(Metagame Archives) End of Year Awards

By Gary Wise

When Adam Bernstein finished off the opposition to win New York, he was putting the finishing touches on a story bigger than his victory. PC NY marked the end of the Pro Circuit’s first season. For as long as there are gamers masquerading as superheroes engaging in combat over world domination and cash winnings, this is the season that will be remembered. Quick, who won Superbowl XVII? I’m not exactly a huge football fan, but I know that the Packers won the first one.

With that in mind, as a guy endowed with imaginary authority and armed with memories from all four Pro Circuits, I present to you my first annual edition of **trumpets** The Wise Awards, a name that could only have been chosen as a direct result of either self-importance or silliness. Feel free to decide for yourself.

Player of the Year

Nick Little

Nick didn’t win a thing, but he came tantalizingly close over and over again. Nick is my choice for the simple reason that he put up the numbers all year; no skipping PCs or missing Day 2s for this guy.

Nick’s gotten overshadowed by teammates in every way this year, whether it be individual accomplishment (Kibler, Bernstein), quote-worthiness (Reeves and Walls), or what have you, but there’s no denying his success. A Top 8 finish at Indy was followed by three Top 32 finishes in the remaining Pro Circuits. You’ll be hard pressed to find that kind of consistency in any game with a luck element, and despite the success, the man remains down to earth and downright likable. He may not have the biggest bank account or the loftiest of accolades, but in a season where no one person truly dominated, Nick was the next best thing.

Strongest Single Tournament Performance

Brian Kibler

Playing in his (and everyone’s) first Pro Circuit, Kibs not only managed the small feat of taking home $40,000, but also managed to wrangle additional cash out of the resulting R&D contract. With apologies to Misters Jones, Horvath, and Bernstein, none of them are getting gaming salaries.

Best Hair

Most Dramatic Season

Ladies and Gentlemen, Rob Leander.

Check this out. The Pro Circuit starts. He wins multiple $10K events, joins the best-publicized team on the planet, is called the best player in the world by multiple sources, gets accused of misdeeds, reportedly retires, disappears off the face of the earth, resurfaces at New York informing the world he’d been in Sweden, of all places, gets the dream pairing against his accuser, and upon completing the match, comes up with the quote of the year:

“Guess who doesn’t need to cheat to win.”

Mad props. That’s saying a lot from a guy who never uses language like “mad props.” Ya’ hear?

Best Community Message Boards

Gotta go with vsrealms.com on this one. With writers like Rian Fike and Dave Spears keeping it real, Realmworx, FTN, and half a dozen other teams constantly arguing for their superiority, and updates every thirteen seconds, those message boards just never get boring.

Best Deck

You’re kidding, right?

Techiest of the Techy Techers

Ugh. Nice title. I recommend keeping this one off the resumes, but two guys who’ve really caught my attention when it comes to deck innovation and gutsy tournament choices are Jason Hager and Tim Batow (and the guys they run with, as should go without saying in a game where you’re only as good as the guys around you).

Hager, be he player, deckbuilder, or t-shirt designer, is a guy who’s made remarkable contributions to the game. Call his Dr. Light variations what you will (EMS, New School, Dr. Light’s School for the Creatively Gifted and Mentally Unstable, or what have you), but you have to recognize the contributions he has made to the Golden Age metagame. Batow, meanwhile, seems to take particular pride in playing fifteen-team decks full of bad to awful cards whilst permanently set in a handstand. I once saw him attack for 53 endurance while straddling a pommel horse. True story. You can have your Sentinels and Titans, but without innovation and the courage to employ it, those same old matchups would get awfully stale.

Best Performance in a Supporting Role

Kevin Nash in The Longest Yard. Saw it in New York with Steve Sadin and Joe Carrey. Wouldn’t have if not for the PC, so it counts.

Best Team Name

I’m actually a big fan of FTN, however you want to spell it. I like a group of guys who’ll tell it like it is.

Best Idea for a Tatoo


Just sneaking in a New York minute here. Shane Wiggins is an intelligent, down to earth guy whose arms are covered in art and who has just completed law school. I urge you to urge him to keep an ongoing tally of his courtroom record somewhere on his body.


Case                            Argued for                      Result

Johnson v. Smith           Johnson                          Awarded $500,000 in damages

Wise v. Tait                        Wise                              Barn*.


Best Nickname

How can I not choose Bam Bam, who also wins the award for worst tiebreakers?

Good Guy

Carl Perlas

The guy actually congratulated me on going 5-7 in New York and managed to do so without the tiniest hint of sarcasm. Carl will be missing Indy, due to a stay in the Philippines. He’ll be missed.

Comeback Kid

You don’t want to get paired against Antonino De Rosa in the 0-3 bracket. Trust me.

I’m sure there are a thousand other awards I could hand out, but I undoubtedly need to leave something for Willoughby and “but I hardly even know her”-Meyer, since they seem to love sharing article themes every week. Here’s to the snarky wannabe comebacks I’m sure they’ll employ in the coming days, a good year, and many, many more.

* Revenge!


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