Prerelease Done Right

Posted in Feature on August 4, 2015

By Jordan Comar

As a writer for the WPN website, Jordan creates content to guide, inspire, and support hobby retailers in improving the in-store experience for their players.

Just a few weeks back, stores all around the world ran Prerelease events to the delight of thousands of players. Many of these stores make these events so special, and we wish we could highlight all of the wonderful stores that took it to the max for their players—but instead we'll have to settle for talking about one store that definitely did the Prerelease experience right.

Vortex Game Center, located in San Jose, Costa Rica, kicked off Magic Origins with a spectacular Prerelease event that blew their players away.

Check out all the creative stuff they had to offer:


"Getting people to talk about how their spark was ignited and how they started to play really reminded us all why we love this game so much!"

Before Prerelease, Vortex reached out to their players on Facebook and Twitter and asked them to share their Magic origin stories.

A lucky few participants won seats to Vortex's sold-out Prerelease events.

PictioMagic and More

During Prerelease weekend, Vortex created a festival atmosphere with a variety of games and side activities.

One of the most creative games was dubbed "PictioMagic."

Players chose from ten different categories (White, Blue, Black, Red, Green, Colorless, Multicolor, Planeswalkers, Lands, and Abilities), each containing some of the most iconic cards in the game, and then had to draw a card and get their teammate to correctly name it as quickly as possible.

The Top 8 from all Prerelease events throughout the weekend got to compete in pairs.

"This has probably been our most popular side activity to date!"

"Spark Packs" for New Players

For new players, Vortex offered a special "Spark Pack." The packs contained boosters from older Magic sets, sleeves, and deck boxes.

Everyone who brought in a new player also received a "Mentor Treat" as a thank you.

Planeswalker Prizes for All

For all their events, including Prerelease, Vortex offers a casual prize structure where everyone—from 5-0s to 3-2s and 3-1-1s—gets at least one pack for their wins.

"Pretty much no one drops from the tourneys and all people feel like they walked away with something nice for their time and effort (including the extra prizes from the side activities)."

This wasn't the first time Vortex Game Center went above and beyond for their events and it will most likely not be the last!

I can't wait to see what they do next!

Want your store to be a little more creative and engaging, like Vortex Game Center?

Challenge your local game store to take it up a notch for Chandra Week and Game Day. If they need some help and inspiration, send them to the WPN site for a list of simple and fun ideas.

Does your store create amazing experiences like Vortex Game Center?

Tell your store to take photos of their next incredible event and send them to with a brief description.

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