A couple of my friends flew to Milan last weekend for the M:tG Modern Gran Prix. None of the guys made it to the second day, but a friend from our testing group came away with a respectable 6-3-0 record (6 wins, 3 losses, no draws), which is really good for his first professional all-day tournament abroad. I can see our weekly testing continuing in the new year, and it's fair to say me and the guys want to compete in more tournaments next year.
I've spent a lot of time this year getting back into M:tG, and have picked up two complete tier one decks to play with. I have just got the hang of the ever-changing meta of the Modern format (it helps that I have printed nearly 10 proxy decks of the formats more popular decks), and I'm really enjoying the experience of regular weekly testing and competing. I used to have a lot of competition in my life when growing up - karate tournaments took up a very large portion of my weekend time, not to mention the regular evening training sessions on the lead up. It's good to have that thrill back, the camaraderie and the collective focus on learning and sharing.