On Tuesday at 1PM EST (10AM PST) Magic the Gathering will truly enter the esports world when Twitch Rivals hosts the first MTG Arena 10k tournament. The event will feature some of your favorite MTG and non-MTG Twitch personalities competing for $10,000 in prizes, including $3,000 for the winner.

Twitch Rivals is an initiative of Twitch’s esports team and commonly hosts events with big cash prizes such as last week’s PUBG Duos tournament, which featured a prize pool of $160,000. All of the participants in tomorrow’s event are Twitch partners who were invited by Twitch to participate.

Wizards of the Coast’s announcement of their $10 million investment in competitive Magic, half of which will go to MTG Arena in 2019,  sparked a large number of streamers and players to take notice. Twitch, which announced a joint effort with Wizards to improve tournament coverage in 2016, is joining in on the MTG Arena hype to promote both the game and its streaming platform as the place to go to watch competitive Magic.

The tournament will bring together two segments of the gaming world, uniting the Magic community with the larger esports community. Twitch Rivals normal viewership, used to the competitive world of games like PUBG, Hearthstone, and CS:Go, will be introduced to the fans of the world’s most successful collectible card game.

But what about the actual tournament? Let’s break it down:

  • Up to 64 Twitch Partners including both MTG and non-MTG streamers were invited to the tournament
  • The event will feature six rounds of best-of-three competition with sideboarding
  • The six rounds of swiss will be followed by a Top 8 bracket
  • The total prize pool of $10,000 pays out to the top 16 finishers
  • First place will receive $3,000
  • The format for the tournament will be Standard constructed

But that’s not all—this is, after all, an event hosted by a streaming outlet, so what’s the streaming plan? The action begins at 1PM EST and can be watched on the official Twitch Rivals channel. Commentary will be provided by SCG veteran Matthias Hunt, Hearthstone caster Nathan Zamora, and MTG Goldfish contributor Crim Nguyen.

Of course, since all of the players invited are Twitch partners they’ll each be streaming their own tournament experience on their own channels (see below for links). Streams will be on a delay to avoid sniping during the tournament, so chat interaction with players will also be delayed.

MTG Arena doesn’t have a built-in tournament organization structure like MTG Online does, so Smash.gg will be leveraged to organize the event. Also, since everyone will be streaming, decklists will be made available to all of the players ahead of the tournament. It’s unknown whether or not decklists will be posted to a central location after the tournament.

Another small wrinkle is that MTG Arena doesn’t let you direct challenge your opponents to a best-of-three match, only best-of-one. So players will have to enter a best-of-one match, then sideboard, and then enter another best-of-one match. Because the decision to play or draw is random in best-of-one, if it comes out incorrect the players will have to concede and try again. This could be a bit difficult for the viewing experience on individual streams, but hopefully the main feed will simply avoid casting that part of the event.

Regardless of the technical challenges, it’s exciting to see MTG Arena take its first steps into the bigger world of esports. Check back here after the event for feedback on the format and the experience and check below for a list of confirmed competitors and links to their Twitch channels.

List of Confirmed Competitors:

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