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Image courtesy of TCGPlayer.

Magic Arena Goes Pro

Wizards of the Coast is calling 2019 the most exciting year in Magic‘s 25-year history.

In 2019 the online version of Magic the Gathering, Magic Arena, joins in participating in professional tournaments. Both digital and tabletop Magic will have $10 million worth of prizes between them, almost double the number of prizes in 2018.

Introducing the Magic Pro League

Wizards is promising a new level in professional play by creating the Magic Pro League, or MPL. This league comprises 32 of the top-ranked Magic players from around the world. They each get streamer and player contracts, with a combined total worth of $75,000. These MPL members will compete in seasonal weekly match-ups on Magic Arena, as well as mythic-level tournaments on tabletop and digital.

The MPL members will be announced in the coming weeks, along with player profiles of each one. You’ll be able to follow their progress and winnings throughout the year.

League members will go head to head for the top prize. Image courtesy of Wizards of the Coast.

Magic Arena Comes to PAX East

The new esports program begins with a $1 million Magic Arena Mythic Invitational event at PAX East in Boston on March 28–31. The MPL members will be present and taking on new challengers.

More information will be released about the Mythic Invitation in January. This info will include who will be attending, and it’s hinted that perhaps you, yes YOU, could be able to go. I will fight you for the spot, just saying.

Rise in the Ranks with New Mythic Championships

In 2019 we’ll see new Mythic Championships, giving everyone a shot at competing with MPL members. You can qualify for the championships by playing Magic Arena and then going up against the Magic Pro League at a shot for prizes and glory.

The event has a high prize pool and high drama for both digital and tabletop versions of the game. To acquire some goodies to help you get ready for esports in Magic Arena, use the code GameAwards to get a starter kit. The code expires Dec 16.

Image courtesy of Wizards of the Coast.

The tabletop events known as Pro Tours will now be called Mythic Championships to mirror Arena. The prize pool for tabletop has increased, and Mythic Champions in 2019 will win $500,000 in prizes. The increased prize pool for Mythic Championship ensures that every player gets some sort of prize, even last place.

Changes to the Tabletop Tour

It was previously announced that there would be six tours, but two were canceled due to the difficulty of scheduling when adding Magic Arena to the pot. The Dallas-Fort Worth and Sydney tours are the ones that got the axe.

The Mythic Championships still on the table are Cleveland (Feb 22-24), London (April 26-28), Barcelona (July 26-28) and Richmond (Nov 8-10).

A Tight Schedule

With all the planned changes, some more events got the axe as well.

There will no longer be Nationals due to the reason of population densities being difficult to manage between countries. There will be no World Magic Cup for 2019. The 2018 World Magic Cup will still take place on December 14–16 in Barcelona.

No more Pro Tour Team Series after 2018. Pro Club points will freeze in 2019. The Magic Pro League replaced the Pro Club, which offers better benefits. The Magic Pro Tour Hall of Fame also sees its last run in 2019 and will be replaced with a new hall of fame system.

More Events and Partnerships

A Grand Prix competition. Image courtesy of Wizards of the Coast.

A significant prize pool has also been set aside for independent organizers to host Magic esports and tabletop gaming events. ChannelFireball will have it’s Grand Prix circuit at MagicFest and is offering a $4.25 million prize pool. In addition, dozens of other events are also scheduled around the world. More partnership announcements in the future.

The World Championship will take place at the end of the year.  It will feature the most accomplished Magic players of the year across MTG Arena and tabletop.

Are you excited to try and get a slice of the prize pool? I know even a casual like me will be gunning for a taste. May the best magician win.