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By: Paul Leicht, Paul Emerson Leicht
Jan 11 2013 11:38am
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Legendary Personality: gamemaster32

Introduction:

One of the fundamental things I count on when coming to puremtgo.com is the "Freed From the Real" podcast which comes out weekly and is co-hosted by AJ_Impy, Runeliger and gamemaster32. These three fellows' combined efforts have kept me thinking about MTGO for years now.  


Keya and his better half, Anna.

When I started doing these interviews (thanks to a suggestion from my friend and former publisher Hogan Long) I had certain people in mind to write about. AJ_Impy, JXClaytor, One Million Words and wilmheath were certainly tops on that list. And then I realized there were many more people who could be a part of this series. So far I have added whiffy penguin, Lord Erman, BlippyTheSlug and Tarasco (known as Leviathan on here) to this list. I may have missed some greats along the way. If so then I will probably get to them some time in the future. This is one of those moments: I have been meaning to interview Keya Saleh aka gamemaster32 for a long time now and just recently managed to get a hold of him to ask him some questions.

In the past these interviews have been purely prose as it is easiest to just send questions, and get answers and sort them and publish. This time, however I intend to use the fact that Keya is a well spoken individual and well accustomed to recording his voice as a pod-caster. Below is the text portion of our interview and then you can listen to Keya and me shoot the breeze as I try to illuminate him a little better for you all to get to know. 

As always my commentary will be with my MTGO user name: Winter.Wolf in green. Keya's answers will be as gamemaster32 in red.


Beer Pong victory moment!

Background: 
Age: 26 Location:  Dallas, Texas. Originally from Houston, Texas. Education:  B.S. in Psychology and Sociology, M.A. in School Psychology, and an alphabet soup of licenses.

Winter.Wolf: Marriage Status?
gamemaster32Got engaged back in April (2012) to my long-term girlfriend from Grad School. We will be getting married in June of this year. [Winter.Wolf: congrats buddy!]

Winter.Wolf: Job?
gamemaster32 I am a licensed specialist in school psychology for the Richardson School District, a small suburb north of Dallas. I am assigned to one of the high school where I do mostly assessment and educational planning for special education students, but I do a little bit of everything I can to help the campus run smoothly.

Winter.Wolf: Hobbies outside of Magic:The Gathering?
gamemaster32: M:tg is always my first love, but when I am not slinging cards, I enjoy spending time with friends, playing video games (mostly RPG's, with some Madden mixed in for good measure), and working out. I love trying new workouts, but my big loves are yoga and combat sports training (currently boxing and kickboxing).

Winter.Wolf: Name significance?  
gamemaster32: Honestly, I really don't know. I tried a little google research but nothing came up. I can tell you one fun fact: I do not have a legal middle name because they are not a thing in Persian culture and my mom (who is from small town, Texas) thought that we didn't need them since the only time they get used is when you are in trouble.

Winter.Wolf: What sort of family do you have?
gamemaster32: A huge one lol... For direct family, I have an older sister who has 2 kids. Also, my stepmom is pregnant so I will soon be transformed into a middle child. Both of my parents come from large families. Mom has 6 brothers and sisters who all have kids, and my dad has 8 brothers and sisters (most of whom I have never met since they are back in Iran). My family that is here all lives in Houston for the most part, so they are a short drive up the road.

Mahamoti DjinnSengir VampireMind TwistDark Ritual
Beginner's Spikyness?

Magic
Winter.Wolf: Tell me how did you become involved in the game. (This was really a whole slew of questions which Keya was kind enough to answer in multiple contiguous paragraphs.)
gamemaster32: My interest in Magic started by accident, oddly enough. My mom had bought some new 'video game' magazines for me from the store. Turns out, they were about some card game called Magic (It was the first couple issues of Inquest) . I ignored the mags initially and went back to work on Final Fantasy 3. I began leafing through the magazine, and so eventually I went out looking for some cards. Turns out some guys in middle school played the game in the mornings and during lunch, and pretty quick I was hooked.

The first deck I ever build was a deck featuring Mahamoti Djinn  and Sengir Vampire. The deck would've been terrible if not for the 4 Dark Rituals and Mind Twists... oh lunch room Magic, how I miss you.

I played the game on and off for several years. I would take a break and jump into some other card game for a while. I tried several other games: Star Wars CCG, Star Trek, Alien vs. Predator, Game of Thrones, LotR, L5R, Magi Nation, and some others I can't even remember. I was pretty much a CCG whore, trying any game I could. I would always come back to Magic.


Pizza, Pizza!!


I got sucked back into Magic most recently during Mirrodin when I was working at a game store and they needed a 'Magic expert'. Since I was the most hardcore card gamer in the bunch, it fell to me. I got reimmersed into the game and havent really looked back since.

A good friend of mine whom I reconnected with during this time showed me MTGO. I loved it (which is amazing since this was around the time of the Darksteel release, aka Crashapaloozza). Drafting on demand, of any format, any time I wanted to play, it was the best.

Since I was spending most of my weekends working and judging tournaments, I didn't get to play much in real life, so MTGO pretty quickly became my primary source of playing the game. I would sneak into the real world for the occasional PTQ or GP, but mostly I would be slinging digital cardboard from this point on.

Spike, Timmy, Johnny, Magic Stats, and more: 
Winter.Wolf: Of Johnny, Timmy and Spike (and Vorthos/Melvin too) how do you rate in the common demographics used by WOTC to describe the common magic player?
gamemaster32: I would say I am a Spikey Spike with a dash of Spike. I like to win, plain and simple. I always want to play at the highest levels and win in whatever way the game allows for. I don't care if it is aggro or control, boring durdle or unfair combo, if it is my best chance to win, that is what I want to play. I am a very competitive person by nature, and probably was a little over the edge when I was younger, but I still have a strong drive to be the best at everything I do and Magic is no different.

I think it was Vince Lombardi who said 'Winning isn't everything, but wanting to win is'. I take that to heart.

Winter.Wolf: Favorite color?  
gamemaster32: Blue. Historically has been incredibly powerful and fun.

Winter.Wolf: Favorite archetype?  
gamemaster32: This may seem weird given my previous answer, but aggro decks generally. You deck is full of redundant cards that have great synergy because they all have the exact same goal: take away points of life as efficiently as possible. With a good draw with an aggro deck, your opponents margin for error is 0, because one misplay or slow draw and they lose.  Also, in longer tournaments, aggro decks make it so much easier to actually do things like eat and go to the bathroom; an underrated bonus.  

Winter.Wolf: Deck?  
gamemaster32: Dredge. Me and my playtest team saw a guy get 9th with it at a PTQ we went the ext season it first broke out. I thought it was the ultimate aggro deck. I played it in the last two PTQs that season and t8'ed twice. I also day 2'ed a GP with it. Every chance I got I played that deck. It was bizarre, but really powerful. 

Winter.Wolf: Format?  
gamemaster32: For a long time, the answer would have probably been legacy. We used to have tournaments every Saturday at my store back when it was Type 1.5. At first, the field was mostly burn with a few people having access to cards to make really good decks. The Worldgorger Combo was huge, since it was also cheap to build, but over time the kids began to really break out and develop into a real metagame.

These days, I don't think I have a favorite format. I have a collection that allows me to play competitively in pretty much every format, so I usually go with whatever is in season.  

Relentless Assault Survival of the Fittest Okk

Winter.Wolf: Cards?
gamemaster32: Relentless Assault, because it was the last card I got that I needed to complete a set of Visions (my first ever full set, I have a small bit of a collector's bug in me). Survival of the Fittest, for being a pet legacy deck for so long and being so powerful. Ichorid, for giving me a very strange but fun (for me anyways) deck for multiple PTQ seasons. Battle of Wits, for being funny and winning my state championship title many moons ago. Lightning Bolt, for being so darn aggressive. and Okk. When i started playing again the most recent time. The first pack I won was a single pack of 8th Edition. My rare was a foil Okk. Needless to say, I was annoyed. Why would the reprint this junk. From then on, he became my collector card. When I was trading with people, I would see and Okk in their binder and would be like 'I'm taking this'. The would look at me funny, but always handed it over. At one point, I had a small card box full of them. 

Competitive Play

Winter.Wolf: Tell me about your first tourney.
gamemaster32: The first tourney I ever played in has long since left my memory. The first tournament I played upon my most recent return to the game was a midnight release draft for Mirrodin, which I handily won. I heard that the set was all about artifacts, so I just kept taking stuff that blew them up. I believe I had 3-4 shatters, 3-4 goblin replicas, 2 viridian shamans (with a crystal shard), and 2-3 deconstructs. It was pretty silly. 

Winter.Wolf: Tell me about your best tourney.
gamemaster32: I think by default it has to State Champs 2005. On a whim and slight dare from friends decided to play Battle of Wits, which had recently been reprinted. I did my best to cobble together a control deck and managed to win the tournament.

There was a lot of fun had at this event. Like the round where my opponent cranial extracted my BoW's, helped me shuffle and restack my deck, thought for a few seconds, and cranial extracted AGAIN IN THE SAME TURN. There was the game I topdecked (Genju of the Realms) and was actually able to cast it with Terrarion and go all beatdown on my opponent. There was the game against the mill deck where he milled my entire deck and LOST ON THE TURN I DREW MY LAST CARD. I thought I would go 2-3 out and have a good story to tell, turns out I was half right :)

Here is a link to the tourney report for funzies (Disclaimer: I was both a punk kid and nonwriter at the time of this publication, please forgive, also it was heavily edited for length): http://magic.tcgplayer.com/db/article.asp?ID=5880

Winter.Wolf: Tell me about your latest tourney.
gamemaster32: Meh, an RtR 4 pack sealed event before they were kicked to the curb. I managed to go 2-1 with a aggro thingy, plus I got a Foil Epic Experiment. Yay for me! 

Winter.Wolf: Greatest Achievement?
gamemaster32: I think the most achievement was back to back successes at major tournaments. I got 2nd at regionals and won state champs, which was pretty cool to have such success in major events in a row. 

Gold Myr Loxodon Warhammer Savage Beating 

Winter.Wolf: Worst Blowout?
gamemaster32: I often try to forget events of sheer bad luck, but one does stick out. MMD draft a long time ago. Game 3, I have a board full of creatures (6-7 guys) to my opponents gold myr with loxodon warhammer equipped and seven lands. He has no cards in hand, the myr is tapped, and I am at sixteen, so I go ahead and attack with everyone. What could go wrong? My opponent draws and proceeds to tap out for Savage Beating with Entwine and gets in for exactly 16. What a well named card. 

Winter.Wolf: Most exciting moment? Most fun?
gamemaster32: As long as I have been playing, it is hard to find just one moment. Getting milled out of 260+ cards and still winning the game is a good candidate. But so is drawing Arc-Slogger and shooting Billy Moreno (current member of magic R&D) with it 4 times to win game 3 of a win-and-in match of regionals with exactly 40 cards left (thank you 61 card deck!).

There are also the small moments that make the game fun. Like looking into your opponents eyes and hitting 2 copies of a key card with cabal therapy blind. Or a match where I cast Coral Trickster face up on turn 2 as my opponent laughed, only to win the game 6 turns later just with exactly enough damage before his big guys could take over the game.

The great thing about this game is that it is full of fun, exciting moments. From a topdecked lightning helix, to a tiny bluff by touching your volcanic island, there is a lot of room for great stories. 

Magic Online

Winter.Wolf: Every week you and AJ and sometimes Sebastian deliver all of the news on MTGO that is fit to talk about. How do you feel about your role in the community?
gamemaster32: If WotC was Jupiter, and we of the community were its moons, I think I am somewhere between Sponde and Carpo (36th and 46th moons). There are people doing great things to grow Magic and reach people to provide news, insights, strategy, and entertainment. I try my best to do all of these things in the small corner of the internet they let me occupy. I like to think that someone is learning something, or at least entertained, by what we do, and if that is true then I am happy. [Winter.Wolf: well my readers know how I value your role. You provide top notch news analysis along with AJ and Seb on a regular basis. To me that seems very important, especially with the dearth of good reportage on the mothership itself.]

Winter.Wolf: Is there something (or things) you'd like to change about the community?
gamemaster32: I think that the Magic community, and specifically the MTGO community, do lots of great things. They are passionate, outspoken, and really good at math. The breakdowns and analysis that some of the people do is amazing.

If I could change one thing about the community, it would be to take away the chicken little, sky-is-falling attitude that comes across with just about every decision that Wizards makes. If we react that way to every decision, it is hard to get a proper gauge on when something is really a problem. It may sound like a lot to ask but every now and again we should give credit to the people who have kept this game alive and kicking for 2 decades. 

Winter.Wolf: Do you ever not have an opinion what is going on? How do you fill the air when that happens?
gamemaster32: If there is one thing I am never short on, it is opinions :)  We are lucky in that Sebastian, AJ, and myself are different enough players that pretty much regardless of what comes up, someone has a view on it. When we get to talking before we record, we generate some good discussion that lets us come up with some good talking points.  

Winter.Wolf: As you know I sat in once for you (Episode #180) and while I think I did OK it was certainly stressful enough I have a hard time imagining doing it on a weekly basis. How do you guys come up with enough to talk about?
gamemaster32: Basically, we spend some time beforehand scouring the internet for anything that would be interesting to talk about. New promos, preview cards, major announcements, or randomness related to Magic. We sniff it out and talk about it. We are usually lucky enough to find at least 2-3 stories with enough meat to fill up the podcast. We also try and look over some prices every now and again if we need to add a little extra. Some weeks are a struggle, but one way or another we have found a way to make it work. 

Winter.Wolf: Is it better, or worse doing it with 2 guys or 3?
gamemaster32: I don't know if it is better, but I like it better when the three of us are together.

Winter.Wolf: Tell me about your experiences working with AJ and Sebastian. Anything stand out?
gamemaster32: I think that AJ is literally a mad scientist. He comes up with some of the craziest decks I have ever seen that have a way of pounding his opponents out. On top of that, having someone with a British accent is pure money for a podcast :)

Sebastian is an incredibly smart young man. He doesn't get to make it to the podcast as much these days with lame excuses like "I'm busy studying while I'm at Yale". whatever. I think we have a good blend working together since we are different kinds of Magic players, but still Magic players.

 

RE: Erik "Hamtastic" Friborg, RIP.

Winter.Wolf: In Early April 2011 Erik took his own life, a month before his birthday. He left behind a store, a family (Wife and child) and an extended MTGO community family that grieved then en masse and still does, for him and his.  We (AJ and I at least) knew most of the full story for more than a year but we felt inhibited to talk about the details, then Sebastian printed that article last April at least giving permission to discuss this very painful subject. What was your own take on what happened?
gamemaster32: It was a very sad and traumatic event. I initially found out when I logged on to puremtgo during my lunch break at work. I saw that Josh had posted a notice about the events and I experienced some shock. I remember going to the front office and the secretary telling me I didn't look so good. I told her what happened and she told me that I should take the rest of the day off. I went home and got on Skype to find AJ to talk to him about it.

Sorrow's Path 

Winter.Wolf: How did Erik's suicide affect you?
gamemaster32: One, I was shocked. Erik was for all outward appearances the most positive person I have ever interacted with. He connected with people, he had goals and dreams, he ran in triathlons and took care of himself physically. To say he didn't fit the profile of someone who is a suicide risk would be an understatement.

Second, I felt like an idiot for not seeing some signs. Erik had been having trouble with scheduling time for the podcast. He would seem distracted. He made sure that AJ became comfortable and capable of handling the recordings and the back end work. We can look at little things with hindsight and say, "Why didn't we see this? Why didn't we say something?" But perhaps it is arrogant to assume that I could have had the ability to read into a man I had never met in person and that I would have the magical words to pull him out of a dark place that he could only find one way out of.

I am no stranger to suicide, both in my professional life and personal one, but Erik's death was an event that will affect me for the rest of my life. 

Winter.Wolf: How do you feel about filling his role now that he has been gone so long?
gamemaster32: I think I do not even begin to come close to filling Erik's shoes. Erik's words came through bi weekly on FFTR and State of the Program, something that had to split between two people to make sure it would be done (sidenote: hats off to Pete Jahn aka one million words, for the amazing work he does with SotP to carry on Erik's work). So I am only picking up half the puzzle there. On top of that, Erik was ever present on the message boards, commenting on all things Magic. He would engage other community members, commenting and debating seemingly all of the internet all at once. If someone told me that I had become one-quarter the community pillar that Erik was, I would be pretty proud.

Winter.Wolf: Did you know him from outside the podcast?
gamemaster32: I had the opportunity to meet Erik once. He was sent to PT: Austin to do some coverage work. This was before I was ever on the podcast. At the time, Erik seemed more myth than man, so I was intimidated to talk to him. Between the fear of coming off as a weirdo fanboy and sudden illness early in the weekend, I didn't stay for the whole PT weekend and never said a word to him.

Winter.Wolf: How did you feel about Erik?
gamemaster32: After working with him on the podcast, I felt like an idiot for not seeking him out at the Pro Tour. Erik was so down to earth about everything. He was positive, encouraging, and genuine. He was able to connect with people and really inspire them. I felt like I could have told him "You know Erik? I would love to do well at the GP that is coming to my hometown this weekend, but I am just not a good enough player, I don't think I am gonna even bother testing that much."

Erik would talk to you for 5 minutes and suddenly you would feel like you were the odds on favorite and that you should be testing around the clock. And he would loan you the cards to do it, no questions asked. In short, Erik was the kind of man that does not come around very often.  

[Winter.Wolf: I agree but most interestingly that is exactly what YOU did for me last year on his birthday. Not only did you encourage me not give up the quest but to borrow your very pricy Robots deck and not only did I have fun but I top 8-ed the Ham On Wry event hosted by BlippyTheSlug. So here is a thank you from my heart.

Arcbound Ravager Mishra's Workshop Gaea's Cradle

 

Beta Client aka "Don't call it version 4!":

Winter.Wolf: Have you participated in the client? 
gamemaster32: I have played some in the closed beta stage. I have not gotten onto the beta in a few weeks. At the time, the program was incredibly laggy and did not include a list view. Every time I consider which client to boot up I lean toward the devil I know. I should probably give it a chance again sometime soon. 

Winter.Wolf: What are your impressions?
gamemaster32: I think there is some promise buried in there. I remember back in the day when the Version 3 client came out. Everyone went on about how it would be the end of the world, that the client was terribad and everyone was going to sell their collections and never ever ever play Magic again. So, the usual. And yet, here we are, still drafting, still PREing, still playing games just for fun and for tournament practice.

I am sure that people will hate it when it comes out, just like people in general hate change. But time will pass, WotC will continue to work on the program, and life will go on.

Winter.Wolf: Thoughts on possible changes to the client?
gamemaster32: I am not the greatest idea man in this regard. I was never the creative type. Quite frankly, the client meets my needs pretty well. I like the new 'build your deck as you draft feature', but I worry that things like this will make it harder for players that win online PTQs that do not play in real life.

I really think they should back off of touting the ability to undock chat and focus more on a way to increase actual conversation in matches. The 1-2% of players with a dual monitor setup may think that is cool, but what is the point of the floating chat if no one is talking.

Winter.Wolf: Is there a feature that would make the Beta palatable enough to replace V3?
gamemaster32: Well, the beta will look very appealing when V3 is taken away and you get what you get. I honestly think it will be fine to start and better in the long run. I've been playing this game long enough to see numerous 'this is going to kill Magic' things come and go. I don't think a new client that will eventually be better than the current client is going to be the death knell. 

The Power: 

Winter.Wolf:  I know you've been involved at least peripherally in the Classic Community. What's your take on the Power Nine in Cube? (I assume you have played in it over the holidays.)
gamemaster32: Absolutely love it. I love the Power 9. They are a key icon in Magic's history and are incredibly fun to play with. I snuck in a couple of cube drafts once MM (mercadian masques) packs were the prizes, since I planned on drafting Masques anyways. I have also played with a powered cube in real life and enjoyed the experience then as well as now. The cube tickets certainly have their problems, but Power 9 was too tempting to ignore.

Winter.Wolf: Any thoughts on what that signifies?
gamemaster32: That the Power 9 will eventually be released to Magic Online. Hopefully by the end of 2013 /baseless speculation

Winter.Wolf: How would p9 coming to MTGO affect the game?
gamemaster32: I imagine that Classic would instantly die and become Vintage. What things would look like price wise and how players feel about the P9 will depend on how they are dispersed.

Winter.Wolf: How would it affect the classic community?
gamemaster32: It would mean their demise, but they would rise from the ashes to become the MTGO Vintage community. I think most of the Classic bannermen are waiting on pins and needles to play with some jewelry in constructed.

Winter.Wolf: Can you list any reasons why WOTC shouldn't print them?
gamemaster32: No, I think that they absolutely should be released on MTGO at some point, and I think they should be released in a manner that puts a more than adequate initial amount of the pieces on the client.

Winter.Wolf: Is it inevitable?
gamemaster32: Yes.

Winter.Wolf: Will they be super hard to obtain?
gamemaster32: They shouldn't be, but it will completely depend on how they are rolled out onto the system. In my mind, it would be ideal if each piece had a secondary market value between 15-30 tickets during their initial rollout. Naturally they will go up over time and WotC will have to periodically introduce small amounts of supply into the system for new players or people interested in classic, but I think that would be a fair range for them to start in.

Winter.Wolf: Is this a good thing?
gamemaster32: I think it certainly can be if it is implemented correctly. It is up to WotC to make sure that they P9 is released in a meaningful but efficient way. They have taken their time so far, and we know they certainly talk about it often internally. As long as they err on the side off too many copies over too few, I think it will be fine.

Winter.Wolf: How about Force of Will, Lion's Eye Diamond and other high price markers in the format? You think there should be anything done about their scarcity?
gamemaster32: The standard party line is that WotC doesn't concern themselves with the secondary market when they make decisions, but they clearly monitor it and keep their ears to the ground.

Since MTGO is not burdened by a reserve list (FoW Master's Edition promises aside). I see no reason not to go back and find ways to introduce more copies of cards into the system. I love the new MOCS structure specifically for its ability to give players the chance to get an entire playset of a highly desirable and valuable card.

I love that Magic has valuable cards. I do not want this to turn into Yu-Gi-Oh where they print a broken card at ultra-mega-hyper rare in the latest set and then put it in a $20 precon 2 months later when people complain about the price. But for cards from unpopular sets that did not get drafted in significant amounts during years when the player base was much smaller, something should be done to keep those cards pseudo-affordable. 

Sealed 4 Pack vs Phantom

Winter.Wolf: This change was quite controversial to the community with most taking the negative tact that WOTC is short changing us by taking out one of the most popular limited formats. I never had a chance to try it, What's your opinion on this change?
gamemaster32: Personally, as a player, I hate it. I loved me some 4 pack sealed. I thought it was an interesting format that let me played a limited format that moved at a brisk pace. The whole event taking 2-2.5 hours was the perfect amount of time.

From a business perspective, I am sure they had their reasons. People have begun to speculate that Dimir's return and likely strong milling theme may have led to an unfun format for 30 card decks, but that has been the case even in the past. Doorkeeper, Jace, Memory Adept, Mind Sculpt, and other cards have been awkward and problematic for the format.

I know that I will only begrudgingly play in these queues unless I am planning to attend a RL PTQ and need some practice, but playing a format because I have to and not because I want to doesn't seem like a great customer experience to me. Didn't they kill extended because of this same logic?

Winter.Wolf: Do you play Phantom Events at all?
gamemaster32: I tried to give them a chance when the TMNO events were made phantom, but it just didn't work. I play constructed, so I like getting fun cards as lottery tickets. Busting open a foil Bonfire of the Damned should make you jump from joy, not get mad about your choice of queue. Obviously they are necessary for cube, but I think they are ridiculous for current formats.

Winter.Wolf: Do you feel they are a fair exchange for value?
gamemaster32: Mathematically, I haven't sat down and crunched the numbers. I have sene various forum posts that indicate they are a bad deal, but I can neither confirm nor deny those allegations, senator.

For me, part of the value is using my packs to continue playing. part of the value is opening cards that I can put into a constructed deck. I do not see the value and given the choice between a phantom or know, give me the real stuff every time.

Winter.Wolf: What would you do if you were given a position of power in the WOTC hierarchy to make vast sweeping changes?
gamemaster32: What a terrifying prospect. It is much easier being the color commentator than the head coach, and I am happy with that arrangement.

It is hard to say what I would want to do, since there is so much behind-the-scenes information that we do not have access to that might change the way I would think if I became a part of the machine. Being a man of the people, I would crack the whip on leagues and get the timetable moved up to as soon as possible. :D 

~Finite~ 

Here is the recording of our verbal interview which is an extension of the questions asked above. (57.25 minutes long):

Conclusion:
This has been an interesting and exciting if tough assignment for me. Interesting because Keya has a lot to say and is articulate enough to get it out. Exciting because I think we are really lucky to have him in our midst and expect you all to feel the same and tough because it is hard to find the right questions to ask someone whom you only know through online experiences. We all have so much in common but without seeing each other face to face this is sometimes lost in translation. Keya to me exemplifies what a good MTGO player should strive to become. Generous, smart, articulate, kind, well versed, competitive, and to some extent at least humble. I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did.

Until next time, 
Magically,
Paul Emerson Leicht aka Winter.Wolf

More Photos of Keya and a video!

Keya, his Dad and Anna, dancing.

Keya, his sister, and his mom.
Finally a video of Keya sparring with his trainer.

7 Comments

Seems like a cool guy! I by greyes3 at Fri, 01/11/2013 - 19:08
greyes3's picture

Seems like a cool guy! I think the biggest problem with the client this time around is that we were lead on to believe we would get this browser based, fantastic, huge improvement over the current client, and it just isn't anywhere near that. (In my opinion.)

Nice interview. I think I by bdgp009 at Sat, 01/12/2013 - 23:49
bdgp009's picture

Nice interview. I think I need to learn a lot from winterwolf about making an interview. Full of emotions. A lot of things that was discuss was a revelation to me on how much i don't know about the community. I really hope to be as good on writing articles and giving info to the community as these guys. Peace and God Bless

Thanks for the commentary by Paul Leicht at Sun, 01/13/2013 - 19:25
Paul Leicht's picture

Thanks for the commentary fellas.

Yeah the browser thing was apparently so much smoke. Too bad as it seemed like a perfect solution to the platform differences the community has. (Macs, Linux machines, iDevices, android devices, etc.)

I am glad you were inspired bdgp009 and I look forward to seeing what you produce!

I missed these! by mtgotraders at Tue, 01/15/2013 - 10:48
mtgotraders's picture
5
Thanks for bringing these back Paul! I love reading these as they are typically people I have interacted with for years and seeing what their life is like is always fun.
Thanks Heath, I enjoy doing by Paul Leicht at Tue, 01/15/2013 - 11:14
Paul Leicht's picture

Thanks Heath, I enjoy doing them. Time just seems to get away from me so I find months passing between articles at times.

Apparently the soundcloud by Paul Leicht at Tue, 01/15/2013 - 11:13
Paul Leicht's picture

Apparently the soundcloud gizmo broke...:(

Here is the link instead:

https://soundcloud.com/paul-emerson-leicht/keya-saleh-interview

Great job as always, by Kumagoro42 at Tue, 01/15/2013 - 16:00
Kumagoro42's picture
5

Great job as always, Paul.

But I feel like I mostly need to tip my hat to Keya here. If this interview had a title, it should be, "Spikes are nice people too". :)

And this:

If I could change one thing about the community, it would be to take away the chicken little, sky-is-falling attitude that comes across with just about every decision that Wizards makes. If we react that way to every decision, it is hard to get a proper gauge on when something is really a problem. It may sound like a lot to ask but every now and again we should give credit to the people who have kept this game alive and kicking for 2 decades.

There's a slow clap starting right now from my own little corner of the Internet.

Plus, Erik. I can't really comment any more on that front, but I'm always thinking of him when I read or write on PureMTGO. And I'll always do.