The Southern Ontario Open was this past weekend and it was a ton of fun! JVM won iron gauntlet and Tim Banky, co-founder of the convention, won Masters. I played both events and had a great time, it was a well organised and run event and is starting to draw more “international celebrities”. If you didn’t go this year you should totally make a point of going next year, it’s a quality con, up there with Captain Con, Grots Con etc and well worth the time.
Something I wanted to address were some of the murmurings and whispering I’ve heard since Tim won masters with cryx on Sunday. Some of the things I’ve heard are; “the con organiser winning the event seems shifty” and “the event was capacity and they had to turn some people away. Seems bad the con organiser playing and those that paid couldn’t”.
To begin with, Tim is a pillar of this hobby, having spent years as a Judge and PG building the game and community. Personally he’s a dedicated mentor and humble master of the game who has shepherded innumerable players into the hobby. When Tim and Matt started SOO, they wanted to create a quality event that would attract international players and be something they would want to play in themselves. Well, it’s safe to say they have accomplished this goal and are well deserving of reaping their reward of being able to taste the fruits of their victory.
What sense does it make to fault someone, who contributes so much to the community and undertakes the creation of a quality event, at great personal and financial expense? Why should the movers and shakers of our community be excluded from the rich rewards of their labour?
Personally, I have seen Scott, my partner in crime at Party Foul, spend a lot of time and money organising events like the World Ender Series, Ontario Team Championship and his upcoming con; Tabletop Gaming Expo, or TGX. All of these events contribute massively to the health of the community and I’m not sure there is enough thanks and admiration given to the individuals like Scott and Tim who work tirelessly to build the community. OTC is in its fourth year and I recently told Scott that if he wanted to play in the event I would take his place to run it. I think he’s done more than enough to earn the right to play, just as Tim has done.
Finally, Tim played some real challenging opponents over the weekend and rose victorious each time. There’s nothing shifty about defeating that quality of player consistently. That takes skill, knowledge and talent. Without a doubt, Tims win was well deserved.
So if you’re having these negative thought about this subject, or you’ve heard some of these murmurs and whispers, take a moment to reflect and ask yourself if you’ve done half of what Tim has done for the community. Or if you hear others saying these sorts of things, ask them why the best of us, who do more for others than themselves, should be excluded from some of the best events the community has to offer.
Honestly, now, more than ever, with the removal of the PG program, the community needs organisers and builders within the community. If we continue to latch ourselves onto out-modded notions that are based on some misplaced sense of honour that organisers should be segregated from players, then there will be less events and the community will fragment and dissolve. There used to be another organisation in Southern Ontario that ran great events but stopped doing so because the organisers wanted to play and the archaic notion that organisers shouldn’t be players prevented them from making a leap from organiser to player. As a result the community as a whole lost a great moment to come together.
I for one applaud Tim for not only showing his ability to organise and run a quality con but to also demonstrate his ability to play this game as well. The two should not be mutually exclusive and I hope that Tim’s courage to challenge these ridiculous notions give others the courage to do the same.
And now a meme, because Tim loves that shit!
Now go buy a ticket to TGX!