The 2019 Magic: The Gathering season underwent massive changes, introducing competitive digital gameplay via MTG Arena and the formation of the Magic Pro League (MPL).
For the first time in history, players earned seats at the Magic World Championship through wins at a tabletop or Arena Mythic Championship. And those who ranked in the top four for the season, based on Mythic Points, as a Challenger or MPL player also earned a seat. In total, 16 Magic players from around the world will gather in Honolulu, Hawaii from Feb. 14 to 17 to decide who will win Magic World Championship XXVI.
Here are the top 16 Magic players competing at the Magic World Championship XXVI.
- Javier Dominguez: 2018 defending Magic Worlds champion
- Autumn Burchett: Mythic Championship I champion (tabletop)
- Eli Loveman: Mythic Championship II champion (tabletop)
- Matias Leveratto: Mythic Championship III champion (Arena)
- Thoralf Severin: Mythic Championship IV champion (tabletop)
- Jean-Emmanuel Depraz: Mythic Championship V champion (Arena)
- Ondřej Stráský: Mythic Championship VI champion (tabletop)
- Piotr “Kanister” Głogowski: Mythic Championship VII champion (Arena)
- Chris Kvartek: Top-ranked Challenger
- Raphaël Lévy: Second-ranked Challenger
- Gabriel “Yellowhat” Nassif: Third-ranked Challenger
- Sebastián Pozzo: Fourth-ranked Challenger
- Andrea Mengucci: Top-ranked MPL player
- Seth Manfield: Second-ranked MPL player
- Márcio Carvalho: Third-ranked MPL player
- Paulo Vitor Damo “PVDDR” da Rosa: Fourth-ranked MPL player
There isn’t a single weak player attending the Magic World Championship, and each of them has rightfully earned their seat. But among this group are seven individuals who had a dominant 2019 season and are strong Booster Draft and Standard Constructed competitors to watch for.
Winning Mythic Championship VI (tabletop) in the Standard format, Ondřej Stráský was also ranked second in Mythic Points as a Challenger in 2019. Throughout his career, the Czech Magic player has had five top-eight finishes in Booster Draft, Standard Constructed, and Team Limited. Returning to competitive Magic in 2019 from retirement, Stráský and the Czech House have goals to dominate the field in the upcoming 2020 partial season.
Andrea Mengucci has proven he’s a versatile player in just about any Magic format. His 2019 season began with a bang, winning the first Mythic Invitational played on MTG Arena. And he continued his dominance throughout the season, ranking second in the MPL with Mythic Points. Mengucci has also shown this past year how strong of an Arena player he is, able to keep his opponents on their toes and a willingness to concede and move onto the next match.
Chris Kvartek proved this past year that anyone with enough determination and willingness to put in the hard work can become one of the best Magic players in the world. His 2019 season began by qualifying for Mythic Championship II (tabletop) in London, finishing in the top-eight.
Determined to compete at another MC, Kvartek qualified for Mythic Championship V (Arena) and then qualified again via an Arena MCQ to compete at Mythic Championship VII. Ranked first in Mythic Points as a Challenger, Kvartek not only earned a seat in the MPL for the 2020 partial season but is hungry for his first Magic World Championship title.
Piotr “Kanister” Głogowski
Known for playfully spamming his opponents with emotes on MTG Arena, Kanister revealed to the world in 2019 that he’s just as talented at competing as he is deck building. Finishing second at the Mythic Invitational, Kanister jokingly dubbed Menguci as his archenemy and vowed to win a major 2019 tournament. And he did at Mythic Championship VII, going undefeated for the entire tournament. And he’s keeping his winning streak alive, finishing second at the most recent Players Tour Brussels tournament.
Recently signed by Team Envy, Seth Manfield won the Magic World Championship title in 2015. And he wants to add a second victory to his long list of accolades. Inducted into the Magic Hall of Fame in 2018, he was also one of the first 32 players invited into the MPL, and he retained his seat last year in the illustrious league as the second top-ranked player. Since 2007, Manfield has 21 top-eight finishes with 11 of those in the Standard Constructed format.
Raphaël Lévy is another MTG veteran, inducted into the Magic Hall of Fame in 2006. Throughout his career, he’s finished at a major tournament in the top-eight a total of 26 times. And he earned his Mythic Points throughout 2019 the old fashioned way: by grinding tournaments, ending the season as the second-ranked Challenger (third overall). Lévy’s 2019 season earned him a seat in the MPL for the 2020 partial season and a chance to compete at Magic Worlds.
Defending champion of the 2018 Magic World Championship title, Javier Dominguez was the number one ranked player in the world in 2019. Winning the previous year had already earned him a seat at the 2019 Worlds, but that didn’t stop him from being the best. Dominguez not only won Mythic Championship V in the Standard format but also finished third at Mythic Championship VII. Seeking a back-to-back Magic World Championship title, Dominguez plans on giving it his all.