Magic: The Gathering is entering esports in a big way: the 25-year-old card game is revamping its competitive circuit and kicking off 2019 with a pro league and 10 million dollars in competitive prize pools across Magic: The Gathering Arena and tabletop Magic.
"There's a $10 million prize pool up for grabs in 2019 across digital and tabletop Magic, which is more than double 2018. The new system provides lucrative opportunities for pros, players, sponsors, and esports partners," says Magic.
The Magic Pro League will feature "32 of Magic's top-ranked players from around the world who are each offered player and streamer contracts with a combined worth of $75,000." The players themselves have yet to be revealed, but will be soon via player profiles on the esport's official website.
Players will compete in seasonal weekly competitive match-ups on MTG Arena, and in Mythic-level tournaments in both MTG Arena and tabletop. Mythic-level tournaments, previously known as Pro Tours, are "high prize pool, high drama events in both MTG Arena and tabletop."
"You'll be able to qualify for MTG Arena Mythic Championships by playing MTG Arena at home. Then test your skills against the stars in the Magic Pro League to claim your share of prizes and glory," explains Magic. Each Mythic Championship will offer $500,000 in prize pools, and the thus far announced schedule can be found on Magic's official website.
The esport's first major event of the new year, the Magic Invitational, comes at the end of March. Pro players and "challengers from the Magic community" will battle for their share of one million dollars at PAX East early next year. More details on the event (including how to qualify) are coming in January 2019.
Additionally, Magic says "a significant prize pool [has been] set aside to partner with independent organizers." The tabletop Grand Prix circuit, in particular, offers a $2.5 million prize pool, and other partner events (especially for MTG Arena) are coming in 2019.
And last but not least, MTG's year will culminate in a World Championship "featuring the most accomplished Magic players of the year across MTG Arena and tabletop."