The conclusion of Mythic Championship VII closed the 2019 and opened the door to the newest addition to professional Magic: The 2020 Partial Season Magic Rivals League. Twelve MPL players from the 2019 season, and sixteen Challengers across tabletop Magic and MTG Arena earned their invitations to start 2020 positioned to battle into the Magic Pro League, competing to become the best in the game.
This January four additional discretionary invitations will be announced for the Magic Rivals League, completing the 32 competitors of the inaugural class of the Magic Rivals League.
Lucas Esper Berthoud
Berthoud is part of the tight Brazilian community of Magic players, and he used a strong 2018 to leap into the inaugural MPL year. While he didn't find the breakthrough or big finish he was looking for over the past year, he takes an impressive resume and deep skill with him in his invitation to the Magic Rivals League in 2020.
Kai Budde, the living legend, makes his triumphant return to professional play. Budde became famous in the late '90s for never losing on a Top 8 Sunday as he put together the most dominant run the game has ever seen. Two decades later he proved he's still among the game's greatest with a Top 4 finish at Mythic Championship III. A new generation of fans will have their opportunity to meet Budde thanks to earning an invitation to the Magic Rivals League to start the year.
Part of the famed "Czech House" that broke Standard throughout 2019, Stanislav Cifka is a former Mythic Champion who had a bounceback season this year returning to Magic. A master deckbuilder who helped his teammates stay at the forefront of 2019, his strong performances culminating in a Top 8 at Mythic Championship V led to his Magic Rivals League invitation.
A four-time Grand Prix finalist, Louis-Samuel Deltour has been in the hunt for a breakout victory and trophy for years. His trip to the Top 8 of Mythic Championship VI brought him closer to the goal, and with invitation to the inaugural class of the Magic Rivals League he'll continue to have a chance to take home the Sunday win.
Magic's superstar streamer keeps finding ways to up his game. At this point in his career, Egashira has done nearly everything from building one of the best streams in the game to mastering Magic Online to compete in the MOCS to playing at the Mythic Championship level to even joining the coverage team for events. Now, after an incredible run at the final two Arena Mythic Championships of the year, Egashira notched invitation to the Magic Rivals League and the opportunity to add even more to his impressive career.
Jessica Estephan burst onto the scene when she earned her Grand Prix victory in 2018. As part of the first Magic Pro League class in 2019 she has quickly become a fixture of the professional Magic scene. With a 2019 that narrowly missed key victories, including a critical MPL split win, she'll continue to leave her mark on Magic through her invitation to the Magic Rivals League to start 2020.
Eric Froehlich's career has been up and down over the years, and 2019 was a down year professionally by his personal standards. While Hall of Fame player demonstrated—as he's done throughout his years of competition—that he can bounce back from challenging seasons. For 2020, it will be through his invitation to the Magic Rivals League as an MPL Veteran.
There was once a time when Simon Görtzen was on top of the Magic world. He had won a Mythic Championship and become a prolific content creator. He eventually chose to take a break from playing and move into event coverage, but his exciting run in his return to competition—including a thrilling streak to nearly make Top 4 at Mythic Championship III—proved he's ready to take on the world and Magic Rivals League with his invitation.
Coming off of his best season in 2018, capped off with a Top 8 at Pro Tour Ixalan, Christian Hauck fell to the middle of the MPL pack as he searched for his big moment of 2019. Despite his best efforts, missing out on another Top Finish left him shy of his 2020 MPL plans. His invitation to the Magic Rivals League is where he can rebound to a stronger season and continue to demonstrate why he's among the game's best players.
Alexander Hayne is a professional Magic mainstay stretching back to his miraculous victory at Pro Tour Avacyn Restored. Hunting for another Top Finish throughout 2019, Hayne fell shy of the mark for the MPL to start 2020. Instead, his gregarious joy for Magic will carry over to the Magic Rivals League where his invitation gives him another shot to be at the top of the game.
Eli Kassis started racking up Grand Prix Top 8s in 2016 and hasn't looked back since. Building on each success beforehand, his 2019 season closed with a second Grand Prix trophy and first Top Finish at Mythic Championship VI. With invitation to the inaugural Magic Rivals League, Kassis can continue to compete at the highest levels and rise further in professional Magic.
Grzegorz Kowalski may have played second fiddle to the eventual winner of the 2018 Magic World Championship, but his history of Grand Prix success and incredible consistency at Mythic Championship events put him on track for a strong 2019 season in the MPL. While it didn't come together the way he planned, earning invitation to the Magic Rivals League ensures Kowalski continues to challenge the best in the game into 2020.
Leveratto was a competitive Magic veteran, but he had been several years removed from the professional scene before he qualified for Mythic Championship III via MTG Arena. But once he made it to the big stage it was like he never left. Putting together the perfect underdog tale, he won the finals with the very last card he could draw before losing to earn himself a spot at Magic World Championship XXVI and invitation to the Magic Rivals League.
No Ah Ma
No Ah Ma is the rising star of South Korea, rocketing up the Challenger Mythic Points leaderboard with solid performances at all four tabletop Magic Mythic Championships this season. With invitation to the Magic Rivals League, No Ah can continue his march toward a Top Finish and breakthrough event against the game's best.
Popular streamer Janne "Savjz" Mikkonen kicked off the year with a Top 4 at MTG Arena's competitive debut event, the Mythic Invitational. As part of the inaugural MPL class, Savjz joined several fellow MPL members in falling short across a season packed with play against the game's greatest. His invitation to the Magic Rivals League ensures he has another shot at earning a second Top Finish battling the rest of the best of Magic.
Théo Moutier is riding a wave of success as a Challenger in the back half of the 2019 season. Qualifying for Mythic Championship V through MTG Arena, he notched a Top 16 finish there to earn invitation back for Mythic Championship VII. His success there was the springboard of Mythic Points to earn his invitation to the Magic Rivals League and more opportunities to prove himself against the best.
The combo master himself, Matthew Nass spent the last year battling against the game's best as part of the inaugural class of the Magic Pro League. While his Grand Prix success and Pro Tour Kaladesh Top 8 put him in an elite class of players, his narrow misses in 2019 left him short of his goal for invitation to the MPL in 2020. Invited to the Magic Rivals League, Nass has a season to rise back to the highest level.
Greg Orange has long been one of the best control players in the world, and it served him well as he won the team Mythic Championship that celebrated Magic's 25th anniversary. He continued to post solid results throughout his career thus far, finding success in both tabletop Magic and MTG Arena events. That consistent success earned his invitation to the Magic Rivals League and his shot at the MPL.
Sebastián Pozzo had a season to remember in 2019. He qualified for Mythic Championship V via MTG Arena, and after competing there followed it up just weeks later with a Top 8 at Mythic Championship VI. It's just the latest chapter of success for the professional player, and he'll look to continue his ascension to the top with his invitation to the Magic Rivals League.
John Rolf played on and off the professional Magic scene, preparing to instead focus on practicing as a lawyer before he made the Top 8 of Pro Tour Ixalan. Combined with a strong season it earned him invitation to the Magic Pro League last year, where he ended shy of the Mythic Points for a second invitation. Now he'll turn his focus on continuing his high level of play in the Magic Rivals League with his starting invitation for 2019.
While 2018 Player of the Year is among the most formidable competitors in Magic, Luis Salvatto's journey in the inaugural MPL season didn't replicate his success leading in. Without a premier play Top Finish in 2019, his 2020 invitation falls to the Magic Rivals League in 2020 where he'll continue to battle as one of the most talented and hardworking players in the world.
As one of the hosts of the popular Arena Boys series, Thoralf Severin demonstrated that he wasn't so bad at tabletop play, either, as he won Mythic Championship IV in Barcelona with his beloved Modern Tron deck. Working hard to continue leveling up Magic on all sides, "Toffel" prepares for the looming Magic World Championship XXVI and a season that kicks off with invitation to the Magic Rivals League.
Mike Sigrist is one of the game's greatest technical players, picking up the "best" deck in a format and playing it flawlessly. In the hunt to add a fourth Top Finish to his resume all season, Sigrist found friction and fell short of his Mythic Points goal. Invited to kick off the Magic Rivals League in 2020, he'll continue to be a force in the game on his path back to the top.
Miguel da Cruz Simões
Miguel da Cruz Simões is one of just two players who qualified for both Mythic Championship V and Mythic Championship VII via MTG Arena tournaments. He then put together the run of a lifetime at Mythic Championship VII, making his way all the way to the Top 8 for the best finish of his young career. Now he will hope it's the first of many as he qualifies for the Magic Rivals League.
Matt Sperling put together a string of Top Finishes over the years, most recently a finalist finish at Mythic Championship II in London early in 2019. With strong tabletop Magic finishes through the remainder of the season, Sperling earned invitation to the Magic Rivals League and even more opportunities to battle among the best in professional Magic.
Long known as one of the best Limited players in the world, Ben Stark's career is built on Constructed success as well. The Magic Hall of Fame member picked up an MPL division win during Core Split but fell short of strong finishes throughout the 2019 season. With invitation to the Magic Rivals League, Stark is poised to show why he's a master of competitive Magic as he looks to earn back qualification to the MPL.
Everyone knows Luis Scott-Vargas, better known as simply "LSV." After his tenth Top Finish at Mythic Championship I, the Magic Hall of Fame member was in the running for Magic World Championship XXVI right up through Mythic Championship VII. With a resume that puts him in the conversation for the best to ever play the game, he is easily the most-feared player invited to the Magic Rivals League.
Peter Yeh is quietly one of the most consistent competitors across tabletop Magic this year. While he fell short of earning a Top Finish, he racked up Mythic Points with consistent performance event after event. With a string of Grand Prix success as well, Yeh looks to turn his Magic Rivals League invitation into another step up in his professional career.