Playing in a Magic: The Gathering Tournament for the first time – Hareruya Osaka’s first “Ladies One” tournament

A few months ago, my boyfriend introduced me to Magic: The Gathering and was surprised that I had never heard of it, as I am from the country that it was from. As an adult, I was never really into card games, or games in general, but as a kid I used to play Yu-Gi-Oh! and Pokemon – though probably not by the proper rules. My interest in games waned as I got into High School and got into Johnnys, anime, dramas, fashion, and cheerleading before deciding to pursue Japanese and business in University, and then eventually moving to Japan…. which you can say is THE land of card games. I would say that the majority of the people around me didn’t really play card games, or weren’t games in general, which also contributed to the waning interest. That changed when by boyfriend asked if I wanted to learn how to play and I gladly accepted, as I wanted to know what this world was about.

We started to play together at my apartment on the living room table with 2 decks he purchased just for that purpose, and then  about a month and a half ago we went to a card shop and I bought my first starter deck (DINOSAURS FTW!) and from there he helped me add some cards to it to boost it a bit. It is still a budget deck, probably only spending a total of around 3000 yen in (about $30 USD) which included the initial deck + some modifications to it so that I can play in a tournament.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of playing in my first ever Magic: The Gathering tournament!

No, I did not win by any means… in fact I lost every game that I played… but the experience was the most important part. This was Hareruya Osaka’s first “Ladies One” tournament and there ended up being 6 of us playing. It was a casual, Ladies only tournament and it was honestly a lot more fun that I thought it would be! I was extremely nervous, as this was my first time and I know how competitive these types of events can be, but all of the players were extremely nice and helpful to a newbie like me, explaining everything to me as the games went on and asking if I wanted any advice on how to play.  They were overjoyed that there were more than 4 people participating, so that the tournament could happen, especially since there doesn’t seem to be many female players in Japan. A lot of them had gotten into the game through their significant other, like me, so it was nice to chat about that and about women in the game in-between rounds, how long we had been playing, and how we got into it.

I’m glad that my first tournament was a ladies tournament, as it gave me more confidence to play and get stronger seeing other women play and be into a seemingly pretty male-dominated game. I think if I had played in a regular tournament, I would have been a lot more nervous and would have wanted to practice a lot more before I entered into a tournament for the first time, but this was a perfect gateway for me into playing more competitively, especially in Japan where the language isn’t my first language. I honestly hope that this event becomes a regular thing, as it would be nice to play against other women again and make it more accessible to other women who were like me and dont have the confidence to play in regular tournaments yet.

Do you play card games? What do you think about women in card games? Should there be more ladies events to make it more accessible to women? Let me know in the comments below!

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