This week we feature Julien Laronde, the Area Captain of SW France. He loves a format full of Path to Exiles and also to play Path of Exile. Coincidence? Find out in this week’s feature!
Name: Julien Laronde
Location: Toulouse, France
Judge start date:
Level 1: February 2012
Level 2 : November 2014
Why did you become a Judge? I became a judge to help my local community
Favourite card: Shipwreck Moray
Least favourite card: Karma
Favourite format: Modern
Commander General: Non!
Favourite non-Magic Game: Path of Exile
Best tournament result: I won Torment Prerelease!
How did you get involved in Magic in the first place?
I started playing back in high school in 1997 when I quit competitive football because of an injury. There was a shop really close to school and I used to go there a lot on Wednesday afternoons and Saturdays.
You were nominated for being one of the cornerstones of your community, an exemplar Area Captain and a great mentor. Can you tell us more about this awesome work you’ve been developing?
My region was in desperate need of a new leader. When I got certified as Level 2, I got promoted to Area Captain thanks to my knowledge of the local community. I decided to organize things a little bit more professionally and got lucky as I quickly got 2 newly promoted L2 judges in my city and a new dynamic shop opening. Nowadays, everything is planned way ahead in coordination with all the shops and judges.
What motivates you to continue being a Judge?
My main motivation to judge away from home is to see people I only get to see thanks to those events. I also love the challenges judging offers (mentoring, team leading, logistics, customer service, etc). Locally, I really feel like I’m contributing to making things easier and smoother for everybody and making sure players have events to play at and to enjoy.
What is one tip you have for other Judges?
Get more confidence, believe in yourself! You are probably more competent than you think. Also, seize every opportunity you think is interesting for you.
What is your favourite non-Magic hobby?
Nowadays, my favourite non-Magic hobbies are online video games. I like the challenges they offer and the comfort of playing from home.
What’s the biggest rule-breaking play you’ve ever made as a player?
Back in 2009, during a game, I had cast Thoughtseize and I knew my opponent had Banefire in hand. When he then had cast a Shriekmaw targetting my Burrenton Forge-Tender, I sacrificed it and chose Banefire as a source of damage. I explained to my opponent that I could because Burrenton Forge-Tender doesn’t target. Judge was called and confirmed what I had explained to my opponent.
What has been your favourite Magic event that you’ve judged?
I absolutely loved judging at GP Sao Paulo 2016. Brazilian players and judges are the most welcoming and friendly people I have ever got the chance to meet. I also got assigned to new tasks at that event and it was an amazing week in Brazil overall.
If you could chat with one person, real or fictional, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Eric Cartman from South Park. So many questions to ask…
What is the strangest card interaction you have seen in a tournament?
Burrenton Forge-Tender and Banefire 😀
If you were a creature what would be your creature type?
A Pirate! Basically my friends and I like a singer that calls “Pirates” to his fans and people that have the same attitude. That’s also a way to call people that try to abuse the system or at least sneak into it.
Proudest moment of your Judge life?
I was chosen to be the first judge to lead the brand new kickstarter team back in Grand Prix Lille 2016. It was a very challenging and interesting task that I really enjoyed. My team was amazing and made this challenge ever better. (Thanks again Anna Zielinska and Kenny Koornneef)
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I would like this opportunity to shout out some judges that constantly make my judging life better on events or even outside. My brothers in the programme Mathieu « Le DUC » André and Gerard « 96% » Trpin and also my cousins around the world : Philippe « Traidor » Monlevade, Tiago « Foxinho » Lopes, Emilien Wild, Luca Romano, Lamberto Franco and last but not least Riccardo Tessitori.
Two Truths and a Lie
Two of the following statements are true and one is false. Figure out which!
- I have participated in a Thursday Night Magic in a restaurant in Dubai back in 2010.
- I have played World of Warcraft at top world level with Magic the Gathering legend Kai Budde.
- I can fluently speak five languages.
If there is a judge who is also doing something exemplary, please nominate a judge TODAY!