Mark Rosewater says that less than 10% of Magic players have ever played in a sanctioned event
As Magic: The Gathering becomes more and more popular largely thanks to the success of its digital version, Magic: The Gathering Arena, its player base continues to grow but how many players actually participate in sanctioned events, consume online MTG content, watch official tournaments, and post Magic stuff on social media? According to head designer Mark Rosewater, only a small percentage.
Responding to Saffron Olive’s question about what a median Magic: The Gathering player would look like, Rosewater said that less than 10% of MTG players have ever played in a sanctioned tournament.
“Sanctioned” means events that are registered and reported to the DCI such as Friday Night Magic, Prerelease events, Grand Prix, and any tournament organized in a Wizards Play Network (WPN) associated store. 10% is somewhat surprising since most Magic players I know have participated in a sanctioned tournament, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the majority of that 10% are Commander players who prefer to play casually in their groups. If you’re reading this article or have watched my MTG Arena streams on Facebook, you obviously don’t belong in that 10%, but it looks like most Magic players are not enfranchised to the game.
This news comes after a day Wizards announced the elimination of the Magic Pro League, a decision which many fans criticized for cutting support for MTG professional players. WotC stated that the new system will look to support both in-person and digital events with a focus on providing access and supporting regional level competitions instead of the current structure that supports professional players.