Magic: The Gathering overhauls tiebreaker system for 2020 season

An established system is in place for the upcoming season.

MTG Arena Mythic Championship V Top Eight
Image via WotC Magic: The Gathering Twitter

A new set of guidelines regarding how tiebreakers will be determined was revealed today for the upcoming 2020 pro season and for the Magic World Championship. 

Tiebreakers are an integral component when determining a player’s advancement in a major tournament like Magic Worlds, along with a seat in the Rivals and the Magic Pro League. And while 2019 didn’t have an established set of rules, Wizards of the Coast has introduced a new tiebreaker system for the upcoming season in MTG

Magic World Championship

The Magic World Championship contains the largest payout of the year, with a $1 million total prize pool, and features top-performing players from the season. Competitors for this tournament are determined by winners of Mythic Championships and the top-four Mythic Point ranked players in the MPL and Challenger fields. In total, there are 16 available seats. 

Players who win a Mythic Championship or Mythic Invitational are awarded guaranteed seats at the Magic World Championship. Tiebreakers come into play when determining the top-four Mythic Point ranked MPL and Challengers from the season. The new system will use the following rules to determine a tiebreaker. 

  • The number of Mythic Championship final days.
  • Highest finish at a Mythic Championship or Mythic Invitational, followed by the second highest, third highest, and so on until the tie is broken.

2020 Rivals League

The Rivals League is new to Magic esports and launches at the start of the 2020 season. There are a total of 46 players in the Rivals League. They’ll have a chance to earn MPL seats via a Gauntlet tournament at the end of every season. 

The top-12 tabletop and Arena players can earn a seat in the Rivals League. Tiebreaker rules for seats in the Rivals League include the following: 

  • Most 2019 Mythic Championship final days.
  • Most Saturday appearances in 2019 Mythic Championships.
  • Most points earned during tabletop 2019 Mythic Championship Swiss rounds (for tabletop slots) or the most match wins at a single MTG Arena Mythic Championship (for MTG Arena slots).

2020 Magic Pro League

The Magic Pro League (MPL) is the highest level a pro player can reach in Magic. In the 2019 season, it had 32 seats. But it’ll only have 24 players in the 2020 season. 

The top-two ranked Mythic Point Challengers at the end of a season are rewarded guaranteed seats in the MPL for the next season. Mythic Points earned throughout a season also determine the 16 MPL players who will remain in the MPL for an upcoming season. The new system will use the following rules to determine a tiebreaker for MPL players. 

  • The number of Mythic Championship final days.
  • Highest finish at a Mythic Championship, followed by the second highest, third highest, and so on until the tie is broken.

Having an established set of rules regarding tiebreakers removes speculation and provides consistency. The Magic World Championship is scheduled to take place in February 2020 and a new partial pro season will run from January to July.