The competitive Magic community was rocked today when Wizards revealed the source of the Godbook leak. Two well known French pros, Guillaume Matignon and Guillaume Wafo-Tapa confessed to be the sources behind the leak, while two other individuals were named as being involved: Martial Moreau and David Gauthier.
Matignon was 2010 World Champion, contender for the 2010 Player of the Year, and long time pro and writer for Lotus Noir (a french gaming magazine.) He was given a copy of the godbook to write up a set review for the magazine, due to print schedules it was done weeks ahead of time. According to the post from Wizards, Matignon has this to say:
"For the last few years, I have been writing articles for a French paper magazine. Thus I've been writing reviews for the newest Magic sets in there. Writers are provided with a 'Godbook' for reference on the new sets," said Matignon in a statement made to Wizards on April 28. "I received the New Phyrexia Godbook, and decided to share it with my friend Guillaume Wafo-Tapa. I wanted his thoughts on this excellent set, to help me to write my article. However, he shouldn't have had access to that document. Not at all. The 'Godbook' has been leaked on the internet. I don't know exactly how. But it all comes from my mistake. I am responsible for that leak.
"Magic the Gathering is an immense part of my life. More than the game itself, the community of players, judges, organizers and Wotc employees is [sic] fantastic. And by my stupid actions, the game and the community has been hurt. If there is a single player quitting the game due to that leak, a single booster unsold, that will be my fault. My own fault. For someone who loves the game as much as I do, that's horrible. I feel destroyed. I don't have the words to express how much I feel sorry."
This news follows the banning of Tomoharu Saito this past year, bringing the tally up to three high profile Pro players banned, all three of which would be candidates for the hall of fame, Saito having his induction revoked after the suspension.
The early reactions from the Twitter #mtg community are largely negative both towards the players involved, but also towards all parties involved including Wizards of the Coast and Lotus Noir magazine. The vitriol seems to be that players, both professional and amateur, are angry that a pro had his hands on the entire set early, placing blame on Wizards for letting this happen. Pro player Matt Sperling wrote this on his blog:
The biggest mistake made was not Matignon sharing the list with his friends. It wasn't those friends sharing the list with the world. It was Wizards of the Coast providing an undisclosed competitive advantage to certain competitors.
...Wizards of the Coast is continuing to use DCI bans as a bludgeon to punish people for doing things outside of the tournament world. This isn’t without precedent- but it undermines the integrity of the DCI every time it happens. This really should stop. What’s it say when someone who was suspended for Assault, Deck Manipulation, or Theft gets a 1-year ban, but spoiling cards gets a 3-year ban? Spoiling cards early may suck for Wizards, but it doesn’t screw over the integrity of a tournament or the DCI ratings system.
Other people on twitter felt the reaction was too harsh, a 3 year suspension for leaking the document? Others responded by noting that if this is all Matignon gets, rather than a legal suit which could have netted them big money, then he will get off light.
As a final point of clarification, should anyone be confused, the godbook is normally a highly restricted document. People who contract for Wizards, such as creative artists, and people who check rules, as well as writers of flavor text - all individuals who work outside of the locked R&D door but are official employees of Wizards, do not receive anything close to a godbook.
For additional reading, Caleb Durward published an article about his own investigation into the source of the leak. Read here.