Magic: The Gathering Zendikar Rising Championship Will Not Allow Intentional Draws & Concessions

Over 180 Magic: The Gathering players will be competing at the Zendikar Rising: Championship this December for their share of the $250,000 prize pool. Wizards of the Coast recently announced the details for the three-day tournament that will be broadcasted live from Dec. 4 to 6 on Twitch.tv/magic, and it looks like players will no longer be able to concede or get intentional draws in this event.

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Credit: Wizards of the Coast

"Using their time banks in MTG Arena, players will compete through every game and match as intentional draws and concessions aren't permitted," Wizards said.

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Credit: WOTC

Early concessions make for bad content, but forcing a player to devour up all of their time when they're in a clearly losing position doesn't seem equitable either. Intentional draws are permitted on paper because of the shared clock and the inability to enforce a rule against the players, but with Arena's chess clocks, there's no issue of them not existing online.

Last month, MTG pros chimed in on the anticlimactic intentional draws in the 2020 Grand Finals. One of the top MTG Arena streamers Stephen Croke brought up the issue on Twitter. "Intentional draws are a joke," Croke wrote. "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."

In the Grand Finals, four players took an intentional draw to get into the top 8, 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.

Do you think Wizards made the right decision to restrict players form concessions and intentional draws in the Zendikar Rising Championship?

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