At Grand Prix: Kansas City

We went trucking to Overland Park, just outside Kansas City proper, to shoot footage for I Came to Game. It was cold—the biting Midwestern fall hinted at the cold winter that inevitably comes.

We had just gotten one of our HD cameras and were excited to put it in action. We had originally planned to begin shooting again at Worlds in Memphis, but response on our test and promotional footage from US Nationals was so positive that we decided to get the ball rolling early. And we’re glad we did—we got some great interviews with Pro Tour legends both past and present, including Mark Herberholz, Gabriel Nassif, Patrick Chapin, and Chris Pikula. We also had a lengthy talk (on camera, of course) with Evan Erwin, director and host of The Magic Show, and Ben Seck, a Pro Tour competitor who also designs games for Upper Deck.

But that wasn’t it—the weekend was filled with all sorts of surprises, which we were only too happy to film. There was the Beta booster draft that former Pro Tour great Chris Benafel won (on the back of Gaea’s Liege and Pirate Ship). There was the Beta pack war that Noah Boeken and David Williams ran not once but four times (!). And there was Gabe Walls and Mark Herberholz hissing cheek to cheek at Alex Melnikow when the second Hissing Iguanar hit the table on Mark’s side. At stake? Oh, only $3750. But what’s $3750 between friends?

We didn’t get everything on camera, of course—Noah and Lan went for a ride in Steve Feral’s Ferret (a postwar British military vehicle that looks like a tank on wheels), and we ended up playing, not filming, the twelve-man booster draft that Patrick Chapin organized. What made it especially Chapinesque was that it featured one of each pack from Homelands onward, and everyone playing opened a random booster thrown at them from the box! We couldn’t say no to everything—we’re only human, after all, although we’ll try to do better next time.

We’ll see you in Memphis!