When Simon Goertzen stepped down from his role as a part of the Coverage team in May 2019, he had no plans to return to professional Magic.
"I've had my tabletop career and my casting career, both of which I'm proud of. My priorities had shifted over the years, and I knew that I wouldn't go back to the lifestyle of my twenties," Görtzen tells manaecho.com.
"But I had picked up Arena and was enjoying climbing the ladder towards a top 1000 finish, even if just for the fun of competing. As a result, I was eligible for the qualifier weekend that gave out invites to the Mythic Championship in Las Vegas."
The Mythic Championship Qualifier Weekend was just weeks after Görtzen's announced retirement from coverage, and he managed to go all the way.
"One thing led to another, and all of a sudden, I was returning to one of the biggest stages of competitive Magic. With the help of some lucky breaks, like Gabriel Nassif making the MPL, my finish in Vegas plus a few extra points were enough to qualify me for the inaugural Rivals League. It's a pretty crazy story of an entirely unplanned return, to be honest."
Görtzen won Pro Tour San Diego in 2010, seven years after his Pro Tour debut. Next week, he is among the more than 180 players competing in the Zendikar Rising Championship.