Last year, I was fortunate enough to participate in the Epic World Championship. 64 players battled in a grueling tournament structure for their share of $100,000 over two days, and it was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had in any tournament. During that tournament they announced Epic Digital, the online platform for their game. This is a huge thing for the game for so many reasons, and I want to get into some of them.

The amazing thing about having a game like Epic go online is how the rules and interactions work. There isn’t nearly as much intricacy with stacks like Magic, which lightens the load when it comes to processing and software development. It also makes the game so much easier to pick up and play which means more players will have access. The game is also incredibly affordable, which gives those who are coming from card games that require heavy financial investment a refreshing and welcome change that won’t break the bank. Being able to build any and every constructed deck you’d like for under $100 is pretty incredible, considering Magic can easily go into the upper thousands, and even Hearthstone can cost considerably more for the majority of important staple cards. This selling point needs to be the push that gets players into the game, especially exhausted Magic players who want the opportunity to make that push towards Worlds this year for a huge pot.

As a player, I feel that the sky is the limit. Qualifiers for Worlds could very much be a thing that the game needs to gain even more momentum in the future. An independent series could mean that a major circuit could run not only with live play but online itself, which could feed into even more big money tournaments, which is all great for the game as people will absolutely watch any sort of high stakes tournament, especially card games.

With a game that’s comparatively simple to get into as well, it’s even more imperative that the online client gets out to as many players as possible. New sets can enable more events revolving around those sets online, like pre-releases. After a while, even different types of events can take root, such as “Expansion only Dark Draft”, or “Base set constructed”. Bans, Restrictions, and errata are made easier through an online client. Content gets put out faster. More players will look for articles and other pieces, which opens up potential jobs for writers. All of this is so great for the game, and I’m unreasonably excited to see just how well Epic does with this fantastic approach to the game.

One concern I do have is the longevity in between set releases. As fantastic as the game is, there isn’t a whole lot holding it in place if there happens to be a lull in tournaments, or the format itself. If a card comes out that breaks the format in half, we’re kind of stuck dealing with it until an action is taken on their end, which could potentially stunt the growth of the game if things get really bad. I remember when I first started playing and I thought that Thought Plucker was the most busted card in the game by a country mile, and that you had to play it, or die to it. Granted, I no longer believe that this is true, but it could be at some point, and it’s important for them to be on top of it. If the most recent Hearthstone season is any example of things, it could be a tough issue to overcome.

Epic Digital’s Kickstarter hit its goal three times over, and the Alpha access will be available this month. I will certainly be trying it out, and I’m excited to be able to play this incredibly fun and difficult game more of my time. It deserves it.

Anthony has been competing in games for the better part of his adult life and is dedicated to improving his game, improving his community, improving himself as a person, and most importantly having fun and enjoying himself while doing so. You can check out his stream to find out which video game is the latest to catch his attention.

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