Gerry Thompson has been a presence in competitive Magic: The Gathering for some time with two Pro Tour top 8s, and the Pro Tour Amonkhet 2017 win. Last year, Thompson declined to participate in the 2018 World Championship to protest a number of issues between Wizards of the Coast and the professional MTG circuit. Today, Thompson has stepped down from the Magic Pro League.
What is the Magic Pro League?
The Magic Pro League is a league of 32 players from across the globe. These players all participate in regular MTG Arena contests, Mythic-level tournaments, and are automatically qualified for Mythic Championships.
Why is Gerry Thompson resigning?
Gerry Thompson is resigning from the MPL for the 2019 season. We wish Gerry the best in his endeavors, and look forward to his continued involvement in the Magic community.
— Magic Esports (@MagicEsports) May 13, 2019
Last year when Gerry resigned from the World Championship, it was to protest Wizards of the Coasts’ lack of communication, lack of fair wage for pro players, and lack of discipline for proven cheaters at high-level events. This year, Gerry is continuing to use his voice for good. You can read his letter to the general public here, but I’m going to hit the major points below:
- WotC is still lacking on the communication front. They want to support a thriving community of pro players but leave them in the dark too often.
- WotC seems to be adamant in ignoring pro player input. Gerry mentions how the feedback he and others gave regarding contract issues, event issues, and the Duo Standard format all fell on deaf ears.
- WotC’s coverage for paper Magic continues to be lackluster. Especially when compared to the production quality of the MTG Arena-based Mythic Invitational.
What happens now?
Nothing much. Things go back to usual, except Thompson won’t be in the Magic Pro League. This is the second time he’s taken steps to improve the community at his own expense, and we can only hope his protest works. With the massive failure of War of the Spark Mythic Edition still fresh, Wizards of the Coast has a lot of fires to put out. Let’s hope they learn to communicate effectively and in a timely manner so that 2019 can truly be the best year for Magic: The Gathering.