Good to see you again, judges! This week’s hero lives up to his Magic Online username of Hugo4fun. Let’s race to get to know Hugo Carvalho!
Name: Hugo Oliveira de Carvalho
Location: Guarulhos/São Paulo, Brazil
Judge start date: September 18, 2011. The last Nationals, if my Judge Center is not betraying me.
Why did you become a Judge? I am the kind of person who enjoys more helping others than myself. I love the game and it felt natural when I discovered the Judge Program.
Occupation: I work at a National Bank as a cashier and now I am the Event Director and Organizer of Brazilians Against Time, a speedrunning charity marathon that happens once a year to help humanitarian causes. Speedrunning is picking a game you like and finishing as fast as possible.
Favourite card: Battle of Wits. Because there is no way that you are not playing for fun if you are playing that card. I even collect them!
Least favourite card: Sylvan Primordial. Don’t ask.
Favourite format: Sealed Deck. But Cube Draft has a special place at my heart as a close second and I am able to play it weekly. 😀
Commander General: I had so many Dragon-related generals, but now I decided to stick with Grenzo, the Dungeon Master (typo intended!)
Favourite non-Magic Game: Dungeons & Dragons: Shadow Over Mystara. It’s a 90’s Arcade game, which is the perfect mix of Final Fight and RPG games. Sometimes Capcom rolls a 20!
Best tournament result: I’ve won a few pre-releases, does that count?
Random fact about yourself: I have a vast knowledge about gaming in general. Board games, video games, card games, you name it.
Tell us your favourite Judge story.
This took the top spot recently. I was judging a Modern side event in GP São Paulo 2016. One of my colleagues, in the middle of the 2nd round, tells me a player is playing in the event with a deck recently drafted out of the main event for fun. I went to the table and I get to see the player with some lands and two random werewolves on the battlefield looking at his opponent, who was playing a deck that makes multiple extra turns.
I actually know the player and we chatted a bit while his opponent was clearly combo’ing him for the win. At some point, he casts a Jace Beleren and proceeds to take extra turns a few times more, and increasing the loyalty counters of the planeswalker. At some point with 2-digit counters, the opponent asks: “How many cards you still have on the deck?” The player then proceeds to count his hand, graveyard and permanents and answers: “I have 17 here, so the deck must have 23 left.”
The player decided not to continue on the tournament, instead of having to add 20 basics of his choice to the deck.
How did you get involved in Magic in the first place?
I believe I learned from friends while going shopping for RPG books. That was 20 years ago! I don’t remember my breakfast, let alone what happened there.
What are some of the projects you have been involved in?
I am currently involved in 3: the Customer Service Project, dedicated to improve the judges and delight the players in our events. I am also part of the IPG for Players Project, which is finding ways to lessen the gap players face in the transition from casual to competitive events. And finally yet importantly, I’m part of a local program which makes quizzes thru a Whatsapp group of Brazilian judges to improve their performances and help them study.
How has being a Judge influenced your non-Magic life?
I became more responsible and more sociable. I believe the whole thing with judging opened my eyes to relationships I wasn’t seeing before.
What motivates you to continue being a Judge?
Being able to travel farther than I ever though I would, being able to meet people that now are trusted friends, and the experience is just awesome.
What is one tip you have for other Judges?
Do not get over stressed about mistakes. You are going to make some along the way, and the important thing is not the actual mistake, but how you deal with it after making them.
What’s the best part about your local Magic community?
Now we are at a point of revival: the city I live in did not have a store for a decade, and one finally opened! Old and new players are mixing well. It’s awesome to see this new sprout.
What is your favourite non-judging moment that happened with other Judges?
I’ve won a Judge Cup that we held here in Brazil. The format was 3 rounds of Conspiracy and 3 rounds of Cube Draft. Since we could not hold another for the time being, I’m still the undefeated champ! 😀
If you were a Planeswalker, what would be your ultimate?
I would have a “turn into a creature” ability, then my ultimate would be: -12: You get an emblem with “Planeswalker creatures you control are Dragons in addition to its other types and gets +5/+5, Flying, Trample and Double Strike.” Or you can use the version I’ve been given by a friend who is an artist [pictured].
What’s the biggest rule-breaking play you’ve ever made as a player?
Well, I believe at some point when people start playing the game, they imagined the rules they use were right. That kind of street Magic that you only see in small communities. When Urza’s Saga was released, I had a deck that used Storm Cauldron and Seismic Assault to deal 10 damage with the lands I had in play, then with the mana floating in my pool, I’d cast Yawgmoth’s Will to DISCARD THEM AGAIN for 10 more.
Hey, the card said I could use them as if they were on my hand, right? No one ever complained.
What has been your favourite Magic event that you’ve judged?
GP Vegas last year was off the charts. I could bury a body in Modern Masters 2015 boxes. Ahem, not that I did it. I said I COULD.
What was the toughest Magic event that you’ve judged, and how did you deal with it?
I had lots of trouble in my first GP outside of Brazil, GP Santiago 2013. I was totally unprepared emotionally, had lots of problems outside of judging as well and started to make serious mistakes. What helped a lot is that a judge literally grabbed me and took me outside of the venue and made me rest a bit (and I got ice cream!), and that helped me a lot to regain my composure and finish the shift with a clear mind.
What positive aspects has the Judge Program contributed to your everyday life?
Patience, Sociability, Responsibility, to name a few.
If you could chat with one person, real or fictional, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
I would have a long chat with Valentine Wiggin, from the Ender’s Game book series. We think a lot alike and I believe that would be inspirational to make the right questions to her.
What would you be doing now if Magic no longer existed?
I would probably shift to my speedrunning event.
What is the strangest card interaction you have seen in a tournament?
Pithing Needle naming Lashwrithe. And the guy tried to equip. Poor soul.
How do you have fun during events?
Check this photo. It explains all.
If you were a creature, what would be your creature type?
Without a doubt, Human Berserker Advisor.
What character in Magic (real or fictional) represents you the best, and why?
I am a lot like Ajani. Great sense of justice, but sometimes too passionate about it.
What do you see as your greatest strengths as a Judge?
What was my greatest flaw became my most trusted strength. Now I’m able to maintain calm and reasonably find answers no matter the situation.
What are the areas you feel like you would most like to work on?
I need to work on the basics of rules again. I am doing so much stuff right now I am forgetting the basics. The base is solid, but needs polishing time from time.
What do you see as your short-term and long-term goals within the Judge program?
Short-term goal: to judge more events. I need to keep judging to keep honing my skills. For the long-term, I want to stabilize my future plans so I can work on my L3 process.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Just that you guys are amazing doing this! I love to read the Judge of the Week when I have time! 😀
Two Truths and a Lie
Two of the following statements are true and one is false. Figure out which!
- I participated in the biggest speedrunning marathon in the world, showcasing my skills to more than 100,000 people watching a live stream of me.
- I currently hold a world record in speedrunning.
- I have made a guide about Shadow Over Mystara and posted it on Steam.
If there is a judge who is also doing something exemplary, please nominate a judge TODAY!