Magic: The Gathering is drawing in new players with Arena, a free-to-play digital adaptation of the granddaddy of all collectible card games. And let’s face it — learning Magic can feel daunting.
ProGuides wants to help. The esports company specializes in producing guides and how-tos for getting into competitive games like League of Legends, Hearthstone, and now Magic: The Gathering — Arena, as Magic publisher Wizards of the Coast and ProGuides announced a new partnership today. ProGuides will offer more than 40 video lessons spanning about an hour. Market research firm Newzoo expects esports to hit $1.7 billion in revenues by 2021, and many companies are looking in other ways to benefit from this growth outside of hosting events or fielding teams.
“ProGuides has a really thorough and accessible approach to training players in top competitive games, by the pros. With the recent addition of Magic: The Gathering Arena, we felt this was a great place for our talented pros to share their mastery with those wanting to learn the game or improve their existing skills,” a Wizards of the Coast spokesperson said about choosing ProGuides for the partnership.
The how-tos start with Sean “Day9” Plott, the popular streamer who makes videos and does broadcasts (now with more than 242 million lifetime views) for Magic: The Gathering and a host of other games (along with hosting the PC Gaming Show at the Electronic Entertainment Expo).
“Day9 is a longtime CCG player and has been making incredible content for MTG Arena,” a Wizards of the Coast spokesperson said. “He has the expertise, passion, and dedication to the game that we feel makes him a strong person to not only represent MTG Arena but to kick off our series.”
And guides present such an opportunity. You need to sign up with ProGuides to access it, and these guides (unlike some for other games) are free thanks to the partnership with Wizards of the Coast.
The guides won’t be in the Magic: The Gathering — Arena launcher, but they’ll be on ProGuides’ site along with their iOS and Android offerings. The lessons will cover material for beginners and more advanced players (if they can teach me how to beat decks with Teferi, Hero of Dominara, I’d appreciate it). The videos have quizzes at the end to gauge how well you’ve learned the material. These will also offer awards in Arena as well.
“Some of these interactive questions go outside of just text-based [queries],” said ProGuides CEO Sam Wang. “The questions sometimes are also image-based. So in this case, you would look at a card, and you would click which one is relevant to the answer.”
Each lesson, Wang adds, has “a comment section as well, where you can ask questions or comments, and we’re going to have moderators who also can reply to them. But we also let the community reply to them. In this case, there’s zero because it’s not released.”
Wizards released Magic: The Gathering Online back in 2002, but it never had such a push for guide content in the ensuing years. I asked why it hadn’t made such a partnership before.
“We have always had a dedicated player base on YouTube, Twitch, and in articles and blogs, creating awesome content for previous and current Magic games. With ProGuides we can expand on what already exists to develop new content on their streamlined platform,” a Wizards of the Coast spokesperson said over email.
ProGuides has videos for four other games — Fortnite, League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Hearthstone — spanning what it says is more than 3,200 minutes of material.