There is some debate among fans and game historians about when the current epoch of esport began. Some say that…
There is some debate among fans and game historians about when the current epoch of esport began. Some say that everything has changed with the appearance of Legends League . Others would say that StarCraft boom in South Korea really kicked off things. Another group can argue that everything began and is still successful for the original DOOM . Regardless of any of these starting points, there is a competitive game that precedes all of them: Magic: The Gathering .
The 25 year trading game has supported its own professional, competitive tournament circuit for longer than many players have lived. However, the focus had always been largely on Magic’s physical product instead of its various digital iterations. It changed the whole week when the developer Wizards of the Coast and its parent company Hasbro announced a Revised Competition Structure for Magic -one with a major focus on Esports and a $ 10M prize pool. Esports Observer spoke with the guides at Esports Elaine Chase, Coastal Manager to learn more about the company’s decision to enter the esport industry.
Magic’s New Competitive Structure has two main characters: Mythical Championships and Magic Pro League (MPL). Mythical championships are large-scale tournaments held online and in physical locations from local short stores to major convention halls, open to a larger pool of players. Magic The Pro League, as Chase described it, is “composed of 32 of the best rated players from around the world.” These players will compete in weekly online matches played in Wizard’s latest digital offer:  Magic: The Gathering Arena .
Over these two pillars, Wizards will distribute $ 10M USD in prize money in 2019. In addition, players in Magic Pro League will get a $ 75K “Streaming and play contract.” Chase explained that this salary is in place for players not only to compete in weekly MPL matches and mythical championships, but also to regularly live on their personal channels.
“We have designed the structure very specifically to provide lucrative opportunities for professionals, for other players, for sponsors, for esport partners,” said Chase.
“The tablet itself will be even bigger than ever in this new structure.”
A developer launching its own eSport initiative is nothing new, but Wizards and Hasbro had a rather unique challenge to develop a system for  Magic. For over 20 years, Magic has had a robust, well-founded competition structure called Pro Tour. Players of the physical product collected in local card stores, regional congress halls, and eventually worked for major high-end tournaments culminating in a world championship. A whole ecosystem has grown around the pro tour including props, commentators, teams, event organizers, content creators and even a hall of fame.
The wizards needed to find a way to continue supporting the game deck gaming ecosystem while moving into the esport world. According to Chase, this new system just does.
“Tabletop itself will be even bigger than ever in this new structure … We actually develop the brand for pro tour like the Mythic Championships because we want to be able to clearly communicate that competitive Magic is available both in digital at MTG Arena esports and board games with competitive games and make a clear delineation between the professionals in the Magic Pro League and the championships open to the public in order to get in and try to fight them. “
” With MTG Arena we have one Modern Digital Platform for the World’s Best Trading Card Games. “
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In addition to serving both the existing table ecosystem and a new esport audience, Chase said the new structure should open the door to more opportunities for sponsors as well. “We really believe that the Magic’s built-in fan base combined with the amazing new offer like MTG Arena is, along with the esport program we’ve put behind what really is the industry like leader in the [collectible card game] space, doing all the things that make us highly anticipated that we will be able to work very closely with a number of sponsors for great opportunities to talk with our players and as part of our esport entertainment “width = “800” height = “448” class = “alignnone size-full wp-image-33551” srcset = “https://y4j7y8s9.ssl.hwcdn.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/magic-spell. png 800w, https://y4j7y8s9.ssl.hwcdn.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/magic-spell-300×168.png 300w, https://y4j7y8s9.ssl.hwcdn.net/wp-content/ uploads / 2018/12 / magic-spell-768×430.png 768w “sizes =” (max-width: 800px) 100vw, 800px “/> Magic Spell” width = “800” height = “448” class = ” alignnone size-full wp-image-33551 “srcset =” https: // y 4j7y8s9.ssl.hwcdn.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/magic-spell.png 800w, https://y4j7y8s9.ssl.hwcdn.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/magic-spell -300×168.png 300w, https://y4j7y8s9.ssl.hwcdn.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/magic-spell-768×430.png 768w “sizes =” (max-width: 800px) 100vw, 800px “/> Credit: Wizards of the Coast
To an external observer it may seem odd that a company with decades of history supporting competitive games suddenly decided that it’s time to jump on the esports trend. however, lacked an important part of his esports puzzle: a compelling digital product.
Since 2002, Wizards has supported a digital version of the game called Magic: Gathering Online . Platform supports a wide range of game modes, tournaments and even a secondary market to buy cards. Unfortunately, a game still based on systems developed at the turn of the century has not aged well in a world where Hearthstone is the king of digital card games. Magic Online simply misses the visual polish, player incentives and new player experience of a modern digital card game. In short, if you’re not already a big fan of Magic it’s very hard to enjoy Magic Online.
While Magic Online remained the primary digital product, the game’s highest level players focused their competitive efforts on table tournaments. For a Twitch audience, the interaction with small pieces of carton with many of the same visual challenges as Magic Online .
“If you do not already know and love Magic, it may be quite scary to watch competitive Magic Tabletop games.”
“We are very proud of our board program,” said Chase, “who has been around for over 20 years. But at the end of the day, if you do not already know and love Magic watching competition Magic board games can be quite scary and dense to find out what’s happening and watch your favorite competitors , and really get a good view, esports experience. MTG Arena on the other hand, is built to deliver the level of entertainment and esport consequences. “
Arena solves all the problems with Magic Online from both viewer and player perspective. The game has all the visual flare and polish of a modern digital card game and has a natural system for educate new players. “With MTG Arena ,” Chase added “, we have a modern digital platform for the world’s best trading card games … We built it from the ground and knew we’d take Magic & # 39 ; s Magic’s legacy in competitive games and explodes it on the esports scene. “
With a modern digital trailer in the trailer, Magic is ready to be a powerful force in the esport industry. Not only does the game have a competitive story beyond Hearthstone, Legends Legend, Dota 2,  and Overwatch combined, it also supports a massive company in Hasbro. Chase emphasized that with this experience and support, Magic is ready to shake up the esport industry.
“ Magic is not a new player in competitive games. We are a new player in esports, but we have a highly proven game, we have a proven fan base, we have a proven competitive structure held for 25 years. It has got all the way out of the coast guides and Hasbro, which makes this an important initiative for us. We get into this and we mean business, and we are keen to do business with everyone else in the ecosystem. “