It was getting close to midnight, 2 of my friends, my brother and I had just arrived at Abby Cat Comics. The newest Magic the Gathering set is a week away. As is tradition with new Magic the Gatherings sets a week before the set’s release most game stores hold a thing called a Pre-Release. Magic the Gathering (or “MTG”) is a collectible trading card game where people can compete with each other in tournaments for prizes usually. There are many different formats to MTG like Constructed where you bring your own decks, Draft where you draft cards from packs with other players and at this midnight tournament we get 6 packs of Khans of Tarkir (which is the set to be released) and we get to build decks using these new cards and keep them this is called Sealed.

As we entered the store my friends and I, it was packed full of people. Easily 40 people there all ready and raring to compete. Some are new faces, others I recognized from other events in town. We paid the entrance fee and took our seats. We sat not very patiently thinking about what we could open, hoping for the best. In no time at all though midnight stuck and the organizers started handing out our Pre-Release packs. “You have an hour to build your decks. Begin!”

In case you are unfamiliar with MTG, there are 5 colors of cards with different play styles. White is the color of law, Blue is knowledge, Black is ambition, Red is emotion and Green is naturalism. Within these colors are creature cards that can attack your opponent, different kinds of spell cards to interact with creatures and opponents, with everything you cast from mana producing land cards. I opened my packs excitedly and built an aggressive Red, White and Black deck hoping to end the game before my opponent could resolve anything I couldn’t deal with. My game plan was that I had smaller cheaper creatures with removal spells to keep them able to chip in each turn for damage. My friends, brother and I looked through each other’s decks to see what the others thought. We agreed with each other’s choices and wished them luck. In what didn’t seem like an hour I heard “Deck building is over! Your first round pairings are up!” The organizers shouted and the night truly began.

I won my first round against a newer player. After the game I tried helping him with his decisions in deck building because it looked like some cards he had were bad in my opinion. The next one dragged out for a while and it was a close game but I was able to remove his biggest threat and chip away at his life total winning in the end both games. Meanwhile in between games we had some time to talk with each other. “My opponent drew no lands and lost.” said my brother. My friends who had been talking before said “We both lost as well really fast. ”I’ve been winning all night.” I replied proudly. “Round 3 Pairings are up!” The organizer shouted. “Back to the tourney!” I said excitedly.

The third round was close too. My opponent had a threat I couldn’t deal with well but I ended up stealing it and killing him with it after a close game. At this point it’s finally 5 in the morning, people are getting tired and it’s the final round of the tournament. I am sitting at the first table fighting for 1st place. To say it in the nicest way possible, the game wasn’t that close. I played well and my opponent got unlucky. After eating my opponent handily and I was beaming. My friends were happy for me too. “Ah, good games man!.” I said proudly as I extended my hand. “I don’t wanna shake, I’m good thanks, I’ll go report in the score.” with that my opponent got up without shaking my hand. This took me by surprise, I hadn’t had anyone refuse to shake my hand before.

Contemplation trophy

This got me wondering about how I was acting throughout the night. Thinking back I had been really smug with my friends and really excited because I had kept winning even when they weren’t doing as well as me. “I won!” I said to my friends relieved that the tourney was over. They said “Does that mean you win the tournament?” I nodded “Grats” they replied and went back to their phones. After that the organizer handed out our prizes and I won 12 packs of Khans of Tarkir, the set to be released next week that I had won with.

As we walked out the sun was coming up. I was still beaming. My brother was happy for me as well but they all looked kinda sad. “What’s up?” I said “You guys should be happy!” “Yeah.” they all said sarcastically. Suddenly, I realized then that I was being rude. Everyone else hadn’t been doing as well as me and I had been ignoring their feelings. I felt that I should have been happy but I wasn’t as ecstatic as I was earlier because of how I had been acting. On the drive home my friends were still bummed at their performances at the tourney. I realized that winning was a big feat but at the same time I had to be more respectful and considerate around others.

Since then I have won events since then at other magic tournaments, but this memory still sticks strongly in my mind. I had been completely unaware of what I was doing then until after when it was too late. Because I had been so caught up with winning.  I had been a bad winner that day. Now I strive to not be as cocky and as rude to others as I had been to my friends, who I had ignored. Not only at tournaments but within all aspects of my life.