Tolarian Winds: “Pro Tour Ad Nausea” – A Magic: The Gathering Vlog


oh hello you know last week was Pro Tour almond cat and in addition to helping demonstrate that standard has finally risen from the dead much like the zombie tribal Dex which were just part of the diversity of archetypes competing it was a super successful weekend purely as a product over 40,000 viewers at one point making this one of the most successful pro tours in terms of viewership numbers and that’s a great thing as I have said before the Pro Tour is actually one of the most important parts of Magic the Gathering whether you are obsessed with watching competitive magic played by the very best around or even if you don’t really care about watching it the Pro Tour is still a critical part of magics success and the key to its future and as I watched this historically highly viewed Pro Tour one thought and one thought only kept coming back and back to me running through my mind you see what we should be doing is putting those ribs in a burger it’s a million dollar idea now I know what you’re saying ain’t nobody want ribs on a burger what about the bones haha well what we do is take the bones out million dollar idea no no no ah sorry I meant something needs to be done about these ads and dead time [Music] bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla first of all let’s be clear about something coverage and presentation of the Pro Tour has come a long way and is better than it has ever been the coverage team should all be commended as what we saw last weekend was top-notch not only with their insight and analysis but hey also in their ability to handle the inevitable technical difficulties and other problems that are just inherent with a live broadcast I have a ball and I recovered before like you’re just going to have to get used to it you play magic you’re gonna that’s how it is yeah maybe even in this interview ha ha and the production team as well the people behind the scenes deserve a pat on the back as the design and layout is lightyears improved from what was a relatively short time ago they’re now utilizing better overlays the card images for a better viewer experience all around I think in many ways the higher numbers are in some ways a reflection of this but let us also be very clear about another thing the Pro Tour itself is essentially an ad ad breaks within an ad such as that damn rib which one which played ad nauseam should not be factored into the equation quite frankly the revenue these twitch ads generate is likely insignificant compared to the costs of the Pro Tour anyway and by trying to monetize what is again an ad you run the risk of turning an effective method of getting people interested in and enfranchised in the product into an ineffective one example see Duels of the Planeswalkers but that’s another story never mind as many have said if you need monetization open up things like the pro tour – big-name sponsorships now let us assume that these ads are required as part MAGIX contract with twitch which is a very reasonable assumption in which case they’re not going to be turned off they aren’t going anywhere okay fine but even so there’s another kind of ad break that needs to be addressed or at least what we casually refer to as an ad break but in reality is the required pauses of downtime that a live production such as this does require during these breaks players aren’t playing and commentators aren’t commentating and this highly rated highest level of competitive play an excellent production all-around comes crashing down when we cut to even just three minutes of this [Music] that was 15 seconds imagine three minutes of it might as well be three hours I probably lost a significant number of my viewers just by showing that brief example brakes need to happen this is a fact but they don’t need to be like that who picked that music who approved that selection who said a static slideshow was the way to go and who decided on those particular slides this is demonstrative of a very important thing the corporate boardroom is not who you turn to for entertainment having the corporate minds at wizard’s design and develop what is shown during these breaks is about as sensible as having those same corporate minds actually just sit down and play the game on camera no you turn to the pros and so in the case of these needed breaks well maybe we need to turn instead to content creators or popular magic gathering streamers or magic artists who are magic art critics the vloggers the bloggers the people of magic the gathering community that have proven time and time again that they can engage and energize the magic playerbase and no I’m absolutely not talking about myself here as I understand that my content is completely unacceptable for any official corporate coverage such as the Pro Tour but there is a plethora of awesome talented people out there and magic who have made careers out of getting people excited about this game content creators have the talent to engage viewers to create a sense of community to reach that audience in a way the corporate boardroom can’t so let us instead tap into that value because whoever thought this was a great way to sell product and keep 40,000 fans excited and engaged [Music] well that probably is who should be selecting the right song to play for customers on hold instead here’s some tough love Wizards of the coast you are a corporation and that means whatever attempts at entertaining and engaging content you create will still always be just that corporate you make the best game in the world and you’ve finally started doing an amazing job getting coverage of that game in its high-level competitive state getting that all together but you need to accept that fun filler just isn’t you it’s not what you produce and in accepting this turn to the resources you have available the creators in your community imagine if during these needed down times we could cut instead to saffron olive taking us through one of his latest Dec tax where pulp chien are a host of other streamers not only playing a round of magic online but interacting with the very twitch chat that’s watching the main event they possess those skills and I am NOT talking about just producing a couple pre-made things to show on a repeating loop but rather using content creators and popular streamers in real time to keep viewers interacting exciting and yeah entertained and engaged honestly maybe a deck or a format where this has any chance of seeing anything besides vomit when it hits the battlefield I can’t even right now and no I don’t think my content is appropriate but cutting to Jimmy and Josh from the command zone to talk commander or Magic Man Sam to talk magic art in the creative process or windmill slam doing rounds of their Magic the Gathering game show asking MTG personalities as well as maybe even the chat itself trivia and other MTG challenges hey this would be a next-level play on the part of production at the very least it would allow the folks on coverage to take a moment to have a bite to eat for lunch drink a cup of hot tea while dev from strictly better MTG wraps out a budget deck tech night lion though we got to have this Rhino my face pokemons a white rabbit an albino and after that we got some mops open the pie shop we want a pair of wings a rock the list goes on and on bring podcasters on to cut to four live portions of their show imagine a live Magic Mike segment or a live top level podcaster turn one thought seize and actually Wizards of the coast has already dipped their toes into this with great production such as Friday nights and enter the battlefield formerly walking the plains these are shows that are supported by Wizards but not really made by them they’re made instead by their respective content creators in fact during the Pro Tour last weekend Wizards even aired new enter the battlefield episodes which is many ways what I am talking about in fact it’s ironic that the episode that air focused on creators such as Paul Xian and Kristine sprinkle and yes I was actually featured in that episode of enter the battlefield and I encourage everyone to go check it out and compare the quality of such content to that slideshow with elevator music so show new episodes of Friday nights and enter the battlefield during these segment breaks not just one new program which yes they should do but also dive back into that rich back catalog of episodes or commissioned shorter versions to air for the shorter breaks this is the direction we need to go in I encourage all of you watching to go vote with your views and show wizards both that you are interested in Magic the Gathering content creators and the content they have already waded into by going to watch this particular recent episode of enter the battlefield which I will link in the description this is the first time an episode has featured content creators and not just pros as its focus so I feel demonstrating to them that this is something that can generate views and interest it’s something we should do vote with your view and hopefully Wizards of the coast will realize that the value of supporting their content creators is high and most importantly that the action during something like the Pro Tour doesn’t need to stop [Music] [Music]