The following article is part of the Pro Tour Eldritch Moon Organized Play Announcement, which is comprised of three parts.
2016 World Championship
First up is the next big event on our list: the 2016 World Championship.
The event information page for the World Championship is now live, and once we have 24 confirmed competitors, you will be able to see who they are and how they qualified, along with more information such as the breakdown of the $250,000 prize pool.
The 2016 World Championship will be a four-day event taking place at PAX West in Seattle, Washington, September 1–4. The structure for each day is as follows:
Rounds 1–3: Eldritch Moon-Shadows over Innistrad Booster Draft
Rounds 4–7: Standard Constructed
Rounds 8–10: Eldritch Moon-Shadows over Innistrad Booster Draft
Rounds 11–14: Modern Constructed
Top 4: Standard Constructed
2017 World Championship Seats and Prize Pool Update
Looking ahead to next year's World Championship, the race for one of the 24 seats will begin with the start of the 2016–17 premier play season next weekend. In an effort to streamline the method of qualification for the World Championship, while representing some of the season's top-ranked players, the methods of qualifying for the World Championship will change starting in 2017.
The 24 seats in the 2017 World Championship will be awarded as follows:
- (4) Winners of a Pro Tour in the 2016–17 Season
- (1) Magic Online Champion
- (1) 2016–17 Standard Master (The player with the most match points in Constructed matches during the Swiss rounds at all Pro Tours in the season. This title has been renamed from Constructed Master.)
- (1) 2016–17 Draft Master (The player with the most match points in Booster Draft matches at all Pro Tours in the season.)
- (1) 2016–17 North American Champion (The player from North America with the most Pro Points at the end of the 2016–17 season will be named the 2016–17 North American Champion and will secure an invitation to the 2017 World Championship.)
- (1) 2016–17 European Champion (The player from Europe with the most Pro Points at the end of the 2016–17 season will be named the 2016–17 European Champion and will secure an invitation to the 2017 World Championship.)
- (1) 2016–17 Asia-Pacific Champion (The player from the Asia-Pacific region with the most Pro Points at the end of the 2016–17 season will be named the 2016–17 Asia-Pacific Champion and will secure an invitation to the 2017 World Championship.)
- (1) 2016–17 Latin American Champion (The player from Latin America with the most Pro Points at the end of the 2016–17 season will be named the 2016–17 Latin American Champion and will secure an invitation to the 2017 World Championship.)
- (13) Top-Ranked Players (Top players from the 2016–17 Player of the Year race who have not already secured a World Championship invitation. These were formerly known as At-Large invitations.)
The path to the 2017 World Championship has been streamlined to make it clear how to get there: win a Pro Tour or the Magic Online Championship, be the top-performing Pro Tour competitor across all Standard or Booster Draft matches in a season, or be one of the top players in the Player of the Year race.
Another major change with 2017's World Championship is the move toward a stronger representation of our top-ranked players at the end of the season. As we cement the World Championship as a tournament featuring the season's very best players, this meant doing away with many of the invitations awarded for specific titles, such as Mid-Season Master and Outstanding Hall of Famer.
Our move away from many seats for each geo-region is because our premier play structures in general—most notably our Grand Prix, Regional Pro Tour Qualifiers, and World Magic Cup Qualifiers—are already designed to encompass regional representation. One seat for each region will continue to remain as a guarantee of global representation, with each geo-region's Pro Point leader being crowned their region's champion.
Finally, one seat in particular has been removed after thorough discussion. The race for Grand Prix Master, a season-long leaderboard race that awarded a World Championship seat to the player with the most uncapped Pro Points accumulated at Grand Prix in that season, created some interesting narratives in the two years that the race existed. However, this seat over-incentivized Grand Prix attendance for our pro players, and with the aim of removing the potential for burnout we have removed GP Master as a path to the World Championship.
The 2017 World Championship will feature a prize pool of $300,000, with $100,000 being awarded to the 2017 World Champion. The prize pool can be seen below:
In addition, the way we award Pro Points at the World Championship will change in 2017. World Championship competitors will earn 1 Pro Point for each match win in the Swiss rounds after they win their third match. This change is being made based on feedback from the pro community: by reducing the amount of Pro Points awarded at the World Championship, we make the field more likely to represent the players that performed best through a season's Pro Tours and Grand Prix. Prior to this change, the benefit of the Pro Points for ensuring a return to the World Championship was too great. This change should help balance the playing field, while still providing an incentive for each match at the World Championship to have some importance each round for the majority of its competitors.
Pro Tour Top 8 Bracket and Prize Payout Changes
Finally, we'll be instituting a new Top 8 bracket for Pro Tours starting with Pro Tour Kaladesh in Honolulu, Hawaii, October 14–16. The purpose for these changes is to ensure a tournament structure that places emphasize on playing games. The previous single-elimination bracket and payout structures did not always accomplish this,
This new bracket for the Top 8 of Pro Tours is a modified single-elimination bracket that rewards a player's high standing in the Swiss rounds of the tournament. It will be represented as follows:
The new bracket awards first and second seeds at the end of the Swiss with an automatic advancement to the semifinals for their performance in the first two days of competition. Third and fourth seeds are guaranteed a similar spot on the bracket as the previous system, while fifth through eighth seeds must compete in the first part of the quarterfinals before advancing.
This new bracket will be accompanied by the following revised prize pool payout structure.
The changes to the prize money payouts are intended to reward players for their top finishes in the Swiss standings, with the winner of the Pro Tour receiving $50,000 along with Platinum for the current and upcoming seasons and an invitation to the next World Championship.
Finally, Pro Point payouts for the Top 8 will be modified to the following beginning with Pro Tour Kaladesh, reflecting the changes to prize money payouts.
All Pro Point payouts based on match points in the Swiss rounds will remain unchanged.
We look forward to seeing this new system in place at Pro Tour Kaladesh later this year.