The Black Perspective: My Internet Writers Vote

Osyp is the first StarCityGames.com writer to reveal his ballot for the Internet Writers Vote. Which big men of Magic made the list and why? Find out on… The Black Perspective!

Hopefully Osyp will win the North American vote so the rest of us will have a shot at the writers vote.“- Tim Aten

Sometimes playing in a Magic tournament can feel like the worst thing on Earth. You’ve traveled on a plane sitting in the middle row between an old woman with a phlegm problem and a fat man who snores for what appears to be an eternity. When your plane finally lands, you find out that the site isn’t as close to the airport as advertised, and you have to take a $50 cab ride to get to there. Sadly, the cab driver doesn’t speak English, so he gets lost and it costs you an additional $30. Once you arrive to the site, you find out that it’s in the middle of nowhere, and the only place still open where you can get something to eat is a convenience store. You get to your hotel, which you’re sharing with four other people and manage to only get five hours of sleep (if you’re lucky). The big day is finally here, and you’re confident you’ll do well in the tournament. You end up losing the first four rounds and are eliminated from the competition. So you basically wasted upwards of $700 and a weekend of your life to play Magic for three and a half hours. Congratulations, you’re a Pro.

Now I know what you’re thinking, “why would anyone go through that?” Well the thing is Magic has a lot more going for it than the game itself. The people who play the game really make it what it is, and if it weren’t for people like the ones I’m about to endorse, I would’ve quit ages ago. These are the people who you’ll find cracking jokes in between rounds making everyone else laugh. They’re entertaining, delightful to be around, and add another level to the game that makes it more enjoyable. So without further ado, here are my nominees for the Magic Invitational Internet Writer’s Vote.

In 5th place, Mr. Craig Krempels

Craig is a friend of mine, so it’s easy for me to see why he deserves a spot at the invitational this year. Craig shot into the spotlight last year when he won the U.S. National Championships, although he was known among pro players for a long time before that as the loud kid who was always ready to team draft. Craig is very friendly and outgoing and a classic example of how Magic players don’t all have to be introverted.

Coming in 4th place, Senior Paul Reitzl

I have to admit, one of the main reasons I’m including Paul on this list is because I know he has a very attractive girlfriend who lives in California. If he manages to get invited to the invitational, there’s a strong chance she’ll show up to E3 to support him with her cheerleading friends. We’ll all go out for drinks and some food and one of them we’ll notice my new vintage Adidas track jacket. She’ll say how good I look in it, and I’ll play it off all cool… Then the fact that I won a Pro Tour will come up casually in the conversation and she’ll be really impressed. Afterwards we’ll go back to the hotel and . . . Oh God, sorry, I’m getting off topic. Paul deserves to go to the Invitational because he’s funny, outgoing, and a class act.

Rounding out 3rd, Captain Gabe Walls

I honestly can’t say enough good things about my friend Gabe Walls. He’s a man among men. Or should I say, he’s a man who stands out among men . . . because of his size . . . what I mean is, he’s very, very . . . tall. Anyway, Gabe is the one person you most want to go out to dinner with when the tournament is over because he’s the one you’ll have the best time with. He’s very smart and witty and it’s almost impossible to not have a good time when he’s around. Gabe deserves a slot to this year’s invitational as much as the next guy.

And the runner-up, in 2nd place, The Jeroen Remie

For anyone who knows Jeroen, no explanation is needed as to why he deserves to be on this list. Although for those of you who don’t know him, I’ll list some of his many great qualities. Jeroen is a master craftsman. I saw him build an entire birdhouse from scratch last year for his good friend Frank Karsten’s 15th birthday. He enjoys long walks on the beach, he likes to cuddle more than he likes to snuggle, and his favorite movie is Dirty Dancing. Jeroen is really a pleasure to be around, during a tournament or after it. He’s nice to everyone he meets and always has a good story to tell. Jeroen deserves a place at his year’s invitational for all the reasons I listed and many more.

And in 1st place… the man, the myth, the legend, Antonio DeRosa

That’s right folks; everyone’s favorite Italian stereotype comes in first place in my book. I’ve been friends with Antonio for a while now, so my opinion is obviously biased, but I think anyone who’s ever met or played against Antonio will vouch for the fact that he’s a true character. He’s one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet as well as someone you’ll never forget. His unmistakable laugh can be heard all around the tournament site and he’s always got a smile on his face. When it comes to the right combination of entertainment value and play skill, I don’t think anyone else can beat Antonio in this department. Of all the people nominated this year, I think an invitational invite would mean the most to Antonio, and I would love to see him there this year.

So that’s it for now, next time . . .

Who’s the coolest Magic player on the PT?

What’s the best deck to play at family gatherings?

How do you tell a girl you can’t go out this weekend because there’s a PTQ in Maryland?

All of this and more, on

The Black Perspective

Osyp “Joe Black” Lebedowicz