Welcome, judges, to the latest edition of Judge of the Week! For the latest rock star, we have someone who has been hailed as generous with his time, working steadily as one of the anchors of his judge community. Time to meet Emmanuel Gutierrez!
Name: Emmanuel Gutierrez
Location: Paris, France
Judge start date : GP Strasbourg 2014
Why did you become a Judge? I liked the idea to help give back to the community that gave me a lot when I was a child, so I wanted to be more entangled in the game I love! So, as I was always a fan of the rules and the interactions between cards, I passed my test at my first GP 🙂
Occupation: Industrial Risks Engineer
Favourite card : Cultural Exchange (for the art)
Least favourite card : Supreme Verdict (Made me lose a lot)
Favourite format: Sealed
Commander General: Animar, Soul of Elements
Favourite non-Magic Game: Five Tribes
Best tournament result: 6-3 at 2 separate GPs… before the new 6-3 cut 🙁
Random fact about yourself: Actively competing to be the tallest judge of the program
How did you get involved in Magic in the first place?
I began at school, when I was 9 years old, as some friend were beginning to play it. It was the time of the wonderful Mercadian Masques. I remember opening a Pangosaur and ended up trading it for a Sixth Edition Scaled Wurm because the other guy said that the Wurm was better with 1 power more. I still regret this trade at the day as I would like to have my first rare back!
What motivates you to continue being a Judge?
I like the interactions with aspirant judges, which is the reason why I stepped in to organize small conferences in Paris every two weeks. The idea originated from Aurelie Violette, the area captain. I am thrilled to see players come to us during the meeting, curious of seeing a bunch of people in a Magic store who actually aren’t playing, and talk with us about judging. They always say something like “I always wanted to be a judge but never took the time to write you an email” or “I have a friend who wants to become a judge, can I have your contact info?” And then these people keep coming to our meetings, and they progress on rules knowledge, while the judges that make the courses improve on communication and teaching skills. By the time the pupils are certified, they are already part of our local community, and are eager to help me with the conferences! This is a benevolent circle I am proud of being part of, and that’s my main reason to keep on judging.
What’s the best part about your local Magic community?
The community in Paris is full of benevolent people, always eager to help other judges to improve. I run small conferences twice a month with the local L1s/L2s, and there is always someone who wants to talk about some rules aspects they’ve just read, or people willing to take time thinking on game situations to simulate a real tournament environment, helping new judges to feel more confident when they have to face a real tournament.
What is your favourite non-judging moment that happened with other Judges?
I think my vote will go to the Judge dinner after BoM Annecy 2016. We had a lot of fun and I had the occasion to meet a lot of French and Italian judges I didn’t know at the time. I love this type of cultural exchange (hint: just like my favourite card), when you can learn from other people about their judge community, their good stories and their way of life!
What’s the biggest rule-breaking play you’ve ever made as a player?
Back when I first started playing, I didn’t know anything about the rules, except the ones that I learned from the awesome “Starter” PC game – the one with the awesome videos. I just bought random packs – mostly Planeshift – and played with them. At the time, I thought that you had to play with your lands front, one land in front of each creature, and creatures without landwalk could not attack if they didn’t have, for example, forestwalk if it was put behind a forest. Yup, my games were slow.
What positive aspects has the Judge Program contributed to your everyday life?
The Judge Program helped me a lot with improving my self-esteem. I started as a new level 1 who had everything to learn, and thanks to some nice judges, I had the opportunity to grow and become stronger and more self-confident on Magic related topics… and I started to see that I had the potential to now teach these things to other judges. This helped me a lot to understand what I was worth and what I could give to other people. Now, I am less afraid of making tough decisions at work or to express my opinion, because judging taught me that I could do these things!
If you were a creature what would be your creature type?
Dragon, of course! As long as I remember, I always loved dragons and even began a collection of figurines when I was a kid. I think that they represent me well: calm, humble and always thinking before acting, but if you push them too hard, they can become a little hot-blooded and savage…
What hobbies do you have outside of Magic?
I’m a big reader, especially of Stephen King‘s work – I’ve read every single book he wrote and I’ve learnt a lot about the writing process through the construction of his stories. I like the way his stories mix paranormal horrors with real ones, buried inside ourselves; as the hero resolves his supernatural problems, he also progresses on fixing his own issues. That’s why I enjoy reading: discovering new worlds and new ways of thinking, to help you progress on your own path!
Two Truths and a Lie
Two of the following statements are true and one is false. Figure out which!
- I sadly ended up 9th at a RPTQ.
- I wrote a book (and it’s worse than Game of Thrones. Everybody dies.)
- I once hiked Mt. Fuji at night under the rain, and I was so tired that I started hallucinating and hearing weird voices; still the best experience of my life so far.
If there is a judge who is also doing something extraordinary, please nominate a judge TODAY!