Regional Leadership

Giorgos TrichopoulosL3, Cyprus

Giorgos Trichopoulos
L3, Cyprus

Giorgos Trichopoulos was the Regional Coordinator for the Europe-East region since 2013. He originally comes from Agrinio, but quickly moved to Patras for studying. Since that was not particularly fun Giorgos moved to Athens for work, but ended up in Volos for two years where he was mostly doing sightseeing. He is currently residing at the shiny Limassol, but he has been there for over one and half year, so he is thinking about moving to Nicosia since it has better night life. Priorities.

He started playing Magic on 2000, but that was the dark era where Counterspell could counter flying and X was always the Latin number 10. In 2003 he played his first prerelease and in 2005 won all three of the local Ravnica prereleases. Realizing that playing Magic was easy and not challenging, he quickly started exploring other options like judging.On December 2005 managed to pass the L1 test and 2006 was lucky to be invited to GP Barcelona, Torino, Toulouse, Athens and Worlds Paris. Rumors say that Giorgos went to his first GP without knowing that he would be paid at the end of the weekend. Those minor events gave him great experience, so he managed not passing the L2 test in Athens and almost passing on Spring 2007. Giorgos continued to live a glamorous life with trips to tropical islands, where he managed to fail his L3 test, due to immaturity among other things. There was proof of such immaturity at events such as PT Berlin, where he met David de la Iglesia for the first time. In late 2010 wizards introduced the Regional Coordinator program and Giorgos knew that this would be a great fit for him. He was wrong then, but that does not matter now. He made a successful attempt at L3 during fall 2011 and then bribed his RC to step down with money “borrowed” from the Austrian government. Giorgos was living his dream till 2017 when during a short trip to Prague, DLI organized a successful coup, that forced him to step down and he was driven back to his secluded island, Cyprus.

Outside magic, Giorgos is working in the banking industry which finances all his travels, directly or otherwise. In his free time he is declaring to be a failed actor, singer, football and basketball player, though he continues practicing all of those. Giorgos had an accident and his hands can’t shuffle more than 41 cards, so he is playing only limited with a great lack of success so far.

As for the future, Giorgos would like to live in world with no frontiers where everyone will love everyone. He is realizing that this is difficult, but he is willing to try.

Jernej LipovecL3, Slovenia

Jernej Lipovec
L3, Slovenia

Jernej Lipovec became L1 at GP Brussels 2010 after his sixth consecutive 6-3 record at a GP. He loved winning beers in rules question bets with his player colleagues and posting interesting rules questions at local forums, so becoming a judge was an easy choice. He shortly made L2 at next year’s nationals after being sent to judge a GP and absolutely loving it. With encouragement from current RC Giorgos he made L3 in 2014 and has been travelling the world ever since.Jernej’s passions are judging, travelling and programming useful things along with always learning about new stuff. He is currently finishing his study in computer science and only future will tell what comes next. In the Europe-East region he is taking care of training and mentoring L2 candidates with the big help of Giannis Papadakis and making sure Slovenian TOs have enough judges to staff their events. At the moment he is developing a prototype for new judge training system that he hopes will help with the mentoring project. Jernej doesn’t play a lot of Magic anymore, but loves to attend Prereleases to meet all the people that are excited about the new set along with couple of drafts that he plays on Magic Online.

Christian GawrilowiczL3, Turkey

Christian Gawrilowicz
L3, Turkey

Christian grew up in the western part of Austria where besides mountains you can find even more mountains (that’s the reason he prefers to be at a beach). For university he moved to Vienna where he’s living on weekends if he’s not travelling somewhere to an event or just for fun. Christian’s move to Istanbul was the result of a hard fought battle between Giorgos and Stefan Ladstätter (the RC for the German speaking countries) … Giorgos lost. This might be a true story. … In reality Christian started to work in Istanbul in March 2017 and will be there a while until the current project is finished. He also is much more active in this region than in his “home” one – for example he has been HJ at Turkish, Greek, and Croatian Nationals a couple of times. Magic-wise he started to judge unofficially in 1995, was tested for Level 1 (at his second attempt) in approximately 2000, for Level 2 at Worlds 2003 (no, he wasn’t judging there) and for L3 in 2005. He was demoted to L2 for some time in 2010 and he used the opportunity to win the Austrian National Championships, therefore disproving the saying that judges can’t play.

He’s passionate about food, Japan, travelling, and helping people and organisations to improve. Currently he’s involved in the “Leadership meeting at GPs” project and in testing new Level 3s.

Meet the Country Coordinators

They are the people responsible for the day-to-day management of the countries in the region. A lot of the time, they will be the first point of contact for anyone wanting to get in touch with the regional leaders.

Bulgaria and Macedonia

Ivan StefanovL2, Bulgaria

Ivan Stefanov
L2, Bulgaria

Ivan Stefanov is an L2 judge who became the country coordinator for Bulgaria and Macedonia in September 2016, something that he did not quite expect and had to adapt as the responsibilities of this new role unfolded in front of him.He certified for L1 in September 2009 at GP Prague, shortly after returning from a couple of years break from the game. The state of the local player community was bad – not many players, scarce tournaments and just a couple of judges. For some reason Ivan decided becoming a judge would help change that. It was not until he started doing events, however, that things started to look better. This eventually required him to test for L2 and after two failed attempts, Ivan decided to prepare right instead of fast for the exam and passed it with an astonishingly high score in April 2013.

In the past several years, Ivan worked as a TO and store owner more than as a judge, but his focus shifted recently towards player acquisition, judge certification and developing a large-scale sustainable Magic community in the country. He focuses more on attending events to run demos and running more casual events, which has freed a lot of time for being a CC, attending more GPs and doing proper judge work.

Ivan is passionate about people in general, and especially about those playing games, which is why he dedicates a lot of time to looking for ways to make our hobby more popular; this also involves a healthy amount of playing games. Ivan doesn’t play as much Magic as he’d like to (other than the occasional prerelease that he occasionally wins), but he makes up for that with board games (of the 1- to 3-hour-long variety) and some video games, mostly old-school and turn-based (think XCOM, Civilization and King’s Bounty).

Ivan is happy to be a CC and I believes he can help make the region better, starting from Bulgaria and Macedonia.

Croatia

Nenad ČizmićL2, Croatia

Nenad Čizmić
L2, Croatia

Nenad Čizmić is the Country Coordinator for Croatia. He is an L2 judge from Sisak.Nenad has become L1 in 2009 and L2 in 2013. From the start he has been very active in judge community and after he has become L2 he has helped to develop Croatian (and a little bit Serbian) judge scene. In real life he is currently searching for a new job, plays and organizes Magic events in Sisak, and plays Fallout 4, sometimes Hearthstone too.He would like to play once at the Pro Tour but for now makes too many mistakes to get there. He also enjoys traveling and good wine or beer with a friends.

Greece and Cyprus

Kreon TseroulisL2, Greece

Kreon Tseroulis
L2, Greece

Kreon Tseroulis is the country coordinator for Greece. He began playing Magic in 1998 after being introduced to it in his summer vacation.After a 4-year break (2001-2005) he got sucked back in the game, started attending many tournaments and got to be part of the great community in Athens.

He certified as a judge in late 2008 after already judging for several months as a L0 before finally deciding to take the test. He became a judge because of his love for his country’s community and a desire to help it, at a time when there were very few active judges on the country. When the redefinition of L1s came along, he again answered the call and became an L2 in 2012. Since then he has helped develop the judge scene in Athens and worked on streamlining some connections for judges and TO’s in the northern regions of Greece, as well as Athens.

When he is not playing or judging, Kreon works as a chef and enjoys binge-watching various series, playing videogames and occasionally remembering his more youthful years and playing some basketball or football.

Israel

Yuval TzurL2, Israel

Yuval Tzur
L2, Israel

Yuval Tzur is the Country Coordinator of Israel. During the Champions of Kamigawa prerelease, the first prerelease he ever attended, he dropped as a player, joined the staff at the middle of round 3 and never looked back. On his next event he became an L1, and two years and a GP later, he became an L2. During that time, Yuval lived in Mexico City for six months, acting as a judge over there as well.Before going to college for a few years to become a software engineer, Yuval mentored several judges, including Zohar Finkel, his predecessor in the Israeli CC role, became an administrator in the Israeli MTG message boards, acted as a TO for a while and judged in almost all tournaments in Israel at the time, mostly as the head judge.

After college, Yuval resumed his role as a prominent L2 in Israel. Since then he certified new judges in Israel, mentored others towards their L2 certification, and with the help of other judges from Israel, started a local L1 study group.

Yuval’s thoughts about the role of a country coordinator: “Some people think that being a CC doesn’t give you the power to do anything important for your community and the region, and they’re right. As a judge and a person, you already have that power. The CC title just gives you tools to do it better.”

Middle East

Olivier GheysenL2, UAE

Olivier Gheysen
L2, UAE

Olivier is an L2 judge from the United Arab Emirates, having lived in Dubai for 15 years. Olivier’s first experience with Magic was in 1994 as he went up to his mom with a newspaper cutout about Magic. It took until 1995 and the release of Ice Age for pocket money to allow the hobby! What fun it was to play with instants and interrupts!His first judging experience was in Dubai, UAE and was certified L1 in 2009 by Falko Goerres. At the time the region was completely closed off and there was only ONE location playing Magic in the whole Middle-East – the certification process was done entirely over the internet.

Olivier is heavily focused on the development of Magic which he has been working on for almost 10 years now. A deciding factor to the development of the judge program in the Middle-East has been the arrival of David de la Iglesia in Qatar in 2015 – couldn’t do it without his mentorship 🙂

Olivier works as a hobby store owner and freelance assistant director and video streaming specialist. He enjoys fishing and terrible commander decks. You can catch him at a Grand Prix walking alongside Chandra!

Romania

Adrian TeodorescuL2, Romania

Adrian Teodorescu
L2, Romania

Adrian Teodorescu is the Country Coordinator for Romania. He is an L2 Judge from Bucharest. He became L1 in 2010, and L2 in 2012 at GP Ghent. He is currently on the road to L3. His real life job is software cloud programmer, currently leading the backend software dev deptartment of a direct marketing firm.Some personal interests are boardgames (he owns like 20), electronic gadgets (toying with SBC’s like RPi and others), and most of all Golem Arcana. In MTG, Adrian likes Commander and Legacy.

Serbia

 Milorad PavlovićL2, Serbia

Milorad Pavlović
L2, Serbia

Milorad became an L1 in 2014 (at a random FNM), for the need of a local store, and being ambitious and active, fell in love with judging; he passed his L2 exam just next year during the regional Summer Conference in Turkey.Milorad is the owner of a small club/store in Novi Sad (where he currently lives), focused mainly on children and young/new players, and actively working on opening new clubs and the popularization of Magic in Serbia.

When he has some free time, he is passionate about playing Backgammon, guitar and percussion, cooking, reading, sailing, science, and being the Geek in general… 🙂

Slovenia

 Mitja BosničL2, Slovenia

Mitja Bosnič
L2, Slovenia

Mitja Bosnič is the Country Coordinator for Slovenia. He is an L2 judge who enjoys travelling to GPs all over Europe and, recently, to Brazil. His involvement in the Judge program has given him an incredible opportunity to grow as a person and he is eager to give back to the community!Mitja loves numbers and is part of a group of judges who work on analyzing the results of surveys filled out by judges, players and TOs. He is also a huge fan of Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and many other geeky things. This love culminated in him organizing a fantasy/sci-fi Convention in Ljubljana every year.

Turkey

Yakup ÇakmakL2, Turkey

Yakup Çakmak
L2, Turkey

Yakup Çakmak is Country Coordinator of Turkey, residing in Izmir. He became an L2 in December 2014.Yakup introduced to Magic around old Mirrodin Block (Fifth Dawn to be precise) and  started playing around Guildpact. Since there are a few people in Izmir playing Magic, he gathered people from High School Roleplaying Club. After Highschool with no store/club to play Magic he started running tournaments around city, whether they are at Conventions or in his house.After gathering some of his high school friends and some new players together at Kule Sakinleri (used to be a club for Warhammer and other miniature games alike), Yakup started a play store there and since there are no judges he decided to became a Judge. Started with World Magic Cup Qualifiers he started travelling for Judging around Turkey and in 2011 he became a qualified judge. 3 years later, having the opportunity and Lust to travel more he became a level 2.In real life Yakup is a store owner in Izmir and also works for university/college clubs to became more involved in gaming culture (whether it be magic the gathering, role playing games or boardgames). He travels most of the big events around turkey and other close countries and works for a book publishing company which prints mostly Marvel comics and Manga’s  (Such as Naruto, One Piece) in Turkish.

Also he is still a student in Computer Engineering with no interest in becoming a computer engineer.

Rumor has it he became a Magic Judge because he can’t properly play Magic and lost every tournament he joined when he was a player.