The LC Invitational, an invite-only Old School Magic tournament in Greater Boston, continuing the tradition of LOBSTERCON, was held on September 18, 2021.
The field was 60 players representing regional Old School clubs including the Sisters of the Flame, Old Order Old School, Philadelphia Old School, the Beasts of the Bay, the Rocky Mountain Yetis, Don’s Goblin Raiders, Team Sped, Canton Old School, and (of course) the Watertown Elementals, the Bristol Brine Hags, and other various subsets of the host club: New England Old School. Deck construction rules for the main event used the Atlantic B&R list. The structure of the tournament was seven rounds, Swiss+1, 50 minute round timer.
The elephant in the room (or really, hopefully not at all in the room) was a lethal virus by the name of SARS-CoV-2. Three mitigating strategies were employed: first, every single attendee was fully vaccinated; second, everyone got tested (either PCR or antigen/rapid test) in the days leading up to the event; and third, the event took place in the context of an indoor mask mandate, which was enforced by the venues in Cambridge and Somerville.
The weekend kicked off with a Friday night welcome event that included a 20-player Premodern event, plus Swedish 40K Ante hijinks and a smattering of casual pick-up games as well. NEOS organizer and Premodcast personality Jared Doucette managed to win his own Premodern tournament, besting Justin Iskra in the finals with Draco Explosion.
The Saturday main event was a celebration of old Magic cards, spike, spice, seafood, and fierce bro hugs between members of the community, many of whom were reuniting for the first time after several long months without in-person events. Busted plays, wild interactions. Old School alters, swag, and memorabilia raffled off. A guy in a lobster suit. Trade binders at the ready. Old inside jokes, brand new inside jokes. And when the dust settled, a result so predictable as to be reassuring: Will Magrann won the day with some damned Shops deck.
CHARITABLE ACTIVITY and GRATITUDE
Giving back to our community remains a focus for New England Old School, and charitable contribution is part-and-parcel of the Old School Magic experience. Our designated non-profit beneficiary for the LOBSTERCON series is Room to Grow, an organization to which NEOS has donated annually for the last several years.
The club conducted a baby/toddler supply drive using a curated wish list put together by Room to Grow staff, representing current needs for clothing, feeding supplies, books, toys, and other items at their Boston program location. Don Perrien stepped up in a big way as a champion for the drive, guaranteeing his appearance in a lobster costume if certain donation thresholds were met. (And they were, indeed, met.) We also held two parallel raffles to benefit the charity: one online, and the other in-person during the main event. The Old School alters community came up big in the clutch, donating a wide range of fully effed cards for raffle entrants to chase.
Adding up the value of our in-kind baby/toddler item donations, revenue generated by entries in the online and in-person raffles, and a modest operating surplus from entry fees paid by the players, I’m thrilled to share that we raised $7,479 for Room to Grow. To everyone who donated alters or swag, contributed supplies for the drive, or otherwise showed up and chipped in to help make this possible: thank you!
The LC Invitational was the result of an outpouring of countless hours and straight-up value from so many members of the Old School community. Gratitude this year has to go first and foremost to NEOS lead organizer Jared Doucette, who took on the mantle of “LobsterJudge” during the main event, in addition to his regular rafflemaster duties and running the Premodern event the night before. Deepest appreciation is also due to this year’s Homarid Warriors: Stephen Hartford, Mike Frantz, Ryan Lauria, Scott Bradley, Andrew Walker, and James Lebak, along with everyone else who spontaneously dove in to pick up the slack on some task or another throughout the weekend. And to our raffle prize donors: Jeff Menges, David McKinven (Mack Lotus Alters), David Muenzer (SK Altered), Gerard Siatkowski and Anders Schmidt (AS Alters), Cam Wall, Nick Viau, Shaman Ben Perry, Mario Murr (@Merhans), Parker Schaffel (@bucki4lyfe), Mike Frantz, Matt Gazda, Peter Magnin, Adam Merkado, Andy Blaufarb, Rich Bourque, Scott Bradley, Tim Moran, Jimmy Johnson, and anyone else I might have accidentally omitted here — you made this fundraiser a success, and it would have been literally impossible for us to make this level of impact in the lives of economically disadvantaged families in Greater Boston without you giving so freely of your time and passion. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
BLOGS / PODCASTS / VIDEO COVERAGE
[PENDING] All Tings Considered, Episode 178 –
[PENDING] Tis But A Scratch – Dave Firth Bard, Shuffle Cut Ante Blog
TOP 8 DECK PHOTOS
8th Place: Jason Dorman
7th Place: Dave Firth Bard
6th Place: Mike VanDyke
5th Place: Brett Attmore
4th Place: Rich Shay
3rd Place: Levi Baumgardner
2nd Place: Lucas Glavin
1st Place: Will Magrann
Ben Katz — Untitled SPICEMASTER
Ryan Gresco — “Hazebond” SPICE TOP 3
Andy Baquero — Untitled SPICE TOP 3
Mike Frantz — “Raging War Drums” SPICE TOP 5
Cliff Mathieson — “Chicks Dig a Big Wurm” SPICE TOP 5
ALL DECK PHOTOS
(Gallery alphabetical by first name)