In what is shaping up to becoming an annual tradition, I’d like to share with you my picks for the Magic Pro Tour Hall of Fame this year.
And once again, I’d like to remind you of this key piece of the Selection Criteria:
“Voting shall be based upon the player’s performances, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, and contributions to the game in general.”
My 2012 Picks:
1. Luis Scott-Vargas
LSV is a lock. He’s pure class, and has the perfect combination of great tournament finishes and other game and community contributions to boot. I believe that anyone with a ballot this year who doesn’t cast a vote for LSV is most likely just trying to game the system, rather than voting for the most deserving players. I’m hoping that number is low, and that LSV gets 98% or more of possible votes.
2. Ben Stark
Ben’s an interesting case to me. I haven’t had a ton of personal interactions with him, but the ones that we’ve had have ultimately been positive. For example, nobody likes getting a Game Loss for a minor clerical decklist on Day 2 of a Grand Prix, but Ben accepted his with as much grace as anyone ever could – immediately taking responsibility for and apologizing for the error.
He’s got great numbers, and seems to be a highly respected player in the community. I’m thinking there’s a very good chance that he’ll get elected here in his first year eligible.
3. William Jensen
At the time of last year’s ballot, I hadn’t yet met Huey, but I voted for him while attempting to cast my vote for what the Magic community wants. Since then, his return to the game has been anything but awesome. I wasn’t 100% confident on last year’s vote, but not only am I confident with awarding him a vote this year – I’m confident he’ll get in.
4. Chris Pikula
He’s got solid (not amazing) numbers. He won an invitational. He’s been playing again, with reasonable success.
However, what really gets Pikula onto my ballot is everything I’ve heard about him helping clean up the Pro Tour, back when cheating was a much larger problem.
And I’m not just representing that opinion because I’m a professional judge. Rather, I’m a professional judge because of how much I value a community with high integrity.
That’s right. For the first time, I’ll not be using all 5 of my possible votes.
The Pro Tour Hall of Fame is meant to be home to the best of the best, and I have the utmost respect for its members. I simply don’t believe that any other candidates would do it justice.