconnected in some way; our actions big or small can dramatically affect other people’s lives and experiences.
Black (The Non-Magic Player): Making Sacrifices are a part of a player’s life as well as others around them, some are big, some are day-to-day small sacrifices, but it impacts all those around us.
Red (“You” the Magic Player): Anger and Forgiveness is a part of the game, there is always another side to the story.
Green: (The Magic Friends):
White: (The Lifelong Friends):
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