Magic: The Gathering is set to celebrate its 30th anniversary next month with the Magic 30 event in Las Vegas and, as you'd expect, there are lots of events planned for fans. One event, a cosplay contest, was revealed earlier this week but instantly caused controversy for its grand prize being a $200 gift card, which caused one former MTG cosplayer to offer $1,000 of her own money to the winner.
The blog post on the MTG website specifies that the first-place prize is a $200 JOANN Fabric gift card, three day badges to an upcoming Event, and a hotel room to be used at the event. Although the post does say that further prizes and rewards are being determined by the sponsor, the MTG community has responded by calling out the prizes as low-effort for a 30th anniversary, as well as being nowhere near the amount of money and effort that's put into most cosplay.
Taking a brief look at the MTG community on Twitter shows how severe the reaction to the prize has been. Twitter user quad_9s summed it up pretty nicely, saying, "Congrats on winning the cosplay contest for a game that spans an illustrious and profitable 30 years! Your prize is a gift card our intern ran across the street for 20 minutes ago and this swag that cost us nothing. We appreciate your continued dedication to your craft".
In response to the prize, former MTG cosplayer Sprankle said that she'll give $1,000 of her own money to whoever gets the first-place prize, which is both a very generous move and a show of how little has been put into the MTG 30 cosplay contest.
Sprankle said, "I’ll just straight up give the Best in Show winner $1,000. For real for real. Or if you want a case of whatever set around the same price. Winners choice. A handmade costume for a competition isn’t cheap. Plus travel and everything else. It’s a lot for one event."
It means even more coming from Sprankle considering she was one of the most well-known cosplayers in the MTG community, and has previously talked about negative experiences with Wizards and cosplaying.