Last week someone asked me what it was like attending the big tournaments, and meeting all the names in international Warmachine/Horde, so I thought I might demystify the whole tournament scene a bit. I’ll use the World Team Championships in 2013 as my main example, since it doesn’t come much bigger than that (except this year which is going to be huge).
Initially it can be quite overwhelming when you arrive at a venue designed for several hundred players, and doubly so if you’re arriving alone, but once you’ve settled in it’s not much different than games day at your local club (yes really). I highly recommend traveling to your first ‘big one’ with some friends of course, but if you’re not scared of shaking the hands of a few strangers you don’t really need them.
I remember drinking heavily with the Americans the first night, teasing Will Pagani about his take-backs who were all the rage on the forums back then, and giving Keith Christianson shit about calling our team racists (Denmark: White) when our captain was colored. The Irish also got in the mix, and only after I returned home did I discover that I had gotten drunk with iAvian from Overload Online, and faced him on the field.
It was more or less like an evening with the guys at home, and the second evening we were there I got caught by the Russians, who decided I needed some cheering up after losing two out of three games on the first day. Their idea of ‘cheering up’ was handing me a glass of something home-brewed which I was supposed to sip, but they forgot to tell me that so I slammed it… I vaguely remember wrestling my team mate Simon, and a Norwegian guy dry humping me down the street.
I really think everyone should go to at least one major event in their lives, because not only did I make a lot of friends there, I made some memories that will last me a lifetime. Sure I enjoyed chatting with Jake Van Meter in the airport, and I enjoyed beating iAvian (after I figured out who he was), but what I remember best is team Russia getting me so drunk I couldn’t stand, and they’re the guys I have on Facebook now.
Don’t come to the big tournaments to win, but come to meet players from all over the world and have fun… and if you happen to learn something, or even do well for yourself, then that’s just icing on an already amazing cake.