Written by RThomas on March 14, 2011
Greetings and welcome to the third installment in our series of Magic-League interviews, where we find out more about Magic-League.com's notable personalities. Today we're speaking to derflippi, director of Site Maintenance and Human Resources.
RThomas: Please introduce yourself so we can get to know you a bit better.
derflippi: derflippi, Philip, 22 years old, living near Frankfurt in Germany, work in South Germany, Army (military police company)
RT: When did you begin playing Magic? When and how did you find your way to Magic-League?
D: I started playing Magic with Masques and Sixth Edition, my first real deck was an Invasion Kavu deck. The first sanctioned tournament dates back to August 2003. I have no idea how I came to Magic-League. I know I used to play on E-league with Apprentice, and joined Magic-League in April 2005. But I don't know what i did between E-league and April 2005.
RT: In your own words, describe what you do at Magic-League
D: I make sure what needs to be done is done and bring forward major changes of the site. I am "responsible for staff recruitment and task restructuring and overall development of Magic-League's strategic plans." And I play Magic.
RT: So you basically oversee many of the daily operations of the league?
D: Not exactly. I rather make sure that that daily operations are overseen by other people. I make sure that what needs to be done is done by someone. I can't direct people since they're all volunteers, I can just ask them for favors. I can lead them and improve their experience by education, but not direct them.
RT: The league has grown substantially since you first joined the staff. What have been some of the biggest changes that you've been a part of?
D: MWS was pushed forward a lot. Knowledge about the programs flaws helped to make guidelines on its use more clear, and make more solid rulings regarding technical MWS problems. Then the WotC Cease & Desist Order; other staff members say I was the one who made Magic-League survive through this. It's not really a change, but a major subject for me in Magic-League. Then Magic-League changed its staff structure.
Instead of Judge Managers who have no real tasks assigned to them, I worked towards a task-based staff. Now we have a list of things that need to be done and then decide who does what. That way, no topic like the long-term schedule of high profile tournaments is forgotten. Also: When some part of our site management doesn't work too well, we can solve it easier by talking to the person responsible for that part of the management.
RT: Can you speak a little further about the Cease & Desist situation for those who're unfamiliar about it? What happened, how did it change the league, and what role did you play in resolving the situation?
D: In April 2009, Koen, the owner of Magic-League received mail from a WotC attorney. It included some allegations and asked him to cease and desist from any further action with Magic-League. But actually, only a few parts of the site had to be changed to make Magic-League completely legal again. We didn’t make clear that we're not affiliated with the official Magic brand before. Now we do make that distinction.
Another change is that we no longer provide downloads and support for any Software that could be infringing the copyright of Hasbro/Wizards of the Coast. We don't do MWS tournaments any longer. We let the participants decide themselves how they carry out their match. One disadvantage I see in this policy is that we can not easily push new promising software such as from cockatrice.de forward. It also makes it more difficult for new players on Magic-League to get information about how to actually start playing.
My role in the changes was that I suggested to Koen these changes. In that time, I had some copyright law knowledge from university anyways, so I added some personal interest in the American copyright law, spent hours in gathering information and creating proposals, so had good practice for the exam. I checked through the C&D letter in detail and examined it to what were empty threats and what we should indeed change.
RT: The staff of Magic-League is a gathering of individuals from different continents, cultures and languages. What makes the group function together so well?
D: We all aim to make Magic-League a place to enjoy playing Magic at.
RT: In your opinion, what is it that keeps players returning to Magic-League? There are many other conduits through which Magic may be played, both casual and competitive. What makes Magic-League stand out in your mind?
D: You can be creative at your full extension. You can also improve your play enormously if you want to. If you're not interested in competition or being creative, there's still a large community where a lot of people know each other.
RT: What's the future hold for Magic-League and its players from your point of view?
D: Magic-League will always be what its community makes out of it. If everyone on here starts playtesting for PTQs or GPs, then it will stay the one site where the latest and most up-to-date decklists come from. If more and more players play the popular RFT and other Other formats, then it will become a place to chill from the competition. People would go to the official MTGO to play competitive Magic then. I as staff try to not direct Magic-League in that matter: It's always what the players make out of it. After all, the staff doesn't make Magic-League alive. The many judges and users do.
RT: We can't get through the interview without asking about your favorites. What's your favorite card and set in Magic?
D: I am a huge fan of Fact or Fiction. My special pet card however is clearly Zur's Weirding, the unique powerful lock card. My favorite set is probably Mercadian Masques. It has the color wheel so well and I love the flavor of almost all cards in it.
RT: In the past, we've seen you play some very unique decks. What's your philosophy behind deckbuilding for your favorite formats?
D: Cards don't win games. Strategies win. A wise American politician once said: When you play, play hard; when you work, don't play at all. Either you play a game to play the game, or you work out strategies and tactics to always find the optimal option among all possible options. When I build a deck to win a tournament, I often approach it like an economic problem, as analysis.
RT: Have you had any tournament performances online or in real life that you can share?
D: My best record was clearly 20th at GP Firenze. Other than that, several Limited PTQ Top8s (lost quarterfinals always). I have not played in a PT yet and never reached day2 at a GP other than Firenze.
RT: Have you met any Magic-League players in real life? If not, who would you like to meet?
D: I've met some Italians, Shooter, PV, most Germans and Dutchies and Kaesh. I'd like to meet everyone who also wants to meet me, especially the rest of the staff and other active members of the community.
RT: In closing, what does derflippi want to share with Magic-League and its players? The floor is yours!
D: Discussion brings knowledge. Arguing doesn’t.
Thanks for reading the third in this series of interviews of Magic-League.com's notable personalities. Look for more to come in the coverage section of Magic-League.com soon!
by Sebas_ on 2011-03-16 05:19 CET
lt. Flippi i want to meet you
by Shooter on 2011-03-31 03:23 CET
by on 2012-06-01 03:25 CET
by on 2012-06-01 03:25 CET
sorry for the fail comments
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