Paul Cheon on grinding Magic, Caribbean shenanigans, and life at Wizards of the Coast

Paul Cheon is a commentator for Magic and esports relationship manager at Wizards of the Coast. In the past, he has held roles as a professional Magic player, full-time streamer and member of the Wizards Play Design team.

In this in-depth conversation, we discuss:

  • Paul’s early days: discovering & grinding Magic
  • His (special) relationship with food
  • Living in the Caribbean for 5 years
  • Life at Wizards: Play Design & Coverage

Listen to it here:

Humans of Magic is a series of deep and personal interviews with the brilliant minds of Magic. The focus is always on the things that matter most to each guest — personal growth, family, passions, and the competitive mindset.

To learn more about the project and win a copy of the new Humans of Magic book, visit humansofmagic.com.

Interview highlights

On being trolled by LSV within 3 minutes of meeting him

“What the hell, I just met you dude!”

On his relationship with food

“I don’t spend money on anything except for food.”

“In one year I gained 40 pounds. That’s almost a pound a week.”

On what spurred his weight loss — a convo with David Ochoa

David Ochoa: “Paul, you look different.”

Paul: “What do you mean?”

David: “Umm. Yeah, you look fat.”

On doing coverage

“I love doing coverage so much…I do it because I absolutely love it…If I didn’t accept this job at Wizards, I would probably do coverage full-time.”

“I get more joy out of bringing excitement and information to other people, than sitting in some tournament and doing well.”

On working for Wizards of the Coast Play Design

“Our literal job is to make Standard fun and balanced.”

“We can read and write. It is a skill that is required to work here—I think.”

On his colleague, Donald Smith Jr.

“It is very meme-y in the Pit. I would say it started with the recruitment of Donald Smith. Donald and Andrew Brown feed off of each other.”

“Don’t get me started on his tweets. Half of his tweets are good tweets, and the other half is like, ‘I want a peanut butter sandwich.’…That aside, I think Donald’s great.”

What would Paul tell the younger version of himself, if he could go back in time?

“Be more patient…Or maybe more understanding.”

“I feel like some part of me could have been better [as a parent]. You know how you play a pretty good game of Magic but lose a game at 1 life? You tell yourself, ‘I could have done better?’ Something tells me I can always go above and beyond.”

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