The Qualifier Weekend is taking place on MTG: Arena, but while day one was largely a success, day two has started out with a significant technical snafu: apparently, the event was improperly configured. Players were surprised to find that Historic legal decks were allowed to enter despite the fact that Standard was the intended format for the event. Day one had already featured the Standard format with no issues. Confusion broke out among the event’s competitors immediately at the beginning, with people searching for answers from the official MTG Twitter accounts.
This is not the first high-profile event on MTGA that has been set back by technical issues; in fact, this is the second time in two weekends that highly anticipated events have been affected. Many players were dismayed to find that the MTGA team’s solution to the issue was to completely reset the event and refund everyone their entry tokens, even though some had already been playing for several hours by that time. It even appears that the original response from Wizards of the Coast support had been to keep playing if you had entered the event with a legal deck.
Players who had already played several matches in the qualifier with good results were understandably upset that they would have to start from the beginning again. At the same time though, it’s hard to see how else Wizards could have remedied the issue with so many matches having been played with illegal decks.
Since all MTGA events run based on Pacific time in the US, some were also quick to point out the effect that this has on international players who have to carefully plan to allow themselves to participate in events:
Many fans of Magic: the Gathering have been spectating or participating in high level tournament play for years. But with Wizards eliminating the existing pro leagues and shifting their focus to “friendly” and “aspirational” play (the latter of which almost certainly including events like the Qualifier Weekends), one has to wonder if some players seeking the competition of tournament play may find that the level of frustration from technical issues alone is not worth putting up with.
Regardless, it seems as though it would behoove Wizards to improve the way events function on Arena if they wish to continue pushing competitive play in that space. Perhaps allocating more resources to the MTGA team is part of Wizards’ plan to restructure competitive play in the future. On the other hand, it’s possible that Wizards will be looking to move away from Arena as a host for official competitive play as they work towards restoring tabletop events. Either way, we won’t know more about Wizards’ plans for the future of competitive Magic until they make further announcements. In the meantime, we here at MTGA Zone will keep you up to date with the latest happenings on Arena, so be sure to check back with us for up-to-date information.