While many Magic: The Gathering fans have long suspected as such, Wizards of the Coast has now officially confirmed the inevitable.
As relayed in a statement released over the weekend, VP of Magic eSports Elaine Chase announced that all in-person events for the collectable card game for the remainder of 2020 have been cancelled. Not that it needs spelling out, of course, but the cause of this particular upset is the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent necessary social distancing measures that have been established in order to combat the virus’ spread.
That being the case, holding live competitions – some of which are attended by tens of thousands – is simply impossible without putting the health and safety of all those involved at risk, something that, it goes without saying, isn’t on the table.
To be expected, then, though there is a silver lining. All remaining Players Tour and Mythic Invitational events will be shifting to run online remotely, says Chase, with set-based competitive seasons becoming the new norm starting with Zendikar Rising later in the year. A welcome alternative for players who dedicate most of their playtime to Standard, then, though sadly, those who primarily play Eternal or Legacy formats are largely out of luck for the foreseeable future.
Magic: The Gathering Arena doesn’t support either and instead has its own evergreen ruleset in the form of Historic that contains only a small number of older cards introduced via semi-regular Anthology drops. If the competitive environment is all that matters to you, however, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on MTG Arena going forward. Wizards held the digital game’s first-ever prize money tournament over the weekend, with top prize winners walking away with a cool $2,000. See here for all the details.