Rivals League

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The Rivals League is an ongoing Magic Esports competition that will be introduced in 2020.[1] It is a stepping stone to the Magic Pro League (MPL).

Competitors, called Rivals, will make it into the MPL either through sustained success over the course of a season or through a new tournament called the MPL Gauntlet.

2020 season[edit | edit source]

Main article: 2020 Rivals League

Starting in August 2020, Magic: the Gathering’s Organized Play calendar will be moving away from seasons that follow the calendar year (the 2019 season) back to seasons that are split over multiple calendar years (the 2020-2021 season). But the 2019 season ended in December 2019, so in order to fill the gap between then and the beginning of the 2020-2021 season, the Magic Pro League holds a shortened seven-month season.[1][2] The MPL was reduced to a 24-player league with players able to earn up to $50,000 in appearance fees in addition to prizes earned at tournaments.[1]

At the same time the Rivals League was introduced, which essentially is a second division for the Esports. The Rivals League is a talent-development league that feeds the MPL.

For the shortened 2020 season, the Rivals League roster features 32 players. Participants are 2019's bottom twelve MPL players based on Mythic Points. The eight 2019 MTG Arena and eight tabletop highest ranked Challengers who were not invited to the MPL are also eligble. Their rankings are based on Mythic Points earned in the appropriate types of events. Four participants to the Rivals League are invited at Wizards of the Coast's discretion.

Because the 2020 partial season has fewer events, both MPL and Rivals players will make less than a full season. Rivals players can earn up to $15,000 in appearance fees, in addition to any prize money earned.

2020-2021 season[edit | edit source]

Main article: 2020-21 Rivals League

At the start of the 2020-2021 season, the Rivals League was planned to consist of 46 players as follows:

  • 1st–12th ranked digital players (not previously in the MPL)
  • 1st–12th ranked tabletop players (not previously in the MPL)
  • Bottom 12 players from the MPL Gauntlet
  • The bottom 4 players from the previous MPL season
  • 6 discretionary invites

Throughout the season, Rivals will receive invites to events, including Players Tour events and their own Mythic Qualifier and can earn up to $20,000 in appearance fees in addition to prizes earned at tournaments.

However, with the cancellation of the 2020 Player's Tour season due to the COVID-19 outbreak, only the first Player's Tour was completed. Hence, the current Rivals league was to be retained, and fifteen players would be added.[3] These were the top seven Mythic Point earning players From MTG Arenaw ho are already not a member of the MPL or Rivals League, and the top eight players in Player Point from tabletop Magic who were not already a member of the MPL or Rivals League. While originally there were seven new Rivals League slots available for tabletop Magic players, because there was a tie at 20 Player Points between 7th and 8th place, both players were invited.

References[edit | edit source]