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Magic: A new peak

Posted Mar 21, 2019

For the modern gamers that are mostly familiar with the collectible card games thanks to the HearthStone, the name of an industry giant such as Magic: The Gathering may be nothing more than an empty sound. Still, it was this particular game from Richard Garfield that started the whole genre before, and it was this game that recently reached a new peak.

We are talking about the last major competition in the MTG world. At the 2019 Mythic Championship, this tabletop game's viewtime has peaked at the mark of 55 thousand viewers. That's as compared to the nearest such figure (from the Pro Tour Rivals of Ixalan) being equal to 40 thousand viewers. Didn't someone say that the non-digital games can no longer catch public interest?

The tabletop game partially owes its success to the MTG: Arena publisher, which has recently conducted an extensive advertising campaign. It came to the point when the most popular YouTuber, PewDiePie, “suddenly decided” to play the PC version of Magic: The Gathering. At the same time, many of the smaller streamers have received their advertising contracts.

It looks like the expenses were worth it, given that the fans of the video game decided to get acquainted with its real-life predecessor. As a result of this influx of the spectators and the new players alike, the tabletop game has managed to set a new record. We hope that this is only the beginning, and that more news featuring the newly reached peaks will be appearing on a regular basis in the future.

When comparing this to the other popular MTG championships, we should note that the recent events did not even come close to such a result – despite having every reason to do so. The World Magic Cup, which had a smaller prize pool, was only capable of peaking at 25 thousand viewers. At the same time, one of the SCG tour checkpoint events had this respective figure being equal to 20 thousand viewers.

ut for the most part, the competitions were reaching much lower figures, with majority of them being stuck with slightly worse results. Some did not even reach the peak of 10 thousand spectators (let alone dreaming about getting 20 thousand), many of those being the checkpoint events of Magic Grand Prix and StarCityGames. Could it be that the overly frequent events actually serve to decrease the community's interest?

As for the game's rights holders, they do not seem to miss out on their chances – with a new event being announced in the face of the Artifact's failure, one that would provide general prizes of as much as a million dollars worth. Additionally, the PC version of Magic: The Gathering will receive its own esports season, its 2019 championships boasting a prize pool of $10 million.

Even when taking all of this into account, we must still say that the discipline has really excelled at the last championship. Was it a one-time lucky achievement or does the Magic indeed have a new and exciting life waiting ahead? That remains to be seen.


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