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

Wizards of the Coast has announced that it will launch a Magic: The Gathering esports program in 2019 called the Magic Pro League, with a $10 million prize pool spread across both digital and tabletop formats. 

The Magic Pro League will feature 32 of the world's top-ranked players, who will be offered "play and streaming contracts worth $75,000," Wizards said. League competitors will square off in weekly contests in Magic: The Gathering Arena that will ultimate take them to new Mythic Championship events. 

"Today is an extremely important day for Magic: The Gathering as we announce our commitment to esports and our Magic players by evolving our tournament structure to include a $10 Million prize pool," Wizards of the Coast president Chris Cocks said. "We are fully embracing esports and affirming Magic as a leader in the collectible card game category while providing lucrative opportunities for pros, players, sponsors, and esports partners." 

There isn't much in the way of detail about the Magic Pro League at this point, beyond the fact of its upcoming existence, but Wizards of the Coast said that information on how to take part will be revealed early next year. 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. He's also a longtime Magic: The Gathering player, but he hasn't taken part in any pro tournaments—until now. I wonder what changed his mind?

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We took a closer look at the state of Magic: The Gathering Arena in September and found it tough, but promising, especially for old-time Magic players. The game currently available to all in open beta at magic.wizards.com.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.