Hey everyone! Joey Cimino, better known as "Mustadio", here again. Last month I had the chance to travel to Seattle for the Crystal Cup over Labor Day weekend (sorry for the delay in writing this, but September is the busiest month at work for me). This was the first time I had ever traveled a considerable distance for a TCG. To be honest, I was really hesitant about going. Being an average player I was not keen on spending several hundred dollars just to spend the weekend playing cards. I could just stay home and do that. Instead, I saw it as an opportunity to hang out with friends for a weekend, and meet others outside of the SoCal community. That made the decision a whole lot easier. That is the whole purpose of this article; that this is more than just another TCG.
In Seattle there were a fair number of players from the local scene: Vancouver, NorCal, and beyond. Of course, with Seattle being rather close to home, there were a good number of SoCal players there too competing for those coveted four qualification spots. It was great to see the usual suspects; but even better to meet other players from other cities and hear their stories.
We got to meet Peter Dang and Helene Vo from NorCal. They have been playing the game for several months and are working on building up their local community. It was interesting to hear about the challenges they faced trying to grow the game there. We have a rather large following here in SoCal, and often take that for granted. At the same time, that following gave us an opportunity to share some advice on how they could make their own community flourish. If you're in NorCal and reading this, I hope you reach out to Peter and Helene. They are great people and great players!
Most people can agree that being recognized is flattering. Pictured with me is David "Ninja" Nguyen from Vancouver. He recognized me from the first article I wrote for Meta Potion about my experience with the SoCal Crystal Cup. This was definitely the highlight of my weekend. Now I know what it feels like to be Matt Okimoto.
Playing against others from different regions helps to generate new deck ideas. Like adding in Hraesvelgr to your list to win the "remove the most forwards from the game" accomplishment in Wolves' Den. Thanks to Philippe Chapdelanie for that inspiration. Also, thanks for making me realize I need to play more backup Minwu in my water deck with the rise of Dadaluma again.
Even though I did not make the top 16 cut, I did not regret the trip at all. I had a great time hanging out with my friends from SoCal and meeting other players from across the region. I definitely plan to travel more next year for some of the Crystal Cups.
My best advice for those of you on the fence about traveling is: "Just do it if you have the means". In the end, it's more about the memories you create than the game you play.
- Joey "Mustadio" Cimino
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