How One Website Changed Online MTG

2020 has been a difficult year for almost every professional industry. One near and dear to my heart is “Magic: the Gathering” (MTG), the worlds largest trading card game. I’ve produced a MTG podcast for the past four years and have become very entrenched in the competitive scene, regularly travelling for in person paper events. A massive part of competitive MTG is the Grand Prix circuit (now rebranded as MagicFest), which are large paper tournaments hosted in various cities around the world every year that serve as a stepping stone into the Pro circuit of competition.

Former MagicFest 2020 Schedule from CFB Events

In addition to the MagicFest events, many other tournament organizers around the world host paper tournament series. These all came to a sudden stop in 2020 in the face of COVID-19. All paper MTG play was suspended worldwide and all events were promptly cancelled. This left the competitive scene in shambles (more so than usual) and a glaring void for players looking for a competitive outlet. So what now? Paper MTG has always been the used for high level competition despite the digital MTG offerings, but recently the creators of MTG (Wizards of the Coast) had invested tens of millions of dollars into their new digital version of the game (MTG Arena) to make a push into the esports world. Yet no framework existed to be able to host large-scale events online. Luckily for the community, someone had already realized this and had began working on an answer before COVID-19 hit.

Enter MTG Melee.


MTG Melee was created with one goal in mind: making MTG Arena tournaments accessible to organizers and fans worldwide. The passion for MTG within its community runs deep, consider this excerpt from MTG Melee about why they created this platform: “We love this game. We’ve all worked closely with it for over a decade, and want to see Magic have all the tools it needs for players to enjoy it. Right now Magic Arena does not support tournaments, and we want to fix that. Our goal is that with MTG Melee everyone around the world can experience the joy of playing well run events from the comfort of their own homes.” And MTG Melee did just that. The site brought in 20,000 users in its first six months and partnered with major organizers including Red Bull Untapped, Star City Games, and even Wizards of the Coast to host their new flagship digital events (Flattsware, 2020). Personally I’ve organized eight events over the past six months on the platform and have had players from across the world compete, the largest of which saw 113 players show up to play. To put this in perspective, the largest event I had ever ran online before MTG Melee had 25 players. The platform has allowed me to get my events in front of much more players than I could reach before.

Red Bull Untapped

MTG Melee makes finding, organizing, and playing in events incredibly easy. The platform utilizes what they call a “player controller” for competitors; a webpage that delivers each players pairing information to them each round, as well as announcements, standings, and other important tournament information. This feature means players don’t have to go searching for information on various webpages each round of competition, instead they stay on their player controller and all of their info gets sent directly to them. As a player this makes the whole tournament experience fantastic. Running events from the tournament organizer side of things is also incredibly intuitive.

MTG Melee has changed the face of online competition for MTG and I’m excited to see what the future holds for the platform.

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Flattsware. (2020). About Us. Retrieved October 13, 2020, from

A Social Media Challenge

Recently I resigned my position as a manager in the hospitality industry. I hadn’t felt like I had been learning anything new for a while and therefore I was no longer developing as a professional. This led to me to reevaluate what I wanted to pursue as a career. The world of social media and digital marketing had peaked my interest as of late which brought me not only to this course but also to begin looking for apprenticeships in the field to start building on my experience. I found an opportunity with Tangoo, a digital marketing and advertising agency based out of Vancouver and I’m currently in the interview process.

Tangoo services

After my initial application I was presented with a challenge to see whether I would make it to the round of interviews. The challenge was to come up with a caption for each of the following photos for an Instagram post and with a corresponding Instagram story to promote each post.


Photo #1 was for Tangoo Marketing and photo #2 was for Level Up Mortgages. As a potential social media manager these two businesses would be clients and the goal was to see how well I could encompass the brand voice of each account and use my creativity, knowledge on current events/trends, and strategy to add true value with the captions and stories. I was given the following details about each business:

  1. Tangoo Marketing
    • Target audience: Professional services (mortgage brokers, real estate agents), Small to medium sized businesses. Please stay away from restaurant marketing as we have a separate brand dedicated to that target audience.
    • Account goals: To be a thought leader in the marketing space, build audience engagement, and educate on how to break through the noise. We also want to serve as a brand guide illustrating Tangoos impact and showcase that we can get the job done.
  2. Level Up Mortgages
    • Target audience: Realtors who need smart mortgage brokers to help their clients with financing plus any first-time home buyer who wants to get educated on how they can have the best possible
    • Account goals: Encourage realtors or borrowers to reach out with questions to help them with their future mortgage.

They intentionally left guidelines on captions and stories open-ended to see what I could come up with based on my own creativity. I had never approached anything like this in a professional sense so I was excited for the opportunity. I began by looking into each businesses Instagram pages (Tangoo, Level Up Mortgages) to get a feel for the kind of posts and captions they normally make so I could get a better understanding of their brand. My net stop was their websites so I could get a better understanding of their services and learn a little bit more about each of their goals.

After my initial research I began my work on the caption for photo #1. I wanted the caption to focus on the educational aspect of their account goals and include someway of showing Tangoos success with former clients to “showcase that we can get the job done”. I think a spent a little too much time at the start trying to come up with a caption that referenced the photo in an obvious way, instead I decided to go with something that focused more on the account goals. My caption was as follows:

“COVID has had a major impact on businesses across the world. While some have closed their doors, others have shifted their focus online to succeed in the new global climate. We’re here to help businesses break through the noise by giving them the ability to make meaningful connections with their desired target audiences with LinkedIn Automation and a strong social media strategy.

See our link in bio to see how our clients are optimizing their time and building their audience.”

My submission for the Instagram story:

Tangoo Instagram story submission

I wanted to keep the story simple, my idea was a photo of a office workspace with a reference to “breaking through the noise”, which was mentioned in the corresponding caption. I felt like this line would create the most intrigue, getting more users to check out the post.

For Level Up Mortgages I had to get a little more creative. The photo was awkward dimensions for an Instagram post and I felt like the best approach would be to alter it a bit. I thought the best approach for this post was to be educational and another post from their Instagram account caught my eye:

Taken from Level Up Mortgages Instagram

Since my goal for the post was to be educational I thought this other post would be a great baseline to go off of. I could ask a question with the actual photo and use the caption to answer it. Here’s what I came up with:

My submission for Level Up Mortgages

I matched the colour scheme and did my best to match the font. By cutting the photo in half I was also able to make it look like there was a meeting going on between a client and a broker (or a bank) which I could tie into the caption. I researched some mortgage FAQ’s and came up with the following caption:

“Looking for a home loan as a first time buyer? Here’s why brokers are the best choice in today’s climate 👇

1) Mortgage brokers give you more choice. Banks are tied to their own products and lending policies, brokers can shop around to find a loan better suited to your needs.

2) Better rates 💸

3) Specialization: Brokers are experts in the home loan process and in lending policies. They can properly assess complex situations and react accordingly.

4) Trust: Mortgage brokers always work with your best interest in mind while banks work towards their own self interest.

Have more mortgage questions? DM me!”

My corresponding story post:

Level Up Mortgages Story Post

My goal with the story was to ask the initial question of “bank vs broker” to tie together the rest of the actual post. I also got to use the other half of the original photo that I had cut out.

In the end my submissions got me an interview! I’m still waiting to see if I got the position but regardless I was happy with the opportunity to challenge myself with something I had never done before. Any feedback on my submissions would be appreciated!

How would you have approached the challenge? Let me know!

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Discord: A Place To Call Home

Originally launched in 2015 (followed by a relaunch in 2019), Discord has exploded in popularity and has become an integral part of gaming communities across the world. What is Discord? Discord is a social platform boasting over 100 million monthly active users, 13.5 million active weekly users, and 4 billion server conversation minutes daily.

Discord company homepage

Discord is a voice, video and text communication service at its core. Users can create custom servers that act as community hubs where other users can find each other to connect based on their common interests. Admins can great various text channels in a server named for specific topics to focus conversations as well as voice channels. Within text channels users can talk via text, share photos/gifs, use custom server emotes, and react directly to others messages with emotes. Voice channels allow users to speak to each other as well as share their screens/camera feed with others in the channel (think Skype/Google Hangouts but integrated into each server). Discord users can also hold direct calls with voice/video/text with other users to connect outside of servers. Discord can be accessed through any web browser and also has downloadable desktop/mobile apps.

Photo from Discords website

Discord was originally created for people who love to play games, and while it has become a massive part of gaming its use has spread to many other communities as well. “Games are what brought many of you on the platform, and we’ll always be grateful for that,” reads a blog post by Discord CEO Jason Citron and CTO Stanislav Vishnevskiy. “As time passed, a lot of you realized, and vocalized, that you simply wanted a place designed to hang out and talk in the comfort of your own communities and friends. You wanted a place to have genuine conversations and spend quality time with people, whether catching up, learning something, or sharing ideas” (Chin, M, 2020). These days many popular content creators use Discord to connect directly with their communities.

Personally I use Discord every single day. I created a server for my podcast where we can connect with listeners and friends over common interests related to the podcast.

Screenshot of my Discord server, names and chat blacked out.

Our Discord server allows us to connect directly with our listeners in real time and gives our supporters direct access to us on a more personal level. In our servers we can collaborate with listeners on ideas, play games, run coaching sessions, and more. We also use our server as a hub for events that we’ve run online. We’ve created specific text channels for tournament announcements and tournament related conversation and use our voice channels to livestream the events on Twitch. The voice channels allow us to spectate players games and commentate over the gameplay: here’s an example of the final product made possible by Discord.

Discord has only grown in popularity amidst the COVID-19 pandemic as people have had a higher demand for a voice/video platform for remote work and to connect with friends during isolation. Personally I’ve found Discord much better than other options like Zoom, Skype, etc. Discords audio/video quality on calls far outclasses the competition in my experience and has much more features and functionality. Connecting with others over common interests has never been easier because of Discord. Looking to improve at a specific game and find others to play with? There’s a server for that. Looking to form a study group for school? Discord makes it easy. Looking to connect with others over your love for cooking? There’s a Discord server for that. With Discord recently raising $100 million dollars to accelerate their investment in the community, new features, and the company (Chin, M, 2020) I’m excited to see where the platform will go.

Do you use Discord? Let me know in the comments!


Chin, M. (2020, June 30). Discord raises $100 million and plans to move beyond gaming. Retrieved September 27, 2020, from

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How Fall Guys Used Twitter To Take Over The World

2020 has been a wild ride so far. While many companies have struggled to cope with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic one industry has continued to flourish: gaming. Perhaps the largest gaming phenomenon of 2020 has been the explosion in popularity of one online 60 player “Battle Royale” game: Fall Guys.

Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout

What is Fall Guys? Picture 60 beans dressed in various wild and colourful costumes racing through a track filled with various obstacles (giant falling fruit, hammers that will send you soaring off the map, massive seesaws, etc) all to achieve the winners crown. The game reminds me a lot of the old American TV show “Wipeout” except competitors race through the track all at the same time instead of one by one.

Fall Guys has experience astronomical growth in it’s first year (official release date was August 4th, 2020). It is consistently one of the most viewed games on Twitch and their Twitter account currently has over 1.5 million followers.

Twitch image taken on Sept.18 at 1:30pm

How did Fall guys become so popular so quickly? A lot of the games success so far has been attributed to the games Senior Community Manager: Oliver Hindle (@OliverAge24). Oliver shared Twitter thread where he discusses how he grew the Fall Guys Twitter/Discord communities which can be found here. His notes about Twitter are particularly interesting:


One of Oliver’s most successful Twitter campaigns of the year was the “Battle of the Brands” where Fall Guys pitted brands against each other in a bidding war to get a custom in-game costume featuring their brand.

Fall Guys Battle of the Brands

The eventual winners of the “Battle of the Brands” was a team up between G2 Esports (one of the largest Esports organizations in the world), Aim Lab, Mr Beast (one of the largest Youtubers in the world), and the live-streaming king himself: Ninja. Collectively these four donated one million dollars to charity to claim victory. This campaign brought in attention from major brands worldwide as well as from massive content creators, successfully building hype around Fall Guys and building their audience.


Oliver his team have put on a masterclass in social media management and have made 2020 the year of Fall Guys. Their social media strategy and resulting success has been incredibly educational for myself as an aspiring professional community manager. While the game being incredible surely has a major role in its success, Fall Guys remains an prime example of how social media marketing can grow a product/company.

Let me know what you found most interesting about the Fall Guys social media strategy!