Dispatches from Valencia

Time flies when you’re not sleeping …

Greetings from Pro Tour Born of the Gods from Valencia, Spain. Not sure about the rest of the city, but this little corner of it is pretty gorgeous.


Choosing a Pro Tour to start the “here’s what happened at the tournament” series was perhaps a bit of a questionable choice, since generally speaking, these things bring in top-notch judges who have been doing this a long time and are masters of their craft, and thus they run very smoothly.

On the other hand …


What’s wrong with this picture?

Adam and Kim kindly demonstrated what you should do when this happens:


You don’t need to necessarily do so bodily – it takes a particularly experienced judge like Adam to pull this off successfully, and a particularly forgiving judge like Kim not to kick his ass when he does it. But the point stands – if you see people clumping, or otherwise in the wrong place, you can help be part of the solution by encouraging people to be in more appropriate places.

This is not the only time Federico, scorekeeper extraordinaire was dismayed. In his own words:

“Hey you, judge with that stack 2cm thick of results in your hand standing on the main event floor…
Wouldn’t it be better to free yourself of that weight before 5 minutes to the end of the round? It is a Pro Tour, there might be people at home waiting to know the result of that match that ended 20 minutes ago…”

Good advice generally, as the chance of a slip getting lost or otherwise holding up the round isn’t zero. But even better advice when coverage is involved – more on the coverage phenomenon and how it affects you in a future post.

The other thing that went a bit amiss was something we’ve seen at Grand Prix now that shift changes have become more of a thing – hand-offs are difficult. A number of times after the judges in charge of feature matches changed, for example, we got to go over and correct issues with tokens and feature match players getting seated in the right place. Various people needing to come get paper at different time just aren’t as quick about it the first time as after they’ve become conditioned. Whether you’re a team lead or not, take note as to how things are being done and things that are important but not particularly obvious, and make sure you pass this knowledge along to your successor. The less visible the shift seam, the better.

Perhaps the  big lesson to take here is this – no matter how experienced the staff, how senior the judges, or how good each of you are, there’s always room to do better. Don’t get complacent – if you don’t think you can improve, you’re not looking hard enough. It’s true for the judges at this level, it’s probably true for you as well.


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