By Cody Perez
May 13, 2019
The Magic: The Gathering MPL, or Magic Pro League, added the first female pro player to its roster of professional players. In addition, another player was added to the league who is one of the hottest Magic players currently in the competitive scene.
MPL added Jessica Estephan to the league, making her the first female player to be part of it. This is an astounding accomplishment for Estephan, as she is making history. It is honestly surprising that we haven’t gotten a female player yet given the storied history of the card game.
In addition to Jessica Estephan, the Magic Pro League added upcoming pro player Janne “Savjz” Mikkonen to the league. Both newcomers to the league will fill the two remaining empty slots, making the league full again.
This is great since the league began its first-week last weekend so it’s good that the players were added sooner rather than later. One of the spots became open very recently after Yuuya Watanabe was banned and also disqualified from the Mythic Championship II.
The former World Champion was removed from his spot in the pro league, now being filled by one of the newcomers. Both players are well known in the community prior to their involvement in the MPL. Mikkonen, for example, is part of the extremely popular Team Liquid esports team.
He has played Magic: The Gathering esports for more than 10 years and is also well known for his expertise in other card games. He regularly streams other card games like Hearthstone and was part of the Mythic Invitational recently. Needless to say, but he is one to watch in the league.
Jessica Estephan, on the other hand, is certainly one to watch out for as well in the Magic Pro League. She has made quite a name for herself, too, also participating in the Mythic Invitational. She placed in the top 16 in that tournament, earning her a lot of respect in the community.
In addition to the Mythic Invitational, she won a Grand Prix tournament and regularly writes about Magic: The Gathering for ChannelFireball. She is not only the most popular female pro player to date, but she is without a doubt the most successful as well.
She is, in fact, the first female pro player to win a Grand Prix tournament. Estephan is now making waves for being the first female player in the Magic Pro League. This is great news as it diversifies what has been a male-dominated esport and league.
Thankfully, the Magic Pro League is making sure that this isn’t the only case of diversity in the near future. The MPL will be making sure to remove any potential barriers that are keeping women from being able to join in on the league
To ensure this is possible and pave the way for a more diverse league, it will be adding 16 discretionary slots to the roster of the Mythic Championships. Fans don’t have to worry as these new slots will not remove any current or expected competitors from the championships.
Instead, the 16 discretionary slots will allow for players who wouldn’t normally be there to have a chance to win a championship. This will also, hopefully, break down some of the barriers and allow for more female players like Jessica Estephan to join the competitive scene.