s many of you know, I've been gone for the past week while covering Pro Tour Born of the Gods. One of my all-time favorite Magic memories came from this event, and that was meeting an amazing lady named Esther.
There is a definite stereotype when it comes to Magic players. Most people think of teenage or young men playing the game, when in truth it is much more varied than that. As Esther clearly shows.
I was manning my station in the back with the coverage crew and one of the staff comes back and says, "Trick, you need to go up front right now!" And he said it in a tone that made me think something was wrong. I raced up front and discovered not something on fire, but instead I found Esther speaking quickly in Spanish as she talked to our on-site translator.
After a brief conversation I then raced off to grab Ines, our Spanish community manager, and told her she needed to speak to Esther as well. Ines didn't just speak with her, she sat with her for almost an hour, interviewing and getting to hear her story, which she turned into an article we ran among the tournament coverage and that many of you probably missed or overlooked.
By: Ines Alcolea
sther Moreno Morales is a 67-year-old Magic: The Gathering fan. She lives in Valencia and dropped by her hometown's Pro Tour on Saturday morning. Morales was looking for the cards that she needs for an entire set of Born of the Gods. While she had an impact on the players and visitors with her presence and story (she was a very energetic personality when she arrived), she still found some time to share with me her story of Magic.
Esther Moreno Morales has been an avid fan of Magic, and has been collecting the cards since 1995.
The first time Morales saw a Magic card was in 1995, when black-bordered cards were introduced. During that time, Magic was getting off the ground in Spain, but not a lot of boosters were sold in the country yet. Her nephews introduced her to this world, and they started playing at her house. She was really interested in the game and was happy to buy the boosters for them. "I bought boosters for my nephews from Madrid and even from the USA. I liked the artwork and making decks for them. We didn't do that much playing but when we could, we used to play in the evening," she said.
Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday mornings were times for going shopping. She used to drive her nephews to stores in Valencia and they played and shopped at these stores. On Fridays, when they arrived from the stores, her sister was cooking fries and eggs and they used to have dinner and play the game until late at night.
"I have played in all the stores in Valencia, including the first ones: Dominia, Leyenda Negra, and Camelot. I started in Ludomanos, but I never went to big events such as the Pro Tour," Morales said. Her main driver for going to the stores was to be with her friends. "It's for them that I went to that stores," she confirmed. She also liked the creative side of the game, and has been an avid reader of the books that were printed in Spanish.
However, the thing that she likes the most about Magic is collecting the cards. She does not play that much now, so she enjoys collecting all of the cards from each set. Once she has them, she creates albums to categorize the cards into the different creature types, such as dragons and spirits. Morales thought for a while when she was asked what her favorite card was, but finally concluded that it was Elspeth, Sun's Champion. As for the card that she was happiest to obtain for her collection? Well, that honor belonged to Black Lotus.
While Morales was unable to obtain a foil Brimaz, King of Oreskos during her trip, one of the cards she was looking to add to her collection, she was able to obtain a print of the card art.
I asked her for some advice for new and aspiring players, and she said that the best way of enjoy Magic is to remember that it is a game. "Magic is not a business, and children find the most joy in obtaining a card that is highly sought after. When you look at Magic as solely a game, it is truly great."
Patrick "Trick" Jarrett oversees web content and social media for Magic, as well as the editor-in-chief of DailyMTG.com. He's an ardent Commander player and lover of the game he's played since Ice Age.