Magic Online Invitational 2002
Rumors have been circulating about the demise of the Magic Invitational in recent months, but a post to Sideboard Online has dispelled these rumors, at least for this year.
According to the Announcement, the 2002 Invitational will be held in sunny Seattle, Washington, bringing the premier event's continent count to 6. Plans were in the works to hold the Invitational to Antarctica, but WotC was faced with both a lack of human population and savage budget cuts. In order to be as cheap and stingy as possible, Mark Rosewater, with the "guidance" of WotC executives, chose the home of the WotC itself, eliminating the need for costly tours, food, and transportation for Rosewater.
As an additional cost-saving measure, the company has chosen to have the invitational played entirely on their new software crack, Magic Online. While they claim the move to cyberspace is an innovation that truly brings the invitational to the public, sources claim it is actually a "cheapass cop-out" on the part of WotC.
For the duration of the event, the invitees will utilize Mark Rosewater's personal internet connection and some computers "borrowed" from Wizards of the Coast to access Magic Online. While Rosewater has only a single 56k access plan, each player will be alloted 3k each for their MTGO needs. Actively attempting to disconnect a player will result in a sound scolding by Mark.
Every year, the Magic Invitational has been host to a variety of popular and unusual formats, ranging from duplicate limited, where each player is given the same limited card pool with which to build a deck, to Standard, where each player is given Psychatog. This time, the use of online software has given shape to some of the most interesting formats yet.
In Seventh Edition Booster Draft, invitees will be challenged to play with the set everyone has heard about, but nobody has opened. The sixteen players will draft digital representations of the first white bordered cards they have played with in years.
Auction of the Precons is the latest variation of the deck auction format that has quickly become a standard at the Invitational. The invitees will bid in starting life and cards in hand for Standard-legal preconstructed decks like as Swoop, Domain, and a wide variety of subpar R&D concoctions.
The third event, Endurance MODO, will test the player's skills at staying awake. Starting at 4 PM, the trial will consist of no less than fourteen hours of sitting in front of a computer playing an OD-TO sealed tournament, with more points being earned by simply staying awake rather than by match wins.
The card pools for this year's Duplicate Limited is still under wraps, but Rosewater is sure to keep the slave--err, programmers at Leaping Lizard on their toes with his insanely devious mind, now that he is no longer limited to the constraints of reality.
The final format, Standard (Type 2) will feature Psychatog...online.
Another tradition of the Magic Invitational, the player dinner, will be held in Mark Rosewater's backyard. Burgers and hot dogs will be served by Rosewater, who plans to wear a "Kiss the Chef, Don't Eat Him" apron. Weiner, by the way, makes a delectable lunch treat.
Several prospective invitees have expressed disappointment at the choice of venues, which is notably less exotic than previous locations. Kai Budde, already guaranteed a slot in the event, has said, "Those had better be some damned good weiners."