Round 9 on Day 1 of Modern at Grand Prix Las Vegas. Chris Tolar has to either draw or win to make Day 2. With his record, he knows that even in Day 2 he doesn’t have a chance at Top 8 or becoming the Grand Prix Champion. For Chris, every turn and choice get him closer to his goal.
I stood behind Chris during most of that match. I would say I was doing it to support him but he was so focused on that match that he didn’t know I was there. So I had to ask myself, why was I standing there?
I own a store that the folks in the picture above play at. And it just dawned on me: I knew NONE of them before I fell into the Magic business two years ago. Seriously, zero. And here they are, this ridiculous fellowship of humans. All wanting to become better Magic players. I would prefer to think they are here for each other.
Chris ruthlessly escaped defeat and came back to win that match after dropping Game 1. I wanted to scream for joy at him for making Day 2. Instead, I just punched him in the arm a few times and ran away quickly to the other table that the store’s players were gathered at. The real reason I scurried off so fast was because my eyes had welled up with joy and I had to walk it off.
I was standing behind Chris because he stood behind the community. Like every person in this photo, he believes in support, friendship, and trust. These players may play at the store I own, but that isn’t why I’m grateful. I am ecstatic that a group could feel safe with each other in a sometimes challenging environment.
I appreciate our gathering. And not because it supports my business. I am grateful because I wasn’t the only person standing behind our group last weekend. We all were there for each other. I am just glad to be a part of the ride. Time to catch fire, Kingslayers.