Gameological At Large: What’s it like to be a top Magic: The Gathering player?

Reid Duke travels to Magic: The Gathering tournaments 40 weekends each year. “It’s a lot,” he said. “I enjoy traveling, I enjoy going to new places, but sometimes I wish it was 20 [weekends].”

Duke started playing Magic at age 5, but in college, he was faced with a choice: Set the game aside and focus on his studies, or get even more invested. He doubled down. In 2010, Duke competed in his first Pro Tour, a tournament series open only to the game’s top competitors, and by 2012, Magic became his full-time job. Duke pays his bills in part with prize money and in part by writing about the game: He writes weekly articles for Wizards Of The Coast (the Magic publisher) and for Channel Fireball, a Magic retailer and hub for in-depth strategy guides. The competition and writing careers go hand in hand, as fans prefer …

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