Wizards of the Coast announced that they will remove stores and other organizers from the WPN if they do not switch to their Wizards EventLink system from Wizards Event Reporter.

WotC has been repeatedly warning stores about the decommissioning of the age-old WER system, which is now set to happen on March 23 instead of December 8 (see "Wizards of the Coast Reveals New Retailer Release Information for 'Magic: The Gathering' 'Kaldheim'"). The process of getting organizers and retailers to switch to EventLink has apparently been challenging during the COVID-19 pandemic because WotC just issued the following statement:

"WPN members who have not signed up for EventLink prior to the decommission will be assumed to be no longer in business or no longer interested in Wizards support, and will be removed from the WPN."

There are a few possible problems WotC is facing in switching over to this new system while the pandemic is ongoing. The most prominent one would be that retailers are under a continual suspension of in-store play and are probably unmotivated to spend time setting up a service they may not be currently using (see "Wizards of the Coast Extends 'Magic: The Gathering' In-Store Play Suspension Till January"). While some stores are surely running events on MTG Arena (see "WotC Announces Game Store Relief"), others have likely chosen not to, either because the online platform doesn't fit their business model or they didn't have the inclination to do so.

Another challenging issue with the switch over is that WotC seems unsure, based on their quote and other articles on the WPN, exactly how many FLGS survived the rash of business closings that resulted from state COVID-19 restrictions. It is almost impossible to sign up a retailer to a new OP event system if they no longer exist and their email addresses are dormant. However, a retailer's email address could be non-responsive for other reasons as well, such as high volume or simply that the retailer has higher priorities to deal with in order to keep their business alive. COVID-19 has been incredibly difficult for some retailers, financially, emotionally, mentally, and perhaps even physically. Switching Magic: The Gathering OP event reporting systems just may not be a top priority at this time.

ICv2 is helping support local comic and game stores with their pop-up t-shirt collection. Profits from sales of the t-shirts will be donated to FLGS/FLCS charities (see "Three Days Left to Order 'Support Your Local Store' T-Shirts!").