A Re-Introduction: Welcome to the Territory

A little less than one year ago, I was at home between my job and taking care of my daughter and watching videos of the Prof, SaffronOlive, and Wedge talking about Magic: The Gathering. MTG was a game that I knew from my college years…I remember cracking a box of Ice Age with some friends (such bad taste back then) and buying a Revised starter deck or two for impromptu games, but gave it up shortly after. I enjoyed the strategy of the game combined with the RNG aspect…even the best player could lose to the worst player if the gods of the cards were not in your favor. The uncertainty and high difficulty curve of the game intrigued me, along with the existence of alternate win conditions…which fascinated me. It sure was difficult to Align those Hedrons, but man…when you did, it was like graduating from college with less debt.

It was then that I decided to learn how to play MTG. Since my schedule was pretty tight, I decided to play almost exclusively on Magic: Online on weekday afternoons. I also decided, whether through masochism or outright curiosity, to stream 99% of my play on Twitch. I was not a streamer. I had never BEEN a streamer. But I had no one to teach me how to play, so I was going to need feedback. And if there’s anything that Twitch Chat LOVES, it’s feedback.

So I started streaming. My first-ever game of MTG was streamed to zero viewers. Thankfully, people came. There were people to correct my play, and suggest decks to play, and to encourage me when I lost yet another game. My taste revolved around Standard Constructed decks that involved alternate win conditions, tribes, and Panharmonicon. The jankier a deck was, the happier I was to play it. The stream, named FDTerritory for “Five Down Territory” (a play on a football term that meant it was do-or-die for the team with the ball…there’s another blog post that describes this), became known for the decks I played being Tier 5 jank.

Things gradually improved. My play improved. My streams improved, even though I’m still streaming on the laptop and iPad that I started with over a year ago. My overlays improved. I became one of the first Twitch Affiliates in the spring, and that was a pleasant surprise. I took up Modern and Pauper while never giving up the jank. I stayed on weekday afternoon duty. I recently dabbled in Ixalan Draft, where — a big surprise to everyone (including myself) — I won my first two trophies in draft league, although my heart will always be with my jank.

So…here we are. Tonight is the night of the Streamer Showdown…a draft that plays a set well before my time, against players much more experienced than I am, with lots of people watching every play. It’s unnerving, but I’m excited…excited for me, and excited and thankful for my followers and subscribers (the members of the Territory Council) who continue to show up to my little corner of Twitch when they could be anywhere else.

No fear. Play like we’ve come from nothing. Because we have. Thanks, y’all.