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New ‘Magic: The Gathering’ Esports Program Coming in 2019

Venerable collectible card game “Magic: The Gathering” is getting its own esports program, Hasbro and Wizards of the Coast announced during The Game Awards on Thursday.

The new program will offer a $10 million prize pool across both digital and tabletop versions of the game. It’s designed to appeal to a wide audience of card game players, Wizards of the Coast said, and its open platform will give all players the opportunity to compete.

“The past 25 years of ‘Magic’ competition has led us to design this comprehensive esports program that would support ‘Magic: The Gathering Arena,’ while increasing our investment in tabletop ‘Magic,’” said Elaine Chase, vice president of esports at Wizards of the Coast. “Our investment in esports will catapult the game to new heights while providing support to the players by giving them the platform to build their brand and bring ‘Magic’ to a broader audience.”

The new Magic Pro League (MPL) will feature 32 of the top ranked “Magic” players from around the globe, each getting a play and streaming contract worth $75,000. MPL members will participate in weekly matchups in “Magic: The Gathering Arena” that lead to the newly introduced Mythic Championship events.

These Mythic Championships are the new flagship competitions for both the digital and tabletop versions of “Magic,” and they will pit MPL players against challengers from the community. The “Magic: The Gathering Arena” esports program kicks off with a $1 Million Mythic Invitational at PAX East 2019 in Boston. Wizards of the Coast will provide more details on how to enter that tournament in early 2019.

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