Hello there Judges,
welcome back into another Judge of the week edition, this week our crew will bring us into one of the northernmost magical locations, which also happens to have a very Long and thin country where new judges in a few years have arisen, one name stands over the top assembling this young community, Judges, prepare your warm clothes for this interview featuring Even Lindell Heggø from Oslo, Norway.
Why did you become a judge?
I became a judge to help out the local judge at the time, as he was the only one in town, and I didn’t want to see him burn out by doing everything by himself.
Favourite non-Magic Game:
StarCraft 2 – stressful to play, but winning ladder games feels so good! The board game Chaos in the Old World is also really good.
Best tournament result: Splitting the finals of a 42 player Legacy tournament. My trusty Merfolk gets me there even if people say it is bad.
Random fact about yourself: I am a fan of smoked whiskey!
Tell us your favourite judge story.
That might be the time at a GP where I got recognized for failing (in a sense). I was handling 8-player tournaments on the friday of the event, and at some point, the system started printing out the wrong player lists (or something like that, this was a long time ago). This lead to delays. I tried to fix it, but at some point I realized that I needed to let the judge managing the shift know, and ask for help. When the day was done, I felt like I had caused problems for everyone else. On the sunday after the GP, as recognitions were given, I was recognized for asking for help when I needed it. That was a happy moment for me, and it really serves to illustrate how much of a communal effort Magic judging is.
How did you get involved in magic in the first place?
Back in the 90s, I saw some of the cards in the room of a friend. I pestered him to teach me how to play, which he did. He didn’t know the rules very well, so we sacrificed each other’s creatures to Skull Catapult and tapped to block and all that good stuff. Skull Catapult was an amazing card! Soon enough, my brother and me convinced our father to let us buy some cards, a fatal mistake from which none of us have yet recovered. I remember what I bought as well. It was a 5th edition started and a Fallen Empires booster, and one of my rares was Force of Nature.
Do you have any particular goals for this year?
I am, at the time I am writing this, the only level 2 judge in Norway. My biggest Magic related goal is to help some of our awesome level 1s in reaching level 2.
How has your local Community grown in these few years?
I was HJ for all 5 PPTQs in the Vancouver 2015 season. For two of them, I spent two nights on trains , Trondheim on the saturday, and then Mosjøen the day after. Right now, we are 31 level 1s and 1 level 2 (me) at least half of our current judges have been certified since june 2014. so the judge community here is very young. when I got L1 in 2010, there were 3-4 judges in the country
Tell us more these awesome L1 Judges in your region.
The first person to mention is Espen S K Olsen. He is a really community oriented guy, and has quickly gotten a leading role in our community. If I was going to suggest someone to take over as Captain of Norway, it would probably be him. He has gotten to know a lot of the smaller communities around the country, and helps them grow by telling them how to get sanctioning and such. He also contributes a lot in the national Facebook group for judges. He also ran a judge conference in november 2014, and that is REALLY impressive for a new L1.
Guy Montuelle, who is working to improve conditions in the city of Bergen, and make the store there a place players want to come. He is really good with profesionality, he wants things to be done properly and honestly, and he is good at recognizing when players behaviours are problematic. He does this together with the other judges in Bergen, though. I think it is a team effort.
Gunnar Olai D Sivertsen. He is the type of judge everyone ends up liking. A lot of players have told me that he explains rulings and other things to them in a very patient and friendly way. A lot of judges enjoy working with him. all in all there are a bunch of people I could keep mentioning.
What motivates you to continue being a judge?
There are two answers to that. For a long time, I’ve really enjoyed mentoring and seeing good people get certified. As the Norwegian judge program has grown tremendously the last year. I am taking more and more joy in the personal bonds I have with judges all over the country. It feels like we are a community 🙂
What is one tip you have for other judges?
Try to get something social out of it, make friends. There are a lot of new friendships being made through the judge program. If you like people, try to connect with them outside of the game as well. That is the thing that will last the longest, and give you the most joy.
What’s the best part about your local Magic community?
The community in Oslo is quite young. I love seeing how enthusiastic a lot of the up and coming judges are, and how eager they are to help make the tournament scene better. Many of them are developing into experienced judges fairly fast as well.
What is your favourite non-magic hobby?
I really enjoy a lot of boardgames. Taking an entire day to play with friends, make a nice dinner and have something good to drink is just the best. I am also hoping to get my guitar practice going again, which is also very enjoyable, but frustrating when I feel like I am not making progress.
What is your favourite non-judging moment that happened with other judges?
Any post-GP dinner tends to be great. I think I’d have to go with the unofficial judge conference we had in Northern Norway in November last year. Our RC was present, and I think she saw how much the Norwegian judge community had developed and how many great level 1s we had now.
What’s the biggest rule-breaking play you’ve ever made as a player?
I dredged 4 times from a Cephalid Coliseum at a GPT (called the judge, got a GL).
What has been your favourite magic event that you’ve judged?
Probably the first WMCQ I HJed here in Norway. It felt really special to HJ an event where the winner would get on the national team.
What positive aspects has the Judge Program contributed to your everyday life?
It has got me thinking about professionality and how we present ourselves. That is something that carries over into a lot of other situations, both professional and private.
If you could chat with one person, real or fictional, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Likely one of the french thinkers around the age of enlightenment. Their thought were the birthplace of both modern ideas of liberty and reason.
Proudest moment of your Judge life?
Getting level 2 on my first attempt at taking the test. This was two weeks after failing a Rules Advisor exam for not taking it seriously enough. After all, I was gonna be L2 soon. I don’t even need to think to get 100%! After that, I shaped up and made sure to get some good study inn before the L2 test.
Two Truths and a Lie
Two of the following statements are true and one is false. Figure out which!
1. I’ve won a prize for local amateur beer brewers.
2. I’ve slept in a tent with in -40 Celcius and blizzard outside.
3. I’ve got a hole in my heart.
Thanks Even, your community work has impressed us in such way that we just couldn’t pass this without featuring it!
As usual Judges, don’t forget to keep sharing awesome Judge stories round the world, Nominate a Judge TODAY!