LobstercoM, a three-day webcam Old School Magic tournament, was held on September 18th-20th, 2020. A total of 118 players representing at least eight or nine different countries and more than 35 different regional Old School clubs participated in the main event. The structure of the main event was straight Swiss pairings, seven rounds timed at 50 minutes each (just as one might expect at a “real-life” paper tournament), followed by a cut to a Top 8 bracket, played out on the following day. All of the matches for the event were played using Whereby, one of the video chat platforms of choice for the 93/94 webcam scene.
The weekend’s festivities were conceived as a virtual replacement of sorts for LOBSTERCON, an Old School tournament that had been hosted in Boston by New England Old School in 2018 and 2019. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic made it impossible to hold LOBSTERCON in 2020 as planned, so instead, we decided to create an online experience to at least recognize the weekend, share some games among friends, and hopefully raise a bunch of money for Room to Grow, our charity partner. The event was promoted among the OLD SCHOOL 93-94 MTG Webcam Player Community, along with the Old School Discord and the New England Old School Facebook group. Although we missed the real Gathering, the LOBSTERCON spirit remained:
RECAP of EVENTS
LobstercoM weekend kicked off with the “Friday Night Boil,” a curated program of four exhibition matches featuring American Old School community stalwarts playing a mix of formats, some familiar, some experimental. The entire program was streamed live by Rich Bourque, and you can check out the recording here (or click through the “fight card” below):
And then came Saturday morning, and the LobstercoM main event, roughly eight hours of Old School Magic action, which was streamed by Danish Old School pillar Simon Rokkjær, with commentary from Bryan Manolakos and Svante Landgraf.
All of the recorded matches from Saturday and Sunday are available on Simon’s YouTube channel.
The cut to Top 8 left a field of mostly Workshops decks and various midrange piles. The robot menace was mostly up-ended in the quarterfinals, with only one Shops pilot (Mike Simpson) advancing to the semis: Shops vs BWRu Midrange, UWGb DeSilva vs BWRu Disk. Both BWRu Hymn decks won their semi-final matches, setting up an excellent showdown between Rubens Campana and Ben Katz. Juzam vs Juzam in the finals!
When the dust had settled, Ben Katz was crowned LobstercoM Champion. Congrats to Ben and Don’s Goblin Raiders!
CHARITY & GRATITUDE
Giving back to our community remains a focus for New England Old School and the Old School webcam community, and charitable contribution is part-and-parcel of the Old School Magic experience. Our charity partner for LOBSTERCON/LobstercoM is Room to Grow, a nonprofit dedicated to bringing vital services and support to families in Greater Boston.
Donations for Room to Grow were raised in three ways: through player entry fees paid, through a baby/toddler supply drive, and through the LobstercoM Charity Raffle held on RallyUp.
The charity raffle netted $6,180.04 for Room to Grow. Players and friends donated $1,337.47 in baby/toddler supplies in-kind to Room to Grow. And our entry fee revenue, net of expenses incurred for the event, combined with several other assorted donations sent in by the Old School community, added up to another $3,002.90 for Room to Grow. Taken together, our total support from LobstercoM for this vital nonprofit organization ended up at a staggering $10,520.41.
This outpouring of generosity from the Old School Magic community was breathtaking, humbling, and yet, in some way not entirely unexpected, because the #oldschoomtg scene has been stepping up for charity throughout 2020. On behalf of NEOS, and the families throughout Greater Boston who are receiving needed services and support as a result of your help, thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Special thanks are also due to our raffle item and prize support contributors, without whom the raffle would not have been possible: from the Old School Discord alters community, @Beckero103, @craw_advantage, @mgalters, @samsquamch, @merhans, and Park Cofield (@altersbypc); Justin Iskra, Akos Czibere, Shaun Augeri, James Easteppe, Philip Bohm, RagingRiverMTG, Matt Gazda, Jeremy Chien, Cam Wall, Mike Frantz, Geoff Walker, Adam Merkado, and Slanfan.
And an enormous debt of gratitude is owed to Josh “LobsterJudge” Frankel, who put in more than a full day’s work entering results and crunching pairings behind the scenes; to Simon and Rich for bringing high production values and a ton of effort into three fantastic days of streaming; to Mano, Svante, and Mibe for providing commentary; to the Friday Night Boil players Lucas, Dorman, Paul, Tapan, Jeff, Shawn, Quinn, and Seth for going along with it and putting on an exciting show; to the Watertown Elementals and the Bristol Brine Hags, obviously; to Jeff Menges; and to everyone who lent support, words of encouragement, messages of thanks, it all added up, it all helped, it all mattered. Thank you.
BLOGS / PODCASTS / VIDEO COVERAGE
Friday Night Boil – full program w/ coverage from Rich Bourque, DFB, Mike VanDyke
Saturday/Sunday Main Event coverage from Simon, Mano, Svante
LobstercoM got a visit from The X-Files — Mikael “Åland” Johansson
LobstercoM 2020 — Jon Dittert
LobstercoM 2020 — Jason Shaw
LobstercoM Player PoV Stream – Rich Bourque
LobstercoM Playert PoV Stream (YouTube playlist) – Jeff Liu
FINAL STANDINGS after SWISS
8 9 DECK PHOTOS
9th Place: Joe Becica (9)
5th-8th Place: JT Nicasio (8)
5th-8th Place: Will Magrann (5)
5th-8th Place: Seb Celia (4)
5th-8th Place: Brian Urbano (3)
3rd-4th Place: Paul DeSilva (2)
3rd-4th Place: Mike Simpson (1)
2nd Place: Rubens Campana (6)
1st Place: Ben Katz (7)
ALL DECK PHOTOS
(alphabetical by first name)
Adam Merkado — “Psuper Psionics” SPICEMASTER
Andy Blaufarb — “The Infinity Gauntlet”
D. Scott Brauner
Don Perrien (before)
Don Perrien (after)
Eric Do Couto
Florian von Bredow
Geoffrey C Walker
Jason Shaw — “Righteous Swords of Destruction”
João D Moreira
Jon Dittert — “Hurricane Alpha”
Karl Rivest Harnois
Mattias Berggren — “Underworld Valley of Greedy Dreams”
Michael Angelo Russo
Mikael Johansson — “Underworld Valley of Greedy Dreams”
Owen Fletcher — “King of the Monsters”
Øyvind Skattum Vesteng
Park Cofield — “RW Beast Mode”
Pascal Piché — “Disco Lobsters”
Ryan Keach — “Killer Bee Enchantress”
Yves Larochelle — “Reincarnation of the Colossus”