Over the weekend, cardmarket.com relaunched their MKM Insight blog. They’ve assembled a team of great authors for the relaunch, and I’m proud to be one of them.
My first article for Insight was published yesterday. It’s titled “MKM Series is Coming to Your Town. Don’t Panic”. I wanted to know what happens to a quiet little neighbourhood when 700 Magic players invade. Here’s a sneak peek:
Marco Reitz doubles his weekend revenue every time the MKM Series is in town.
Reitz is the proprietor of Snack & Weck, a bakery and coffee shop just one hundred metres from the Civic Centre. Without any warning, the first MKM Series Frankfurt in 2016 brought large crowds of Magic players to his doorstep. “The first tournament pretty much caught us by surprise,” he admitted, laughing. “Hundreds of people suddenly turned up and needed coffee. We did not really know what was happening.”
Read more at cardmarket.com
I did a lot of legwork for this article: I interviewed residents, shop owners, players, and I called up a few dozen people. So go check it out right now.
Sensei’s Divining Top, Illustration: Michael Sutfin.
This one might interest you even if you’re not a Magic player, because it is an object lesson in how to deal with the fallout of unexpected change.
On April 24th, Magic’s Legacy format was thrown into disarray when a key card was banned from tournament play.
This was textbook regulatory action, no different from legislating against a certain type of product or transaction. What followed the ban was a mad scramble to the top of an unknown environment, with interesting results.
By my count, my interview with Stefan and Max is pushed back three times. First, someone has to start the Top 8 of the Eternal Clash Legacy tournament in Flensburg – Max’s job. Then, concessions runs out of Soda – Stefan’s turn. Finally, a new judge from Bremen has to pass his level 1 exam – it’s up to Max again to get him sorted. A good twenty minutes go by before I finally get both of them to sit down and answer my goddamn questions.
Stefan and Max, organizers of the Eternal Clash tournament.
Running a successful regional Magic tournament series, it seems, is a busy job. Especially when it’s a two-man, non-profit business.
From November 25-27, the MKM series visited Prague for the second year in a row. At the event, I sat down with one of the tournament organizers, Marko Schädlich, to talk about Prague, the MKM series as a whole, and the 2017 tournament schedule.
Marko Schädlich, Managing Director, magiccardmarket. Photo: Marko Schädlich
I arrive in Prague on day two of the MKM series tournament. The weekend-long event is in full swing: in addition to the Modern competition, there are Vintage and Commander side events, as well as trials for Sunday’s Legacy tournament. The convention center is bursting with players, most engaged in matches, others trading, browsing the shops, or just talking. Every few minutes, the PA system comes to life and announces the start of another round or event.
Julian Knab is a friendly fellow. Even when you’re literally walking in off the street and asking if he has time for an interview, he will sit down with you and tell you all about his journey to the top of the mountain.
Julian Knab in 2013. Photo: Julian Knab.
I catch the Magic champion in Prague, where he is playing in the magiccardmarket (MKM) series. I myself am there as a player and a journalist, trying to have a little fun while also getting some serious reporting done.
It’s Saturday, day two of the weekend-long event. Julian is done playing for the day, having dropped out of the Modern tournament and preferring to prepare for Sunday’s big Legacy event.
“In 2016, I’ve actually been more successful in Modern than in Legacy, although I certainly prefer Legacy as a format,” Julian says. In Prague, he’s registered for both events. “I want to get the most out of the tournament. The more I can play, the better.”