Magic: The Gathering publisher Wizards of the Coast (WotC) has announced on their esports website that they have moved all of the 2020 Season’s remaining competitive events to online platform Magic: The Gathering Arena. This is due to COVID-19 disrupting “the notion of gathering in large numbers with players traveling around the world to celebrate Magic.”
The announcement’s bottom line is that every player qualified for competitive tournaments for the rest of the 2020 Partial Season will now be competing for prizes on Arena instead of traveling. This announcement affects both paper Players Tour events and Mythic Invitationals played on Arena on-site.
The tournaments affected include:
- The 3 scheduled Regional Players Tour events in Washington, D.C., Barcelona, and Sydney
- Players Tour Finals in Minneapolis, USA, previously scheduled for July 10-12
- Mythic Invitational Zendikar Rising, previously taking place from October 22-25
Notably, the Regional Players Tours that were set to take place in the U.S., Europe, and Asia-Pacific regions have been combined into Arena tournaments scheduled over two weekends in June. The new event schedules and prize structures as detailed in the announcement are as follows:
- The Players Tour events will take place on the weekends of June 13 and 19, with four separate tournaments awarding $150,000 each;
- The Players Tour Finals will happen on July 25-26 with a $250,000 prize pool;
- The Finals Top 8 happens on the following week, on August 1;
- The Mythic Invitational will take place from August 28-30, also with a $250,000 prize pool.
WotC also unveiled a new tournament, called the 2020 Season Grand Finals. This special event will take place soon after the release of new set Zendikar Rising. The top 16 players from both the Players Tour Finals and the Mythic Invitational will play for $250,000.
Here’s a graphic breaking down the new 2020 Season event structure:
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Obviously, this is a huge development for competitive Magic: The Gathering and will surely receive mixed reviews from the player base . As such, it’ll be interesting to see how people react.
The announcement also noted that qualified players won’t be allowed to defer their invites to these events. This is due to the uncertainty surrounding travel arrangements and events in 2020.
Source: Magic Esports