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MTG Vegas event ups its cosplay prize pool after fan backlash

The Magic: The Gathering cosplay contest at Magic 30 just raised its first place prize by $3000, after anger from fans at the original announcement

Magic the Gathering a bear cub in an alien costume

The Magic: The Gathering cosplay contest taking place at Magic 30 next month just got a massive boost to its prize pool, after fans expressed outrage at what was originally announced as the first place prize: a $200 gift card for fabric and craft store JOANN.

As Magic 30 is intended to be a celebration of 30 years of Magic: The Gathering, many Magic fans were expecting something a bit grander than this. Though tickets and a hotel room for an unannounced future three-day Magic event were also included, for many fans this simply wasn’t sufficient, nor proportional to the amount of effort (not to mention money) that goes into cosplay. These fans took to social media to express their disappointment. As The Gamer reported, one ex-cosplayer even offered to pay the winner $1000 out of pocket, to make up for the lacklustre official reward.

Magic the Gathering: A bald woman surrounded by floating blue masks.

It appears irate fans may have kicked up a large enough fuss for the event’s organisers to sit up and take notice, as yesterday the PlayMTG Twitter account amended the prize. Now the first place winner of the cosplay contest will not only get the offending $200 Joann Fabric gift card, but also $3000 hard cash. Not bad. There’s also $1750 set aside for the runner-up.

Magic 30 is the first major event in TCG Magic: The Gathering’s year-long 30th anniversary celebration, marking three decades since the game was first invented. The event is a weekend-long convention kicking off next month, taking place October 28-30 in Las Vegas.

As well as the cosplay contest, other Magic 30 festivities include a Modern tournament, a Commander area sponsored by The Command Zone, and a MTG Unfinity event hosted by head designer Mark Rosewater. There’s no word yet on if he’ll be in costume though.

Along with Magic 30, there are four other multiday MTG celebrations happening in 2023. We don’t know exactly what these will be, but according to Magic’s website, each one of them will have its own cosplay contest. It’ll be interesting to see what their prize pools look like.