ChampionClix Open January 2023

Here we go! Another tournament I travelled for! I think I’m just going to turn this into one long post instead of breaking it up by day, like I sometimes do. So be warned that this is a long one!
I headed to Florida for the ChampionClix Open. 3 days of tournaments and a charity dinner. The first question I kept getting asked when people heard I was going to Florida was if I was doing Disney. The answer is nope. I had no desire to do anything Disney related. I was more than content to travel, hang out by the pool, have meals and drinks with friends and play a bunch of clix.

Thursday – travel day

My dad drove me to the airport so I wouldn’t have to wear my winter jacket (I normally don’t mind taking public transit to the airport, but I really didn’t want to travel with my winter coat on the plane). Jay met me at the airport at 7:30am and we headed over to security and customs and got through super quickly. When we got through, our flight was delayed another 30 minutes, making it now 1 hour delayed (I saw a notification on my app when I woke in the morning alerting me to the 1st 30-minute delay). The flight itself was smooth, other than it being a little cramped. This was definitely a smaller aircraft – but I didn’t have my biggest anxiety around flying happen, even with it being a smaller plane, so yay! We called an Uber to the hotel and arrived right at 4, just in time for check-in. Jay messages David and PJ and finds out they’re at the pool bar so we head down and met up with Newmark, PJ, Mike and Louis at pool bar and grab a drink for happy hour (Louis told me about this blended mango daiquiri and I very much enjoyed it). A little while later Lucas, Kevin and Alex join us and we grab a table to grab wings and such for dinner. As we’re getting ready to order, in walk Kaleb and Eric and an extra table gets added and they join us too. I grabbed wings (Burbon BBQ – no honey garlic on the menu unfortunately) and shared a couple chips with guac from Kaleb. A few of us decide to hit the pool so we all get changed and meet back downstairs – the pool that was supposed to be heated was pretty cool so we changed it up and decided on the hot tub instead and had some great conversations while relaxing and hanging out. Some of the guys went back to their rooms to get some practice in and have some drinks but we decide to go back to room after to finalize our Prince/Pauper teams for the next day – choosing maps, putting pieces on maps for opening moves and decide which tarot cards we’re going with. All in all, a great 1st day and I’m glad we went the day before tournaments, and early enough to get some hanging out time in.

Friday – Prince/Pauper

We started the day out for breakfast with Matt, Louis, Kenny and Beezie. I had a wrap with egg, cheese, sausage and potato with pico for dipping and some fresh fruit.

This event is a team event, and my partner is Jay. He wanted to play the Prince team, so I was happy to take the Pauper team. I looked at all the beefy figures and decided that I wanted to build around Silver Surfer. I initially had a Fantastic Four team built (with the help from Mike on one of the car trips travelling to a clix event), but I also thought that it was a 300-point game when it was really a 400-point game. There wasn’t much more from Fantastic Four that I wanted to add so after chatting with Devin, it changed into a Cosmic team instead. The final build ended up being Silver Surfer equipped with Illusion Generator (I really wanted the Warlock sword, but it was being considered LE for this event and only available on Prince teams), Vulcan equipped with Muramasa Blade, Franklin Richards, Sprite, Molecule Man and Star Sapphire. My Tarot deck consisted of Three of Swords, Ten of Penticles, The Star, Eight of Cups, Six of Wands.

Round 1. Of course, after travelling across the border to be there, we get the first-round bye. We chose to take the time to half practice while gabbing with people. I always joke that 1st round is for practice and it’s really what happened. I definitely needed it after not having played the team at all. A few things came up that I didn’t realize I could do because I’d never played some of the figures before – like Dawn’s special attack power.

Round 2 I’m facing Matt Ventura who’s playing an unthemed team of danger room guys Apocalypse, Juggernaut, Sebastion Shaw, Mystique with Franklin Richards, Wolverine with sword bearer, Ghost Rider with Angler and Mary Jane Watson. I win map and take us to Negative Zone to protect with some barrier as he advances. I’m able to take hits at people and get back with the hypersonic to protect and slowly take shots on people. I’m first able to get out Mystique in one turn after she bases me by outwitting her rollouts. Then I take a few shots on Apoc. He came up with Franklin and I’m able to get enough hits on him to take him out. He ties Vulcan up with Juggernaut and Shaw and I finish off Apoc just in time before he can get a rally die on to Shaw (he’d rolled 2 1’s already for his error tokens) to beef him up. He was able to take out Vulcan eventually when his dice were finally nice to him and also used the dropped Muramasa blade in an attack, but it wasn’t enough to get him ahead of what I’d already taken when time was called. I won 150-85.

Round 3 I’m against Adam M. He’s playing X-Men swap starting with Vulcan with Muramasa, Scarlet Witch, Dazzler, Magik with sword bearer, Professor X, Dr Moira Mactaggart, Exodus, Cuckoo, Mister Sinister. Can’t remember his swaps but I know he brought in a Cuckoo and got rid of Dazzler and Prof X for sure, but I can’t remember what else he brought in. He won map and took us to Barnstable Wedding. This was very much a game of Emily can’t hit anything. He had all the 1’s dice replacement to be able to make me miss every single attack I tried to pull off that actually hit. He first took out Vulcan, then Franklin, then Molly and Sprite. I wasn’t successful in getting any KO’s myself and lost 0-205.

Round 4 my opponent is Matt Esbrook and he’s playing an unthemed team with starter Watcher with pumpkin bombs, Blue Marvel with US agent shield, Molecule Man with super soldier serum, Moira X, Manifold, Wolverine with sword bearer. I win map and put us on Otherworld Castle. We were both playing the positioning game for the first few turns, trying to stay out of each other’s strike range while in the process of screwing ourselves out of being able to get to each other. He went up on the elevated and barriered up around the team. About turn 4 I think, I decided to not be so protective of my Molly and used him to come up and change some of his barrier to water and went in for a strike. I was able to take out his Molly with that attack, so no more barrier for him. He tried to take a hit on Surfer, but I rolled shape change and got an Illusion pog. I next turned my sights on Manifold to take away all those high close defenses he was granting to everyone around him and was successful getting him out. He brought up Blue Marvel to take out Sapphire and then time was called and I won 60-25. Jay won his games too and we made the cut into top 8.

Top 8 match was against Matty G. He was playing an X-Men swap starting with Wolverine, Cypher, Professor X, Exodus with pumpkin bombs, Dazzler, Magik, Wolverine with sword bearer, Cuckoo and Mister Sinister. Again, can’t remember his swaps (and only remember the starting force because I take pictures of build sheets). He won map and put us on Chemical Plant. A lot of this game was me learning what his figures did, with the combination of die replacement making me miss everything. I didn’t realize Karima sees through elevated and thought I was better protected than I was. Combined with all the SHIELD, she was quite a force! He ended up able to pick off my pieces one by one as I tried to make attacks and hit things while never being successful. He ended up winning 0-225 and we were done for the day.

By getting knocked out of the tournament, we were able to play a brick battle royal of Batman. I really liked the way they did these. Everyone gets 2 boosters to build a 300-point team with and the last 2 boosters get opened at the end and added into the snake draft. Everyone is given the ability to once per game generate a construct that wasn’t generated this game so you can use what comes in the booster. They also had the re-spawn rule, so everyone was always playing and never completely wiped out. This was my first time touching any of the Batman pieces and seeing what any of them did, as I hadn’t really looked over the set much. We had a great brick and I ended up winning this one!

After, we went for dinner across the street at another hotel for Italian food and drinks with a big group again. I had the spaghetti with meatballs with a glass of sangria, and it was so good. Then back to room again to fill out build sheets for Modern the next day and finalize maps/tarot cards again while also putting the team on the map to decide how I’m setting up for each choice.

Saturday – 300 Modern

This event was early morning so it could be over in time for the charity event dinner, so we did a quick breakfast at the coffee shop, grabbing a bagel, banana and tea.

The team I was playing was a Ruler theme with prize Apocalypse at 145 with sword bearer, prize Genesis at 35 with sword bearer, prize Saturnyne, Death Metal Wonder Woman, Surtur Legacy and Destroyer on the sideline. My main tarot deck was Eight of Cups, Three of Penticles, Five of Penticles, King of Wands, Ace of Swords, The Chariot. My sideline tarots for Saturnyne were Ace of Cups, Queen of Wands, Page of Swords, The Star, The High Priestess. This was the event I was stressing the most over. I only had a chance to play the team twice the weekend before with Mike and I wasn’t feeling as prepared as I wanted to be. There were a lot of parts to the team and what it could do that wasn’t feeling second nature to me yet and I know I was missing things in the game.

Round 1 my opponent is John who has an X-Men swap of Apocalypse at 35, Genesis at 35 with cloak, Gorgon with sword bearer, Professor X with emotional modifier, Cuckoo, Sky Tyrant, Commissioner, Wonder Woman. He swapped out Gorgon, Prof X, Apoc and Cuckoo for Jubilee, Multiple Man, Leech, Venom Mags. He won map and put us on Otherworld Castle. He took first turn to equip the dropped swords. I took my first turn to spread everyone out so he couldn’t get more than 1 person with Sky Tyrant. He did come out with Tyrant and wasn’t able to KO anything and I was able to get him on my turn. Then he came up with Jubilee and missed again. He wasn’t successful on his shape change with her and I took her out. He brought up Leech next to Apoc and again missed his attacks, so I was able to take out Leech on my next turn. I also was able to take out Venom Mags. He was finally able to take some points by hitting Genesis, but one of the attacks was with Rookie and the Mystics took him out in the process. He used my sword in an attack for some more points when time got called and in the end, I’d won 240-45. 1-0.

Round 2 was with Sam Powell. She had an Arakko team with Blackheart with Soulsword, Sakky with cloak, Sky Tyrant with Pogg-Ur-Pogg, Genesis with sword bearer, Venom Mags and Commissioner. She wins map and puts us on Iron Mans Workshop. I take the side without the elevated. Those big blocking corners make it really hard for me to spread out to the side as much as I’d like to and am forced to go forward with a few people. I kept Surtur and Saturnyne the furthest back, so she has to go furthest to get the easiest people with Sky Tyrant. She does make her way over with Tyrant and takes out Saturnyne, putting him on click 2 from the mystics and making him not so scary and then she sacks a guard for Blackheart to get far enough to take out Surtur. She was surprised when I didn’t bring him back with Wonder Woman. Then she brought over Sakky to Genesis, and I rolled the game changing shape change from the Warlock sword. I remembered to roll for Destroyer from Sky Tyrant’s attack and got him out this turn. I ended up being able to take out Sakky next turn between Genesis flurry, Apoc attack and Destroyer attack. She turned her Blackheart to take shots on Wonder Woman, who got successful senses. I turned my efforts on to Sky Tyrant and got him out. From here we had a bunch of back and forth, but no other pieces were taken down other than another guard (she did manage to get through Wonder Woman with some of those attacks, but she used the once per game revive to bring herself back), and when time was called, I had 150-60 and whopped her ass (her words, she said I had to include that exact phrase in my write up, lmao!) 2-0

Round 3 was against Kaleb with an unthemed team of Sakky with cloak, Demon in Armor with captain carter’s shield, Ch’p, The Flash, Felix Faust, Saturnyne x2 one with emotional modifier, one with darkhold. I won map and put us on Starlords Ship. I inched up a bit to be in better strike position. He moved his crew up against the edge of the map near the center. His goal was taking out Surtur next turn. He was 1 square away from my being able to phase to him with Apoc, but thankfully the phasing tarot card flipped and got me close enough to make a range attack. Ch’p was my only target from how he was positioned. I wasn’t happy with my choice, but it was the only one I had and of course I couldn’t roll high enough to hit, needing 10’s or 11’s after the Saturnyne’s. He was able to get over to Surtur with Flash and KO him and then over to attack my Saturnyne, KOing her with an object. I made Demon my target, coming in at him with everything I had. A charge from Wonder Woman that was successful, phased in with Apoc and missed with my attack having been perplexed down, then charged in with Genesis to flurry and managed to hit again to take him out. This was my only string of high attacks this game. He was able to get his Destroyer in from these attacks and Kaleb did the not often done thing with him – equipped him with the shield that Demon dropped! Now my goal was to try and get either Flash or Ch’p but that was the end of my being able to hit attacks. He moved everyone away and was able to keep them away behind Sakky to body block. This was such a good close match and if I could have hit my last few attacks, I would have squeeked up on points. Kaleb took the win 50-60. 2-1

Round 4 opponent was Mike H playing an X-Men team with Legacy Thanos with Skybreaker, Genesis with sword bearer, Apocalypse at 35 and Deadpool. I won map and put us on Fountain of Asgard. I wanted the most open map I had so he couldn’t hide as easy. I stayed back and passed my first turn. He moved up and barriered in with Thanos choosing reality but had 1 square open at the back. I couldn’t quite get to that square myself, so I moved up Apoc and Genesis and spread everyone out as much as possible to try and make the pending mind control as difficult as possible for him. He wasn’t successful with his attacks in the mind control. I came over with Apoc and hit Thanos for 5. He made a bunch of attacks not KOing anything but hurting Wonder Woman. I retal’d with Surtur and hit Thanos with him. I was tied up with Deadpool so tried to get him out, but he rolled his senses. He was able to take out Surtur and hurt Genesis while getting a steal energy in with the soul gem. He did forget to roll his free regen though. I tried again to take out Deadpool to another successful senses roll. He took out Genesis and then used the dropped sword in an attack. I finally was able to take out Deadpool with Apoc but wasn’t able to get over to Thanos with Wonder Woman as he’d hit her on to flurry clicks. Time got called and I lost 40-70. 2-2 now and need to win the next game with lots of points for even a chance at the cut.

Round 5 game was with Tyler running an X-Men team with Genesis with tesseract, Apocalypse with sword bearer (Colony), Blackheart with soulsword, Wonder Woman with Emotional Modifier, Sakky with cloak, Spirit of the Game. I won map and put us on Starlords Ship. I decided to try Muramasa on Genesis this game instead of Warlock and ended up regretting making that change and not having the rollout. He had emod on -1 attack for the game to make my attacks more difficult. I moved up Apoc and Genesis a bit to be in better strike position, while protected a little with the walls. He moved up about 1/3 of the way up the map. I went in with Apoc, the only one who could reach, and took out Spirit for quick points. He attacked and I think missed and also sacked a guard for more attacks. I brought Genesis in to try and make some attacks and missed. He attacked Genesis with Apoc to Stop, losing his sword and then taking her out with Blackheart. He got Sakky out of the group and over to my back line to take out Surtur. I tried making attacks, but it didn’t do much. He was able to then take out Saturnyne with Sakky. He sacked a guard to get some attacks on my Apoc and hit me to stop, losing his sword. I was trying to get through his Wonder Woman but couldn’t get my attacks to stick. He hit with Wonder Woman getting me to my next stop, losing her emod. He sacked another guard and got me to my last stop. I think he also had my Wonder Woman on stop at that point too. He hit her, she revived, and he poisoned her with Sakky to finish her off . He was about to sack another guard when time was called. I only had a very hurt Apoc left on the map, but if he’d sacked that last guard, I would have won. 125-145, 2-3.

That ends the modern event for me, as I unsurprisingly don’t make the cut. I know I missed a lot of what my team could do. Thinking back on it, I know I forgot a lot of my extra rolls from close attacks on my main 3 from Apocs trait. Also the the Soulsword extra effect. I’m sure I forgot Destroyer a few times, but I remembered a few more times than I used to – so I’m happy about that!

Jay did make the cut, so I decide to take some time to recharge from all the being social and go up to the room by myself for about 45 minutes for some quiet and meditation. I really needed that grounding and I’m glad I listened to how I was feeling and took that time to center myself. When I came back down, I had time to play another brick battle royal to snag some more BTU stuff (mainly constructs was what I was choosing in drafting for these. I want to get them all and battle royals are a great way to do that). Dinner tonight was the charity dinner with Scott Porter raising funds for Huntington’s. As we ate, the had some fun entertainment of Scott P, Scott C (lesser Scott) and PJ hosting trivia. Our table was Kennie, Jay, Az and me. Kennie came up with the perfect team name of Canadian Sidesteppers and we ended up winning! After that the silent auctions ended (I didn’t win what I was bidding on, so I just made a donation) and people were then bidding to have a chance to play in drunken Heroclix. I had zero desire to play that, but I did stick around to watch the 1st round to see who was making it into the final round. While I stuck around, I ended up chatting with Alex and we had a great conversation and enjoyed that connection. Around midnight, I ended up going up to the room myself while Jay stuck around to watch the 2nd round of drunken Heroclix. This gave me a bit more quiet alone time and I took a few minutes to pack a bit and organize my stuff with the room to myself before crashing.

Sunday – 3×3 sealed

Jay and I knew we were going to be on a team together, but with no other Canadians going, we needed to look for a 3rd. There was a post that went up in one of the Facebook groups for those looking for teammates. Jay noticed Matt Ventura said he was looking for a team, so Jay reached out to him and asked if he wanted to be with us and he said yes! Leading up to the event, we had a group chat where we talked about naming our team and I suggested something with Spirit of the Game (because of the pog Matt got to create) and something maybe JSA for Jay’s podcast and team that we’re on. It ended up being Spirits of the Game and I love it! We also talked about what kind of team we’re hoping to build, and I spoke up right away hoping for either Hulk or Thanos. Wouldn’t you know, the very first booster I opened had Hulk in it! My team ended up being Hulk, Ms Marvel at 35, Mantis and Dr Strangeat 40 with an Astral Strange and Wong on the side.

Round 1 my opponent is Don who has an Avengers theme team with Sentry prime, Wonderman at 100, Wonderman at 65 with another Wonderman 100 on the side, Mantis. He moved up about 1/3 way up the map and I moved up a little too. I knew my 1st target was Sentry and I was able to 1 turn him using Hulk with an object and Ms Marvel choosing giant and cce with an object. The next thing I wanted to go after was the outwit, so I needed to get an attack off on 65pt Wonderman. I just hit him once to get him off his top clicks and then too out Mantis and focused on the 100pt Wonderman. Once I got through him, that’s when I went after the 65pt Wonderman and finished off the 100pt when he came in. He was only able to take out my Mantis, so I won 300-25. Jay also won his game this round, so we won the round.

Round 2 was with Cole who made a Mystical theme team with Dormammu, Dr Strange, Ka-Zar, Reptil. My memory is very foggy on this game, but looking at my notes of the score, I took out Dormammu and Ka-Zar and he got all my support. I think I got Ka-Zar fairly quickly because I don’t remember Zabu being around very much. The final score was 175-100 and all 3 of us won our games, so we’re now 2-0.

Round 3 opponent was John playing an Avengers theme team with Hawkeye, Wonderman at 100, Mantis, Ghost Rider, Black Panther. I first went after Ghost Rider and took him out in 1 turn. He got something of mine with Hawkeye and Wonderman. Then I based Wonderman so he wouldn’t be as effective while using giant reach to punch Hawkeye. Keeping Wonderman tied up, I went after Mantis and then Black Panther. He was able to get the rest of my support in there by the time I was finishing off Wonderman, winning 300-100. Matt won his game also, so we win the round again, 3-0.

Round 4 was with Kenny playing an unthemed team of Echo, Ka-Zar, Dr Strange, Ghost Rider. After having just faced a Ghost Rider and taking it out quickly and easily, I decided to do the same here. That’s where this game went way different. Kenny came and based me with Zabu so I KO’d him, only for him to make another but keeping Ka-Zar away from me so I couldn’t easily get him out. From here, I’m not exaggerating when I say there were at least 8 turns where I failed giant size willpower and/or giant size breakaway rolls and I just couldn’t get away from Zabu. While I was tied up, he was able to take out all my support as well as 2 Astral Dr Stranges that I had made. The only other thing I was able to take out before all my support was KO’d was an Astral Dr Strange that he had made. This makes my first loss 90-130, but thankfully both Jay and Matt won their games, so we are still undefeated, 4-0.

Top 8 I’m facing Az who has an unthemed team of Invincible Ant Man prime, Green Widow, Black Panther, Kang the Conqueror, Iron Lad. I’ve not faced any of these figs before, even in release/pre-release events – so this match is a learning game for me. He won map and put us on Krakoa and moved up everyone a bit, but out of my range to do anything about it. I move everyone up in a group with high defenses from range – Dr Strange having a 19 from Defenders plus the ESD, choosing tiny and +1 defense on Ms Marvel and hiding Mantis in the middle of everyone, using the perplexes on her defense. He brings an ant forward and pulsewaves through the ant, getting my whole team and following up with an attack taking out Dr. Strange. I was nervous of the outwit that Green Widow could choose so I went after her and took her out with Hulk. He brought over Black Panther, so I took him out. He got the rest of my support out and we’re at 75-100. I know I need to get 1 more thing dead and keep Hulk alive to take the win. Those Kang bystanders were my worst nightmare. Having the precision strike was helping to easily get through my stop clicks so I was doing everything I could to keep KOing that pog, crossing my fingers he didn’t roll leadership to generate a new one while trying to take out Iron Lad, the only one close enough to me that I could easily KO if I could land a hit. He got me to flurry clicks where I couldn’t move and attack and kept carrying Iron Lad away from me while I kept trying to catch up to him and base him while he was double tokened, but lots of successful token removing kept him mobile. He got another precision strike pog out to get through my last stop click and KO me, making me lose 75-300 and Az was the first one to not only get Hulk to a stop click but even more, taking him out. It wasn’t until after the game that Kennie looks at me and asks why I didn’t try to regen off that last click – and you know what, he was never damaged at all anytime I’ve played him (even at home) that I forgot he had regen on those stop clicks! RTFC, right?! Thankfully, both Jay and Matt won their games, so on we go to top 4.

Top 4 was against Kenny for a rematch. This time I decided to make Echo my first target and it was definitely the right choice. When I went in for my first attack, using an object and don’t I get a crit hit to put her right to her stop click? He gets her away with a Dr. Strange TK and tries to protect her, but I catch up to her and take her out. Next, I know I need to get Ka-Zar so he can’t keep making Zabu again for a repeat tie-up situation. He takes out my support while I’m going after Ghost Rider. He’s down to only Dr. Strange left and gets out 2 Astral Dr Stranges and is a good sport and keeps making attacks and playing it out. I take out Dr Strange and he’s going for crits with the Astrals, trying to do damage. I take them out, win 300-100 and we hug it out. Both Matt and Jay won their matches too, advancing us to the top 2.

Top 2 was with Matty G. He’s playing a cosmic theme team of Thanos and Mantis x2. This was the match I was most worried about facing. We both come up a little. He brings Terraxia way over to start in on my support and I decided to take it out. I probably shouldn’t have and just let it deal with the support and try and play keep away with them from him. I went in with Hulk to take out the Mantis’s while basing Thanos. He took out both Ms. Marvel and Mantis, putting him 10pts above me – so I need to get his Thanos to win now. I manage to get him past his 1st stop click, putting him on phasing and he gets me past my 1st stop click putting me on flurry. This is where it turned into a runaway game where I could never get it to line up that he was double tokened while I could get adjacent to him. Either he’d get his willpower roll to take off tokens to move or I’d miss my willpower roll and would have to clear and would give him a chance to get away again. We had SO many turns of this chase, if we had tarot decks, we would have had to shuffle them many times. I’m not lying when I say I rolled 1’s or 2’s on my willpower rolls at least 5 turns in a row. I just couldn’t catch up to him before he was able to pull out a mission point win, and that was with him rolling a bunch of super low mission point rolls too – that’s how many turns we had. Both Jay and Matt also lost their matches, so we end up in 2nd place.

This was the perfect team – everyone carrying each other at the exact right times we needed it to happen. I’m so proud of us for going undefeated and staying at the top table the whole day!
When we finished, there was just​​ enough time to get in one last brick battle royal. The 3 of us got in on one with Kennie to finish out the event. After that we opened prizing, split up the brick from playing by rolling off for the chase (lucky Matt rolling a crit hit for it!) and dropped everything up in our rooms to go out for dinner. This time we went to the sea food place (where Matt was sweet enough to take a look at the menu ahead of time and think of me in his looking for himself to note that they did have a chicken dish I could get, knowing that I don’t like sea food). The chicken was amazing as well as the cheesy grits that came with it. We splurged on dessert (I got the lemon crème brûlée) as we kept talking and closed out the place.

Monday – travel and final thoughts

Jay and I met Matt in the lobby to share an Uber to the airport as we all had flights around the same time. Matt and I needed terminal B, Jay terminal C, but his flight was later than ours so he could make his way over to where he needed to be. Jay left to head over to his terminal and Matt and I realized that even though we were in the same terminal, we had different security areas to go through because of the gates we needed to be at. We were right by where Matt needed to be, but he saw the anxiety in my face of needing to find somewhere new alone and graciously offered to walk me over to where I needed to go to make sure I felt comfortable and safe. I appreciated that more than he’ll ever know. Thank you friend. Getting through security was fast and easy so I went to find something for breakfast and wait at the gate. This plane had so much more room than the one on the way down. I was amazed at the amount of leg room and again, yay for my biggest fears not being reality again. Getting through customs back home was really quick and easy too – so fast that I had to wait almost 30 minutes before my dad arrived to pick me up. We went out for dinner and when I got home, I crashed and crashed hard. I’m so glad that my travel plans were such that got me home just before dinner and not super late. I really needed that 11-hour sleep to recuperate before work the next morning!

I’m so glad I decided to go to this tournament. It all ran super smoothly, organized great and fantastic judge team. This was a well needed break from work and home, and I got to play I game I thoroughly enjoy while hanging out with a whole bunch of great humans. Making memories, taking friend selfies (and it’s at the point where friends come up to me asking if I’m taking pics again and reminding me to get pics with them!), having conversations, all the hugs, meals in groups and just plain hanging out is what it’s all about. I feel like I repeat this stuff every time I go away and that’s really what makes it all so great and makes me want to keep going. If you’re reading this and haven’t ventured out to a bigger tournament, you should definitely try to make it out sometime. Speaking of making it out to more tournaments – on my horizon is hopefully a road trip to Joe’s next tilt event just outside Rochester in March and then ROC cup/charity tournament in Alabama in May. Hope to see you there!

Until next time, xoxo