Is 2019 the year of Card-based Games?
It’s not just MOBAs and shooters that are taking the esports world by storm, there are numerous card-based games that are also setting up for another exciting year of tournaments and prizes. If you prefer your esports with a more strategic mind, look no further than this for a quick guide to the card videogame esports scene for 2019.
Magic: The Gathering
To kick things off, let’s talk about one of the longest running card-based games out there, Magic: The Gathering. The physical cards are very much alive and well, with tournaments based all over the world taking place. However, as we move into the digital age, so too has Magic: The Gathering. This year, the online version of the game is throwing its hat into the ring as a top esport contender with Magic: The Gathering Arena.
Released as a beta in September 2018, the platform is now in open beta and matches are well underway. The Magic Pro League kicked off in 2018 and continues in 2019, but this time with a digital spin as well. Players can compete in MTG: Arena and there are weekly matches, along with Mythic Championships and a World Championship planned for this year also. The Magic pro league is incorporating both the physical game, and the online, opening up the doors for players to compete with one another across the globe. If you’ve never tried MTG before, give Arena a go, you won’t be disappointed.
Another game making its way onto the scene in earnest is Artifact, by Valve. The game takes it’s setting and premise from the world of DOTA 2 but adds deck-building and deep gameplay systems to introduce a new and exciting challenge to fans of the genre. It’s still early days for this game, only releasing in November 2018 but there does appear to be a lot of potential. It’s certainly one of the better offerings for players and offers some great, complex play to be had.
There have been no large tournaments announced just yet, but with DOTA 2 forming its foundation, it seems like it’s only a matter of time. If you’re new to the genre entirely, the game will walk you through getting started, if you’re a seasoned veteran to deck-building card games, then there is plenty of strategy to get your teeth stuck into.
Finally, one of the more famous titles is set to have another blistering year, Hearthstone. This game has been well received the world over, and the professional league was a big success last year, leading Blizzard to invest even more in the game over the next 12 months. Over $4 million has been pledged in prize money for the upcoming year, so there’s never been a better time to get involved.
There has also been a great response to player feedback and the company have already advised of several ways they will be changing the setup in order to make the esports scene more accessible for its players. Top prize offerings and easier ways to play and access the leagues makes it look like the best year ever for Hearthstone.