Wizards of the Coast has announced major changes to competitive level Magic: The Gathering events in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The inability to host in-person Magic events safely has essentially up-ended the new Magic tournament structure announced last year (see "Wizards of the Coast Unveils The Players Tour Events").

In March, WotC suspended its WPN Qualifiers and Premier Series events for Magic: The Gathering (see "Wizards of the Coast Suspends WPN Qualifiers and Premier Series Events For 'Magic: The Gathering' Due to Coronavirus") leaving the fate of stores who worked to achieve WPN Premium status so they could host these qualifying events unknown. Now, WotC has followed up that announcement by declaring that Players Tour, Players Tour Final, and Mythic Invitation events will be shifted to remote play via their Magic Arena platform for the rest of 2020. They have made the decision to cancel all outstanding 2020 in-person high-level Magic: The Gathering events, which include MagicFests.

The competive events have been moved to online events for a 2020 Partial Season. The events included in this pivot are:

  • All previously cancelled and upcoming scheduled Players Tour events
  • Players Tour Finals Minneapolis
  • Mythic Invitational Core Set 2021
  • Mythic Invitational Zendikar Rising

In addition, the following events will have a new schedule and have updated prize pools:

  • Players Tour will happen on June 13-14 and 19-21 and have a $150,000 prize pool for each of four Players Tour events
  • Players Tour Finals will be on July 25-26 with a Top 8 on August 1 and a $250,000 prize pool
  • The Mythic Invitational will happen August 28-30 and have a $250,000 prize pool

WotC has also added a new event, the 2020 Season Grand Finals, which will take place in the fall with the Top 16 from both the Players Tour Finals and Mythic Invitational qualifying to battle it out for a $250,000 prize pool.

These changes are liable to have outright devastating effects on WPN stores hosting tabletop play as well as printed card sales of sets used in competitive play. The competitive Magic scene is one of the major factors that drives card desirability and influences the price of printed cards on the secondary market. By moving it to online play, WotC has limited the brick-and-mortar retailer's involvement in the equation by making the printed product that they sell non-essential for any player seeking to play competitively. This move also subsequently voids all revenue streams that vendors and organizers who participated in MagicFest events would've received in 2020 as the events are now all cancelled.

Click on Gallery below to see the new 2020 Partial Season for competitive Magic!