It's always nice to meet new people and there's basically no place better suited to meet new people than at a Grand Prix. In this case, however, I met someone who turned out to be New Zealand's national team member Jason Chung at Strasbourg Airport on Friday. We don't often get players from New Zealand at European Grand Prix so it was interesting to hear about his trip, which Chung called, "eventful."
"I definitely brought the wrong set of clothes," was one of the first things he told me when confronted with the barely above-zero temperatures over here in the northern hemisphere. "When I left, it was summer! 28 degrees!" he complained. "It was a 27-hour trip in total. I luckily slept most of that time, so that at least was fine."
I ran into him again today and decided I might as well write something about his experiences at the event. "Right now I'm rather unhappy," said Chung. "I just went 1-2 in the first draft. But I was so happy yesterday, turning a 2-2 start into a 7-2 finish."
Regarding the upcoming World Magic Cup, Chung told me Team New Zealand had been working together with the Australian and the Latvian team. Australia seems like a natural fit, but Latvia? "The connection just happened somehow. We'd already been testing together for last year's World Cup," Chung explained. At this point, Justin Cheung, the Australian team captain, chimed in with an interesting fact: "Across the three teams, five of the 12 people are the same from last year."
Justin Cheung and Jason Chung
Chung had been staying in Australia for a week before coming here to be able to test with the Australians. "We even had a Team Sealed and Unified Standard tournament there to help practice," Cheung added. "33 teams showed up; quite a big turnout."
Returning to an earlier topic of discussion, a recurring theme developed, as Cheung also noted the pretty steep drop of temperatures between Australia and France. "I arrived in shorts," he admitted and chuckled. So yes. Winter may not be coming (it's here already), but the World Magic Cup, that one is definitely coming up soon.