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JesGolbez

Huge changes to Competitive Magic and esports

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There has been a lot of buzz around the future of competitive magic and what Magic Arena would bring

https://www.dailyesports.gg/magic-the-gathering-esports-investment/

https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/news/next-chapter-magic-esports-2018-12-06

I am stealing the top reddit post about the TLDR

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Firstly, the removals:Nationals, Pro Points, Pro Club in present form, World Magic Cup(after this one in December)

- The Mythic Invitational at PAX East, featuring the 32 members of the new Magic Pro League(MPL), who have not yet been announced.

- All former Pro Tours have been rebranded to the tabletop Mythic Championships. They will feature the 32 members of the MPL, as well as qualified challengers(qualification system following Cleveland and London not yet announced). There will now be four of these events instead of the previously mentioned six Pro Tours.

- MTG Arena Mythic Championships, which will likely include the 32 members of the MPL, and qualified players(qualification system not yet announced, but will occur through Arena)

- Players who participate in "Mythic-level" events will be ranked based on their performances. The MPL will be ranked in one system, and challengers will be ranked separately.

- $2.5 million set aside specifically for the Grand Prix events at MagicFests.

- Additional partner events which utilize MTG Arena will be announced in the future.

Things that seem hinted at:

- Some kind of promotion/relegation system yet to be explained. This paragraph: "Players in the MPL will be ranked based on points earned via high finishes in the Mythic-level events. Challenger players who do well in those events will also be ranked based on their finishes, keeping the MPL players on their toes and leaving room for newcomers to take their places at the top. We'll be releasing more details about the MPL seasons and rankings as we get ready to kick off the first season," seems to heavily imply promotion and relegation for challengers and poor-performing members of the MPL.

- The slow inevitable heat death of Magic Online. This is more of my conjecture based on the fact that Magic Online literally doesn't factor into any of this. PTQs on Magic Online don't exist if there's no Pro Tours. So unless Magic Online offers qualifiers for the new tabletop Mythic Championships, it doesn't sound like Magic Online has any place in the ecosystem.

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Mentioned in the thread @Affinity for MTG posted about his deck being so cheap on MTGO, but I feel bad for the people who have tons of money invested in MTGO.  If the intention is to eventually shut MTGO down, how would they roll over that money to a new system?  Is it all just going to disappear?  I know Arena can't do as many formats (yet) as MTGO, but eventually I assume it's going to include every format. 

As far as the professional stuff goes, not sure if it's good or bad.  I don't keep up with the pro players or events for the most part.  

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I actually think it's awesome that you can play competitively on Arena. The cost of playing competitively has always been the thing that has put me off of it (and also being terrible at Magic, of course) so the fact that there is a sort-of-free way to make a name for yourself is awesome!

I also think this is exactly what Magic has needed. Competitive gaming is on the rise, and "gaming" is a real profession now (and not just as an entertainer on Youtube) so I'm glad to see WOTC is capitalizing on it. We could definitely see a massive influx of new players of competitive gamers take up Magic just because it's a popular competitive game like Rocket League/League of Legends/Madden/etc. I doubt Arena will reach those heights, but if it gets on the same level as Hearthstone that wouldn't be a bad thing.

Anyway, overall I think the changes are positive. My only concern is for how Modern will work on Arena if it ever gets to that point. There is no way you are going to be able to build modern decks by opening packs. NO WAY. I've seen people complain about how hard it is to get a 4th mythic in Standard, imagine trying to build a modern deck full of mythics and having to open boosters from 60+ sets to get individual cards. If there is any plan on bringing Modern to Arena, they are going to have to find a new system for Modern cards.

Maybe standard is free-to-play but after they rotate out of Standard they become purchasable with in-game currency, which would drive free-to-play microtransactions but allow people to effectively "buy" decks for modern. *Shrug* Seems viable.

All assuming Modern ends up on Arena, of course. It might not happen, though it seems pretty likely in my opinion.

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Reading your post made me wonder if they'll just keep Standard on Arena and not worry about other formats.  Standard is where Wizards makes their money, does it make sense for them to promote other formats with cards that aren't yet available on Arena?

One option would be to give Arena a year or two, then create a new format that only includes cards from Arena's inception and have that be their new format.  So all of those non-Standard legal cards would have a use and they would still be promoting Standard.

If Arena reaches Hearthstone heights, I think Wizards would be very pleased.  

What does all of this mean for paper Magic?  Is it on the outs?

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3 hours ago, Lasraik said:

What does all of this mean for paper Magic?  Is it on the outs?


I think there will always be people who want to play Magic in paper. I mean, D&D is pretty antiquated and absolutely should have failed by now yet people still want to meet face-to-face to play it. I mean, heck, people thought paper magic would die when MTGO was originally released, and that didn't happen. If WOTC plays their cards right, they could even encourage more people to play (or at least buy) paper cards. If they push digital players to buy paper cards (with promo codes and whatnot) you could get new people in LGS's, if only to buy packs. And from an LGS owner's perspective, it's probably not a bad thing to suddenly have a wave of people asking to buy those boosters that competitive players never buy. *Shrug*

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On 12/8/2018 at 10:17 AM, Lasraik said:

Reading your post made me wonder if they'll just keep Standard on Arena and not worry about other formats.  Standard is where Wizards makes their money, does it make sense for them to promote other formats with cards that aren't yet available on Arena?

One option would be to give Arena a year or two, then create a new format that only includes cards from Arena's inception and have that be their new format.  So all of those non-Standard legal cards would have a use and they would still be promoting Standard.

If Arena reaches Hearthstone heights, I think Wizards would be very pleased.  

What does all of this mean for paper Magic?  Is it on the outs?

It's more the death knell for MTGO. Paper Magic will also have a big audience. Sure, competitive paper might see a hit, but lots of us casuals are still out there. 

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This is huge news, and definitely the right path for MTG, but it does feel extremely rush and not fully fleshed out. They had already made changes to the Pro Tour back in November, and one month later.. .BAM!

 

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