'Magic: The Gathering' esports league launches with $10 million in prizes

$10 million Magic: The Gathering Arena esports league will kick off in 2019

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.

The Magic Pro League will now offer $75,000 streaming and play contracts for "top-ranked" players, with weekly match-ups in Arena that lead to "Mythic Championship events". Magic Pro League members are automatically qualified for every Mythic Championship, and in addition to competing for a piece of the prize pool, they will receive a yearly salary and additional benefits aimed at allowing them to play Magic as a career. The players themselves have yet to be revealed, but will be soon via player profiles on the esport's official website. As Wizards points out (with new numbers) there are "over 35 million Magic players to date across 70 countries", so there's already a baked-in audience.

Magic: The Gathering has increasingly been digitized this year, with the development of Magic: The Gathering Arena, a new way to play the game online separate from the preexisting Magic: The Gathering Online.

▲ Players looking to get started can redeem their own esports starter kit. More details on how to climb the ranks and battle the pros will be revealed in early 2019. Each of the Mythic tournaments will have a prize pool of $500,000. The Magic: The Gathering Arena esports league will debut in March 2019 at PAX East, and at least one CCG luminary seems very interested in taking part: Former Hearthstone pro and streamer Janne "Savjz" Mikkonen.

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