Q: It seems to me that in tourneys, almost everyone is the same. Same decks, same attitude. They want to win, and they'll do it at almost any cost. I've never met a nice person, one who would try to help or offer any advice. The only thing I've encountered is arrogance and clones.
I see no point in a 100 players having maybe nine deck types between them, and I don't see why everyone there is so rude. Is that really necessary? I think not.
For heaven's sake...I was in a Standard tourney and some 23-year-old had the gall to Castigate and then try to Extirpate that same card! It wasn't a mistake either, because I was new, and that was my first tournament and he actually went through with it. That really scarred me. How could someone take a game so seriously that he would cheat against someone who was new to the game?
I just want to know how to go about tournaments. Yes, yes, make the best deck and win. That is not advice. I want to know what attitude to have, how to talk to people, etc.
A: Hello Erik,
What I've witnessed in all the tournaments I've played and watched is that the behaviour of players is very different depending on where they are and who their opponents are. The kind of situation you are describing is typical of a PTQ or Regionals. Players either come to tournaments to win or to have fun. In the case of a PTQ or Regionals, having fun is not exactly the priority for most of them. So that's why you will encounter mostly the same decks that have been successful around the world prior the tournament.
They are around everywhere—players who think they are the "nut high" (understand "very awesome"). But they are still playing in PTQs and Regionals, meaning that they don't really live up to what they pretend to be. They are usually a bit better than average, and want to let everyone know about it. That sometimes leads them to act arrogant and rude to newer and less-experienced players.
But you won't find it in every event you attend. I've also seen many PTQs where everyone was friendly and a good sport. The people you meet may be kids or young adults who need to feel strong somewhere and PTQs are where they feel they have the best chance to show off. It's not so much about the game Magic, it's more a matter of education and humility. If you feel that you have something to learn from them, explain that they may be better than you at Magic, but they still have a long way to go before they can become respected players—and not only from the other kids they bully. They may understand at some point that they gain nothing from their arrogance but disdain. They usually learn what respect is when they qualify for the Pro Tour. They realise they have A LOT to learn, and that no one gets away with this kind of behaviour toward their peers, regardless their play level.
If you see something that goes against the rules, it's your duty to call a judge. No matter how eager anyone is to win, no one is supposed to get away with cheating, but that's another story.
Don't let yourself bothered by some players' behaviours. They are just overwhelmed by their cockiness. Play your game, and teach them a lesson if you can.