Magic: The Gathering fans who consider themselves primarily tabletop players may be in for more bad news, it seems.
As with most brick and mortar businesses, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has had a massive impact on local game stores and other stockists, forcing those that are able to to fall back on e-commerce as a means of continuing to trade. Only exacerbating issues further are manufacturing delays on Wizards of the Coast’s end, which have so far seen several major releases, including Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths, delayed by more than a month.
One saving grace for MTG players amidst all of this, at least, is the collectable card game’s digital counterpart. Arena‘s accessibility has seen its popularity skyrocket in recent months, to the extent that it now appears as if Wizards intends to use the platform to host this year’s major competitive tournaments. Pro player and Grand Prix Dallas champion Austin Bursavich has shared a number of details about an upcoming announcement from the company supposedly planned to drop next week, the details of which are as follows:
RPT2 is slated for Mid-June (yeah like in 5 weeks)!!
It will be on ARENA, all Standard of course ?
This announcement is planned to drop ~next Tuesday.
Unfortunately there will be some serious prize cuts ? and no mentions of future invites/fractionals etc.?
— Percsalert (@mtghofbot) May 13, 2020
Assuming what Bursavich says is accurate, then, it means that a number of major Eternal formats will no longer be represented. Neither Pioneer or Modern – two of the most popular – are supported in Magic: The Gathering Arena, with the closest alternative available being Historic. In addition to that concerning development, Bursavich outlines the possibility of “serious” prize cuts for the Standard-only competition that’s reportedly due to kick off in just five weeks.
As usual, we should stress that everything mentioned above remains hearsay until Wizards of the Coast says otherwise, though if what Bursavich says is true, an official announcement is less than a week away. In the meantime, be sure to let us know what you make of the situation in the usual place below.