A few hours ago, Wizards released this article announcing a new event starting with Guilds of Ravnica, "Magic Weekend." According to Wizards, "Magic Weekend is less of an event than it is a category of events." On the surface, this sounds great! More events means more opportunity for players to play the game. They continue by likening the event like their supplemental draft sets Conspiracy and Battlebond, as Magic Weekend's purpose is to be an innovation on how they've done events in the past, and how they can focus and structure events moving forward by trying out new "ideas, formats, and even prizes," of which will be a new experience at each event.
We currently have sanctioned events for many different types of players, whether you enjoy draft, constructed, standard [the best format :)], modern, commander, etc, as well as even more casual experiences like pre-release and store league. It appears that starting with Guilds of Ravnica, Wizards will also begin crafting these events to target the Vorthos player, those players that love the flavor and lore of the game.
My initial impressions were, "Huh, that seems like a great idea. I can get behind that."
The event starts November 9th and goes through the 11th, sporting a more casual environment with events like 4 pack draft, Guild Kit battles, special Ravnica themed DnD sessions, etc. The prize pool for the weekend is expectedly casual, being unique art guild themed basic lands and full art posters.
Wizards then announces that we will see a more tournament style event with the release of Ravnica Allegiance mid February. Reportedly, the formats will range from all of your standard formats (draft, sealed, constructed) and the format is determined by your event organizer. This sounds awesome! And the prize pool for these sounds amazing as well: foil full-art rares, playmats, more guild prints and foil guild lands (like from Nov. events)...here is the stickler though:
STORE CHAMPIONSHIPS ARE ENDING.
Did I read that correctly? "Ravnica Allegiance and the Store Championship [will be] one kit, and the Core Set 2019 Store Championship that happened last September will be the last event of its kind.
Wizards...WOTC please! Say it ain't so! This new event structure sounded amazing! But after learning you'll be removing an event that Jeremy and I look forward to each and every season in stead of adding these new events to the already formed roster just breaks my Magic heart. I don't see how removing and event is anything but harmful for the local game store and the player base that has grown to love them. If you want more events a year, that's great. I hope we see more. If you want to make more Vorthos themed events, I'm down; I'll play. But this isn't the way to go with it. Reward your players for playing your game. Add, don't subtract. Its really the only way to move forward.