Magic: The Gathering Announce New Esports Initiative at Game Awards
The new Magic: The Gathering esports program will offer a $10 million prize pool and encompass both physical and digital versions.
A few days ago, the official Game Awards Twitter account revealed an “exclusive announcement” would be coming to the show for Magic: The Gathering. Tonight, Wizards of the Coast announced a new esports program that will encompass both the physical and digital versions of the game.
The $10 million prize pool for the new program will be split between both tabletop and Magic: The Gathering Arena competitions. The Mythic Champion will be kicking things off next year at PAX East.
Magic: The Gathering Arena is Wizards of the Coast’s answer to Blizzard Entertainment’s Hearthstone. The free-to-play card game was initially revealed last year. Back in September, Wizard’s of the Coast opened Arena for everyone with its open beta.
While there have been many video game versions of the popular long-running card game, like Magic: The Gathering Online and Magic: The Gathering — Duels of the Planeswalkers, this iteration deviates slightly. Arena will only include eligible Standard format sets while Online supports a variety of formats, like Modern and Freeform, with all sets available to use.
Since Magic: The Gathering Arena only supports Standard decks as of right now, expansions for the digital card game are expected to release day-and-date with its physical counterpart. That means when the net expansion, Ravnica Allegiance, releases on January 25, those cards should be available in-game on the same date.
You can play the beta version for Magic: The Gathering Arena for PC right now. If you want to see if you have what it takes, those playing can redeem an esports starter kit with the code “GameAwards.”