28 December 2018

Foundation at Play: Calling All Wizards

Photo cred: Robert (https://flic.kr/p/oqo4m6)

Now that winter has officially arrived and the walking path is buried in snow, many members of our Foundation crew are opting to stay inside. Whether that means taking lunch in a cozy Strongsville restaurant or hunkering down in the cafeteria or game room depends on who you’re asking. However, the next employee-run group in our Foundation at Play series has definitely carved out a space for themselves to keep the indoor action entertaining — the Magic: The Gathering Club.

For those who don’t know, Magic: The Gathering is a trading card game where players compete using a variety of different cards, including spells, artifacts and creatures, based around elements and play styles to defeat their opponents.

Started by programmer Frank Rongone and quality assurance engineer Chris Beck, the Magic: The Gathering club initially came about as a simple way to indulge in a shared hobby. “When Chris and I first started at Foundation a few years ago, we found out that we both played Magic,” Frank explains. However, they found out that their shared hobby was actually shared by quite a few others — and more than that — it’d actually been a regular tournament before they’d joined the company. “We found out that Foundation had hosted a few Magic: The Gathering drafts in the past,” Frank says, “but no one was currently hosting them here.”

Oliver Hallmann (https://flic.kr/p/ecBoTs)

So, in the hopes that they’d be able to bring back the previous competitions, Frank and Chris started to ask around, and before long they’d managed to start a small tournament. “After that we slowly got more people to play.”

Unlike many of the employee-run clubs, the Magic: The Gathering club doesn’t hold regular meetings. Instead, the club operates around regular tournaments. “The current tournament has 13 people in it.” Frank states, “Players will play their games usually during lunch hours and set up their own matches. The way we structure the tournaments, they take about a month. Once one tournament is wrapping up we set a date to start a new one.”

And so far the current method seems to be working. “This current tournament has the most players ever, including four players that are brand new or returning to Magic: The Gathering.” Frank says.

As for the future of the club, “We hope to one day get to 16 players, so that we can play a very easily made bracket tournament.”

Interested to learn more about the game or have a favorite game of your own to recommend? Let us know!