Andrea Mengucci, an Italian Magic: the Gathering player and member of the Mythic Pro League (MPL), took home the $250,000 grand prize at the game’s first Mythic Invitational. Organized by Magic publisher Wizards of the Coast, the Invitational was held between March 28-30 at PAX East in Boston.
The Invitational was the biggest Magic tournament in history in terms of total prize money, with $1 million on offer. The 64 man double-elimination tournament was played on the game’s new online platform, Magic Arena. This marks the first time that the new software was used for a premier competitive event. It was also the most watched competition in the history of the game, peaking at 150,000 viewers on Twitch.tv.
Mengucci defeated Polish pro, fellow MPL member, and popular streamer Piotr Glogowski in the finals of the tournament. Rounding out the top 4 were Finnish streamer and former Hearthstone player Janne Mikkonen (Savjz) and Czech competitor Ondrej Strasky. Glogowski, who streams using the handle Kanister, took home $125,000, while the two semifinalists each bagged $70,000.
With his Mythic Invitational winnings, Andrea Mengucci has become the 10th most successful Magic player of all time. Notably, he is also now the highest-earning Italian in any eSport.
The Bologna-born card player is no stranger to success, however. Before the Mythic Invitational, he was already the most successful Italian player. He has made the final 8 at three Pro Tours, Magic’s premier tournament series recently re-branded as Mythic Championships. He has also captained his national side for several consecutive years at the World Magic Cup, leading his team to victory in 2015. Outside of competitive gaming, he holds a law degree.
You can find Top 4 VOD of the Mythic Invitational here.
Magic: We eSports Now
The Mythic Invitational marked Magic:the Gathering’s first major foray into eSports. It headlines the game’s 2019 premier play program, which features a significant shift from tabletop tournaments to online competitions.
Wizards of the Coast has allotted a whopping $10 million in total prize money for the year. The newly rebranded Mythic Championships, taking place on eight weekends in 2019, will award from $500,000-$750,000. This represents a substantial increase in the pot for top-tier events, with the old Pro Tours awarding around $250,000.
Andrea Mengucci was undoubtedly ecstatic to usher in the new phase of competitive Magic with his historic victory. In his tournament report for strategy site ChannelFireball, he was filled with gratitude towards the people who had helped win.
“While the trophy is mine and it has my name on it, in that moment I thought about all the people that helped me immensely during my Magic career to become the player I am now,” he wrote.
Mengucci has stated that he will spend a large chunk of his winnings on some of Magic’s earliest printed cards. Dubbed the Power Nine, the game’s most valuable collectors items include the Black Lotus. A graded copy of this iconic card sold for $166,100 at auction last year.