Forget about wearing a cape and Planeswalking the Multiverse of Magic the Gathering for a second. Half the fun when attending a large European Grand Prix is walking through the tournament halls to take in the atmosphere created by your closest 3,800 friends gathering to play Magic and socialize for a weekend. How many card vendors are at the site? Will you run into long lost Magic friends or discover new exciting side events that you didn't know exists? Just walking around the site is a thrill and the larger the event, the larger the site and more sweet Magic to discover.
The halls here in Utrecht are quite the experience, and I even managed to get lost in them this morning as I was mindlessly wandering around the site. Even though the site is so big there are actual road signs spread out through it to navigate both players and staff to the right areas, whether it's feature matches, card vendors or the VIP-area they're looking for.
With a tournament this huge, the playing field have for logistical reasons been divided into three different areas, labelled “Main Event Blue”, “Main Event Green” and “Main Event Black”. And as I was wandering around the halls, looking for familiar faces and stories to be told I suddenly found myself lost somewhere at the end of “Main Event Black” and the catered food trucks that are inside the very building. Suddenly I couldn't see anyone I knew, or figure out where to go and felt lost in a sea of Magic players as far as I could see in every direction.
Luckily I managed to navigate myself back to Main Event Blue by following the announcements from head judge Kim Warren, and her words of ”there are five minutes left in deck registration”, safely escorted me back to the feature match area just in time to hear the sigh of relief from nearly 4,000 players being passed the pool of cards to build their decks from.
Although the Grand Prix itself started this morning, the Modern Masters festivities have already been going for two full days in Utrecht. Thursday and Friday leading up to the event saw record numbers in Grand Prix Trials, and stories were spread all over the city about foil Tarmogoyfs and Mega Grand Prix Trials running so late at night that the judges were considering ending them early to catch some sleep before returning for their morning duties. In every restaurant and coffee place in the city center players were spotted players comparing sealed pools and talking about their games. Thus raising both the interest for the game and the event itself from the Dutch public and restaurant owners alike.
If you're reading this Monday morning because you've been as busy as we are enjoying the Magic Weekend you probably know the results already. But if you are an avid follower of the text coverage and catching up on the action here in Utrecht as it takes place you are hopefulle as excited as we are to see what stories surface and what players make a great showing here this weekend. The set Modern Masters 2015 might already be released, but the true Modern Masters among the players have yet to be decided.
Let's see what the Magic Weekend brings!