The Face To Face Barrie Open took place Saturday and saw some of the best local Magic players compete for approximately $4,500 in prizes.
The Lion’s Gate Banquet Hall on Blake Street was the venue for a Magic: The Gathering tournament throughout Saturday afternoon and evening where over 70 players competed for prizes and bragging rights.
The event was orchestrated by Toronto’s Face To Face Games, a collectible trading card game company that buys and sells cards for popular card games while also travelling to different cities hosting events showcasing the products and allowing people to play against each other.
Owner Kelly Ackerman told BarrieToday the card game of the day was an easy choice as Magic is a leader world participation.
“Today, we are here playing Magic: The Gathering, which has over 20 million people worldwide playing it so it one of the more popular games, for sure,” said Ackerman. “Not only are people playing the games and trying win in the competitive part of the event, but we have a just-for-fun section.
"There is a large group playing multi-person pods, which is four people sitting down together and battling and helping each other out. The game is fun but when you can put a bunch of people into a room like this it makes it even better.”
Magic is a game that is based on the idea of the players controlling wizards and casting spells and trying to defeat them by lowering their life level.
There is a lot of strategy that goes into each game, but Ackerman believes it's about more than the competition.
“That is really the core of what we do is try to bring people together and get that face-to-face game time back to how it used to be,” said Ackerman. “We believe strongly in connecting through gaming, there are so many screen-based games that people aren’t socializing in person anymore.
"It’s so rare that you can find an opportunity to sit down across from your opponent, look them in the eyes and shake their hand.”
OMG Games is a Barrie store dedicated to the card and board game genre that has weekly tournaments every day from Magic, Pokemon, WWE Raw Deal and many others.
Owner Rick Bates said having Face To Face host events like Saturday’s Barrie Open is a great thing for the card playing community.
“With Magic the Gathering and collectible card games being a such large collective of people and players around the world, it is welcoming to have players come from outside of their communities to see what is offered in other cities,” said Bates. “We have prided ourselves on welcoming all to our shop and we hope other shops do the same.”