Magic: The Gathering is a worldwide gaming phenomenon. It is an award-winning fantasy trading card game that has been since adapted into online versions. It is an extremely intricate game with several complicated formats for players to choose from. Magic’s popularity is so wide-spread that several tournaments with substantial prizes are held throughout the year and all across the globe. Serious players spend hundreds, sometimes even thousands of dollars developing their decks which they take into battle to win cash, prizes, and glory.
Friday Night Magic
Friday Night Magic is a local tournament held in gaming shops on Friday nights. Prizes for these tournaments are Magic cards rather than cash. The prize cards are distributed by Magic to the hosting shop, so prizes will be uniform wherever you go. First and second place winners each win a new card, and there are two additional door prize cards to be randomly distributed. Friday Night Magic tournaments are an easy way for local players to test their decks and to become active members of the Magic community. These tournaments are a good place to start your journey into the world of MTG. They typically utilize game formats that are not too hard for beginners to pick up and be competitive in. According to MTG, the primary focus of these tournaments is to show new players the ropes. Gaming and card shops in cities and towns all around the world host Friday Night Magic, and participating venues are easy to find through the Magic website.
World Magic Cup
The World Magic Cup gathers together champions from around the globe to compete in an epic multi-match showdown. Dozens of countries from across North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Oceania are slated to participate in the 2014 Cup. Unfortunately, no African countries participate in the tournament. Each participating country holds three separate qualifying rounds. The winners of each of these rounds qualifies for the World Cup and becomes part of the national team. However, the qualifiers are invitation only. In order to be invited, you need a certain number of Planeswalker Points. Planeswalker Points are earned simply by playing magic in an official location, like any of the local game shops that host Friday Night Magic. When you first start playing magic, you are given a player identification number. After every official game or tournament, the organizer will enter the points you earn into the database. The number of points required to be eligible differs from country to country. Most countries require between 100 and 300 points. Countries where Magic is more competitive, such as Canada and France require 500 points.
There is a vast middle ground of more specific tournaments between Friday Night Magic and the World Magic Cup. Residents of Philadelphia, PA who play either Legacy or Vintage game format can participate in the Eternal Weekend tournament this coming October at the Philadelphia Convention Center. The event includes trial and championship rounds for both Vintage and Legacy, as well as 8-man elimination side events and Friday Night Magic games. All prizes are either cards, trophies, or store credit for the hosting card company.
Becoming a top Magic player requires a degree of dedication and financial commitment. If you want to get into Magic, start small. Grab a basic pack like the MTG 2015 Core Set, use the event locator on the MTG website to find a Friday Night Magic near you, and allow yourself to be swept away in this international pageant of fantasy, competition, and community.