Hello Everyone! This week’s Judge of the Week is Christian Gawrilowicz. Christian is an L3 who calls Vienna, Austria home when he isn’t traveling around the world. While he had been judging unofficially since 1994, Christian joined the rank of L1 around 2000. 2003 and 2005 saw advancements to L2 and L3, respectively. After lapsing to L2 for some time he returned to L3 in 2011. Judging Magic was a natural progression for Christian. He was already experienced in running a gaming club when he discovered Magic, after that discovery he quickly began organizing tournaments.
Occupation: Senior IT Consultant
Favourite card: Counterspell (from Tempest; because of the flavour text)
Least favourite card: everything that is not playable in Standard or Modern
Favourite format: everything that can qualify for a Pro Tour
Commander general: None (I don’t play Commander)
Favourite non-Magic Game: the 18XX series of railroad games, and Francis Tresham’s Civilization
Best tournament result: Winner Austrian Nationals 2010, 34th Worlds 2010
Random fact about yourself: I always wanted to run a marathon, but Riki Hayashi running one finally made seriously start preparing for one.
Tell us your favorite judge story:
There are too many to pick just one. The best stories are all the ones where a group of judges sit together somewhere and exchange ideas and change the present and the future of the judge program.
Tell us an embarrassing story that you’re not afraid of everyone knowing:
I was demoted from Level 3. There were a couple of issues with me at that time, but the biggest one was my approach to working with other judges: either I assumed that the other person knew everything and then I got really angry when they didn’t OR I assumed that the other person knows nothing and I would explain everything – in detail – until the very end – even if the other person showed signs of understanding. Kids: don’t try this at home – it’s an awful way to deal with other people.
How has being a judge influenced your non-Magic life?
Without Magic I probably would have gone insane at some point in my life where I couldn’t find a job for nearly two years. And without Magic I definitely wouldn’t gotten the job that I currently have. Magic helped me gain analytical skills, the ability to deal with people in stressful situations, how to train and teach others, as well as give constructive feedback and help others to think. It helps that my boss was a kitchen table Magic player when he was younger. 🙂
What motivates you to continue being a judge?
The traveling and the people. The feeling that you can actually make a difference. Honestly, I find working tournaments a bit boring (I’ve been at so many, that there aren’t many challenges left), but being able to work with people, learn from them, teach them, and share the acquired knowledge is amazing.
What’s the best part about your local Magic community?
Sorry, but I don’t really have a “local” community. – I work mostly at GPs within Europa and Asia, and because of this there are many judges all around the world that I meet more often than the ones in my home town. 🙂
What is your favourite non-judging moment that happened with other judges?
Going to various concerts in Asia with other judges. I started this recently: whenever I go to a GP (and I have the time) that I
contact the local judges and ask for concert suggestions. No matter what music style, but “local” bands/singers preferred. It’s very interesting what you can discover. And going to a traditional Japanese “Onzen” (= hot bath) with the Japanese guys – they rock!
What would you be doing now if Magic no longer existed?
Something else where I can let my inner nerd fly. I’ve collected records, board games, books. So, something that allows me to collect and enjoy it at the same time.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
If possible try to leave your continent for a GP – it’s amazing what you can learn!
Two Truths and a Lie
Two of the following statements are true and one is false. Figure out which!
1. I have traveled to all continents.
2. I was once labeled as “better than Shouta Yasooka” by Yuuya Watanabe.
3. I was “Europe’s worst board game player” two years in a row.