WotC cuts ties with Judge Academy

Wizards of the Coast announces they will not be renewing their contract with Judge Academy, the entity in charge of training and supplying judges for official Magic: The Gathering events.

The ending of the two parties' partnership is Oct. 13.

"We appreciate the work the Judge Academy has done over the past few years in service of Magic judges and organizers, and we are currently working with tournament organizers and stores for a new framework and approach to Magic judging," says Wizards of the Coast.

Despite the announcement, official organized Magic: The Gathering events will still be held at the local, regional, national, and international level as WotC says they do not expect the change to affect most events.

"Experienced Magic judges are the lifeblood of high-level Magic, and we're thankful for Judge Academy's stewardship of the program," states the company.

The Judge Academy looks to share that sentiment.

"Because the community needs an interim solution, Judge Academy intends to continue offering training, testing, and certification of judges until another entity fills that role," says Samantha Harr, Magic Judge Program Manager.  "For the foreseeable future, Judge Academy will continue to provide both coursework and testing opportunities for Magic judges; including the 1-on-1 testing of L3 judges."

Harr further points out that WotC "has not provided Judge Academy with any information about the future of the Magic Judge Program."

As for what this means for Magic events both large and small in the future, Wizards of the Coast has not announced anything.  Rather, they recommend those with questions to contact one of the global tournament organizers who run the regional championship qualifiers.

Barry White

Barry White is a longtime Magic: The Gathering player, having started in 1994 shortly before the release of 'Fallen Empires.' After graduating from the University of Nevada, Reno, he went on to a 15-year journalism career as a writer, reporter, and videographer for three different ABC affiliate newsrooms.