I am thrilled and honored to present to you the newest Level 4 – Riki Hayashi!
Riki and I met in 2007 at Grand Prix Daytona Beach. Riki was a newly minted Level 1 certified by Toby Elliott and Riki immediately impressed me with his initiative and energy. I came away from that event with a new friend and, unsurprisingly, a review.
Riki quickly grew in the Judge program and advanced to Level 2 in early 2008 (again with Toby) already determined to make a positive impact on the Magic Judge Program and setting his sights ever higher. Writing articles for ChannelFireball and later for StarCityGames.com, Riki offered readers a window behind the scenes and gave a lot of players their first look at a judge’s point of view.
In March of 2009, Riki was promoted to Level 3 at Pro Tour Kyoto. Taking on more leadership and responsibility within the program, Riki quickly became someone that up and coming judges looked to for guidance and mentorship. I have been lucky enough to work closely with Riki as he turned his passion into a career with StarCityGames.com, working in the Organized Play Department and helping to build the Open Series and SCG Tour while remaining a major player in Grand Prix all over the world.
Riki has served as Head Judge, Tournament Organizer, Team Lead, Scorekeeper, Floor Judge, Sides Lead… Basically, he has handled every role. Riki has judged on four continents (Gotta get to that Australian GP!), including playing a significant role in both South America and Japan.
One of the things that I admire most about Riki is his ability to communicate. From judge articles to his blog to articles for broader audiences, Riki writes with clarity and passion. Riki is an intense presence in person and when he talks to you, he always makes you feel like the focus. He pays attention to the little things and Riki is always able to give feedback, even if there are only small improvements to be made. Which brings me to:
When a judge thinks of reviews, they think of Riki.
His blog, The Feedback Loop, is the go to resource for tips and instruction on the art of writing reviews and giving feedback. Riki has been an outspoken leader in this area for years and, true to form, routinely highlights other judges who are excelling in the area with guest spots and call outs. From the “My First Review” initiative to intensive workshops at conferences, Riki is a hands on leader and, with almost 600 reviews written, he inspires countless other judges to aspire to his example.
Riki’s status as the unquestioned champion of reviews in the Magic Judge Program along with his global impact makes his promotion to Level 4 something that has been a long time coming.
As he takes on the role of Level 4, we are excited to see him continue his leadership in this area through a series of projects focused on feedback and judge evaluation.
Please join me in congratulating Riki and welcoming him to Level 4!