07 December 2018
Digital and physical come together in Mythic Championships
Big changes are coming to Magic: The Gathering’s organised play scene as the collectible card game makes a major push into the world of esports.
The new esports programme is designed to bring together the physical card game and its digital version Magic: The Gathering Arena, and sees the competitive calendar departing from tournament events that have been a mainstay for decades.
Most notably, Pro Tours – the invitation-only competitions that have showcased some of the highest-level Magic players in the world since their introduction in 1996 – are being merged with Arena’s existing Mythic Championships.
Each tabletop Mythic Championship will have a bigger prize pool of $500,000, while the total amount of prizes in 2019 will be $10 million across Magic’s digital and tabletop competitions – over twice the figure handed out this year.
Leaving the calendar completely will be Magic Nationals, the World Magic Cup and the Pro Tour Team Series, all of which have been confirmed to come to an end with their 2018 instalments.
As Arena events join the list of tournaments happening in 2019, the number of tabletop competitions will remain at four – Cleveland, London, Barcelona and Richmond – after previously being announced to increase to six Pro Tours next year. The Dallas-Fort Worth and Sydney Pro Tours have been cancelled completely.
At the heart of the new Magic competitive scene will be the new Magic pro League, which will launch next year with 32 of the best Magic players in the world being offered contracts worth $75,000 in total. The players will compete in seasonal weekly Arena matches, as well as Mythic tournaments.
The Mythic Championships will also give regulars players the chance to face off against Pro League players by playing Arena. The first Mythic Invitational will take place on March 28th to 31st in Boston with a $1 million prize pool.
“When I played in the first Magic Pro Tour in 1996, I never imagined I'd be announcing a $10 million prize pool and a transformation of the Magic competitive scene into a comprehensive program encompassing both the tabletop game I've loved and its new digital incarnation, MTG Arena,” wrote Wizards of the Coast’s vice president of esports Elaine Chase in the announcement of the new programme.
“2019 is going to be the biggest year in competitive Magic gaming – and massive for esports gaming as a whole.”