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Wizards of the Coast has announced major changes to the Magic: The Gathering competitive season. The latest in a series of tournament cancellations, Wizards cited public safety concerns surrounding the spread of the COVID-19 Novel coronavirus as the cause.
In an extensive breakdown of upcoming events, Wizards of the Coast discussed how much of the 2020 Magic: The Gathering season will proceed. Not everything has been canceled, thankfully. Some tournaments are set to be rescheduled later this year, but few dates were provided. As the situation surrounding the coronavirus develops, Wizards will likely offer more information.
Over the past few weeks, we have been monitoring the spread of COVID-19 and closely following the situation. The health and safety of our fans, players, and employees is our first priority, and as such, we are making significant changes to our season:https://t.co/XTEak6SGWg
— Magic Esports (@MagicEsports) March 12, 2020
Changing event schedules
MagicFest events will be reviewed individually by tournament organizer CFB Events. Currently, ChannelFireball has canceled the upcoming Detroit, São Paulo, Louisville, and West Palm Beach events.
Upcoming Players Tour events will also see rescheduling. This includes PT Copenhagen, which has moved from Apr. 30-May 3 to May 29-31 in Prague. PT Charlotte has moved from May 7-10 to Jun. 5-7 in Seattle. More information about these changes will come soon.
The Players Tour Finals in Houston, TX have been canceled, with player invites being applied to future events. The Mythic Invitational Ikoria and Mythic Qualifier Core Set 2021, both set for May, have also been canceled. No information was provided on if these events will reschedule.
To help offset some of these tournament cancellations, Wizards of the Coast will add online regional Players Tour events for those who cannot or do not want to attend a physical tournament. This event will still have Player Points awarded, but it will not have a cash prize payout. Instead, WotC will offer travel awards to the finalists. More details on this tournament will come soon, as Wizards wants “to make sure to have a digital event for those who may still be unable to travel at that time.”
Wizards’ concerns for the Ikoria Prerelease
Wizards of the Coast has also recommended that tournament organizers and stores make changes to the upcoming release of Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths. “The health and safety of our players is our utmost priority,” said Wizards. “As the world grapples with COVID-19, we are committed to doing our part to help stop its spread. Therefore, out of an abundance of caution and a regard for the health and safety of our players, we are adjusting our policies surrounding WPN in-store play and our Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths Prerelease events.”
For the Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths Prerelease event, WotC suggests stores may sell Prerelease Packs and the upcoming Commander decks to players without having them participate in events. A potential at-home Prerelease event may serve as a possibility for stores as well.
Wizards of the Coast also cautions that as the COVID-19 pandemic develops, they may need to make additional changes to the tournament structure.
Ryan Hay is a writer and content creator currently living in New York. Video games, anime, and Magic: The Gathering have all been strong passions in his life and being able to share those passions with others is his motivation for writing. You can find him on Twitter where he complains about losing on MTG Arena a lot.