Magic: The Gathering is stepping up its esports game with MPL Weekly, a season offering rewards toward Mythic Championships.
Wizards of the Coast created the MPL (Magic Pro League), consisting of 32 Magic: The Gathering pros and streamers. The MPL professional league is played on MTG Arena and will be streamed on Twitch. There are three seasons, with each one focusing on an MTG expansion and broken up into four divisions of players.
The 2019 MPL seasons give players a chance to qualify directly to day two in three different Magic: The Gathering Mythic Championships. Having a bye on day one is a big deal when the total prize pool is $750,000.
Divisions and MPL season splits
Each season in the MPL professional league has three “splits.” Each split is a season of Saturday MTG Arena play showcased on Twitch and will feed into a Mythic Championship. Split one is War of the Spark, with the season taking place May 11 to June 8. The first split will feed into MTG Mythic Championship III on June 21 to 23.
For the second split, the feature expansion is Core 2019. Dates for the season will run from Aug. 3 to Sept. 7 and will feed into Mythic Championship IV in September. The final split contains the unreleased expansion coming out in the fall of 2019, with the season taking place from Oct. 5 to Nov. 2.
In each split season, the 32 MPL players are broken up into four divisions. All games take place on MTG Arena, streamed via Twitch, with the first split played in a best-of-three Standard format. Rankings in the MPL are based on Mythic points.
Emerald MPL division
The first division is named Emerald, containing pro players like Matthew Nash, Alexander Hane (top eight in Mythic Championship II), and Seth Manfield.
Pearl MPL division
The second division, code-named Pearl, features Brian Braun-Duin (BBD), Javier Dominguez (both in top eight Mythic Championship II), and Luis Salvato.
Ruby MPL division
The Ruby division has the coolest name and features pro players like Reid Duke and Ben Stark. Yuuya Watanabe is also in the Ruby division, despite his disqualification from MTG Mythic Championship II after a deck check showed several of his card protectors had similar marks that were ruled to be intentional.
Sapphire MPL division
The Sapphire division features the most interesting top MTG players, such as Autumn Burchett (winner of Mythic Championship I), Andrea Manguci (winner of MTG Mythic Invitational), and Paulo Vitor Damo Da Rosa.
MPL Weekly begins on Saturday, May 11.