Scent of a Gamer

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

Changes to Magic: the Gathering organised play

Change has been a constant for Magic’s organised play over the past few years, and these changes have not always been well-received.

The most recent changes focused on streaming and online play, along with the establishment of a Magic Pro League (MPL), of 32 players all on professional contracts.

art by Cynthia Sheppard

This seemed good in the abstract, but in practise we’ve seen players unceremoniously dumped from the MPL, or choose to leave, and then others elevated to the league with little clarity as to why.

In short, the old pathway model where a few players sat at the top of a pyramid and others could see the path, however narrow, to get there, was gone.

It’s back now, with a new league structure that maintains the MPL while putting back some kind of competitive pathway. Here’s the full article.

The pathway now looks like this:

The pathway is split between Magic Arena and paper or Magic Online play. There’s also regional pathways unique to paper to keep players in areas of lower tournament density in with a chance to climb to the highest heights.

Once you’re there, the MPL works like this:

Of the 24 players, 20 will remain in the following year. To me this doesn’t quite get the balance right between keeping people in, and providing for fresh blood, but we’ll see how this works in practise.

With all the uncertainty of recent months, it’s nice to see some attention being paid to this area of the game.

2 comments on “Changes to Magic: the Gathering organised play

  1. Bookstooge
    August 24, 2019

    It is about time they did something with concrete rules. Nobody seemed to know anything and how people were chosen seemed extremely random. I’m not a competitive player at all, but yanking the rug out from all those people who play magic who are trying to play competitively stuck even in my craw.

    Not that I’m very optimistic about even this layout, mind you. Mainly because I think they will change it next year and screw everyone over, yet again.

    I just wish we had some hard numbers about what is actually keeping magic afloat, financially speaking. Is it standard players like Hasbro/WotC is always claiming or is it the commander base? I also wish that WotC would stop playing by double rules in regards to the secondary market. They claim to ignore it, but the C19 decks prove beyond a shadow of a doubt they not only acknowledge it but encourage it. Why, I have no idea. But give me some $30-40 cards in the Commander precons and I’ll be a much more satisfied player.

    Thanks. I didn’t mean to go off like that 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • davekay
      August 24, 2019

      Their tendency to make unannounced changes does mean that even when people like the new change, there’s no guarantee it won’t change again,and for the worse.

      Totally agree with you on the Commander precons!

      Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on August 24, 2019 by in Events, Industry, Magic the Gathering, Tabletop and tagged , , , .
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