During the Game Awards, Hasbro and Wizards of the Coast announced a brand new Major eSports program For Magic: The Gathering. Over multiple tournaments throughout the year, prizes will be available for competitors globally.
Magic The Gathering is a collectable trading card game that allows players to cast spells and summon creatures to defeat their enemies. The game can be played not only with physical cards but online in Magic The Gathering Arena. ESports across many platforms have been growing exponentially over recent years and prize pools have skyrocketed with them. At The Game Awards last week, President of Wizards of the Coast, Chris Cocks, announced the following.
“Today is an extremely important day for Magic: The Gathering as we announce our commitment to eSports and our Magic players by evolving our tournament structure to include a $10 Million prize pool.” said Chris. “We are fully embracing eSports and affirming Magic as a leader in the collectible card game category while providing lucrative opportunities for pros, players, sponsors, and eSports partners.”
The newly announced prize pool will be evenly distributed across both digital and tabletop platforms. A total of $5 million each will go towards Magic The Gathering Arena and tabletop Magic.
The brand new Magic Pro League will be offering streaming and player contracts to the 32 top-ranked Magic players worldwide. These contracts will be worth $75,000 US a year, which is over $100,000 AU. This means that players can focus on competing full time. It also encourages these players to stream on their personal channels, bringing larger audiences to the game. The Magic Pro League will consist of weekly matches in Magic The Gathering Arena.
The Pro League will ultimately decide who makes it to the Mythic Championships. The invitational tournaments will consist of $1 million prize pools. The first of these tournaments will be held in March next year at PAX East 2019.