(Author’s Note: I had this finished for quite a while but I hadn’t realized that I hadn’t published it. Sorry, everyone. I’ll be quickly doing Worlds next. To those that don’t remember, here‘s my previous post on this topic.)
Sunday (Day 4) – Continued
After confirming my win, Luke, the Head Judge, announced my win to the people remaining in the room. I honestly didn’t care that there wasn’t a lot of people left, it was just amazing to feel that I had won. Devon’s face was one I was used to seeing: that “Oh, of course” look. But he was smiling. So was I. It felt crazy.
Luke took me backstage, where he immediately dropped the entire professional judge aura and began to get giddy. He was so incredibly excited I won, I was wondering if he was more excited than I was. And then he asked one question. “During that last turn, did you have [Nemesis] in your hand?” My response was just a goofy grin and the words, “I don’t run that card.” He was clearly flabbergasted, though smiling the entire way. After dealing with all of the minor legal things we had to deal with, we came out there, and I sat down, awaiting pictures and text interviews. It was crazy seeing that the words on my deck name, “For British Columbia, for Canada” being re-typed for my deck name for the website. It was even crazier when I heard that due to Bushiroad policy, until it changes, I have Nationals-level Invites for Life, something I had never known about the tournament.
Devon and I left the tournament because we needed to pack, our flight was the very next morning, and we wanted to be ready. I hadn’t forgotten about my little thing about Dinner with Audri, so after we got in and finished packing we met up with Audri, who bought me Dinner at Taco Bell (I didn’t feel like imposing too much). We got back to their hotel, and after a bit of conversation we managed to teach a few of the Illiana Crew Mahjong, which, when you consider it, is rather crazy. We stayed for a few hours, cracking Monday morning, but then they got tired and retired to bed, so we headed back and waited for our time to go. As we left the hotel in their shuttle, I couldn’t help but think that everything else was going to be smooth sailing.
Monday (Day 5)
We quickly found our terminal and lined up. When we got close to checking in, we ended up finding out that the snow that had just started falling in New York was a raging snowstorm in Chicago, which was our layover, and we had no way to make the connecting flight with the flight delay. This meant we would have to travel to Toronto in order to go to BC. So instead of checking in at 4:30 we needed to wait another six hours. Imagine our fatigue. To add onto my frustration, none of the outlet plugs were working, and thus my phone wasn’t able to recharge, so I couldn’t alert my parents, who were going to pick us up, that we were going to be late. This forced us to bide our time, but I didn’t want to fall asleep because I knew how hard it would be for me to wake up. Of course I fell asleep.
I woke up with a start. The sun was out now, and I couldn’t tell what time it was. Thankfully, I hadn’t slept past the time we needed to check in, and with that, we were in and on our way to Toronto. After what seemed like a while, we arrived, and had to a whole quarter day for our next flight. At this point, immediately after connecting to the Wi-Fi, I started getting messages on my phone about my decklists and congratulations. I tried to answer as many as I could, but the constant messaging and low battery meant it was out of power before I could even finish two. I spent the next hour in one of the restaurants enjoying my food and mulling over what people were saying and doing.
I won’t go into further detail about this because it doesn’t deserve be publicly talked about, but there was a major complaint about the tournament that came up, and I found out after we found our Gate. After finding a plug-in nearby, I spent the next several hours trying to fix what I could and alert the right people who should know what really happened. This took a lot more time than I thought, because by the time I put down the phone to take a break, it was nearly time to head in. After a bag of chips, we settled into our final flight home.
And yes, I worked that night. It was very exhausting.
~thenightsshadow, apologies for completely forgetting to post this