I feel like the prom queen who just showed up for a blind date and the date looks like Rainn Wilson: disappointed, but not totally unhappy. Last week I put forward my guesses for the Grand Prix schedule in 2010 and with the official schedule now released, it's time to see how I did. Also of note, we are maintaining a directory of "premier" tournament events here at ManaNation. Check it out: Premier Magic the Gathering.
Where as I had predicted more Grand Prixes than ever before, 29, we instead get 18. Ouch.
Magic is soaring and, well, we thought that next year we'd see them stoke the fires and really push the premier events. Alas it is not to be. Obviously Wizards has a lot of smart people working for them, and the Organized Play division is no different, I trust they have done their homework and that there is a reason we have less GPs than we've had in recent years. Maybe the game isn't doing as well as we thought. Maybe GPs aren't as empowering to new players as we thought.
When I stop to consider the numbers, I realized something. Even with this years schedule, GP attendance really is a miniscule amount when it comes to the number of Magic players. 20 events, consider each GP, on average brings in 600 unique players (intentionally low) and that means it's really only reaching 12,000 unique Magic players. And yet, Wizards spends over half a million dollars on the prize pool! That's rather generous if my estimates hold up.
In any case, back to my predictions. Out of 29 GPs, I correctly picked a few (and missed on a lot more.)
GP Atlanta, GP Orlando? - Wrong. The southeast sees a big fat goose egg when it comes to GPs. 0-2
GP Baltimore - Correct! 1-2. Hello Charm City!
GP NYC - Nope. 1-3. I'm looking like the St. Louis Rams!
GP Portland - Yes! It's a great location in a vibrant city and is somewhat accessible to the west coast of the US, and of course closer to Asia than other US GPs. 2-3.
GP San Francisco - Yes! But this time it's called GP Oakland. They're just across the bay, don't quibble with me, I'm taking it. 3-3.
GP St. Louis - Alas no. 3-4
GP Houston - Yes! 4-4. I'm battling, scraping and clawing my way to try and get a winning record.
GP New Orleans, GP Montreal, GP Mexico City, GP Rio, GP Santiago, GP London - Talk about a losing streak. 6 wrong guesses in a row. And I was so close with Montreal, if I had just picked Toronto. *sigh* 4-10. Ouch.
GP Madrid and GP Lyon - Correct! 6-10.
GP Leipzig, GP Zurich, GP Bologna, GP St. Petersburg, GP Shanghai, GP Seoul, GP Taipei, GP Nagoya, GP Hiroshima - Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong... 6-19. Not looking good folks.
GP Manila, GP Sydney - Yes! The last two which I guessed correctly, 8-19.
And then I missed on GP Brisbane and GP Paris. 8 out of 29 guesses correct, 28% correct. Ouches. Unless I take the 11 extra cities out of the 21 I missed, and then I'm looking at 8 out of 18... not bad. That's.. almost.. half. Sheesh.
Maybe I'll do better next year.