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Magic: The Gathering Launching eSports Program in 2019

December 6, 2018 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Magic: The Gathering Arena

Magic: the Gathering is getting into the eSports game in a big way next year. Hasbro and Wizards of the Coast announced during the 2018 Game Awards on Thursday that Magic will get a brand new eSports program in 2019. Between the eSports and physical pro divisions, Wizards and Hasbro will have a $10 million prize pool at stake.

“Today is an extremely important day for Magic: The Gathering as we announce our commitment to esports and our Magic players by evolving our tournament structure to include a $10 Million prize pool,” said Chris Cocks, President of Wizards of the Coast. “We are fully embracing esports and affirming Magic as a leader in the collectible card game category while providing lucrative opportunities for pros, players, sponsors, and esports partners.”

The release announcement notes that Magic’s eSports structure “is designed to appeal to a wide audience of card game players and offers an open platform to allow all Magic players the opportunity to compete.” The Magic Pro League (MPL) will establish a new level of professional play, and features thirty-two of the top ranked Magic players from around the world. Players in the MPL are offered play and streaming contracts worth $75,000. Members of the MPL will play in weekly match-ups on Magic: The Gathering Arena® that will lead to newly introduced Mythic Championship events.

Mythic Championships are the new flagship competitions for Magic: The Gathering Arena esports and tabletop Magic competitive play. Mythic Championships will feature MPL players battling against challengers from the Magic community. The Magic: The Gathering Arena esports program kicks off with a $1 Million Mythic Invitational at PAX East 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts.

“The past 25 years of Magic competition has led us to design this comprehensive esports program that would support Magic: The Gathering Arena, while increasing our investment in tabletop Magic,” said Elaine Chase, Vice President of Esports at Wizards of the Coast. “Our investment in esports will catapult the game to new heights while providing support to the players by giving them the platform to build their brand and bring Magic to a broader audience.”

More details on how players can climb the ranks will be revealed in early 2019.