Hasbro and its Washington-based subsidiary Wizards of the Coast are launching a new eSports program for the collectible card game Magic: The Gathering. Magic: The Gathering Arena will launch next year and boast a US$10-million prize pool across the game’s digital and tabletop iterations.
The eSports structure will provide an open platform for all players, and will also include the Magic Pro League (MPL), which will establish a new level of professional play featuring 32 of the top-ranked Magic players from around the world. MPL members will be offered contracts worth US$75,000 and play in weekly match-ups. Those match-ups will lead to upcoming Mythic Championship events, which will feature MPL players battling challengers from the Magic: The Gathering community.
The Magic: The Gathering Arena eSports program kicks off in Boston, Massachusetts with the US$1-million Mythic Invitational in 2019.
This new launch from Hasbro comes as the popularity of live competitive gaming continues to grow. Earlier this year, Disney launched Nintendo Switch Family Showdown, a new US contest where select families battle head-to-head in a series of Nintendo game challenges broadcast across Disney’s linear and digital platforms. Not to be outplayed, Nickelodeon launched Super League Gaming Minecraft City Champs, an eSports series featuring teams of Minecraft players in a multi-week national tournament.