Scent of a Gamer

From the computer to the tabletop, this is all about games. Updated each week-end.

Magic’s new competitive scene

Wizards of the Coast chose an eSports convention to make an announcement about Magic’s organized play system. This choice of event should have been prescient but many were still surprised when Magic Arena was announced as an equal part of the competitive scene in 2019.

There will be a $10,000,000 prize pool, split evenly between paper Magic and Arena. This means paper play is worth about the same as in 2018, while Magic Arena will deliver $5,000,000 more. The game is still in beta, so this is quite the statement of confidence in this new product.

In contrast, Magic Online had existed for years before competitive play pathways were introduced. 

New prize structure

Naturally this has caused some consternation among Magic Online players, for whom the writing on the wall is now large enough to see. Wizards since clarified that the current competitive play structure on Magic Online will remain in place in 2019, but there’s nothing new being added.

Arena isn’t officially out yet, but already seems to have more players than Magic Online ever achieved. Most players won’t enter the competitive pathways, but the way is open for those who want to explore this side of the game.

Wrapped up in the announcement was news that the top 32 ranked players would received professional player contracts. Further details haven’t emerged yet, but there have been rumblings of discontent from pro Magic players over the past couple of years. Hopefully this will at least provide clarity, if not total satisfaction.

Magic’s competitive scene will bear watching over the next 12 months.

4 comments on “Magic’s new competitive scene

  1. Bookstooge
    December 16, 2018

    I’ve made the decision to stay away from Arena until I know what they’re actually going to do post-rotation. I don’t care what they Press Release.

    Now watch. I’ll be in nose deep by the end of January since I just wrote that 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    • davekay
      December 16, 2018

      It would not surprise me if after rotation you can still use your cards, but in events which only accept gems rather than gold as entry. They have to do something to let people keep using their cards, while at the same time encouraging standard, since that sells packs. I’ll be interested to see. I’m playing but am still at $0 spent.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Bookstooge
        December 16, 2018

        Events. That’s something I’ve never been interested in, so if that’s how things go, it’ll definitely no skin off of my nose.

        How grindy are you finding it to be without spending any money?

        Liked by 2 people

      • davekay
        December 16, 2018

        I was grindy until I got my first deck, for which I needed to pick up 7 Rare wildcards. I made this harder for myself by not opening packs unless they were free. That took about a month. Since then I just play when I want, finish quests, enter events, whatever, it’s all good. I don’t feel any particular pressure to save up for another deck because I enjoy what I have now.
        It’s possible to build a playable Standard deck (mono-blue) using your starting cards and wildcards, so that’s another option.

        Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on December 16, 2018 by in Events, Industry, Magic the Gathering, Tabletop and tagged , , , , .
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