MagicFest Barcelona 2019

This weekend in Barcelona, we have 1 new judges to Welcome to the fold!

Tiago R么xo Aguiar

  • Name: Tiago R么xo Aguiar
  • Pronouns He/him/his
  • Level: Level 2
  • Location: Lisboa, Portugal
  • Region: Iberia
  • Approximate date/month/year you started playing Magic: June 2011
  • L1 Certification Date: January 29, 2017
  • Favorite thing (e.g., card, deck, group of people) about Magic: Playing with friends after a rather long week
  • Occupation: University Student
  • Random fact about yourself: I once twisted my ankle on P.E. and went to get lunch before going to the hospital because I had already paid for the meal
  • Why did you become a judge?: I got my friends into Magic and so they came to me with their questions. Eventually, I decided that to better help them out, I could become a judge. From there, I discovered that other people, not just my friends, could use a helping hand sometimes!
  • What excites you most about this event?: I’ve never been at a GP before, not even as a player. I’m really excited about the size of the event and everything about it! I also can’t wait to meet judges from other countries, as this is also my first time judging outside of my home country!
  • What worries you most about this event?: Well, also the size. I’ve never judged a tournament this big and there’s plenty that can go wrong. Either way, with so many experienced judges I’m sure someone will know how to fix the very complex scenario that arises on table 136 馃檪
  • What are you hoping to learn at this event?: I hope to learn more about team tasks. I’ve been nurtured on a PPTQ era and so I haven’t had many chances to work with big judge teams. I hope to learn more about them!
  • Who are your mentors?: My mentors for Level 1 and 2 were Claudio Santos and Filipe Fernandes respectively, but I’ve come to look up to many other judges in Portugal, like David Silva and Nuno Falc茫o e Cunha among others!
  • What challenges have you faced or are you facing to become a better judge?: When I certified for L1, I was only 17 and had zero competitive experience, even as a player. I jumped from casual play and prereleases to taking calls on PPTQs. I struggled a lot with “cold feet” and would mess up rulings to which I knew the answers just due to that.
  • How have you worked to overcome those challenges?: I’ve come a long way to overcome my anxiety when taking calls, but the truth about it was that I simply judged. I worked on my anxiety in my every-day life, but when it came to judging it was just a matter of experience. The more I judged, the more every call stopped looking like a monster and more like two scared players needing help. Experience really goes a long way into making a judge, so I grabbed every chance that I got to judge, read a lot of forum posts, asked many questions to my peers (still do!) and tried to get as good at this judging thing as I possibly could!
  • What is the best part about your local Magic community?: Ever since I certified I never once felt like a little boy with my local community, be it the judge or the player community. They always treated me like the L1 (and later L2) that I was, and that really helped me get better. Every time I was doubted by the players that knew me, it was never because I was too young to be a judge, it was because they didn’t understand or didn’t agree with my explanation. The other judges never told me I was too young to go to X and Y event or doubted me for my age, they always looked and my (or lack of) knowledge. That kind of feedback is amazing because I always felt like being a great judge was within my reach at every moment. I never felt like I had to get older, just that I had to get better. And that made me want to learn more and more instead to giving up and waiting a few years to try again!
  • What is your favorite Magic memory?: I have many, and it’s hard to pick one, but I’d have to say the day I certified for L2. After an intense National Tournament, I sat down after lunch to take my exam, the exam I had been preparing for months. I was very nervous, but I did my best. After that, Peke (the L3 making the exam) took forever to give me the results, since he was the Head Judge of the tournament going on and we had just entered the Top 8! So there I was, standing there for a couple of hours not knowing if I had passed or bombed my L2 exam. Other judges that had been relieved kept coming to say goodbye and ask about the result, which prevented me from thinking about anything else! Thankfully, once Peke was able to discuss the exam, he told me that I had passed and I was super happy, celebrating with every judge present! Overall, an experience I (now) cherish!