Community Team Player Profiles: Part 1

Posted in Magic Online on August 20, 2014

By David Whitfield

David works on the Magic community team as a content specialist. He spends his days writing about Magic Online and trying to play too many colors at once in Limited.

August
July 30 - August 27
 
MOCS Promo
MOPR Event Promo

The community's champions have been chosen to represent them as the 2014 Community Team! The internet cheers and throws roses at their computer screens and the floors of their local game stores! The masses stomp, stomp, clap vigorously, all while chanting the names of those who will represent them in the 2014 Community Cup—a test of Magic skill against the heroic Wizards of the Coast Team. The Community Team adorns its armor with the crowd's favors and toss hankies to its most excited fans, resulting in a swoon each and every time. As we speak, the Community Team gathers from far and wide, journeying to a glimmering citadel, or perhaps an internet message board, to discuss its strategies.

Keep your eye on the site the next four Wednesdays: August 20, August 27, September 3, and September 10. We'll be featuring player profiles for every player on both team rosters! Once profiles post, links will be added in the profile directory.

The last set of profiles comes out two days before the 2014 Community Cup begins on September 12! The gauntlet of 2014 Community Cup events will run from that Friday until Sunday, September 14. We'll have video coverage of all of the events running on twitch.tv/magic too, so remember to tune in!

Here are the player profiles we're covering today!

Bjorn Andreasson

How do you feel you fit into the Magic Community?

I created a website called SvenskaMagic.com fifteen years ago—today it's the largest community website in Sweden. I still work on it every day, both as an editor and as a developer, so I guess I see myself more as a contributor to the players than a player myself. I really do love playing Magic, though, and wish I could do it more often.

When did you start playing Magic?

I remember trading my Revised duals for Rock Hydras back in '95, but when Homelands came out my friends and I stopped playing for some reason. When Mercadian Masques came out years later, that's when I got the idea to build a website and I have been playing more or less since then.

What drew you to the Magic community

I came for the game and stayed for the deck brewing... err, I mean friends.

What hobbies do you have aside from Magic?

Soccer, music, and internet. But mostly I hang out with my wife and two sons.

What is your favorite format to play and why?

Nothing beats opening a Sealed pool and building the best deck out of it. On the other hand Constructed, and especially Standard, challenges me more—I love brewing and tuning decks. Constructed is also ten times more interesting to watch than Limited.

How long have you been playing Magic? How long have you been on Magic Online?

I've been playing Magic since 1995 with a big pause between Alliances and Mercadian Masques. I've played Magic Online on and off since 2003 with a peak during Innistrad and Return to Ravnica.

What is your favorite Magic card and why?

I have to go with Leaf-Crowned Elder since he's the star in my Modern Shaman deck. I like him because he's a Shaman, he dodges a lot of removal, and lets me play Woodfall Primus for free.

What deck archetype do you HATE to play against?

Playing against pure control decks is really boring. I'm generally not a big fan of blue decks unless they're paired with green.

What colors do you think best represent you?

All but red and black, because I'm neither temperamental or fierce.

How did you feel when you learned you’d been selected to be on the Community Team?

I got the message just thirty minutes after my wife gave birth to our second son, so that day went from awesome to ridiculously awesome. I felt very honored and happy.

Have you been to Wizards before? What do you expect to find behind our locked doors?

I have never been to Wizards nor Washington state before. This is the second time I'm visiting USA. I expect to find a lot of cheesy dragon and angel statues rising between cubicles crammed with Magic cards and post-it notes.

What are you doing to prepare for the Community Cup?

Getting more comfortable with the client and getting to know my team mates.

What is your favorite movie and TV show?

Wow, pretty hard to pick just one, but I guess I have to go with Dead Poets Society—that movie meant a lot for me growing up. Lost is the best TV show.

Who would you want to play you in a movie about your life?

Ewan McGregor. It might be more convenient with that guy from Benjamin Button though, he seemed to be able to play a lot of ages pretty well.

What is your favorite food?

Risgrynsgröt, aka Swedish rice pudding.

If you had a theme song play every time you entered a room, what would it be?

It would totally rock to have the "90210" theme song play every time. I've always dreamed about being a member of the Walsh family.

Which Planeswalker would you want as a roommate?

Ajani. But more like a pet.

Paul Cheon

How do you feel you fit into the Magic Community?

I've loved the game of Magic since I was introduced to it over ten years ago. I am a huge fan of the game, the Pro Tour, and its history. I was fortunate enough to put in enough time in the early years of my Magic career to make it onto the Pro Tour. Since then, I stopped playing competitively due to work, but I decided that I could still contribute and hopefully help others make it onto the Pro Tour. That was my main motivation for starting up streaming, as I was living in Curacao at the time (well, that and for the dushis of course). Since then, I've also made video content for ChannelFireball.com and also host MagicTV, a weekly TV show via stream talking about all things Magic. I would like to think that people see me as a huge fan of the game of Magic, just like them, and I've just been incredibly blessed with having people give me the opportunity to express it in multiple ways.

When did you start playing Magic?

I was first introduced to Magic when Ice Age came out but I had zero clue what I was doing, so I stopped playing. I was then reintroduced to Magic by my good friend Alex Lee right around when Magic Online first came out, which was Torment. We had an absolute blast learning to draft online despite not winning our first twenty drafts. We were finally able to win a draft with the help of our good friend Cephalid Retainer, AKA mini-Aboshan.

What hobbies do you have aside from Magic?

I am a huge hometown sports fan and, being from Los Angeles, I am a big time Dodgers and Lakers fan (times are rough, Lakers fans, but we'll get there again!). I have also been known to crush Conley Woods and his friends in League of Legends but only while teaming up with Tom Martell and Patrick Chapin.

What is your favorite format to play and why?

My current favorite format is Modern. I've been playing it for quite some time and I think it rewards the people who have put the time and dedication into learning the ins and outs of the format…or they can just play Affinity.

How long have you been playing Magic? How long have you been on Magic Online?

I've been playing Magic on a regular basis since right about when Magic Online and Torment first came out.

What is your favorite Magic card and why?

Cryptic Command because I enjoy countering spells and drawing cards.

What deck archetype do you HATE to play against?

Tron (I'm looking at you, CeddyP).

What colors do you think best represent you?

Blue and red. Blue because I value knowledge and am generally a very logical person. Red because I can sometimes let my emotions get the best of me, leading me to make irrational impulsive decisions.

Also some of my favorite decks are Niv-Mizzet control, UR Magnivore, UR Splinter Twin, and…last but not least…DRAGONTRON!

What impact has the Magic Online Community had on you?

I have met some of my closest friends through Magic Online. Without the support and help of the people I met through Magic Online, I wouldn't be where I'm at today. I guess I also met LSV there as well.

How did you feel when you learned you'd been selected to be on the Community Team?

Elated and honored. Being back in the States has given me the opportunity to be a more active member of the Magic community and I am truly grateful for the opportunity to represent the Community Team. I am really liking our team and can't wait to actually start playing with them!

Have you been to Wizards before? What do you expect to find behind our locked doors?

I have never been to the Wizards headquarters but I will be very disappointed if I don't see any Planeswalkers or Vizzerdrix casually hanging out behind closed doors.

What are you doing to prepare for the Community Cup?

High Intensity Interval Training and Yoga. Healthy body = healthy mind.

What is your favorite movie and TV show?

The Shawshank Redemption, Gladiator, A Beautiful Mind, The Wire, and Breaking Bad.

Who would you want to play you in a movie about your life?

Shaquille O'Neal.

What is your favorite food?

Korean BBQ, burritos, gyros, pizza, pasta, curry, chicken wings, cookies, waffles, ice cream, burgers, katsu, sushi, steak, bacon, clam chowder, charupas, donuts, salads (j/k), calzones, and samosas…HAUMPH.

If you had a theme song play every time you entered a room, what would it be?

Pokémon theme song or "Rapper's Delight," full version (must play full song before round starts).

Which Planeswalker would you want as a roommate?

Tibalt. I wouldn't want my room mates to be able to take me in a fight if we get into an argument. I can totally take Tibalt.

Frank Lepore

How do you feel you fit into the Magic Community?

Well, I've been helping people get familiar with Magic Online for more than three years now. In addition to being the site's editor and community manager, I have two weekly articles on TCGPlayer that feature videos recorded from Magic Online; the number of people that tell me each week that they've gotten involved with Magic Online because of my videos is a healthy one. I also used to do an article series called The Leporatory where I would take reader submitted decks, tweak them, then play them in their respective Magic Online queues. I also did a show called The Lepore Report where I would comment on and address current events. I've worked on the Wizards event coverage staff and I even started my own podcast with Patrick Jarrett, Jonathan Medina, and John R. Wade. All that being said, I'm not exactly sure how I fit into the community; I just like making content, playing Magic, and making people laugh.

What drew you to the Magic community?

I wanted to be more involved with the game, honestly. Years ago, my friend Gabe kept suggesting to me that I should try and write articles, because he thought I would be good at it. Five years later and here we are.

What hobbies do you have aside from Magic?

Movies, comics, writing, PC games (Fallout, Bioshock, etc.), other deck-builder games. (Shhh, don't tell Magic.)

What is your favorite format to play and why?

Sometimes Limited. Sometimes Standard. Sometimes Modern. Sometimes Vintage (on Magic Online). I think it depends on the health of the format and how fun it is. For example, I did 81 Vintage Master drafts on Magic Online—that was a fun format—yet I can't wait for Standard to rotate.

How long have you been playing Magic? How long have you been on Magic Online?

I have played Magic since Revised (more than half my life) and Magic Online since it began.

What is your favorite Magic card and why?

Cryptic Command. Magic was super fun around Lorwyn block, and have you ever cast a Cryptic Command? How do you lose? It's just such a strong, versatile card that does so many things that players enjoy doing.

What deck archetype do you HATE to play against?

Just the usual: land destruction, discard, etc. There's a psychological difference between being able to play your spells and having them killed as opposed to not getting to play them at all. The latter is far more unnerving.

What colors do you think best represent you?

I feel like this is the part where I say "blue."

What impact has the Magic Online Community had on you?

I feel like it has helped me find my best friends, my current relationship, and my career. I'm not sure what more I could even ask for from the Magic community.

How did you feel when you learned you’d been selected to be on the Community Team?

I was ecstatic! I’ve been trying to get on for the past three years and it’s a great feeling to know I’ve made it.

What are you doing to prepare for the Community Cup?

My seven teammates and I created a Facebook group page to discuss our plans of attack. It's a great way to keep in touch and make sure everyone in the group is up to date and able to share their thoughts.

What is your favorite movie and TV show?

As something of a cinema buff, naming just one is near impossible. Can I name a few? L.A. Confidential, High Fidelity, all Marvel movies, Drive, The Big Lebowski. The Graduate, Clerks.

Who would you want to play you in a movie about your life?

It used to be John Cusack. Maybe Joseph Gordon-Levitt now?

What is your favorite food?

Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches (with ranch, not blue cheese).

Which Planeswalker would you want as a roommate?

While I’m more of a dog person, probably Ajani. Because cats.

Scott MacCallum

How do you feel you fit into the Magic Community?

I have been podcasting for the community for almost four years. As one of the founding members and cohosts of The Eh Team podcast, I have been fortunate enough to be able to really connect with the premier professional players on the circuit. We have been modestly successful at connecting our listener base to these players and continue to break down the barrier between the everyday player and the professionals. Since I started streaming regularly two years ago, that direct connection has only improved, as the goal of the stream is to really help get the greats of the game to directly discuss play lines and deck goals with the viewers in a readily accessible way. I'd like to think that I'm a community liaison to the professional players.

What drew you to the Magic community?

I have a natural affinity for people and a strong desire to learn. Once I saw how accessible the best in the world could be in today's social media, I knew that I wanted to be a cog in the machine.

What hobbies do you have aside from Magic?

Like most gamers, I am not exclusively playing just one game. I love to play video games on my PC and Xbox 360. I don't get as much time for these as I would like of course, as my family, work, and Magic all take up a lot of time.

What is your favorite format to play and why?

Modern. I have always liked the format because it feels like the perfect balance between powerful decks and effects and fair, synergistic strategies. The metagame is much wider than Standard and there are many more Modern events than Legacy where I am.

How long have you been playing Magic? How long have you been on Magic Online?

I have been playing Magic on and off for about twenty years. I have been regularly active on Magic Online for the last two.

What is your favorite Magic card and why?

I have fond memories of Jace, The Mind Sculptor. I played nothing but Jace decks the entire time that he was Standard legal.

What deck archetype do you HATE to play against?

I hate to play against Burn.

What colors do you think best represent you?

All of the color/guild tests that I take put me in Izzet or Azorius. Truth be told, I think the color combo I most clearly identify with is WBG, since the resilience and versatility of most of the cards in those colors resonates with me.

What impact has the Magic Online Community had on you?

My game has improved immensely since playing Magic Online regularly. It has given me access to testing partners I would never have had otherwise, and streaming Magic Online has given me access directly to community members I never would have thought to interact with otherwise. The Magic Online Community has really just expanded my mind.

How did you feel when you learned you'd been selected to be on the Community Team?

I distinctly remember getting the email from Trick. I was off work, still in a suit, and about to walk in to Walmart for some quick groceries. I get the email, see the sender name, and stop dead before the doors. I read the email three times without moving. I could feel the Cheshire grin on my face as my vision started to blur from the tears of joy that were now streaming down my face. I forward the email to my wife, and walk into the Walmart. The greeter looks at me like I'm a terrorist with my huge grin and tears streaming down my face. "Are you ok?" "Never better." I replied.

Have you been to Wizards before? What do you expect to find behind our locked doors?

I have never been to Wizards, but a bunch of my good friends have, so I am expecting epic Magic art on the walls, busy floor discussions, and more rooms that we will not be allowed into.

What are you doing to prepare for the Community Cup?

We have started a FB group where we are starting to collect and tabulate all of our strengths and weaknesses and start to get to know each other a bit. If we can get the cohesive team-building exercises in ahead of time, we should be able to use the time in person to really get to work productively, unsaddled by introductory obligations, and denying Wizards that advantage. I also will continue to stream and try to polish up on some of the more lacking avenues of my game.

What is your favorite movie and TV show?

Favorite movie is a real tough one since so many of them are so good, but I think I've watched The Princess Bride exactly 214 times. TV is always changing, and so many shows are so good, while so many other good ones have been cancelled. I can't possibly pick one as my favorite.

Who would you want to play you in a movie about your life?

I would love to have someone like Brad Pitt or Matt Damon play me in real life, but it would probably just be Jonah Hill, since everyone says I look like him anyway.

What is your favorite food?

I have one guilty pleasure meal. Pizza and garlic bread, with cheese and bacon.

If you had a theme song play every time you entered a room, what would it be?

"Return of the Mack" by Mark Morrison.

Which Planeswalker would you want as a roommate?

Xenagos, The Reveler because he throws the best parties.

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