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For several months now, the state of Organized Play in Magic: The Gathering has been lackluster. The year started with the new Magic Pro League (MPL) being instated. Members of this league would be paid to stream MTG and would have instant qualification for big events. However, Wizards of the Coast never told us how to qualify for the MPL. Instead, the original 32 members were just handpicked.
The community has been spectacularly unhappy with this development, with pro players like Reid Duke and content creators like PleasantKenobi speaking out about it. Today, however, Wizards finally gave us some answers.
Introducing the Magic Rivals League
The fact that there has been no path one could follow to join the MPL frustrated many people in MTG. Today, WotC introduced us to the Magic Rivals League. This league will consist of the following:
- Top 12 Mythic Points earners
- 6 Discretionary Slots
- Top 12 Player Point earners
- Bottom 12 from the MPL Gauntlet
- Bottom 4 MPL members
This is essentially a gateway to get into the MPL. If you play well in the Rivals League, you could have the chance to participate in the MPL Gauntlet to see if you qualify for the MPL!
What is the MPL Gauntlet?
Taking an assortment of the top players in paper, the Rivals League, and some of the bottom players of the MPL, the Gauntlet is a competition in which the top 4 slots are awarded MPL status. This will allow for players to fall out of the Magic Pro League, while also allowing aspiring pros to make it in.
Is there paper play support?
Yes! The article posted by Wizards goes through this thoroughly. For those who prefer to play MTG in tabletop form, WotC has introduced a new system called the Player’s Tour. This will consist of a tour of events for North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. There are many ways to qualify for these events, including Magic Online, playing at WPN-certified Local Game Stores, doing well at a Grand Prix, and at SCG events. Doing well in these events will earn you Player Points, which will give you a shot at entering the Rivals League.
Many had been fearing that paper MTG was coming to an end. As such, this support for paper play is very welcome.
Overall, there is a ton to unpack here. The important thing, though, is that there is now a path to achieve MPL status. Stay tuned to our MTG news page for more information about the updated Organized Play rules and MTG news!