Enough is enough.

It has been seven years since I’ve became involved with Magic, and I’ve been a part of three major explosions in growth of the game. It has been an incredible sight, seeing so many players from across the world learn, play, and do well in a game that has changed my life for the better. I have met many a friend through this game—some who I consider family—and I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for Magic.

So why-oh-why are the best players in the world—who put in the work, day in and day out, week after week, year after year—getting a raw deal on a regular basis when it comes to being paid for their success? Why—after seven years of witnessing growth and widespread acclaim for the game—do platinum pros live at the mercy of the company that was so willing to strip them of their livelihood?

It doesn’t make any sense to me.

Why can other games do it so well? What are we missing? Is it a budget issue? Is it Hasbro? If it’s Hasbro, are Wizards of the Coast’s hands tied?

I know that the people in charge and responsible for the health of the game are doing their absolute best. I know that they’re doing everything they can, and I sure as hell have utmost respect for them. I am not trying to say that they’re doing a bad job. I am saying that transparency and a clear path would help so much more, even if nothing changes.

Hell, we still don’t even know what their plans are for prize payouts in the future, and that’s scary. What’s stopping them from making more cuts down the road? When StarCityGames reduced their payouts earlier this year, it wasn’t as big of a loss. This was mostly because they don’t really have the equivalent of Platinum pros on the SCG Tour. There aren’t payouts on attendance, and the system they have in place is still sustainable for the most dedicated of players, even without a Players’ Championship.

What exactly am I missing here?

If I’m not missing anything, then something needs to happen. Magic is a massive game. It’s legitimately disheartening to not only have this incredible game be nearly impossible to pursue professionally, but to see other games do it on a much bigger scale. Even if we took playing the game out of the equation, there are so many different games for players to pursue. There are always spots open for commentary in Overwatch. Hearthstone, which has been on a downswing in popularity, has so many opportunities to organize tournaments and succeed if you put in the work. Some of the best commentators in the game don’t have jobs working the booths at Magic events. Why not? Tournament organizers don’t have a shot because the big events are centrally controlled. Starting next year, only one gets to run all the Grand Prix.

Magic is a great game—perhaps the greatest game. It needs a bigger platform for players to thrive and spectators to fall in love. It needs bigger advertising and sponsorships. And it needs clear rewards for players to commit the massive amount of time it takes to master the game. If there aren’t going to be opportunities for people to thrive off of Magic, the house of cards will collapse. And that would be a damn shame.

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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