It's been an odd week for announcements.
First, the PTQ structure is going to be changing. This is good for the LGS owners, but the mid-level vendor, a significant number of whom make up our readership, are already feeling the pinch.
With stores likely to be able to vend the smaller events without help and the PTQs themselves being handled by TOs, there is nowhere for the midlevel vendors to fit in like they used to at 300 person PTQ events. Having given Nick a hand at a PTQ and seen how thin the margins can be sometimes if the event is poorly run by the TO (they told people the wrong location and didn't wait for stragglers to show up) this is going to cause a sea change in the way a lot of vendors do business. Should we all close our online shops down? I can't say, but I feel like Nick's going back to TCG Player vending and I can't say that I blame him.
I have a policy against posting things from Facebook on public places, but there was another issue that popped up this week regarding the changes to the judge foil compensation program and I will excerpt a few of the responses I saw.
If this change is positive (which I assume it will be for judges), then I look forward to what we have in store and seeing you guys a bunch in the future. If this change is negative, I have friendships that I hope will last the rest of my life and memories that I'm sure will. I also have some sweet lines on my resume and more professional connections than I could have ever had staying at home. I also look forward to seeing you all slightly less in the future.
Change is scary. It has always been scary, but there's no point in fearing the future. Just live in the present.
I actually feel worst for the TOs...they are assuredly getting wrecked in this
I think a person who got into judging because of their love for the game will always be taken care of. Maybe less travel more community building or maybe the reverse who knows. In the end if you love it you will always be rewarded.
This is a scary time for judges. The announcement of the "Exemplar Program" found at this link has done away with blanket awarding of foils to judges in consideration for working events. Judges will be nominated as exemplary by their peers (friends, let's be honest, people are going to nominate their friends) and only exemplars will receive foils. Will the TOs have to pick up the slack and compensate judges? Will Wizards start to pay them? I can't say, but this has the potential to completely ruin all of Magic forever, and I can't imagine this would have been announced if that outcome was projected. There is an element we don't know yet, so I will wait and see.]
Is the sky falling? Maybe. But probably not. Card games that make it 20 years do so by weathering worse storms than this. Change is inevitable.