Magic World Championship prize pool cut by $750,000

Another hit to pro Magic.

Mythic Championship VII Day Two Players and Metagame
Screengrab via WotC Magic The Gathering Twitch channel

The Magic World Championship XXVII tournament’s prize pool is officially set at $250,000, making it $750,000 less than the expected $1 million prize pool Wizards of the Coast announced before the 2021 season beginning.

In a postseason event update article from Wizards today, the $250,000 prize pool was confirmed leading many pros and fans to call out the 75 percent reduction in the total prize pool, despite Wizards’ record earnings.

This massive reduction in the prize pool continues a run of poorly-received announcements regarding the competitive Magic scene. In May, Wizards said that competitive Magic will be reconstructed over the next year. The upcoming 2022 season will reduce the number of events Magic Pro League and Rivals League players compete in by getting rid of League Weekends and postseason gauntlets. When the next season ends, the MPL and Rivals League will be dissolved.

This move essentially ends professional Magic as it exists today as Wizards moves to a system that supports a competitive environment without providing a salary or other pro benefits like the current system does for the top players.

Worlds is scheduled for Oct. 8 to 10 and will include the top-performing players through the MPL and Rivals League seasons and the top finishers in the postseason gauntlet tournaments.

The 24-player MPL Gauntlet and Rivals Gauntlet take place on Sept. 2 to 5 and will determine seven spots at Worlds. These tournaments will include players from the Magic Pro League and Rivals League. The gauntlets will determine promotion and relegation for the leagues, too.

The Challenger Gauntlet brings 24 of the best performing non-league players to compete for four Worlds invitations and spots in the Rivals League and Magic Pro League. Challenger Gauntlet is scheduled for Aug. 6 to 8.