|Mercadian Masques Prerelease-Paris, France
Date of event : 25/09, 1999
Attendance : 93 players
Number of staff : one Level I (me), one Level II and two Level III judges.
Head judge : Cedric Nouveau, Level III
The Mercadian Masques preview that I judged the 25th of September was the
second one in Paris. For the first time, our
city managed to have two previews : one in a well-known place called
Ostelen (174 players), and another one organised
by Parkage, a fairly new game store in Paris.
The beginning of the tournament was maybe what was the less good. Firstly,
we had a computer problem and had to replace
it, which we did but that took quite a long time. Then, we had a problem
because of the new version of DCI Reporter. In
fact, the tournament was saved as a L5R tournament instead of a Magic one,
which was of course a bit of a problem.
After some changes, it was all right.
People have entered the place at about ten, whereas they were supposed to
be welcomed at 9 o'clock. No matter,
they were not very angry, and we could check in all players without any
After a little speech from the head judge, we gave the starters and the
boosters to players, so that they can list
them, and give them back. Although deck swap was required, no decklist has
been required and no deckcheck has been
made. We were in REL 2, but as the players behaved very well at the
tournament, and that we didn't have any problem, we
decided to proceed to deckcheck only if someone was suspected of cheating.
Yes it was possible, because a preview had
occured the day before in Paris. Despite that, we didn't notice any
At the beginning of the tournament, as we had the first problems ("judge,
my opponent has cast that although he doesn't
have the mana to do it and wanted to put something else into play"), we
decided to judge without giving too many
warnings for unintentionnal mistakes, so that the atmosphere improves in
the game area. In fact, it was an excellent
decision, because after this, not only no players abusively used from
calling judges, but also we didn't have to put
ANY warning for the whole tournament.
My decisions were appealed four times to the head judge, but not at any
time there had been a judging mistake during
all the event, which is VERY pleasant for players.
That was the first time I hadn't to put any warning during a tournament.
Even in little tournaments at REL 1, where 8
to 16 players play, I usually have to put three or four warnings at least.
Here, there were 93 and we didn't have to
All the judging staff did their best to make the place and the tournament
As a sign of great fair-play, a well-known french Magic player, that was
on table two, decided to drop the tournament
after winning his sixth match, because he had an appointement. Although he
had a very strong deck, and that he was sure
to be in top 4, he went away. This shows how players are cool during a
preview. The fact that the K-value for
prereleases is low is, I think, a very good thing. It might be one of the
most interesting tournament I have ever seen: players come here to have
fun and discover new cards, not to win a place to a Pro-Tour with decks
they have tested a
thousand times after copying them from the net.
At the end, because the tournament had begun late, we were quite tired.
The four players that were supposed to play top
4 decided to share the boosters instead of playing, so that we could go
home before eleven, which was firstly very
unusual, and secondly very kind of them.
When the tournament was over, a lot of people came to the judging table to
thank us for this tournament : they said
that it was the most pleasant tournament they had attended, and that they
would certainly continue to play at
prerelease tournaments. About three quarters of the players (and maybe a
little more) stayed at the end to wait for the
results and the giving of the prizes.
This also happens quite rarely, and shows that players were really happy
about the tournament.
The ONLY thing where, I think, an improvement could be done, is the
organisation before the tournament. It is not
really wrong that every single tournament from Wizards always begin later
than it is supposed to, and I really think
that testing materials before (especially computers) will make some
problems disappear, and the people be even more
Drawing a conclusion, I would say that I really hope one only thing : that
all tournaments from Magic could become like
that. Of course, you can not ask that at a Grand Prix or a PTQ, but I
think that if players could play more for fun
than for competition when they play in small tournaments, the judging
would become very, very pleasant.
I remember what happened at the France Championship in Dijon (a pb between
head judge and players about the ruling of a
card in sixth rules), then I compare it to what happened here, and I can
see that whether players have improved in
their behaviour, or maybe Wizards have made the rules clearer (I'm
thinking of the new Floor Rules) and more pleasant
both for judges and for players. I think it is both, because of the
general good work of judges.
I hope this report will be helpful and that it will give to players and
judges the enthusiasm that we have had in
Parkage for this preview.
Have a nice day
Level I certified judge