Like a well-cooked meal, you can always expect a certain level of salt in Magic: The Gathering. But beware, too much might just turn you into a ‘Bronze player’ – someone who concedes to avoid losing, and who blames all their problems on the ‘rigged’ MTG Arena shuffler. A new brand has risen from the idea of a Bronze player – ‘Sounds like Shit Bronze Players Say’ (or SLSBPS for short), a new online clothing and accessories brand selling designs based on the some of the poorest losers in the MTG community.
“The term ‘Bronze’ originated as this conceptual idea of a player who constantly stays in the rank of Bronze on Magic: the Gathering Arena” says SLSBPS team member Lindsay Huffman. Huffman tells Wargamer the term is ironic, as the only way to permanently remain in Arena’s Bronze rank is to “make the choice to give up and not persevere”. “The term itself doesn’t actually refer to rank at all,” she adds, “but instead a very specific mindset and series of logical pitfalls that players can fall into without self-reflection and advice.”
Since setting up shop in April 2022, the SLSBPS website has listed a wide variety of products for sale. Many of these are clothes and accessories adorned with the brand’s neon, Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty inspired logo, but there are also plenty of items poking fun at ‘the Bronzies’. One desk mat for sale includes many famous excuses. ‘You only won because I got mana screwed’, the desk mat says. ‘Netdeckers are ruining the game’, it cries. And in the centre, in big, salty letters, that old adage – ‘anyone could win with your deck!’
As experienced community mods for social media groups like ‘Magic: The Gathering MTG’ on Facebook, the team behind SLSBPS has seen more than its fair share of Bronze behaviour. In fact, Huffman says SLSBPS all began because of the sheer amount of complaints players used to post about Arena’s RNG shuffler.
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“In a bout of frustration, Ryan [Allison, SLSBPS team member] told the [mod] chat ‘all of this sounds like some shit a Bronze player would say’”, Huffman says. “The rest, as they say, is history”.
From here, a new SLSBPS group was born. The Facebook group is currently approaching 3,000 members, and Huffman says it’s run by a mix of “judges, multi pro tour challengers, and LGS owners”. The brand also has a Twitter and Instagram account for posting similar Bronze content.
And while designed to laugh at some pretty toxic behaviour, the group’s message is a positive one. “We’re here to educate, entertain, and blow off steam instead of getting frustrated by the sheer amount of backwards and non-inclusive thinking we encounter daily in the community”, Huffman explains.
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The entertainment value in SLSBPS’s products and online presence is fairly plain to see, but what about education? Huffman says all Bronze quotes shared are anonymous, as “anyone can be more than the bad takes they’ve had or will have”. “We have this rule in the community that sums that up pretty well”, she adds. “Laugh at the takes, not at the people”. This combination of light ridicule and anonymity, Huffman claims, means these examples of bad attitude “can both educate and entertain at the same time”.
Despite being formed less than a month ago, Huffman says SLSBPS has plenty of big plans. Firstly, the social media group doesn’t just focus on Magic: The Gathering players. SLSBPS has this way of transcending games and genres,” Huffman adds.
— SLSBPS (@SLSBPS) April 27, 2022
“Everyone knows someone who constantly talks about bad beats. Everyone knows someone who constantly blames everything else before looking introspectively when their performance doesn’t match up to their expectations instead of working on themselves. We aim to show people that these things are common, but they’re also funny.”
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Huffman says SLSBPS is working towards becoming “an educational brand” for various gaming communities. This includes partnering with gaming influencers who, Huffman says, “actually put gaming myths to the test”. “So once and for all, we will actually have scientific proof that the shuffler isn’t rigged!”