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.
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.
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.
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!
BLOGS / PODCASTS / VIDEO COVERAGE
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)
4 5 DECK PHOTOS
5th Place: Tim Moran
4th Place: Dave Firth Bard
3rd Place: Chris Wynes — “Runeaxe Ramp” Spicy Honorable Mention
2nd Place: Simon Rokkjær
1st Place: Mike Giuliani
ALL DECK PHOTOS
(alphabetical by first name)
Brian E Limbacher
Dane Knudsen — “The Demon’s Lair” SPICE TOP 4
David Third — “UR Fish Tempo”
Eric Do Couto
George P Murphy
Jason Beaupre — “Alchor’s Bed” SPICE TOP 4
Jeff Liu — “Unpowered Prison Lich” SPICE TOP 4
Jonathan King — “Mutant Burnt Egg”
Nathaniel Gates — “Recall Disco aka Copy Machine”
Paul Kovalov — “Enchantress?” SPICEMASTER
Thomas Sutherland Borja