Easter in Gothenburg

Feels like forever since I played an Old School event, but it's only been 1,5 months since Arvika. Not much going on in my life apart from work and Magic so I leave it at that and get into the report.

Easter week in Gothenburg is always very special, even before I started playing Old School. The Gothcon convention is lots of fun and has so many things to participate in, but sadly I have turned down the Gothcon in favour of Old School shenanigans.

I heard rumours that there weren't going to be any n00bcon this year because Mg was stepping down from arranging (at least for a year) but with the success of Soupcon last year we had to get something going this year and it was Reindeer and Mitja (+ others) who took the torch this time. The main event was going to be played at Skansen Kronan a 17th Century fortress and the day before that a Scryings tournament at the nicest pub in town Rotary.

Some people arrived on Wednesday, already and Luring set up a dinner at a restaurant on Wednesday, so I just head over to the Panorama to meet up the guys for some beers before dinner. Well, there Mari arrived with his new shirts for this weekend and Shahrazad was released from her prison.

The dinner and company were great, and I called it quits early on Wednesday to be able to withstand three more days of great company and drinking. I have no doubt some people were up until 6am that day. Thursday morning, I went out for some lunch with Mari, Jason and Florian and then went to check in at Hotel Poseidon. I still think it's a win for me to take into a hotel even though I live 20-30 minutes with public transportation from all the sites, got to get in that Old School feeling.

My weapon of choice for the day was a very aggressive Dreadnought build. I wanted to have quick rounds and be able to hang out with people between the rounds. I didn't really think I would do well, but I ended up finishing second place in the 65 person tournament. There isn't anything special or spicy about the deck, just trying to play solid cards.

You only need one land and a mox to deal 24 damage in one swing

Round 1: 2-0 vs Evert Visser (Tax Tower)
Round 2: 0-2 vs Leo Bruder (Bruderbots)
Round 3: 2-0 vs Valerio Gergori (UR Counterburn)
Round 4: 2-1 vs Florian (Twiddle Vault)
Round 5: 2-0 vs Kaj (The Deck)
Round 6: 2-0 vs Chefke (UB Midrange)

QF: 2-1 vs mg (Midrange Dreadnought)
SF: 2-0 vs Olle (Mono Green)
F: 1-2 vs Morgan (Arabian Aggro)

The glorious top 8 (+ Mitja) - Photo by Reindeer

I stayed after the tournament and had some great chats, lots of drinking and watching Dyan and Slanfan having a weird guessing game. I walked home by myself in the middle of the night, took some random detours around the city (my sense of direction is probably the worst there is, never trust me!). 

Fantasy Zoo

After four hours sleep it was time for the traditional pancake-bacon breakfast and ready to walk up the hill for seven rounds of Magic. The easiest way to go for me was to just roll with my trusted Fantasy Zoo again, quick rounds and I have so many games played with that deck. As usual a x-2 top 16 finish (like Groningen, n00bcon 2022, Winc0n and Arvika). Deck is solid but sometimes you drop a match to Mind Twist and Library of Alexandria.

R1: 2-0 vs José Antonio Cuevas (Mono red robots)
R2: 0-2 vs Wander Notting (uG tempo)
R3: 2-0 vs Paddan (Dreams Combo)
R4: 2-0 vs Albert Berg (LionDib)
R5: 2-0 vs Steffen (RG Aggro)
R6: 1-2 vs Alban Lauter (Lauter.dec)
R7: 2-0 vs Chefke (UBW Midrange)

Me enjoying myself in round 4 (photo by Albert Berg)

Got to spend time with some of the best people in the world (Photo by Seb)

Unsleeved riffle shuffling Ante40K, as Garfield intended

I borrowed a deck to vigo again and this time it was DFB Green which he managed to top 4 with, at least my cards are doing top 8 in big tournaments :) After the tournament there was a lot of stuff going on, ofc Ante40K and people were flipping for their Chaos Orb patch. I was ready to try once again but failed miserably (at least the Fireball shots were nice). I think my flipping skills are good but my mind game when it comes to getting this patch is not there yet. I missed Andrew Tucker and a German guy getting their patch, but I got to see one of the most heartbreaking things when Koos missed his 50th flip. I also got to enjoy watching Emily and Nick getting their patches. All around this is one of the best side events of an Old School tournament. 

Emily with her patch

Nick with his patch

Sadly, Skansen Kronan closes at 2am but Erwin, Henk and me had time to go to a bar close to our hotel for a couple of more beers. Erwin, Chefke and Wilfred also joined. There is never a dull moment hanging out with the Dutch crew. The perfect crew to hang out with then the energy levels get a bit lower. Even though I spent 14 hours at that place time went by so fast, so many impressions, new and old friends. We are indeed blessed being able to build these tight relationships in our 40s, something most could only dream about. It is unmeasurable how much trust and love I have for the people in this community. Most of the people I've known a couple of years but it feels like we known each other forever.

Saturday rooftop hangs (Photo by Seb)

As the Wizards tournament is not an open tournament Henk and Seb started a new tradition by arranging a small gathering of people on a rooftop in central Gothenburg. It's a perfect way to arrange something without actually arranging anything. We enjoyed the sun, played some games of Magic with beer and food. I also got to play some Brothers highlander with Jordan and talk a bit of strategy for the upcoming 2HG Brothers highlander tournament in Amsterdam. Had a great time chatting with Charles without having to scream to hear each other like we did at Skansen Kronan. Pez showed up late but won the tournament anyway. Some people left but the six people left decided to join up the others at the Wizards tournament.

Pez with his trademark pose

The bird Åland is flying to the US West Coast with it's new keeper

At the Wizards tournament there was a lot of action going on. I took part in my role as the biggest Ante40K groupie and watched some insane games. I also joined in on the betting on how many flips people going for the chaos orb patch would hit, the one who did the worst bet had to buy shots for everyone else. The staff was also excited about the orb flipping and found great interest in watching it. A lot of people failed but my good friend Trygve managed to get 50 flips in a row without missing. He bragged about it the whole walk back, as he should!

Trygve and his patch

So many hugs and so many goodbyes were said this night. I also got a Lords of the Pit back patch from Shane and I was happy to get this. To some this is only a piece of cloth but to me it means the world to get that from a friend you really love and respect. Some day I hope I can repay all my peers in this community for what they have given to me. I don't think people get how much this all means to me. I even did some dancing, something I never really do unless I'm 100% confident with the crowd I'm hanging out with. I realize I'm quite an emotional guy after all.

Wander and Thai dancing on a table while the staff are enjoying it

Sunday it was time to say goodbye to the Dutch after breakfast and then go home to get a couple of hours extra sleep, shower and get some clean clothes. I skipped lunch with Jordan and instead opted going out for a dinner with Jason. As no one else joined we did the traditional Swedish kebab pizza. Then we went back to the hotel for a beer, and we ran into Jeff Menges who was going out for dinner, so we joined him. One thing I think is amazing that some of the OG artists like Jeff and Drew now are part of the community and not just sitting in a corner of a convention. We all have mad respect for their artwork that drew us into this game, so happy they now get the respect they deserve and can join in our amazing community.

Tier 1 kebab pizza (Photo by Jason)

It's now Monday and I feel a lot better than after last year. I did drink a lot, but I think I balanced it out a bit better and that feels nice. Tomorrow it's back to work and I must sort out all my cards. The swag and stuff I got this year was just insane. Getting my three alters from AS Alters was amazing and the present I got from Charles was super nice (the Serra Angel "misprint" Time Elemental alter). 

Backpack and back patch

Some really amazing stuff here, this will be well used

It's time to say goodbye and try to survive the work grind until Raging Bull in five weeks. It's going to be fine and still after these five days of partying I feel forever young. Take care my friends.