Today marks the anniversary of the Arena. To be honest, I forgot. I just had a feeling that I should write a post today. I looked at the date: 22nd of freakin’ September! I actually wanted to post a video with this. I had plans. Well, not everything goes according to plans anyway. So here’s the entry.

Life after one year

Much has changed in the past year dear follower of this blog. If you have read all my entries (not that many really) you have been through some of my lows and also through some of my highs. I overestimated some, underestimated others, invested in commercials, pushed for more tournaments, tried to establish a community in many games…Failed in some, succeeded in others. All good. See you next year 🙂

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Neah man 😀 Here’s the full story:

About two years ago I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I knew I liked games though. I came back to Germany and I wanted to open a hobby game store because the old one died out. I worked there and had a lot of fun. It was a nice place to hang out. I still have the Tshirt with the logo and am proud of being part of the history of the old hobby shop.
“Never surrender!” – Florian Hirsch. Still remember that one. I still get warm feelings thinking about some of the nice times there. It seems like a lifetime away. A tribute: to the once faithful shop that a bunch of us spent long hours playing cards or just hanging around because it was…Ghosthouse! Raise your glass for this one boys and girls. It’s worth drinking one on this occasion.

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I remember those days. But I’ll be honest: I am glad that they are in the past. This will sound somehow bad from me, but the Arena would have never existed if the Ghosthouse hadn’t closed its doors for good. All things come to an end sooner or later. Who knows when the Arena will see its last day. But like a wise man once said: “It’s not important when it all started or when it will end, it’s what happens in between those times that matters”. So I am moving on really. Slowly, one step at a time. Sometimes stumbling, but as long as I can pick myself up and continue I am sure it can only get better.

I have made some very bad choices along the way, most notably trying to dip my toe into the Warhammer world, and feeling like I would freakin’ drown in my own stupidity. I messed up big time with that one. It was a close one and I am very happy that it’s behind me. Actually some of it is literally in front of me, but hopefully everything will be gone sooner…rather than later. If not, well…I wouldn’t mind setting one or two boxes on fire. For some reason, I honestly believe that it would make me feel better 😉

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Young Pyromancer ain’t got nothin’ on me XD

I wanted to revive Magic and Yu-Gi-Oh! in Ingolstadt. I am not a YGO! player, but I wanted my shop to offer this product and tournaments for the younger generation anyway. Unfortunately it’s definitely not working out as it should. The attendance to the YGO! events is so low I am actually thinking of giving up on it entirely. This is after a full year mind you. It’s not like I have made this decision randomly. This game just works against itself. It feels a lot like a pay-to-win game, much like Hearthstone in that regard. At least you don’t randomly die to Unstable Portal into Dr. Boom on turn 4 in YGO!. You can actually fight back and have a decent arsenal at your disposal. I digress 😀 No talk about Hearthstone now…
The main difference between Magic and YGO! is that as a Magic player you can use the cards that you get for a variety of different purposes. Unlike YGO!, Magic can be played in different formats and it’s looking like even more formats will pop out. The support offered by Wizards of the Coast far exceeds the support that Konami provides. It’s almost unreal what a big difference there is in that regard. This in turn reflects on how many new players come to the Arena to learn how to play Magic. I don’t think I remember the last time when someone wanted to start playing YGO!…It’s sad. I had a lot of boosters on offer for YGO! with a lot more editions available than Magic. I tried making tournaments for 4€. That didn’t work out. I tried for 2€, but it was basically a waste of time too. The kids want the prizes to be huge, but they don’t want to pay anything. I realize that now knowing as much about YGO! as I know about Magic hinders the growth of the community in Ingolstadt, but there’s also nobody stepping up to make things happen. I would like to offer more for the YGO! community, but I can’t talk to anyone, compared to Magic where Clemens is ready and willing to help even though his schedule is constantly full. He still helps out when and where he can and he’s doing a good job at that! Where’s the YGO! guy who wants to help grow the community? Contact me 🙂

Magic the Gathering is going really well though. Veterans and new players alike are coming over to play a round or two on a daily basis. I did put a lot of effort in this too since I have a passion for this game. I posted videos trying to promote the new sets: Magic Origins and Battle for Zendikar. It’s easy since WotC makes it easy for us shops. I recently got a bunch of stuff for the MKM Series as prize support too (there are many more sleeves, pens and writing blocks…around 100). The people in the Magic the Gathering world really try harder than most other games. I honestly believe that Magic the Gathering is the best game in the world. It just has a lot to offer for anyone who is interested in learning it.
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I want to support the casual player more. I like organizing competitive tournaments, but I also enjoy just playing commander or drafting endlessly. In order for the competitive scene to grow, new players must be taught how to play properly and encouraged to try to play in bigger tournaments. That won’t happen if there aren’t casual players in the store just chilling and wanting to play. The shop needs more veterans wanting to teach new players how this game is played. Come over and be a mentor at the weekly draft 🙂

I think I could write a lot more, but I have been writing at this since 14:00 and I can’t finish it because there are people coming in and out of the store non-stop. 6 new people want to start playing Magic. 6 people today.

We’ve come a long way…

I want to also close out with many thanks to:
– Clemens for helping out with so much. Really man, thank you so much for your help!
– Phil for filling out to give me some time to breathe from time to time 🙂
– Tom Grey for the coffee machine
– Kai for the design of the logo. Many thanks to you!
– Andreas for this great website and the continuous IT help
– Michael for the help with the taxes. I would be in tax hell without you man! Thank you!
– Jonas for the camera and for the ideas. Thank you for pushing me when I needed it!
– My brother for the awesome paintings on the walls of the Arena!
– Everyone who believed in me and helped make Arena what it is today. You are da real mvps 😀
– All the haters who thought I wouldn’t make it past day 1. Thank you!

But most of all. Thanks to this guy.
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I would not be here without you man! Much love! 🙂

We went from this:
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to this:

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Bring it on 2016! I am so freakin’ ready for you!

As usual…See you in the Arena! 🙂