Magic: The Gathering Arena entered open beta on September 27. The game has since enjoyed a great influx of new players that didn't manage to get a closed beta key--100 million matches played since then, to be precise. Wizards of the Coast promised that the open beta was only the beginning, mentioning more "experimental event types." One of these is launching today, Streamer Events. Arena has become quite popular on Twitch, and so it makes perfect sense that Wizards of the Coast will try to encourage content creators that provide a unique way to enjoy Arena, either through competitive gaming, mentoring, entertaining, or theorycrafting decks.
Streamer Events will feature a close collaboration of the Magic: The Gathering Arena team with different creators in the community to build customized in-game events around their unique personalities and playstyle. These will be recurring events featuring a variety of different kinds of content creators and wildly different game modes. The first two of these so far will be a Draft and Constructed event. The Draft event will be led by Gaby Spartz, called "Greedy Dominaria Draft," so that players will be able to draft three packs of Dominaria around a few unique rules, namely two lands per turn, 9-card hand start, and no maximum hand size.
Meanwhile, the Constructed Event will be led by Sean Plott, who goes by Day on Twitch. The streamer claims a burning displeasure for counters and control tricks. The event will center around this aversion, and it's called Insta-Ban, where 60-card decks will not allow Instant spells (including cards with the Flash ability). It's definitely an attractive mode for aggro and midrange players whose tactics are often thwarted by control decks.
Topping off the Streamer Events, the Magic Digital Studio is working to include a much-desired feature in Arena--direct multiplayer for friends. Direct Challenge will allow players to jump into games against their friends by searching their in-game name before going into battle. The feature is scheduled to appear in the next November update, and more robust friend features are also on the way.
Our preview of the Arena closed beta was quite positive, and we are currently in the process of writing a new preview discussing the changes and features added since then.
Did you get a chance to try Magic: The Gathering Arena yet? Do you see yourself streaming it or just watching? Let us know in the comments below.