The Magic: The Gathering 2020 Season Grand Finals, one of the biggest tournaments this year, happened this past weekend with Austin Bursavich winning the event, and while many fans complained about the lack of diversity in the Standard and Historic meta, there's another issue MTG pros and the Magic community are discussing now.
One of the top MTG Arena players and Twitch streamer Stephen Croke brought up the issue on Twitter: "Intentional draws are a joke," Croke said. "Writing off the most interesting round of the whole Swiss portion just blows my mind. It's against the spirit of competition. From a viewer perspective, you lose a ton of value from most exciting round.
He added: "Devalues the entire competition from both a competitive viewpoint and as a viewer spectacle. 4 players have just pulled straws for 3 places in the top 8 of Magic's premier competition."
Four players took an intentional draw to get into the top 8 of the Grand Finals, but only three made it since Allen Wu ID'd to 9th place and was knocked out due to tie breakers. Wizards of the Coast also streamed the Gabriel Nassif vs. Raphael Levy match, but said, that they "Actually they took an intentional draw" and the whole game didn't matter, so it ruined viewer experience.
Other MTG pros and content creators have also chimed in the discussion with Luis-Scott Vargas saying he totally agrees, and Reid Duke saying that there are "No draws on Magic Online. Not sure why there's a different policy for these Arena events."
Michael Sigrist also agreed: "I think you should allow draws in this event if the events feeding it allowed draws. (Would be really weird to change the structure imo) Altogether online play shouldn't have any draws though, I agree."
Jeff Hoogland seemed to disagree, and even replied with a meme:
There were practical reasons why intentional draws existed in paper. Some players can both stall intentionally, but those reasons aren't there for Arena or Magic Online with the chess clock.