Announcement: Pro Tour Amsterdam Changes

Posted in Arcana on November 27, 2003

By Wizards of the Coast

The DCI announced today that it is modifying the format for Pro Tour Amsterdam (coming up January 16-18). There will be 15 rounds of competition (up from the usual 14 rounds) and there will be a fifth draft added during the Swiss. In order to find the time for these improvements, each round will be shortened by 5 minutes (down to 55 minutes) and each deckbuilding period will be shortened by 10 minutes (down to 20 minutes). All of these changes are being treated as experimental and the DCI will be watching PT Amsterdam closely to determine whether to keep or modify the new schedule for future Limited events.

This announcement continues the DCI's efforts to fine-tune the Pro Tour. Pro Tour New Orleans last month debuted the new 16-round format for Constructed Pro Tours. Each of the two days of preliminary competition had 8 rounds (up from the usual 7) and the experiment was deemed a success. Everyone agrees that more rounds make for a better competition and both days still ended at a reasonable hour. This change has now been adopted as a permanent change and future constructed PTs will have 8 rounds on each of Day 1 and Day 2.

The changes to PT Amsterdam address two different concerns expressed by players over the old format. The old 4-draft, 14-round format required competitors to play 4 rounds in two of their four draft pods. Swiss pairings are awkward when you play a fourth round inside a pod of 8 players so eliminating this situation was deemed quite desirable by the DCI. In addition, under the old schedule, the cut to Day 2 took place after an odd number of rounds; players with 13 points or more advanced. This led most players with 4-2 records to take an intentional draw in round 7. Under the new format the cut takes place after 6 rounds and all players with 12 points (equivalent to a 4-2 record) will advance.

The details of the new schedule are as follows:

  • Each round will be 55 minutes long (plus 5 extra turns)
  • 20 minutes will be allowed for deckbuilding after each draft

Friday Schedule

8:45 AM Seating for player meeting posted.
9:00 AM Player meeting begins.
9:15 AM First draft begins. 3 rounds will be played, followed by a draft and 3 more rounds. Players with 12 or more match points then draft and play 1 more round; players with less than 12 match points are eliminated and do not play round 7.

Saturday Schedule

8:45 AM Seating for player meeting posted.
9:00 AM Players play 2 more rounds with their decks from the third draft, followed by a draft and 3 rounds, followed by a a draft and 3 more rounds.

Sunday Schedule

8:00 AM All Top 8 players check in at feature match area.
9:00 AM Top 8 Rochester Draft begins followed by single-elimination matches.

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