The End of an Era and the Reach of the DCI

The End of an Era and the Reach of the DCI

Andrey Yanyuk

 Note: This editorial contains some strong opinions. is publishing the article while neither condemning or condoning any statements contained within.
As some of you already know, I was suspended by the DCI on the Tuesday following my PTQ win in March. The details are written later in the article for those interested. I don’t want my suspension to be the primary focus of this, but I recognize that a lot of you are curious about it so I’ll go over my thoughts on the matter. Since no part of me plans to be a part of this “community” in the future, I guess I don’t have to censor myself either. A lot of you will be pretty upset with me while reading this as a result, but trust me- the message I’m trying to get across is worth reading it through to the end, regardless of what you think about me personally.

When I got the email telling me that I was suspended, it was 3 months after the DQ that caused it, and just as long since I’d heard anything about it. I went through a mix of emotions in the first hour- from anxious, to relieved, to pissed off about them screwing over everyone else in that PTQ top 8 by waiting until Tuesday to ban me. I told them I was livid about the timing, and asked them to at least give the invite to my buddy who finished 2nd. The more I thought about it though, the more I realized that this was a blessing in disguise. Magic had just been my way of putting off life in the “real world” for a few years now, and I stopped having fun playing since around the release of RtR. As I write this over a month later, I’ve played a total of 2 Shadowmoor drafts worth of Magic since my suspension, simply because I haven’t had the urge to go anywhere near modern card design.

It was nobody’s fault but my own, and I did what anybody would do in my position- post a status on Facebook and Twitter to let people know what happened.

Done with the game because of unreasonably lengthy suspension, and done everything I can to give Troy Thompson my invite. Here’s hoping!

— Andrey Yanyuk (@AndreyYanyuk) March 21, 2013

Armed with 140 characters of evidence and the omniscience it entails, a bunch of talentless shitheads (none of whom had spoken with me once in their lives) were quick to call me the scum of the earth and rejoice in the suffering of others.

@andreyyanyuk Sucks you have to possibly ruin somebodies chance that actually deserves a shot at the PT.Absolutely disgusting.

— Carl Tormanen (@gettothejetskis) March 21, 2013


@psamms You have to retweet the good things that happen in life

— Cedric Phillips (@CedricAPhillips) March 21, 2013


@andreyyanyuk lol, wah-wah take your ball and go home. Habitual cheaters aren’t wanted in MTG, try cycling or something.

— Bearon Von Bear (@MadeOfTar) March 21, 2013


@andreyyanyuk Will the community miss a cheating scumbag? All your tweets display a very poor character. Good riddance.

— Raven Quothe (@RavingQuothe) March 22, 2013

Stay classy, Twitter. Of course none of this was new to me, as I had already been dealing with chat for 8 months. If you weren’t familiar with what that entails, 25% of it was being asked if I liked men, 25% of it was being told I like men, 45% was calling me an idiot for not naturalizing Stuffy Doll, and 5% was civil discourse in English. After all this time I feel like I have a decent understanding of where all of that animosity comes from, though. I’m nothing if not a codependent, sociopathic narcissist, which I’m sure doesn’t come across well to some of you. A lot of the MtG fan base also happens to be socially inept men in their mid-thirties and forties, which get frustrated seeing “that Twilight looking faggot” be 50 times the player they are in a game they’ve played since its inception in the 1800s. Somewhere around the 50,000th time I was called a shitty player by a Michael Moore lookalike that felt he was god’s gift to the game because of the two FNMs he 4-0ed, I just stopped playing this game for the people. I had made some great friends in the meantime, sure, but it just felt like there were no more to be had in this new era of entitlement and celebrated douchebaggery. With both the people and the game having changed too much from what I became obsessed with 7 years ago, I didn’t even feel like playing online anymore. And so I left the game without looking back, until a few weeks later I see this:


I truly feel bad for my actions and thus have been further punished.I have no ill will towards any parties involved. Consider my eyes opened

— Alex Bertoncini (@amentalmisstep) April 10, 2013

Now I’ve known Alex for a long while, and this seemed extremely uncharacteristic of him. After asking him what happened, he explained that they extended his suspension by 6 months because of some SCG Live commentary he streamed, and a Facebook thread he posted in. Now I know a lot of you are sitting there with your brow furrowed, pitchfork in hand, thinking “Bah! Not long enough for that scumbag!” I want everybody with a similar train of thought to put down their burn/show & tell deck for a minute, fight their natural urges, and think like a rational and civilized human being for a moment. The DCI banned someone for 6 months because of what he posted on social media sites, not having even been in a tournament setting. Consider the actual ramifications of that for a second. They’re watching everything you post on Facebook, and everything you post on Twitter. If it upsets them or they just see fit, they’ll ban you. Not for cheating in a tournament setting, not for lying to a judge, not for doing anything within the game of Magic itself, but for posting something they don’t like on Twitter. Sure, it’s easy to say that you think Alex deserved it, and that’s exactly why they get away with it. He’s unpopular enough that nobody will empathize with him or stir shit up about the matter. Personally, I had a few questions for Scott Larabee.

@scottlarabee If Bertoncini got a ban extension because of some 50 viewer stream he did, how long did Osyp get for…

— Andrey Yanyuk (@AndreyYanyuk) April 10, 2013


@scottlarabee Followup question: How long did you

ban Turtenwald for when he did the same exact thing for the TCG Player Invitational 2011?

— Andrey Yanyuk (@AndreyYanyuk) April 10, 2013


@scottlarabee I assumed if player A commits rules infraction X and gets punishment Y, player B committing X would get Y as well. My mistake.

— Andrey Yanyuk (@AndreyYanyuk) April 10, 2013


@scottlarabee Oh, it wasn’t a rules infraction. Could you link the DCI-approved list of what I am and am not allowed to do outside of magic?

— Andrey Yanyuk (@AndreyYanyuk) April 10, 2013


I’m sure some of you are thinking that was a unique decision they made with Alex, and that it can’t possibly be a regular occurrence. Well, after never hearing from the DCI about any of my 4 emails back to them, my inbox coincidentally became flooded with their emails right after my series of Tweets to Larabee. This was my favorite conversation, which I obviously have not gotten a response to in 17 days (although I’m sure I’ll have one to go along with my longer suspension the minute they read this.)


6:46 PM (1 hour ago)

to me

Hi, Andrey. My name is Eric Shukan, and I am the lead for the Magic Investigations Committee. We assist WotC to adjudicate disqualification cases and misconduct cases that may require action beyond the tournament DQ. First, let me say that I appreciate your honestly in the statement that you gave in Denver. Because of that honestly, we recommended to reduce the suspension from the usual 18 months down to 15 months. However, recently I have seen social media posts by you in which you claim that you are innocent of adding cards to a sealed pool – essentially, you are denying responsibility to the public. While we make no claim to abridge your right to post what you wish, we do claim that intentionally attempting to damage the MTG community through lies is a form of unsporting conduct by our players. Of course, it is possible that you didn’t understand this, and so I send this message to you simply asking you to stop lying about the incident. You don’t have to admit anything, of course, but please do not lie. If we see no further unsporting behavior that might damage the MTG community, we would be happy to see you return at the end of your suspension. If you have any questions or comments, I do encourage you to reply. Thank you for your attention in this matter. Eric Shukan Magic Investigations, Lead

Andrey Yanyuk

8:11 PM (7 minutes ago)

to eshukan

During the incident in question, I played out all eight rounds of the sealed tournament, pulled all the rares and uncommons of use out of my sealed pool (since it was the end of swiss and I turned the match result slip in), and went to get a snack. When I returned to the area where they were holding the tournament, the head judge asked to see my pool. I had never heard of after-round deck ckecks before, but I told him sure, explained that I had pulled some of the cards out, and handed him the commons/useless uncommons I was planning to throw into a bulk bin. He asked me if I added cards to my pool because he saw me playing with a guildmage that was no longer in the pool, nor was it registered. He asked me how I could have possibly had a guildmage if it wasn’t on the sheet or in the pile I handed him. I said I didn’t know repeatedly, because I had never been in a situation like this, was on 3 hours of sleep, and had just spent 10 hours straight playing magic.

There was absolutely a guildmage in the pool passed to me, and it was among the good uncommons I pulled out, but I did not double check the sheet to catch the misreg during deck building. The player registering mistakenly marked a “1″ next to a card that was neither selesnya guildmage nor in my pool instead.

The judge told me that he had to disqualify me after an awkward silence, and file a report with the DCI. I have been playing this game for 7 years and have never even received a match loss. I was disappointed about the side event, sure, but I was moreso nervous because it’s a serious penalty and a situation I had never been in before. As we walk up to the event desk, he tells me that I can write a note to send with the case to the DCI, and that “they’re more likely to go easy on you if you admit to what you did”. I thought about how much good denying any wrongdoing did my friends Alex Bertoncini and Brandon Nelson when it came to DCI investigations, and figured if I “confess” they’ll go easy like the judge said. I immediately replied “Alright, I’m sorry, I added cards.”

So no, it’s not on Twitter that I’m lying about what happened. It was in the two-sentence note I anxiously scribbled while fearing that my career as a streamer/player was over.

Now that the whole ordeal is over, and the DCI showed me what in my eyes was little-to-no leniency for a “first offense”, I have no problem telling people that asked me the facts.

What I do have a problem with is the childish way your organization handles the timing of these incidents, and more importantly trying to police social media sites at all (let alone through strong-arming via suspension lengths). Twitter is not WotC’s personal Soviet Russia, and the internet doesn’t work that way. Contention 1:

It’s my Twitter account, and I’ll post whatever I damn well please- regardless of whether WotC approves of it or not. The company neither has nor should have any authority over what people are and are not allowed to say on Twitter, Facebook, Twitch, or the like. And trust me- threatening to lengthen the suspension of a player that publicly announced an unwillingness to return isn’t going to accomplish what you want.

After my DQ in Denver, I heard nothing, not even an email about the incident, for over 3 months. Because of this, I assumed the people at the DCI were understanding and had given me a second chance. I spent over $700 dollars traveling to PTQs in driving distance as a result, under the mistaken impression that I had a chance of qualifying for the Pro Tour. TWO DAYS after I win a ptq I get an email saying “Trolololo, JK no pro tour for you!”. (I’m under the impression that **** ***** gave ***** **** a call and **** called you guys, but that’s conjecture.)

Considering most people in your position play EDH exclusively, I’m going to go out on a limb and say you can’t even begin to empathize with me in that situation.

“Ongoing Investigations” should be exactly that- an investigation that is done and either suspends the player or doesn’t. It didn’t take anyone longer than ten minutes to read my note, deck reg sheet, and the few sheets of papers attached. Despite that, you waited until something happened that stirred up a fuss to swing the ban hammer, just like you not-so coincidentally waited until two days after Levin wrote an article about Bertoncini cheating and he won the Invitational, just like you not-so-coincidentally sent me this email half an hour after I criticized your organization’s methods publicly on Scott Larabee’s Twitter account.

By the way, it’s been 3 weeks since anybody’s even mentioned anything about my suspension on Twitter, don’t try to use that as an excuse for threatening to lengthen my suspension. You’re upset about what I posted to Larabee, and don’t pretend otherwise.

I really hope that your organization collectively reconsiders what it wants it’s reach to be, because to try to police what human beings say and do on the internet is laughably ambitious-regardless of the people or communities affected.

If you have any questions or comments, I do encourage you to reply. Thank you for your attention in this matter.

Andrey Yanyuk,


So what happens next? Does my ban get extended for reasons that “are definitely not because of your article”? Do the folks at DraftMagic get threatened with suspensions unless they take it down? Does WotC ignore it because I included this paragraph specifically because it would make them look bad if they did those things? Who cares, I’m gonna go play League of Legends.


P.S. For those who’ve been asking me when I’m gonna be back in the Twitch saddle, I’ll probably be streaming the Dragon’s Maze prerelease the weekend it’s on Modo because the Gatecrash prerelease was a pretty good time, then move on to streaming some other game play-throughs in the coming weeks. Hope to see a lot of you there at

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