In the wake of a series of major cancellations, Star City Games has announced that two upcoming Magic: The Gathering tournaments, the Baltimore and Syracuse SCG Tour locations, have been canceled. Star City Games is citing concerns over the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus as the reason for the cancellation.
— Star City Games (@StarCityGames) March 11, 2020
This decision follows a recommendation from the DC Health Department after the World Health Organization upgraded coronavirus to a “pandemic,” which suggests that “non-essential mass gatherings, including conferences and conventions, be postponed or cancelled” until March 31. SCG Baltimore was scheduled for March 14-15, and SCG Syracuse was scheduled for March 21-22.
Star City Games is working with both venues to try to reschedule both tournaments for later this year but did not provide a time frame. SCG Baltimore’s main event was the Pioneer format, while SCG Syracuse’s main event was Modern. The next tournament coming up on the SCG Tour is Atlanta on April 4, though Star City Games did not say whether or not they will be rescheduling this event.
Players who preregistered for the events will be fully refunded their entry fees. Star City Games also recommends those who made flight or travel arrangements seek refunds.
The SCG Tour is one of the first Magic: The Gathering tournaments to be canceled this year, as more and more event organizers take public health care concerns into consideration. Given how Star City Games is the second largest tournament organizer after Wizards of the Coast, more events will likely follow.
The future of the Magic: The Gathering tournament scene
As more tournaments are postponed or rescheduled, the Magic community could start to see more online tournaments through digital platforms. Both Magic: The Gathering Arena and Magic: The Gathering Online could be used to still let high-performing players to compete. For the average player however, it would be up to Wizards of the Coast to come up with a more comprehensive tournament system.