We just wrapped up an amazing Magic: the Gathering World Championships! There was a lot of anticipation heading into this event about the Standard Metagame, and who would be crowned this year’s world champion. While there is a lot to unpack from the event, there’s one thing that the World Championships made clear, Magic: the Gathering needs to have a well supported Organized Play and High End Competitive scene.
The Current State of Organized Play
At present, we don’t have any concrete information around the state of Organized Play. Wizards of the Coast abolished the Magic Pro League earlier in year, which was ultimately a failed attempt to bring Magic Esports into the limelight. What we do know right now is that Wizards wants to build the new Organized Play upon a system that casts a wide net at the grass roots and local store levels.
With the pandemic still in consideration, but in store play making a return, this is base of their organized play system. With that being said, We still don’t know more detail around the more competitive aspects of the game.
Why Was Worlds Impactful?
There were a few things that Worlds did great and also signify as an event. First off, the story lines within the tournament were organic. They were created by the players, and not through some contrived system. There were 2 big ones, Ondřej Stráský and Yuta Takahashi. This keeps viewers engaged across social platforms.
The other thing that was important here was the participation of Noriyuki Mori. Noriyuki Mori is a newer Magic player, really only playing Arena since 2019 for fun, but making a top 4 run in his first major event, the Kaldheim Championships. Why is his participation important? It shows to newer players than anything is possible. It shows that anyone can make it to the highest levels of play, which is inspiring and can help bring in new players. Showcasing stories like this is imperative to the growth of the game and Magic Arena.
On top of this, this event had great viewership on Twitch, and it shows that Wizards still has the chops to run a great competitive event. I think that if WotC doesn’t make a play to lean into this competitive hype from worlds, it’s a missed opportunity to bring the competitive community back. What do you guys think? Did you like Worlds and would you want to see more high level events? Let us know in the comments!