In no way would this have ended professional magic. The platinum pros still get invitations to all the pro-tours. They still get a free hotel.
A person who qualifies for the first time gets their flight covered. I'd say that's roughly the same cost unless the pro-tour is halfway around the world for you.
The question is, do you really think the platinum pros would stop going to professional events if they didn't get an automatic $3000 for showing up?
I'd say 99% of the time they still would go. I know if I qualified for a pro-tour I certainly would unless some other life event was happening that weekend (good friend's wedding, wife having a baby, etc)
So, with that being said, I am of the opinion nothing would change professionally. These players would still show up and do everything they are already doing.
but that $12000 they get on an annual basis allows them to not have another job. So they can sit around and troll modo 24/7. I don't think that is a net benefit for anyone involved.
Many of these guys write magic articles. You could argue the quality of writing would decrease....but to be fair I'm not overly impressed with the quality of writing to begin with. Many articles are simply videos of a pro drafting. Or a simple breakdown of a deck they found online played by someone else.
What I am saying is, the quality of magic articles already is pretty bad when you boil it down to its roots.
Sometimes, a player comes out with a great article about stubble neuances of the game, or how to manage your emotions, etc. But those are few and far between.
Most of the articles on channelfireball and starcity games are fluff pieces designed to sell cards.
So I find the argument about content disintegration not only false, but completely irrelevant.
So the question is, what changes?
You dream crush a bunch of players who want to live the pro-life.
You resind an implied contract and promise to professional players who are close to or have already qualified for platinum next year....
That is a problem. It's a broken promise on something that could be considered an advertisement.