Premier Play Returns to Magic Online!

Posted in Feature on July 30, 2014

By Mike Turian

Before joining Magic Online as its digital product manager, Mike worked as a producer for Wizards's technology department, a product manager for organized play, and as an R&D lead developer. He has played Magic Online since it came out in 2002 and Magic since The Dark.

Today, I am excited to announce that Pro Tour Qualifiers (PTQ) and the Magic Online Championship Series (MOCS) events are both returning to Magic Online starting this August! We know that our players have been eagerly awaiting the return of these events as premier play is one of the key reasons that so many people play Magic Online. Premier play is a huge part of delivering awesome Magic experiences within Magic Online, so we are excited that Magic Online will again offer a path to the Pro Tour.

Quick Links:
The Return of the Magic Online Championship Series Events
The Return of the Pro Tour Qualifier Events
Pro Tour Challenge

In the past few months, we have made a number of improvements to Magic Online in order to properly support Premier Events. We've added additional team members dedicated to supporting events, deployed better tools to make them effective at solving issues when needed, and continued our dedication to improving event stability and quality. We have successfully run multiple test events with these improvements in place, including the Magic Online Championship Appreciation events, to ensure the best possible player experience when premier play returns to Magic Online. Additionally, we've created and have published our guidelines for reconciliation when there are unforeseen issues with events. We recognize that no matter how prepared we are, factors such as general Internet issues, Magic Online application issues, and general troubleshooting issues can and will still need to be addressed. You can find these new guidelines here.

The Return of the Magic Online Championship Series Events

Each MOCS season, players compete to become that season's Magic Online Championship Series champion.

At the conclusion of each year, the following players receive invitations to the Magic Online Championship and their chance to compete for their share of more than $100,000, increased Pro Club status, and an invitation to the Magic World Championship:

  • The winner of each MOCS Season Final
  • The winner of our Player of the Year event
  • The winners of the two Last Chance Qualifiers
  • Last year's Magic Online Championship winner (Lars Dam in 2013)

You can read the full details of the MOCS program here.

The MOCS program will be keeping the same structure as it had prior to premier play being put on hold. Each month, our top players will have the opportunity to play in any of six MOCS Preliminary events, followed later that week by a MOCS Season Finals event. The first MOCS events will return to Magic Online with the July (Season 8) Preliminaries, starting on August 6, with the season finals occurring on August 9.

Along with staying consistent with previously announced Finals dates, we have planned out all makeup events for the Finals that had been postponed. Each Final will have six Preliminary events that will occur during the week leading up to the respective Seasons Finals.

Here is a full table of MOCS events:

Date

Event

Format

Saturday, August 9, 2014

July (S8) MOCS

Magic 2015 Sealed

Saturday, August 30, 2014

December (S1) MOCS*

Standard

Saturday, September 6, 2014

August (S9) MOCS

Legacy

Sunday, September 14, 2014

January (S2) MOCS*

Standard

Saturday, September 27, 2014

February (S3) MOCS**

Vintage Masters Sealed

Saturday, October 4, 2014

September (S10) MOCS

Khans of Tarkir Sealed

Saturday, November 8, 2014

October (S11) MOCS

Standard

Saturday, November 22, 2014

March (S4) MOCS*

Modern

Saturday, November 29, 2014

April (S5) MOCS*

Khans of Tarkir Sealed

Saturday, December 6, 2014

November (S12) MOCS

Vintage Masters Sealed

Sunday, December 7, 2014

May (S6) MOCS*

Khans of Tarkir Block Constructed

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Player of the Year event

Khans of Tarkir Sealed

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Last Chance Qualifier #1

Khans of Tarkir Sealed

Sunday, December 21, 2014

June (S7) MOCS*

Holiday Cube Sealed

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Last Chance Qualifier #2

Holiday Cube Sealed

*Indicates Make up Season
**The February (S3) MOCS Season already ran Preliminary events. There will only be a Finals event for this season.
All MOCS Finals, Player of the Year and Last Chance Qualifiers Finals start at 7 a.m. Pacific.
Full information on MOCS events, including MOCS Prelim times.

The Return of the Pro Tour Qualifier Events

With the return of Pro Tour Qualifiers to Magic Online, we have adopted a new system for running PTQs on Magic Online, beginning with the February 2015 Pro Tour Qualifier season. Magic Online PTQs will now consist of a set of Preliminaries that grant invitations to the PTQ Finals. Winners of PTQ Finals receive invitations to the associated Pro Tour,as well as the Pro Tour Challenge for that Pro Tour (described below).

New Magic Online PTQ Structure:

  • Each PTQ Finals will have ten Preliminaries events earlier in the week.
  • Each Finals event will have the same play format as the Preliminaries that qualify players for the Finals.
  • Preliminaries will be 128 players and five rounds. All players who go 4–1 or better will qualify for the associated Finals.
  • Winning a Preliminary will qualify that player for the associated Finals event.
  • Players may participate in as many Preliminaries as they like (even if you have already qualified for the associated Final), but can only earn a single invitation to the PTQ Finals.
  • Preliminaries will typically cost 30 Event Tickets to enter.
  • Finals will have no entry fee but will be invitation only. They will have rounds determined by the number of players with a cut to Top 8.
  • For PTQ Finals being held on a Saturday, the Preliminaries will be held during the week leading up to the PTQ Finals at Wednesday 4:30 p.m., 8:30 p.m.; Thursday 8:30 a.m., 12:30 a.m., 4:30 p.m., 8:30 p.m.; Friday 8:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 8:30 p.m. (all times Pacific).
  • For PTQ Finals being held on a Sunday the Preliminaries will be held during the week leading up to the PTQ Finals at Wednesday 3:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m.; Thursday 10:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m.; Friday 10:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m.; Saturday 10:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m. (all times Pacific).
  • As announced in this article, Magic Online PTQs will no longer be awarding +1,000 Planeswalker Points to the winner of PTQ Finals.

Magic Online will typically host sixteen Pro Tour Qualifier Finals following each set of Preliminaries that will have the same format as their Preliminaries. On weeks that there are both Constructed and Limited PTQ Finals, the Constructed Preliminaries will qualify players for only the Constructed Finals and the Limited PTQ Preliminaries will qualify players for only the Limited PTQ Finals.

Participation in Magic Online PTQ Preliminaries and Finals is open only to players who have not been invited to the corresponding Pro Tour.

See the complete event rules here.

Here is the schedule for PTQ Finals for the PTQ February PT season on Magic Online:

Date

Type

Format

Sunday, August 31, 2014

PTQ February PT—Limited

Magic 2015 Sealed

Sunday, September 7, 2014

PTQ February PT—Limited

Magic 2015 Sealed

Sunday, September 21, 2014

PTQ February PT—Limited

Magic 2015 Sealed

Sunday, September 28, 2014

PTQ February PT—Limited

Magic 2015 Sealed

Sunday, October 5, 2014

PTQ February PT—Limited

Khans of Tarkir Sealed

Saturday, October 11, 2014

PTQ February PT—Standard

Standard

Sunday, October 12, 2014

PTQ February PT—Limited

Khans of Tarkir Sealed

Saturday, October 18, 2014

PTQ February PT—Standard

Standard

Sunday, October 19, 2014

PTQ February PT—Limited

Khans of Tarkir Sealed

Saturday, November 1, 2014

PTQ February PT—Standard

Standard

Sunday, November 2, 2014

PTQ February PT—Limited

Khans of Tarkir Sealed

Sunday, November 9, 2014

PTQ February PT—Limited

Khans of Tarkir Sealed

Saturday, November 15, 2014

PTQ February PT—Standard

Standard

Sunday, November 16, 2014

PTQ February PT—Limited

Khans of Tarkir Sealed

Sunday, November 23, 2014

PTQ February PT—Limited

Khans of Tarkir Sealed

Sunday, November 30, 2014

PTQ February PT—Limited

Khans of Tarkir Sealed

Pro Tour Challenge

Players who earn an invitation to a Pro Tour will also receive an invitation to the Pro Tour Challenge. This in-person event is held during the Pro Tour event and pits Magic Online Pro Tour Challenge invitees against one another in two-player, single-elimination tournaments for a chance to win prizes.

Prizes for the Pro Tour February 2015 Challenge and beyond have increased! Players can now win $1,500 USD plus Magic Online booster packs. Pro Tour Challenge tournaments will be scheduled around the applicable Pro Tour main event to ensure players are able to participate in both.

See the complete schedule and event rules here.

See You Online!

We are excited to bring premier play back to Magic Online. If you have any comments, concerns or feedback on this update, please direct them to MTGOFeedback@wizards.com. On Twitter, you can also follow Magic Online (@MagicOnline) or use the #MTGO tag for discussion.

Thanks,
Mike Turian
Digital Product Manager—Magic Online
Twitter: @mturian

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