Magic: The Gathering professional player Sam Black has taken it to Twitter to share his thoughts about Magic as esports brand, the shift of the competitive scene's focus to digital (Magic Arena), and how he no longer feels valued as a Magic player. He wrote his thoughts during Mythic Championship IV. You can read Black's whole message below:
"There are a lot of video games. I don't play them. I play Magic because it involves hanging out with people. Playing at home with friends, local stores, testing houses, and traveling to tournaments with thousands of players. I hate being alone. I play some Magic Online/Arena, but not much. I played a lot more when I lived with other people who played and we played together. As I'm sitting at 6-2 in MCIV, I feel like there's no place for me in Pro Magic moving forward. The future is streaming, streaming involves being alone, and that's not the experience I'm looking for. In fact, it's the exact experience I use Magic to avoid.
WotC's had a much heavier hand in selecting competitors for events lately. There was a time when I would have expected to be pretty high on a list of people they'd want to select, after all, after PT Dominaria, I was told by someone who works there that my 5 color legends draft deck probably made them five figures in sales from people wanting to draft like that. Few if any players have given as many deck techs as I have. I've generally considered myself an interesting and inspirational player to watch, but none of that is valued in the Esports world (which seems like a mistake to me.
Anyway, I'm not looking for anyone to feel bad for me or anything. My life's great and I expect a smooth transition to the design side of things if that's where I'm valued. I just wanted to share how I'm feeling about Magic these days."
While Magic is growing thanks to the success of Magic Arena, it seems that some well-known professional players are not happy about the new focus for the game's competitive scene.
Best known for his innovative decks, Sam Black has three Pro Tour top 8s, 16 Grand Prix Top 8s, a Top 4 at the World Championship, and a Team World Championship win in 2008. Black had been the player with the most Grand Prix Top 8 finishes without a win.
Do you agree with Sam Black's thought about Magic: The Gathering right now? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.