Pro Tour New Jersey is now just days away, and, boy, that sure snuck up on me. As you have probably gathered from the main Mega Update post, the front end of 2022 didn’t exactly go as planned for me. This didn’t just affect the content I was producing, but also my NJ plans. Back when I was young and naïve (circa January), I thought that PT: NJ could be the thing that got me to pick the cards back up and actually get my FAB gameplay to a vaguely respectable level by preparing to play in either the Calling or the PT (via buying an invite when people were selling the transferable ones). But, as you can probably imagine, that never came to pass.
Taking a Step Back
I kept the idea of playing in the big events alive for a lot longer than I probably should have considering I wasn’t finding the time to grind out games. I think part of it was this sense of it being the first Pro Tour and there was some value to being able to say “I played in the first Pro Tour” or “I was in the last Calling a GF Tunic was awarded at.” But then I sat down and interrogated that urge, and I couldn’t really come up with a good reason why that was worthwhile. By the time we were in March and I hadn’t started practicing yet, it was pretty clear that I was absolutely not going to be able to compete in any serious way. I don’t think it would be super satisfying to 0-3 drop, or 1-3 drop, or whatever else you get after not playing CC for nearly a year. I mostly play CCGs because I want to win games, and I haven’t had the time to get in enough practice to win games of FAB consistently. When I looked back at my concerns about “missing out,” I realized that I wasn’t going to miss out on anything by not playing in the main events, as I wouldn’t be remotely competitive. If anything, I was just going to be nervous about embarrassing myself and then frustrated after I got rinsed by people who actually prepared/have been playing regularly.
At that point, asked myself what I actually wanted to get out of the event. The most immediate one was to actually meet up some of the friends I’ve made in the community. There are some people who I met via the FAB Discord several years ago that I now chat with more-or-less daily. I know FAB’s whole thing is local community, but mine didn’t exist for a long time, and I’ve been too busy to attend the local events that did finally start up recently. For me, the FAB community has always been a global, and largely digital, experience. I got into the game via Team Covenant’s content, I bought, sold, and traded cards with people across the globe (I’ve lost track of how many packages I’ve received from New Zealand at this point). My initial home base in the community was the #wall-street channel on the Discord. I even attempted to moderate it until it eventually ended up frying my brain. But, it was some of the regulars there who gave me the push I needed to make the jump from talking about making a blog to, you know, actually making it. And, from there, things got weird.
Somewhere along the line, I wrote, what I’m going to guess is more words about FAB than anyone who doesn’t work for LSS has ever written. I’ve had tens of thousands of unique visitors, at least a few of whom I assume are actual humans and not bots. I was invited to be involved in every preview season since Monarch. I got to run a silly contest to hand out promos that was a delight to put on. LSS interviewed me at one point. I’ve had friends tell me about overhearing people in their local shops talking about my articles. It all feels very surreal. Despite having played all of my FAB games digitally (be it webcams or TTS), it would be kind of absurd to say that I don’t feel like I’m part of the community at this point. Reflecting on all of that makes Pro Tour New Jersey feels like a sort of homecoming to home I’ve never actually been to before.
So, with that in mind, I’ve decided that the things that makes the most sense for me is to just go and hang out. I’ll meet up with friends and have some drinks. I’ll play in some of the limited events where the sting of losing won’t feel that bad. I’ll probably even play some random pickup games of constructed where people will likely destroy me, but I’ll at least get to put the blinged out Prism deck that I’ve been building onto an actual table. Maybe I’ll attempt to do some trading (Prism demands a playset of EA Wartune Heralds). And yes, I imagine I’ll see some of you there.
If you see me around the expo center, you’re welcome to say “hi”. I imagine that I’ll be fairly easy to pick out of the crowd. I’ll be the woman with pink hair who is extremely overdressed for the event (after 2+ years of rarely leaving home due to covid, I will take any chance I can get to wear something even vaguely nice). I just have a couple requests:
– If I’m playing in an actual event (even just a draft), please don’t interrupt the match. It doesn’t bother me in this context because I’m just there to chill, but I think it would be disrespectful to my opponents to talk to passersby during a timed match.
– Please don’t be offended if I don’t shake hands or otherwise touch anyone. I’m still pretty covid conscious and have a sort of mild baseline anxiety about that. Also, I’m just kind of generally weird about touching people I don’t know.
Oh, Did You Want Something?
Let’s wrap this up with a little bit of info on how I’m going to be distributing the promos that just arrived from LSS as part of the second round of Content Creator Appreciation Kits. Last time around I ran a flavortext creation contest and a contest that involved putting googly eyes on FAB cards. In both cases I handed out complete (9 card) playsets. That’s going to change a little this time. There are a couple reasons for this: first, there are fewer promos in this kit (my assumption is that more content creators are involved this time, and LSS is likely trying to maintain some level of scarcity with these, which is cool). Additionally, the last set of promos ended up being fairly valuable. I sort of assumed they’d be in the neighborhood of non-CF armory promos in price, so I gave out complete playsets because I was asking people to put in a bit of effort in order to enter, and I wanted the winners to feel adequately rewarded. However, I definitely misjudged the scarcity of the last set because they’re currently sitting at around $60-70 a piece, so those winners ended up with something like $575 in prizes, which is cool, but it’s also probably a little bit of overkill in terms of making sure that people got something of value.
This time around I’ll be running two events again. We’re revisiting flavortext because it worked incredibly well, and I want to do it again. This time around, I’ll be awarding prizes as sets of three (one of each pitch value). I’ll also reserve two complete playsets as grand prize. I’m still considering a couple of different ways to determine how those full sets will be awarded, but it will likely be based on either overall “points” or as a sort of bonus for an overall favorite entry.
The other contest will be happening at Pro Tour: New Jersey. That’s right, in addition to all of the events LSS has already put up on offer, I’ll be running an unofficial “win some promos” event over the course of the weekend. I’m hammering out some details, but you can expect a new post on this site next week a few days before the PT that will let you know how you can get your hands on some of these sweet EA Heralds of Rebirth (and maybe even some FAB playmats)!
*Header Image – Young Lexi by Federico Musetti