4 Ways You Could Be Sabotaging Your League

4 Ways You Could Be Sabotaging Your League

July 3, 2018 | 3 min to read

Since Magic League debuted with Kaladesh, we've learned a lot about what works for the format and what doesn't, what resonates with the intended audience and what falls flat, why some stores succeed and why some have trouble getting it off the ground.

If you find yourself in that second category, ask yourself these four questions:

Do you assume players already understand it?

It’s an easy assumption to make. You’ve been running Magic events for years. Your players have been attending them for just as long. Neither of you needs much instruction.

But some people do, so instruction is always necessary—simple as it is, League is still a newish program aimed at newish players. Getting players acclimated to the format—especially players just getting acclimated to Magic in general—means pitching it in the clearest possible terms.

Use this graphic as a quick League explainer

Just save the image to your computer and use as needed, online or in your store.

Do you split the casual audience?

As Michael Bahr has reminded us, the best way to get keep events firing consistently is to design your entire weekly schedule knowing which player types you want to attract, making sure you're serving as many players as possible, and taking precautions to make sure your business can benefit from all of that.

A good place to start: don’t target the same audience twice in one day.

League is meant for casual play, and a competing event aimed at the same audience could end up cannibalizing those players and sabotaging your League. Don't schedule any. Make your League meetup the casual audience's best and most obvious choice.

Do you target competitive players?

And how do you make that clear—that League is for casual play?

Your prize pool has a lot to do with it. Generally, a large one will create a competitive vibe, a modest one will create more of a social experience. Both have their time and place, but it's the latter you want for Magic League. Too much competition and you risk scaring off the intended audience.

Reward matches played, not matches won. Whatever rewards you choose to offer beyond the promo card, we recommend using them to encourage more matches, more play, more visits to the store.

This poster makes tracking League play even simpler. Use the checkered boxes to track wins and losses (just a "W" or "L" will do), and the blank boxes to note how many packs that player has picked up. Download it here. (Note: this poster is currently available in English only.

Do you make it seem like a big commitment?

Given the four-week time span, some players get the impression that joining League means surrendering a good chunk of time—a weekly obligation. It's the opposite.

Flexibility is part of Magic League's appeal. The time commitment is whatever players choose. Structure your League, from entry fee to payout, in a way that makes that clear. Players shouldn't feel any more obligation picking up League packs than they would feel picking up three packs on any other day.

Use these invitations for a quick and painless way to register. Fill out the left side with your event information. Players keep the informational half and turn the other half in to preregister.

League starts on July 16, and players can join in any time between now and when it ends. Give your League its best chance of success by pitching it in the clearest possible terms, clearing your meetup event of any competing casual options, and focusing on social, low-pressure play.

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