In the world of competitive card game events, Wizards of the Coast made a few missteps with coordinating a Magic The Gathering: Arena tournament.
For those not aware, Wizards of the Coast officially partnered with third-party digital platform Matcherino to schedule and organize major tournament events for the digital free-to-play version of the popular card game. Matcherino would help manage entry fees, prize payouts to winners, as well as provide tools to help keep spectators engaged.
The first of these events was going to be a launch tournament celebrating the release of the newest set, Innistrad: Midnight Hunt. It was going to be a two-day event taking place on September 25-26, and feature streaming celebrity Stephen Croke aka Crokeyz. Anyone could enter the tournament if they registered within a certain window, and the grand prize was 10,000 gems, the premium currency used in MTG: Arena.
But while Wizards of the Coast had other events happening that particular weekend, this inaugural tournament was not one of them. In a thread of tweets by Crokeyz, he announced that the Innistrad: Midnight Hunt launch tournament had been canceled. The reason given for this cancellation was that the tournament site couldn't support the large number of people who signed up to participate.
Furthermore, Crokeyz turned down any attempts to delay the tournament, since the whole point of it happening was to explore the new meta Innistrad: Midnight Hunt provided completely fresh. He continues in one tweet saying, "This is the first time I have had to completely cancel an event on my stream, I am not happy about it. A lot of hard work from a lot of different people goes into events like these, and that has all gone to waste. Sorry everyone who has wasted time organizing or participating."
While this does raise questions about how this event was managed, it does compound on Wizards of the Coast's decision to partner with Matcherino to begin with. Many community members have asked why wasn't the partnership made with MTGMelee, a similar platform that has already adopted a sizable userbase. Although it has gotten into hot water recently regarding an organizer failing to pay out prizes to the winner of a tournament last month, some recent policy changes have addressed this.
The rest of the Magic Arena community has been critical of these decisions. In addition to the cancellation leading to some logistical curiosities, it has brought the partnership with Matcherino into question. This is because a completely separate digital platform, MTGMelee, has been the one of choice for organizers of similar, albeit smaller. Aside from a recent dispute regarding an organizer refusing to pay prize money, which has now been resolved, MTGMelee has reliably served the Magic Arena community for well over a year. The community as a whole has been asking: why didn't Wizards of the Coast partner with them instead?