The LIGHTNING BALL: Organizer’s Report

The LIGHTNING BALL, a one-day webcam Old School Magic tournament, was held on Saturday, November 21st, 2020. A total of 86 players representing eight different time zones and at least two dozen regional Old School clubs participated. Deck construction rules for the event used the Eternal Central B&R list. The structure of the event was straight Swiss pairings, 50-minute rounds, just as one might expect at a “real-life” paper tournament. 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.

Rich Sponholz ritualing out a Mind Twist under Tim Moran’s Living Plane lock

The LIGHTNING BALL was the latest in a trend of “same day” webcam events for the international Old School Magic scene, a tournament structure that has been enabled by widespread self-isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Players carved out almost eight hours from their lives on a Saturday to take part in seven rounds of 93/94 webcam action. The event experimented with a late start time, 4pm U.S. Eastern, in order to cater to the #mtgdad set on the East Coast, offer a more friendly schedule to our West Coast and Hawaiian friends, and see how many Europeans would tough it out and play a 10pm-6am all-nighter. (The answer was four.) 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.

The event was streamed by Philadelphia Old School pillar Dan Serwan, with commentary from Bryan Manolakos.

Lebak vs Liu, Round 1. Click through to the first part of the VOD –

All of the recorded matches from the event are available on the Supraliminal Films YouTube channel: Part 1, Part 2

When the dust had settled, Mike Giuliani (@sliphorn on the Discord) took 1st place and a fabulous Lightning Bolt alter created and donated by SK Altered [Instagram: sk_altered, Facebook: SKAltered]. NEOS’ own Paul Kovalov was declared the SPICEMASTER with his sweet Enchantment Alteration brew. Prizes were awarded to the top five finishers as well as the top five spicers. Lex Szentmiklosy (@LexLexLex on the Discord) notched Best Unpowered on the day, with unpowered prize support donated by the inimitable Cam Wall.



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 designated non-profit beneficiary for the LIGHTNING BALL was the Greater Boston Food Bank. Food banks have been hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis, with hot spots all over New England, including in eastern Massachusetts, where GBFB has been experiencing the largest demand and food distribution months in its 40-year history.

Four decades into her career, Greater Boston Food Bank leader still sees a  growing need

Through the entry fees paid by the players, I’m thrilled to share that we raised $1,054.30 for the Greater Boston Food Bank, which was donated to the charity on November 22nd. To everyone who participated in our event and made this possible: thank you!


The Spice Files: The Lightning Ball

All Tings Considered, Episode 140: The Ball Lightnings of the Lightning Ball

Main event coverage from Supraliminal Films – Part One (Dan Serwan w/ Bryan Manolakos)

Main event coverage from Supraliminal Films – Part Two (Dan Serwan w/ Bryan Manolakos)

Lightning Ball Player PoV Stream (YouTube playlist) – Jeff Liu



5th Place: Tim Moran

4th Place: Dave Firth Bard

3rd Place: Chris Wynes — “Runeaxe Ramp” pepper Spicy Honorable Mention

2nd Place: Simon Rokkjær

1st Place: Mike Giuliani


(alphabetical by first name)

Adam Merkado

Andrew Ruschpler

Andy Blaufarb

Andy Callaghan

Ben Katz

Bill Schlichting

Brendan Cox

Brian Bogdon

Brian E Limbacher

Cam Wall

Cameron Gilpin

Chad Law

Charles McFadden

Craig Winzer pepper

Dakota Martinez

Dan White

Dane Knudsen — “The Demon’s Lair” pepper SPICE TOP 4

Daniel Anschutz

Daniel Rothbart

Dave Gura

David Muenzer

David Third — “UR Fish Tempo” pepper

Dominic Dotterrer

Eli Linzi

Eric Do Couto

Erik Johnson

Gaetan Zell

Geoff Matteson

Geoff Walker

George P Murphy

Greg Kraigher

Jakob Lager

Jame Easteppe

James Lebak

Jason Beaupre — “Alchor’s Bed” pepper SPICE TOP 4

Jason Dorman

Jason Hathaway

Jeff Liu — “Unpowered Prison Lich” pepper SPICE TOP 4

Jesse Liberty

Joe Becica

Jonathan King — “Mutant Burnt Egg” pepper

Joel Bowers

Joshua Volker

Kaider Sheen

Ken Fritz

Kevin Nelson

Levi Baumgardner

Lex Szentmiklosy

Mark Marra

Matthew Messa

Micah McRiver

Michael Scheffenacker

Michael Simpson

Mikael Johansson

Nathaniel Gates — “Recall Disco aka Copy Machine” pepper

Nick Santini

Parker Schaffel

Patrick Quinn

Paul DeSilva

Paul Kovalov — “Enchantress?” pepper SPICEMASTER

Peter Magnin

Peter Simpson

Philip Böhm

Quinn Maurmann

Rad Hazard

Rich Bourque

Rich Shay

Rich Sponholz

Richard Borashan

Richard Welch

Rick Gideon

Rob Hackney

Robert Wilson

Ryan Williams

Scott Bradley

Seth Roncoroni

Thomas Ashby

Thomas Sutherland Borja

Will Magrann

Zevon Odelberg


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