Janne “Savjz” Mikkonen has declined his invitation to the Magic Rivals League.

“I was invited to play in the Magic Rivals League this year,” Savjz said. “If I competed, I would want to give it my 100%. However…in order to fully focus on content creation, I have decided to decline [the invitation].”

He was concerned also about burning out, saying that “the combination of streams and hard practice off stream to play [at] a high level would’ve been too much.”

Savjz is a member of Team Liquid and a former Hearthstone pro. He joined the Magic Pro League in May 2019 during its rocky inaugural split after finishing third at the Mythic Invitational in March. But Savjz struggled to find success in the Magic Pro League, going 3-18 in league play and never advancing to Day 2 of a Mythic Championship, and finished the season in last place. He was also on the receiving end of attacks from Magic fans who were frustrated with the Magic Pro League’s first season, some of which his wife said rose to the level of “harassment.”

After its first year, the Magic Pro League is shrinking to 24 players from its original 32. The Top 20 members of the Magic Pro League will remain in the league for its shortened 2020 season, where they will be joined by the Top 4 Challengers from 2019. The bottom 12 Magic Pro League players—along with the Top 8 Arena and Top 8 tabletop Challengers—were invited to the new Magic Rivals League, in addition to four discretionary invites.

As part of Rivals, Savjz would have been able to earn up to $20,000 in appearance fees at Mythic Invitational and Players Tour events. He is the first person to decline his invite to the Magic Rivals League, though Andrew Baeckstrom declined his invitation to join the first season of the Magic Pro League last year. It is likely that Savjz’s spot will become a fifth discretionary invite, though Wizards of the Coast has yet to make an official announcement.

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