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Looking Back on 2023 and Forward to 2024

2023 Review - 2024 Preview

Every year, I write a retrospective about how my year went with MTG and look into the future to make personal goals for the upcoming year. 

Last year, I wanted to turn off the Spike in me to focus more on my relationship with MTG and approach to the learning process, as well as force myself to learn more at the cost of potentially winning games. This involved exploring decks, plays, ideas, and all that good stuff. 

While this year was the least amount of events I’ve played, and frankly the worst results I’ve had given so few opportunities, I’m happy with my current relationship with Magic in the game's current climate. 

We got the Pro Tour back in its new form this year. When we look back in the years to come, we’ll remember that as 2023's major feature. We'll also probably remember the historic runs of some players this season, such as Nathan Steuer’s incredible success only to lose the Player of the Year race to Simon Nielsen’s equally impressive run. 

Personally, my results were lackluster, but I only played two eventsa Regional Championship where I lost some close matches on day two to be out of contention and the first Pro Tour of the season where I had some tough games and luck, but my team did amazing with a deck I championed in testing. I prepared well for the events and gave myself a great shot at success. Pioneer is just a tough format with lots of swings. Unfortunately, it was the focus of the tournaments I played and a few draw steps didn’t go my way. There's no doubt in my mind that I’d find success sooner than later given enough opportunities with the approach I took, and what's important to me right now is making sure I make the most of my opportunities. 

I’m proud that I worked on and tuned Creativity with my testing team, advocated for the deck, and saw my teammates Gab Nassif and Reid Duke use it to make the Top 8 with Reid winning the tournament. While the results weren’t my individual results, I consider this a personal success. Many people don’t see me as a Constructed player because I focus and talk more about Limited on my stream and X (formerly Twitter), but my teammates and testing partners can tell you I do a lot of work in Constructed when there are stakes. 

I consider this past year a success despite having nothing to personally show for it. 

As for my goals and relationship with MTG for next year, I’ve already booked my first trip and tournament of 2024. I'll be playing the Standard 75k at Pro Tour Chicago and trying to earn a slot in the Pro Tour. Personally, the Regional Championship system just isn’t for me. It’s hard to get away on weekends from the family to take shots in RCQs, and it's not as fun without my friends all there.

My approach this year is to take it easy, go to events when I can, and when I do, prepare like it's a Pro Tour. Rather than force RCQs locally, if an event is convenient enough, like perhaps RC Montreal, I can try to LCQ into the main event. If not, I’ll hang out with my homie Alexander Hayne and enjoy the weekend. Other than that, the events I’m drawn to the most are similar to the old GP structure despite being so few and not having Pro Points involved to sustain. These events are held at Pro Tours, so I can see some overseas friends while I compete without the pressure of attending a tournament every weekend. It doesn’t get much better than that. 

For the upcoming event in Chicago, I think it will be easy to get an edge because most top players are focusing on Modern for the Regional Championship in Denver or Pioneer for the Pro Tour in Chicago. Standard is in a weird place with no huge tournaments coming up, just this new Grand Prix-style event, and it will be with new cards from a new set. That excites me as Standard could change a good bit with a new card pool and not many will have it in focus. I will be focused on it, and I hope to create some innovations that give me a deck edge. The event won’t have the strongest players in the world because they’ll all be playing in the Pro Tour, so I should have an experience and skill edge. 

I want to focus on the same goals this year as last year, which is to play what I want to, not what I need to, and continue to be comfortable not playing every Pro Tour, Worlds, or Regional Championship. I will not force myself to play the game I love or it quickly becomes a game I don’t.

Also, I want to be prepared for the events I play like I was playing in the Pro Tour. I realized over the past few years that the part I enjoy the most with big Magic events is the problem-solving process leading up to any big event, not the events themselves and my results, and there’s no reason I can’t focus on less prestigious events in the same vein. 

If I treat the events the same and play enough of them, then over time I’ll get the results I want. While my past goal was to play everything, now I don’t want to feel bad playing an event that I'm only playing because it’ll be good for future Siggy. I want to enjoy the game, the process, and most importantly, the company of my friends. 

I had planned to stream a good amount the past two months, but LCI Limited came out. After enjoying the set for 10 or so drafts, I thought maybe I’d get into it, but then I felt like I didn’t want to play the format anymore. It was too similar to previous formats, and while the mechanics were different, they didn’t add much to the gameplay experience, so I followed my instinct and stopped. 

It meant I had nothing to stream, but I'd rather want to play than force it. I took my own advice and sat the rest of the Limited season out. I spent any time on Magic looking at various Constructed formats. As far as my stream is concerned, I want to stream more this year and maybe branch out into playing video games if I don't have Magic I want to stream. 

While my relationship with OP will wax and wane over the years, so will my friends' relationships with the game. We can always keep each other up to date by discussing the game we love, and that's frankly just amazing. 

My ultimate goal in 2024 is to play another Pro Tour. If not, I'll at least give myself the best chance and treat every tournament I play seriously but let the chips fall where they may. After the New Year, I want to continue streaming the formats I enjoy, and I may branch out into streaming other games, but there's not yet a fixed schedule.

Happy holidays, and happy New Year everyone!

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