Magic the Gathering is likely the last product you would expect to get an announcement at The Game Awards this year, but the long-running collectible card game’s digital cousin, MTG: Arena, is entering the realm of eSports.
The biggest part of the announcement was a full $10 million eSport fund for 2019 – with their first event for MTG: Arena being a Mythic event worth $1 million.
“Our new program embraces each of these principles and doubles down on the opportunity for players, pros and partners alike with a $10 million prize pool and a Mythic Championship system that spans Magic tabletop and MTG Arena with multiple paths to qualify via in-game play on Arena and our 50-city Grand Prix system in 2019,” stated Chris Cocks, President and CEO of Wizards of the Coast. “We also have reserved significant prize money support for partner funded events that will extend opportunities to compete and play at more events throughout the year.”
The first MTG: Arena events will be taking place at four major Pro Tour stops in 2019. They are as follows:
- Cleveland: February 22–24
- London: April 26–28
- Barcelona: July 26–28
- Richmond: November 8–10
The Mythic Championship events feature the best of the best for the Magic Pro League, featuring 32 of the top players in the world. While no full details were given yet as to how MTG: Arena, but the plan is to have the Mythic Championship culminate at PAX East 2019. The prize pool extends down to the last place finishers this time around, and the Tabletop Mythic Championships after the London event in April. The Barcelona and Richmond events will also not have regionalized invitations, as previously announced.
Members in the Magic Pro League will be offered play and streaming contracts worth $75,000, with weekly MPL match-ups to be streamed with MTG Arena. For the full details of the revamped Pro Tour, Wizards of the Coast has posted massive update on their website, to coincide with the announcement.
As a special bonus for players watching The Game Awards tonight, players who use the code Gameawards get an eSports starter kit for free upon signing up. The code gives you several rares and playsets of staple uncommons used in the current format, and if you already have them grants progress towards your vault. Here is the list of cards it gives:
1x Cleansing Nova
1x Risk Factor
1x Vraska’s Contempt
1x Search for Azcanta
4x Conclave Tribunal
4x Merfolk Branchwalker
4x Lava Coil
4x The Eldest Reborn
4x Sinister Sabotage
What are your thoughts on Magic The Gathering turning to eSports? Will this boost MTG: Arena? Leave your comments below.