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Community Cup Challenge: Meet the Wizards Team

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Since there are many different folks here that build and support Magic Online we will be rotating in different Wizards of the Coast staff for the various Magic Online Community Cup events.

The 8 members of the Community Team will be competing against these teams for the glory of the Magic Online community AND to try and earn a free Momir Vig avatar and Momir Basic event for all Magic Online players that cheer them on.

Here is the makeup of each of the Wizards of the Coast teams:

Zendikar draft

100-Card Singleton Unified Constructed

Standard Unified Constructed

Invasion block draft

And here are their bios:


  Name: Aaron Forsythe
Age: 37
How long have you been playing Magic? Since 1994, right before Fallen Empires was released.
Favorite Magic Format: Sealed Deck and Elder Dragon Highlander
Favorite Magic card(s):Triskelion, Warp World, Trinket Mage, Gravedigger, and Deranged Hermit
What work do you do that affects Magic Online and how? I oversee the creation of all cards and sets. Pretty important stuff.
Do you think the Community Team can defeat the WoTC team at their own game? They’ll misclick less than us, so maybe. But if there’s a tie, we’ll surely win the dance-off.


  Name: Adam Dixon
Age: 37
How long have you been playing Magic? Played Alpha through Arabian Nights and picked it back up at Shards of Alara.
Favorite Magic Format: Kitchen-Table
Favorite Magic card(s):Nemesis of Reason, Mind Funeral, Traumatize…well really anything that mills I find fun.
What work do you do that affects Magic Online and how? I work on the Magic brand team and provide marketing support for Magic Online.
Do you think the Community Team can defeat the WoTC team at their own game? With me playing that is a distinct possibility…but we’ll see.


  Name: Adriana Moscatelli
Age: too old, 37
How long have you been playing Magic? About a year
Favorite Magic Format: Sealed (it is what I have played). I will like drafting when I play more.
Favorite Magic card(s):Vampire Nighthawk, Serra Angel, Flameblast Dragon
What work do you do that affects Magic Online and how? Lead the UI redesign project
Do you think the Community Team can defeat the WoTC team at their own game? Sure, why not?


  Name: Chris Kiritz
Age: 35
How long have you been playing Magic? On and off since 1994, with a big stint of what I will call “competitive casual” with a large play group in the late nineties.
Favorite Magic Format:I like Sealed, Draft, and Standard.
Favorite Magic card(s):That one is tough. I am a big fan of Rathi Dragon and Diabolic Edict from my playing heyday – which dates me I know – and Serra Angel is just iconic and cool, though Baneslayer Angel just kind of shames her.
What work do you do that affects Magic Online and how? My main responsibility is the ecommerce side of MTGO, with a side of Business Team thrown in for good measure.
Do you think the Community Team can defeat the WoTC team at their own game? Can they? Sure. But with WotC pride on the line, I wouldn’t bet on it.


  Name: Eric Sorensen (WotC_Eric)
Age: 30
How long have you been playing Magic? Since Legends
Favorite Magic Format: I MAKE time every week to play EDH… what do you think?
Favorite Magic card(s):Radiant Archangel (took forever to get a foil one for EDH)
What work do you do that affects Magic Online and how? I do the general community messaging for Magic Online (along with Magic the Gathering and Duels of the Planeswalkers)
Do you think the Community Team can defeat the WoTC team at their own game? Let’s just say “Good luck Community team!”… they are going to need it.


  Name: Erik Lauer
Age: 42
How long have you been playing Magic? I started playing with Beta.
Favorite Magic Format: Extended
Favorite Magic card(s):Necropotence
What work do you do that affects Magic Online and how? I develop Magic sets. I was the development lead of Magic 2010.
Do you think the Community Team can defeat the WoTC team at their own game? Anything is possible!


  Name: Gordon Culp
Age: 46
How long have you been playing Magic? Since 1995
Favorite Magic Format: Booster Draft
Favorite Magic card(s):Rhystic Cave
What work do you do that affects Magic Online and how? Director - Magic: the Gathering Digital Studio




  Name: Lee Sharpe
Age: 28
How long have you been playing Magic? I started with Revised, though there was a gap in the middle.
Favorite Magic Format: EDH/Commander and draft!
Favorite Magic Card(s): I’m not sure I have a specific card. Kaervek the Merciless has been a loyal leader of my EDH/Commander decks, so I’ll go with that.
What work do you do that affects Magic Online and how? I used to be a game server developer that coded the game server (e.g. game rules and cards), but now I mainly work on the finance / data analysis side of things. I gather all the data for the MOCS and MOPR programs, and with our web event coverage of MTGO events. Finally, I help R&D with rules and card templating issues, and do some playtesting from time to time. And I try to be helpful in any other way I can!
Do you think the Community Team can defeat the WotC team at their own game? Of course they can. I mean it’s *possible* we all get mana screwed every game, right?


  Name: Marcella Kallmann
Age: 27
How long have you been playing Magic? 6 months
Favorite Magic Format: Standard
Favorite Magic card(s): The most powerful ones with the prettiest art
What work do you do that affects Magic Online and how? I do PR—it ALL affects EVERTHING!!!
Do you think the Community Team can defeat the WoTC team at their own game? Heck no!! Well….maybe. Wait. No.


  Name: Mark Gottlieb
Age: 35
How long have you been playing Magic? I started playing during Beta
Favorite Magic Format: Reject Rare Draft
Favorite Magic card(s): Grave Pact, Sliver Queen, Genesis
What work do you do that affects Magic Online and how? I write, maintain, and update the Magic game rules (without which Magic Online would pretty much be a card encyclopedia). I also maintain and update the Oracle card database so that the cards in each Legacy set released Online match their printed functionality as much as possible.
Do you think the Community Team can defeat the WoTC team at their own game? No. If it looks like it might happen, I’ll just change the rules.


  Name: Mark Rosewater
Age: 42
How long have you been playing Magic? Since it first came out.
Favorite Magic Format: A wacky tournament format I call the “Magic Invitational”
Favorite Magic card: Maro and Look At Me, I’m the DCI
What work do you do that affects Magic Online and how? I don’t have much to do with the Online part but I dabble quite a bit in the Magic part.
Do you think the Community Team can defeat the WoTC team at their own game? Yes, if the Community Team makes their own game, I believe they’d have a real chance. Oh, they’re playing Magic. Yeah, not so much.


  Name: Matt Tabak
Age: 33
How long have you been playing Magic? 13 years
Favorite Magic Format: There are formats other than draft?
Favorite Magic card(s):Hidden Path (my first deck!), Demonfire (got me to a PT!), Gurzigost (a fellow 6/8!)
What work do you do that affects Magic Online and how? Previously I was the Magic Online Game Support Team lead, helping players in times of difficulty. I have since moved to R&D where I support the Editing and Rules teams. I still contribute to the Magic Online Business Team, crafting the awesome tournaments and events of tomorrow.
Do you think the Community Team can defeat the WotC team at their own game? Sure, but most of the scenarios where this happens involve swine flu, rampant flooding at our offices, or the Mayan apocalypse.


  Name: Mike Turian
Age: 30
How long have you been playing Magic? I started playing during The Dark in 1994.
Favorite Magic Format: I love drafting. I would draft right now!
Favorite Magic card(s):Spitting Slug, Wasteland
What work do you do that affects Magic Online and how? Working in Magic R&D I work on all (most) of the cards that end up in Magic Online. Besides my work directly on Magic, for Magic Online I have helped with the newly previewed redesign that Adriana and her team have been working on.
Do you think the Community Team can defeat the WoTC team at their own game? The Community Team has a great love of Magic, and I hope they keep this quote in mind after their defeat. “When all is said and done, it's not the shots that won the championship that you remember, but the friendships you made along the way."


  Name: Ryan Dhuse
Age: 30
How long have you been playing Magic? I started playing Magic during Revised.
Favorite Magic Format: Drafting
What work do you do that affects Magic Online and how? I’m the Software Architect for Magic Online. I contribute to the long term vision for the game. I’ve been spending a lot of time on the UI Redesign project over the last few months.
Do you think the Community Team can defeat the WoTC team at their own game? The rumor is that you start to lose your competitive edge when you get hired by WoTC. I’ve certainly seen my game decline a bit, so I’d say they have a shot. Plus, Zendikar draft and current Standard are old news for us now. We’ll beat them in FFL Standard any day though. At least, that’ll be my excuse when we lose.


  Name: Tolena Thorburn
Age: 27
How long have you been playing Magic? 1 year
Favorite Magic Format: Sealed
Favorite Magic card(s):Akroma and Lotus Cobra
What work do you do that affects Magic Online and how? I’m the Communications Manager, so I try to keep Matt Tabak in line.
Do you think the Community Team can defeat the WoTC team at their own game? Ooooh, I don’t think so, but I wish them the best of luck!


  Name: Tom LaPille
Age: 23
How long have you been playing Magic? 12 years
Favorite format:Magic Online Classic
Favorite Magic card(s):Psychatog, Arcbound Ravager, Tribal Flames
What work do you do that affects Magic Online and how? I help decide what Magic cards should do before they get printed or coded.
Do you think the Community Team can defeat the WoTC team at their own game? Sure, but they probably won’t!


  Name: Vincent Price
Age: 34
How long have you been playing Magic? Started in 1993 with Antiquities and have taken two sabbaticals over the years to return last during Time Spiral. I liked being able to play my old cards again!
Favorite Magic Format: EDH... er Commander, yes definitely Commander. Also, I enjoy Block Constructed, Shards block is a blast!
Favorite Magic card(s): From my start it would have to be Force of Nature. In more current times it would be have to be Doran, The Siege Tower. He is a sound general and three mana for a 5/5!
What work do you do that affects Magic Online and how? I get to work with the ORCs and help with general day to day maintenance of MTGO with event creation. Plus I have the big red button that can disconnect everyone at once... but I don’t get to use that one :(
Do you think the Community Team can defeat the WoTC team at their own game? Fortune favors the bold and we are bold!


  Name: Worth Wollpert
Age: 34
How long have you been playing Magic? Since September, 1993
Favorite format: Rochester Draft
Favorite Magic card(s):Exalted Dragon, Goblin Warchief, Siege-Gang Commander, Yawgmoth’s Will
What work do you do that affects Magic Online and how? You know the answer to this, feel free to make some stuff up!
Do you think the Community Team can defeat the WoTC team at their own game? Of course not, they will be crushed by the massive intellect of Magic R&D who we’ve wisely “contracted” to do all the work on our behalf. Either that or we have compromising photos of Forsythe and Liliana.

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