Wizards of the Coast outlined the future of Magic: The Gathering esports today amid the COVID-19 pandemic, revealing digital competitive splits and a Championship tournament for each upcoming set release.
The 2020-2021 Magic esports season will start with the release of Zendikar Rising this fall. And until it’s safe to reintegrate competitive tabletop play, the new season will be 100-percent digital with an emphasis on MTG Arena gameplay.
Each set split is broken down into monthly ranked play that leads to Qualifier Weekend tournaments. At the end of a set split, there will be a Championship tournament.
- Monthly ranked play (ranked 1,200 or higher in Mythic) on MTG Arena earns an invitation to monthly Qualifier Weekends.
- Each monthly Qualifier Weekend is a two-day event played on MTG Arena, using a best-of-three Constructed format (Standard or Historic) for both days. Top-finishing players from each Qualifier weekend are invited to the Championship.
- The Championship of each split will feature a $250,000 prize pool and be played via MTG Arena.
- Players can also qualify for a Championship seat via Magic Online Qualifiers and events supported by WotC partners.
Ranking in the top 1,200 via MTG Arena in Mythic also isn’t the only way to participate in a split Qualifier.
- Players with at least five match wins during day two of a previous Arena Open event earn a seat at a weekend split Qualifier.
- Competitors who have at least six match wins during day one of a previous month’s Qualifier are invited to the next one.
- Players who earn four or more Mythic Points. Those who qualify for the Championship are not eligible to participate in weekend Qualifiers.
- Players that earned 33 or more match points in a Players Tour Online event. (These players will be ineligible to compete in Qualifier Weekends if they have qualified for the Championship.)
- Players who earn six match points during day two of the previous month’s Qualifier weekend will be invited directly to day two of the following month. (This also counts as earning at least six match wins on day one in that follow month’s Qualifier weekend for an invitation to the Qualifier weekend after that).
- Discretionary invites.
In addition to Qualifier weekend tournaments, MPL and Rivals League players will participate in League weekend tournaments during a set split. Starting in October with the Zendikar Rising split, a League weekend tournament will take place once a month.
- MPL players will compete in two six-round Swiss tournaments, one on each day.
- Rivals League players will compete in two six-round Swiss tournaments, one on each day.
- Standings don’t carry over as each day represents a separate tournament.
- Each match win is worth one point towards that player’s League standings.
Each new set that arrives in Magic will kick off a three-month split that features Qualifier Weekend tournaments and a Championship. Once tabletop becomes safe to play again, WotC will slowly integrate competitive play into the current system for the 2020-2021 season.