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The Magic Pro League (or MPL) was a short-lived ongoing Magic Esports competition that was introduced in 2019 and ended in 2022.[1]

The Magic Pro League consisted of pro players from around the world who were offered contracts by Wizards of the Coast. They were competing in seasonal weekly competitive match-ups on MTG Arena, and in Mythic-level tournaments in both MTG Arena and paper Magic. These players were automatically qualified for each Premier Event, where they would compete against other top players, the challengers.[2]

2019 season[ | ]

Main article: 2019 Magic Pro League

Invites were extended to the top 32 players in terms of Pro Points after the 2018–19 Pro Tour Season. However, two players declined to participate due to work conflict: Kelvin Chew (ranked 18th) and Andrew Baeckstrom (ranked 23rd). These invites were passed down to 33rd-ranked Rei Sato and 40th-ranked Lee Shi Tian, with Shi Tian taking Chew's slot to maintain representation in the region.

Before the start of the season, there were several controversies, causing changes in the original line up.

The season kicked off on Saturday, May 11, 2019 at 3pm Eastern (19:00 h GMT) on

2020 season[ | ]

Main article: 2020 Magic Pro League

Starting in August 2020, Magic: the Gathering’s Organized Play calendar moved 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). 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 held a shortened seven-month season.[3][4]

In 2020 the Rivals League was introduced, and the MPL was reduced from 32 to a 24-player league with players able to earn up to $50,000 in appearance fees in addition to prizes earned at tournaments.[3] MPL players will also be invited to Mythic Invitationals and all Tabletop Players Tour events.

For the shortened 2020 season, the 24 players were made up of the Top 20 members of the Magic Pro League at the end of the 2019 season and the Top 4 Challengers (non-Magic Pro League Mythic Points leaders). Because the 2020 partial season had fewer events, both MPL and Rivals players would make less than a full season. Members of the MPL could earn up to $35,000 in appearance fees, in addition to any prize money earned.

The COVID-19 outbreak in January resulted in preventative measures taken in March. A large swath of the Grand Prix event schedule was canceled, and the Players Tour Finals Houston and the May Invitational were also canceled.[5] By April, it was clear that further events were not safely feasible to hold, and Wizards wrote off the entire season as not salvageable.[6]

2020-21 season[ | ]

After the proposed MPL Gauntlet 2020, the MPL was to consist of:[3]

However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic the MPL Gauntlet was cancelled and the 2020 roster of the MPL was completely carried over to the 2020-21 season.[8]

In this season, MPL players played against each other in recurring tournaments — League Weekends — where each match win awarded one point toward their league standings.[9] Final league standings at the end of the season, after seven total League Weekends, will place players into the MPL Gauntlet and Rivals Gauntlet to determine the new invitees to the following season's MPL and Rivals League. All competitors who continue to succeed in their events across the entire 2020-2021 season will receive the best opportunities for an invitation to the next World Championship.

In May 2021, Magic Esports announced a return to in-person play post COVID-19 for the 2022–23 Players Tour Season. Although digital play was considered a lasting feature of play it is supposed to be only part of the equation going forward. As a result, the 2021–22 Players Tour Season would be the last season recognizing the MPL and the Rivals League.[10] As such, the Rivals and MPL Gauntlets became less about status and more about Worlds invitations, as both groups had a full year of qualifications.

2021-22 season[ | ]

The final season of MPL would consist of the following players:

League members had no additional obligations or advantages in this season aside from qualifications for all Set Championships, but in exchange they competed for five instead of the eight Worlds invitation slots the challengers received. No special League-only events were run. As any overlapping invites went to the overall leaderboard, League members were overwhelming favored to achieve them, though ultimately no players obtained a double invite.

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