INTERVIEW: GRGUR PETRIĆ MARETIĆ Lee Murphy interviews a member of the Croation Magic team
he Magic: The Gathering World Magic Cup took place at GenCon, Indianapolis, during the month of August, and while our own teams were indeed there all the headlines were stolen by some unusual names. Unusual in the sense that they aren’t necessarily Magic: The Gathering strongholds, rather than they’re hard to pronounce or even spell. Based as I am, in the Western Balkans, I found myself able to talk briefly with the Croatian Magic team - Goran Elez, Toni Portolan, Grgur Petrić Maretić, and Stjepan Sučić, and it was Grgur with whom I managed to speak in detail. Some background information might be useful to the readers – any long time Magic player will know that we once had Worlds (some of us recall Euros as well). Teams of 4 (3 and the alternate) would jet off to destinations myriad and exotic and duke it out to take home a trophy and a pocket full of green. That team was chosen through a country’s National Championships, with the Top 4 chosen as you would expect, by being the Top 4. Recently all of that has changed. The World Cup Qualifiers have replaced the National Championships and now return 3 distinct winners, who are joined by a notable pro from that country. This
ensures that the best player gets to go, and that’s an adequate reward one would suspect, but make no mistake, there are opponents to this format. However, this is not intended to be political, but rather celebratory.
We started by asking Grgur how Magic came to be in Croatia, and how he himself got playing, and whatever else it was that occupied his time, when not applying beatdowns… Of course there are shops which stock the game, and many have done so for some time now, but the game arrived (or so we’re told anecdotally) around 1995, with US soldiers stationed in the area (in Bosnia & Herzegovina mostly). They brought the game with them and taught our own soldiers how to play. This might not actually be the case but it’s an interesting story to tell people at the very worst. As for me, well it’s a game I knew about, and wanted to play when I was a kid but there was no one available to teach me. About 5 years later, when I was in High School, I made some new friends and one of them was already playing a lot of Magic. This was just
Lee Murphy Lee Murphy is Croatia’s foremost Irish journalist. The fact that he is also Croatia’s only Irish journalist does not weigh heavily on his mind; his fragile, fragile mind. When not reporting from the Croatian parliament, or being mistaken for Grammy award winning rappers, he can be found chasing cats around Dubrovnik.
shortly after Invasion debuted so you can imagine I was hooked. It was a fantastic set and really only matched by the Ravnica sets. I do play other games, like most gamers I suppose: Final Fantasy,
The Gazebo is a free, quarterly e-zine dedicated to gaming in the UK and Ireland.