Gerry Thompson Drops from #MPL

In a post here Gerry Thompson (@G3RRYT) announced he was leaving the #MagicProLeague #MPL. He cited lack of contract communications, lack of communications in general, bad handling of the #MCII causing it to have very poor Twitch numbers, & the kicker to me; that players in the #MPL weren’t properly vetted, including himself.

This is a serious blow to the infancy of the #MPL. Considering just last week Yuuya Watanabe was exiled from Magic. Wedge from The Mana Source & Evan Erwin from Coolstuffinc had this to say

Along with this; MagicEsports revealed today the replacements on the #MPL (@MagicEsports) in there post here. They welcomed Janne “Savjz” Mikkonen and Jessica Estephan to the #MPL. They indicated that they would be added to the current splits by playing makeup matches. They also had this to say about diversity & inclusion:

Inclusion and Additional Invitations
The lack of inclusion and diversity in esports and competitive gaming, especially when it comes to women, is an embedded, long-standing issue. With the MPL and MTG Arena opening up the playing field in a big way, we want to state in no uncertain terms that we know the pool of talent is broad, and that we think it should be represented in a concrete way to the viewers and fans of competitive Magic.

The barriers women face when attempting to play competitively are significant. The MPL is making a purposeful effort to remove barriers and invite a slate of accomplished players who more fully represent the complete Magic community.

To further this goal, the MPL is adding sixteen discretionary slots to each of the MTG Arena Mythic Championships for the 2019 season. These discretionary slots will be used to invite a broader representation of the Magic competitive community to high-level play. These sixteen slots are in addition to the existing MPL, prior performance, and direct qualification slots.

https://www.mtgesports.com/news/mpl-adds-janne-savjz-mikkonen-and-jessica-estephan

I’m very excited for the chance that these competitors have earned! They have an opportunity to shine and show off their skills.

The discretionary slots rule has me intrigued about the competitors that they may be awarded too. These should not become participation trophies just to make the field look ‘diverse’. As it could serve to ultimately embarrass players not ready for this level of play & can cheapen the achievements of those that work INSANELY hard to get into the #MPL. I guess we’ll have to see, as the first two announced replacements have quite the pedigrees!