2021 – Out with the old and in with the new

Let the past be the past

What was this year anyway? A rollercoaster of lockdowns that we all rode and weren’t allowed off. I felt like that for sure. It has been way too stressful and mentally brutal at times. Everything felt like a crawl most days and when the light turned green, it already went to yellow then red. We got used to functioning unperturbed by whatever life could throw at us, but then we got to be the biggest jokes ever. If aliens would be watching they would most likely slap their faces with all the 9 hands they have looking at all the people who scream all day everyday “I’m free to not wear a mask”, “You’re suppressing my rights”, “Wearing a mask is the same thing as being a nazi” and so much more shit that I have heard during this entire bad trip. But let’s not dwell on this anymore. 2021 is already here and I have a feeling that this coming year will change us for the better.

One of the main questions I get from various people is if I think that my store is done, dead, deceased. To be in tune with the beforementioned adjectives, I would say it’s dormant. It’s hibernating in its cozy little cave and awaiting the warm spring air to pleasantly wake it up. Self-preservation is currently the number one priority. Once this big hurdle will be over, I am sure things will start looking up again. The most pessimistic view I have of how long corona will continue to be a pain in the ass is a year. I am hopeful though and am aiming for six months. I believe it can be achieved regardless of the conspiracy theorists out there or the pseudo-scientists who got their degree from YouTube videos of Hans explaining how his chicken laid two different colored eggs one time and that’s because Bill Gates sent 5G waves into this said chicken and therefore don’t vaccinate.

The state of the game

People are quitting Magic and Yu-gi-oh. Is that true? Maybe it is. Will that mean that I will not have a customer base for any upcoming tournaments once we’re all allowed to live freely as we used to? Of course not. People quit and start card games all the time. And corona hasn’t made things different in this regard. Everyone needs a break from Magic from time to time, either because life just throws shit at you or because the game feels worn out. Passion comes and goes and that’s totally fine. Will people come back to playing in-store again once this is over? After all, most will want to go traveling, rampaging through bars and restaurants in a seemingly endless binge of “I want to socialize”. Yeah, for sure. I can include myself in that category of wanting to travel for a bit. I feel trapped and chained down and that’s not healthy for anyone regardless of corona or not. But once that’s out of my system and I am done with the travels, the drinking and the eating out, what should I do with my spare time? Should I go back to playing PC games again? Hell no!

You may not know of this special salt that is created and harvested at a Magic table. You can only get this type of salt in your local store when your opponent cringes at the top card of their deck during a tournament. It’s high-quality salt that most of us want to get a hold of. Sometimes we’re the ones who produce it, but that’s part of the game, isn’t it? Jokes aside, I don’t think that the feeling of playing in a tournament against other like-minded people will just stop existing. I have put most of my cards up for sale, but I still kept two modern decks at the ready for when the time comes. The moment that I get the green light I want to say adios to PC games for a long time. I want to shuffle up, cut and draw seven again. I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited at getting mana screwed in my life!

A tale of hundreds of thousands of cards

Speaking of selling my cards. It’s a big step for me to have so much organization in my single card collection. I have uploaded 139.009 cards up to now. It has been an enormous effort. I can easily compare this to one of the 12 labours of Hercules. Re-uploading an entire collection to Cardmarket should be considered the 13th labour of Hercules. Slaying the Nemean Lion? Done. Checking for the condition of hundreds of thousands of cards and then making sure they are labelled correctly in each box? I’d rather you put my soulless body in a boat, set fire to it and hope that my sacrifice was enough for the gates of Valhalla to open up for me. I still have loads of boxes to upload though. I just took a break from that and tried to enjoy the holidays. In all honesty, they haven’t really felt like the holidays of old, but it’s alright to have an off-year once every decade. From what I understand stores would be allowed to open sometime in January. I am not really 100% on that, actually expecting things to turn around in February or March. This should allow me to fully finish with all the uploading, re-pricing and organizing in my store. The end result will make things easier for anyone who wants to purchase cards from me as there will be a 99% accuracy rate of all my cards.

New editions

Kaldheim is coming up and I have to be honest in saying that I personally haven’t checked any of the cards. For the sake of being able to sell my cards, I should take a look yeah…BUT! What if I don’t and just draft the very first-time Kaldheim without knowing any of the mechanics or cards inside? It would be just like in the old times when I used to draft at Ghosthouse, when there were no spoilers and you just had to read the cards while drafting. Damn, I miss that. So that’s my resolution if you wanna call it that, for Kaldheim. I want to experience this set just like 10 years or so ago when Shadowmoor was still a thing. It’s important to note that I will not purchase any Kaldheim product unless any of you will personally request it from me. I will automatically have prerelease packs, but I don’t plan on getting more until things calm down and I can actually open the store on a daily basis. I don’t want to have products that just collect dust on shelves. Message me either on Facebook or Whatsapp if you are interested in preordering stuff. The same goes for Yu-Gi-Oh. I plan on restocking everything once I am sure that things will be able to run smoothly again.

Personal time

Not everything has been dark and gloomy for me during these times of uncertainty. I have rediscovered some parts of me that I felt I have forgotten about. I want to tell everyone who is reading this: don’t be too hard on yourself if you haven’t used this downtime for something super creative and special or that you didn’t get tons of workouts in. It’s completely fine to just get by nowadays. The simple act of moving forward right now is a huge deal and every one of us should be congratulated on making it into the next day. Things will get better. Once they do, you can set realistic goals for yourself without having the pressure of a looming virus always biting at your every decision. Chill for a while. The moment life will kick into gears again, you’ll surely feel overwhelmed yet again as you used to. Maybe this might sound weird, but if you’re one of the people who know will get vaccinated to stop this pandemic, you should give yourself some time to relax and enjoy whatever free days you got now. Everything will be back to normal sooner than we all think.

Season’s greetings

I want to take this small moment to thank everyone who has been a supporter of the Arena and myself as well. Thank you for buying a display, a pack of sleeves or a small die from me. If you think it’s not much, I can assure you it’s more than enough and I appreciate you for it. I can’t wait to be able to offer you all a warm place where you can enjoy your favorite card games again! The only reason I ever opened a store was to have tournaments of all kinds and events to bring people together. This hasn’t changed and will not change for as long as I continue to work at the most awesome nerd-cave in Ingolstadt!

A happy new year and Guten Rutsch!

See you in the Arena!