As most of you know, the entirety of New Phyrexia was spoiled recently.
I, personally, witnessed the leak happen, and feel it’s my journalistic duty to show you this train wreck in slow motion. Not through stylized prose, ending with the reader wondering how much was real and how much embellished. I have the hard IRC logs, painfully unedited for grammar, but cut up to show the mind-numbing tale. The time stamps on the left of the dialogue are in CST.
[07:22] <+archmage521> anyone for t2 test?
[07:26] <%B-boy> with new phyrexia ?
[07:27] <+archmage521> the only good card there is the new clone
[07:29] <%B-boy> shut up noob
[07:29] <%B-boy> you haven’t the entire spoiler list
[07:29] <%B-boy> 🙂
[07:29] <+archmage521> and u do?
[07:29] <%B-boy> yes
[07:29] <+archmage521> pix or its a lie
Heh, well that ends that. Surely no one would be stupid enough to actually consider leaking the new set on an open IRC chat room, and especially not to the old “pix or it didn’t happen” gag.
Fast forward a few hours…
[09:32] <%B-boy> I haven’t any link
[09:32] <%B-boy> it’s on my computer
[09:33] <@eEnder> why is it on your computer
[09:33] <@eEnder> are you a hacker
[09:34] <%B-boy> no
[09:34] <%B-boy> i’m a pro
[09:34] <%B-boy> and i live in nantes
[09:34] <%B-boy> we started playtesting yesterday
[09:35] <@eEnder> so?
[09:35] <@eEnder> i asked why you have the entire spoiler
[09:36] <%B-boy> i’m a writter
[09:36] <%B-boy> for “lotus noir”
[09:37] <%B-boy> a french mag
[09:37] <%B-boy> and we start a website
[09:37] <%B-boy> WatchDaMatch
[09:38] <@eEnder> and dont you have a policy against spoilers?
This conversation lasts hours, and in all of it eEnder is the sole source of reason. Who is this B-boy? How did he get the spoiler? Why is he being so free with information?
At this point, all we really know is that B-boy is French, supposedly from Nantes, and supposedly involved with Lotus Noir and WatchDaMatch. I looked into WatchDaMatch, but they don’t really have a real website, just youtube videos, and none of the computer footage matches up with the screen shots that B-boy posted. If I was trying to sniff out B-boy, however, I might start by questioning Julien Hadjadj, pictured here.
Oh wait, I am trying to sniff out B-boy, and I did contact Julien. I’m so on top of things.
Julien was quick to respond and, once I’d fed him what information I had, I couldn’t peel my eyes away from the computer. Usually, my fingers are a flurry of motion as I juggle testing with discussions with deadlines with downloads, but this time I sat, still, waiting for that inevitable red dot to notify me of a new message.
There! I leaned forward. Was this my big break? Did this guy have all the answers?
“Non he never worked for me lol! People just go inventing stuffs in their lives thats so weird :)” Julian replied.
Back to the story:
[10:53] <~jfc> how did you get it? :\
[10:53] <%B-boy> wafo
[10:53] <%B-boy> obv
The plot thickens. From the enjoyment B-boy gets from the attention, however, and the number of times he calls himself a “pro,” I would guess that he is very much an amateur, and merely wishes he knew Wafo, and wishes he was involved with Lotus Noir and WatchDaMatch.
[11:23] <%B-boy> we don’t want to diffuse it to any forum
[11:24] <~jfc> i just wanna show my friend.
[11:24] <%B-boy> if it’s private
[11:24] <%B-boy> it’s ok
[11:24] <~jfc> yeah
[11:24] <~jfc> its private
[11:24] <%B-boy> idk if i can trust you
[11:24] <%B-boy> :p
[11:25] <~jfc> isnt there anyway you can send me?
[11:25] <%B-boy> idk
[11:25] <%B-boy> wafo sent me on msn
And with that, the room quieted for several hours as its members lost themselves in private messages. Soon, simply by being on IRC, I had access to the spoiler, and then everyone else did. Not just IRC or MTGSalvation types, but Facebook types too.
[16:50] <%B-boy> WHAT
[16:50] <%B-boy> who posted my pic ?
[16:50] <%B-boy> there is some MSN window
[16:50] <%B-boy> MY MSN window
Realization dawns. Perhaps sharing secret information on an open IRC chat room was a bad idea? Perhaps breaking intellectual copyright law, while exciting, has its risks, and shouldn’t be taken so lightly?
So ended the leak. Despite thorough examination of the logs, I was left with more questions than answers.
I talked to PV a bit, and he said that when he wrote for a magazine he received his previews in .txt form, not a pdf. Still, I can see magazines needing pictures of some kind, so the idea of a writer getting his hands on a godbook wasn’t completely unreasonable.
Some hours (days?) later, I got a chance to speak to B-boy directly on IRC. While Sebastian, the Mexican fellow who spoiled a few of B-boy’s screen shots on MTGSalvation, was contacted by Wizards immediately, B-boy has yet to hear from them or receive any other sort of repercussions. Perhaps Wizards doesn’t know who he is. There are multiple French magic players, after all. I emailed B-boy some interview questions, hoping to get his side of the story. He hasn’t replied, and I can’t say I blame him.
…wait a minute
The instant I had his email address I gained the ability to add him as a contact and then use the friend finder application on Facebook to get his identity. In fact, after I made him a contact, his name was right there on his Hotmail profile.
David Gauthier. All that digging, and he was right there in my inbox.
I checked the DCI records, and sure enough: 46 David Gauthier 1971 Pau, SUD, France.
A reasonable enough rating, I mused to myself. Perhaps he does know Wafo.
A message. What’s this? An email from B-boy with answers to my questions?
I’m David Gauthier, Bboycott on MTGO, and a French nineteen year old random player!
How long have you played Magic?
I discovered MTG three years ago (some days after the Future Sight prerelease) and I started to play more seriously after PT Hollywood two years ago with Rock Elf.
How long did you have the godbook before it got spread around? Who did you get the book from, and has the leak damaged your relationship?
I had the godbook one or two days before the leak. I received it from Martial Moreau who received it from Guillaume Wafo-Tapa. Our relationships aren’t damaged yet. I explained what I did to him, but his forgiveness will depend on the sanction we’ll get I guess…
Why did you have the book?
I received it because I’m Martial’s friend, he trusted me, and in the Care Bears’ World, friends and sharing are all they have! He received it from Gullaume Wafo-Tapa probably for the same reasons and Guillaume received it because he’s writer.
Are you worried about any possible repercussions from Wizards?
And yes, since I discovered the gravity of this situation, I’m worried about any repercussions from Wizards (especially for Martial, and Guillaume who needs MTG in his life!)
And there you have it. No showboating, no fantastic claims, just a group of friends suddenly faced with cold reality. Hopefully their lesson doesn’t cost too dearly, and perhaps we all can all take something away from their story.
In all likelihood, we will see some type of lawsuit, and the DCI might take its own measures (the man who spoiled Ravnica received a four year ban). Lawsuits and the like might seem harsh for what is basically a crime of idiocy, spurred on by an excitement, a love for the game that we all share, but there is the health of the community to consider. Now a small business, like a blog or web site, won’t get their exclusive, and will suffer because of it. This hurts writers and business types, but also Wizards too. They have designed the spoiler releases to maximize the amount of buzz created. They’ve planned out their turns, slow rolled their saucy plays, and along comes some dude and blabs their whole hand. As players of a strategy game, we should be able to relate.
It’s hard not to think of how difficult it’ll be for Wafo in particular, as one of our few level eight pros, and a likely candidate for the Hall of Fame. I imagine that, as with Saito’s case, the controversy will continue for quite some time.
As always, thanks for reading, and you can reach me in the comments or at CalebDurward@hotmail.com.
Editor’s note: We at channelfireball waited until the official announcement from Wizards of the Coast to run this article. The end result is Guillaume Wafo-Tapa, Martial Moreau, and David Gauther (AKA B-Boy) have been suspended until October of 2012, and Guillaume Matignon has been suspended for three years.