Magic: The Gathering Arena (or MTG Arena) is about to make a splash in the world of esports! The game’s publisher—Wizards of the Coast—has teamed up with the established tournament organizer ELEAGUE to launch a new Showdown series for the title.
The competition is set to run from Sept. 4 until Dec. 18 and will involve prominent streamers and promising up-and-comers fighting each other in a string of single-elimination matches.
Format And Future
The Showdown series will follow the MTG Arena Standard format. Some players will receive personal invitations to participate in the competition, others will be selected via an application process. For now, it’s unclear where and how to apply for the event. Another thing to note is that the ELEAGUE Showdown will be akin to a king-of-the-hill tournament, as only the last player standing at the end of each week will be rewarded with prize money. The exact amount of said rewards has yet to be determined.
Magic: The Gathering is one of the oldest (and most prominent) trading card games in the world. However, the franchise had a hard time entering the world of esports—largely due to a faulty game client and stiff competition from other digital card games like Hearthstone. MTG Arena might be the first title to turn this trend on its head. The game is still in open beta, but there’s already a thriving player base surrounding it. Moreover, Wizards of the Coast has announced a whopping $10 million competitive prize pool for 2019, and a large chunk of it will go towards esports.
The publisher definitely put its money where its mouth is when picking its current partner. ELEAGUE was established in spring of 2016, but it has already hosted a number of premier events for CS:GO, Overwatch, Rocket League, and other competitive video games. It still remains to be seen whether Magic: The Gathering can capture the hearts of online gamers the way it won over their tabletop counterparts. But this partnership puts Wizards of the Coast into a great position to try.
Image courtesy of ELEAGUE.