Hello everybody and welcome to the Benelux Blog, where we are once again putting a couple of Exemplar recognitions in the spotlight, this time for Exemplar Wave 14! We’ve chosen five entries that we would like to share with you, and asked the recognized judges to enlighten us a bit more on what was going on.
Our first spotlight goes to Emilyen Laffineur, who got recognized for his behaviour at GP Brussels by multiple people (way to go!). We chose the one from Emmanuel Gutierrez from France as the best example for the bunch:
Emilyen, I really liked the proactivity you demonstrated at Sides Event on Sunday at GP Brussels. You knew that as this GP was going to be your first, and also your first competitive event, you would dive into new waters. So you contacted your leaders in advance to inform them that it will be your first GP and to ask for advice. I really liked this because it let me focus on you during the day (even though not as much as I would have liked) because I wanted to offer you feedback. Contacting your leaders in advance to ask them to watch you, or to help you grow on a peculiar skill, is really interesting because it helps us help you :-). Also during the day, you were demanding for information ; for example just before your 2hg sealed started, you came to me to ask about how will it work in terms of pairings, product, etc. You wanted to do good, and you were proactive in going for information not at the start of the event but some minutes before to be sure that, if product had to be prepared, it will be ready on time. It is just one example of all the good proactivity I saw you have during the day. Thanks for this!
We asked Emilyen for some feedback on what could have led to this recognition, and he came back with this answer:
To be honest the first thing I did when we received the GP Brussels result I asked to my local L3 (Emilien Wild) what can I do to be ready when the GP will be there. I just followed his advice. (One of them was to contact my every day team leader). As Emmanuel said in this recognition it was my first GP and my first competitive event so I was a bit stressed about that. I just wanted to do my best and one of the way to do this was to have as much advice as possible.
Before the 2HG sealed which Emmanuel write about. I didn’t knew that we’ve got a kickstarter team to help us start the tournament so I just made like at FNM I go to check what I have to do to run the tournament and make all the players happy and taking a good time while playing Magic.
A first GP can be a daunting experience, but it sounds like Emilyen took the tools that were there to make it as smooth an experience as possible.
During the BeNeLux judge conference you contributed to several seminars. You asked a lot of good questions, made sure you understood what was being said and so on. This way you got discussions going and you made the seminars more interesting. Thanks for making the weekend even better!
This is what Selene had to add to the recognition:
During the seminars I tried to ask at least one question. In modern I play a fairly complicated deck with a lot of weird rules that were featured in some of the seminars. I took the liberty to ask some questions about the cards I play in my own deck that I did’nt quite understand. I am happy to hear that my questions were good example of the rule that was being explained at that specific time. This way it was interesting and fruitful to everyone. Sometimes I asked for more in dept information by presenting a certain scenario: “do I understand correctly that with this rule, this effect does work like that?”. It sometimes helps the one doing the presentation elaborate more on the topic they are talking about, or invite others to ask questions and join in! Make it fun, make it interactive, not only when presenting, but also when listening!
As avid conference-goers and presenters ourselves, we love to see some interaction happening at seminars, and this is obviously a good way to get that going.
Jurgen, thank you for your seemingly endless patience and willingness to invest in others. You know what kind of feedback works best for me, and you take the time to invest in my personal growth like very few others do, and you do so in a way that clicks. Thank you for providing me some very valuable insights, even if they were not easy to talk about!
It would obviously be a bit personal to dig deeper into what exactly led to this recognition, but we still wanted to highlight the fact that the Judge Community is a great place to help eachother out, even in those situations that aren’t as easy to talk about as others, and it’s good to see that we can and do make this happen!
Emilien, your advices on how to teach a kid to play Magic were exemplar. You distilled everything that is good about Magic into six tips(hints?) that every parent/player should follow, to imbue their child with the joy of socialising around a card game. I will surely apply them to my daughter, when the time will come. Thank you for being an excellent mentor, even in parenting.
This one intrigued us very much, and because we really wanted to know what was going on, we went straight to the source to find out:
I was a bit surprised and amused by this recognition, so I totally understand you might want some more context. On 13th of August, Aruna Prem asked on my Facebook wall this question: “Hi Emilien! My son, 4,5 yo, asked me to teach him how to play Magic.
I saw you did it with success, do you have any advice or guideline?”
This is in reference to the fact that I’m playing Magic with my son Prométhée, who will be 5 at the end of October. We even played our first Grand Prix this summer, played a couple of Prereleases, and he attends the weekly commander event in Namur. There have been many children playing Magic at a young age, the most known and perhaps most talented being Dana Fischer, but well, Magic is more known as a game for young adults, so obviously that raises some questions, and it’s not like there is a guide available anywhere on how to teach your kids how to play Magic. It would be hard anyway, as 1) each child is different, and not on the “you’re a special snowflake” kind of way, but simply because it’s very evident that at a young age children don’t develop skills at the same speed and in the same order, which means that the support and tools they will need have to be based on that, and 2) “playing Magic” is far more than knowing the rules, it involves many elements from understanding the existence of formats, the incredibly deep strategy, the concept of things like metagame, many, many life lessons like how to behave in a complex structure such as a tournament, and of course finding what you enjoy about this game and being able to focus on that. I still tried to give a comprehensive answer based on our own experience, that you can read here, and apparently, it was deemed helpful.
I want to thank you for being an inspiring presence during Dutch Nationals. Your thirst for knowledge is almost as impressive as the rate you consume that knowledge. When things were getting rough you really stepped up beyond what one can expect from a recent L2. It was also refreshing to see you give great feedback to the whole staff, from the up and coming L1s to veteran L3. Would love to see you bring this energy and attitude to the GP stage.
Rory was so kind as to answer our question for more insight with the following:
First thing I would like to emphasize is that Michiel really allowed me to earn this recognition. Anyone who has ever judged with me knows i’m a very enthusiastic person, I truly love magic. So naturally I seek to improve myself as a judge (and in extension as a person) and ask a lot of feedback. Michiel was very helpful and forthcoming with feedback.
So the dutch nationals was 2 day event where the first day was mostly spent on getting feedback. Michiel and me shared a room, so I spent the evening picking his brain on Head judging. The day after I got the chance to headjudge the PPTQ, which almost had 100 players. This was my first time working with a team so I made sure I applied all the feedback I had gotten. My team was great, and out efforts made it so the entire tournament went without hick-ups. During the PPTQ I communicated a lot with the Head Judge for Nationals, and even took it upon myself to fill some gaps, like make the break schedule. Afterwards I made sure I had feedback for my entire team, strengths and a area I thought they could improve in. Honestly I spent the weekend being my enthusiastic self and am very grateful that my love for the game and judge community doesn’t go unnoticed.
With that said, we have reached the end of this post, but we’ll be back with more great examples of judges doing awesome things! If you see somebody doing something truly exemplary, and want to thank them for that, don’t forget to recognize them on JudgeApps. If you can’t, then our Regional Coordinator, Niels Viaene, can make it happen for you. You can contact him at sineo.niels[at]gmail.com
Thank you for reading, and keep on being exemplary!
See you soon,
The BeNeLux Blog Team