This year in competitive Magic has been a year of change. We have had the first year of the MPL (Magic Pro League), a shift in focus on Magic: Arena, and the slow shift away from focus in competitive tabletop. Most of the high-profile events have been streamed through the Arena client this year. Additionally, paper “Magic Fest (Grand Prix)” coverage has moved away from video.
The results of these changes have seen an uptick of Magic: Arena players, less paper Magic players playing in competitive events, and less attendance at these events that we all used to know and love as the Grand Prix circuit. Additionally, we have seen a movement away from the “PPTQ (Preliminary Pro Tour Qualifiers)” and a movement to “MCQ’s (Mythic Championship Qualifiers).”
What does this all mean?
There is a void to be filled. A void that spans from the 33rd best player in the world (32 MPL players) all the way down to the 12-year-old kiddo that has competitive aspirations of competing at the highest level someday. When there are reachable, attainable goals available for individuals, those individuals will try to go for them.
When there are reachable, attainable goals for individual success available in any walk of life, people interested in that walk will be pushing their hardest to get there. The last year has seen the individual goals and aspirations somewhat fade away in Magic: The Gathering. One would look at the announcements of competitive play and think, “Where do I fit here?” Many times, the answer was, “not really anywhere.”
Magic.gg published an article making the path to the MPL, and specifically the Players Tour (previously Pro Tour) more attainable.
To summarize, “fractional invites” will be awarded to any player that finishes with a record of 10-5 or better at a Magic Fest. Compete and have good records at enough of these, and you will receive enough fractional invites to have a full invite to the Player’s Tour (previously the Pro Tour). This provides a route to the PT by rewarding consistent results over a prolonged period.
The reception to his announcement has been positive so far. Only time will tell if this announcement revitalizes the paper Magic competitive communities.
You can find the full link to the announcement here.