Release Changes for Jumpstart: Historic Horizons and MTG Arena Updates

Posted in News on August 9, 2021

By Jay Parker

In our State of the Game article for Jumpstart: Historic Horizons, we shared that we're working on a large change to some of our backend systems. As we've continued iterating and testing those changes, we've decided that we need a bit more time to get them ready for release. Unfortunately, the release of Jumpstart: Historic Horizons is tied into this backend change, so we need to shift the release date for that as well.

What's Changing?

Here's the short version: we're moving everything out by two weeks. The release that was planned for August 10 is now expected to arrive on August 24, with Jumpstart: Historic Horizons now scheduled for release on August 26.

We also need to delay adding the new Historic Brawl queue until this update as well, but for players looking forward to that, we will be adding a Historic Brawl event (with no entry fee) on August 12 that will run until the queue is available.

There are additional impacts here as well. Because Jumpstart: Historic Horizons is now starting closer to Innistrad: Midnight Hunt's launch on September 16, we're extending the duration of the Jumpstart: Historic Horizons event to run until October 14 so there's plenty of time to enjoy both sets.

Updates to Ranked Play

We also shared in the State of the Game that we would be splitting the August 2021 Ranked Season into two seasons. With this shifted release date, we're updating this plan as well: the August 2021 season is underway now through August 24, and the September 2021 season will run from August 24 to September 30.

Since we initially planned and announced this as two August seasons with two sets of rewards, we're instead combining the pack, card style, and gold rewards from both seasons into the new August 2021 Ranked Season so players can still earn everything we had previously promised—it will be an excellent time to finish with a Mythic ranking!

Though the season won't end until August 24, we're also standing by our decision that the first 500 players to reach Mythic by 7:00 a.m. PT on August 10 will receive invitations to participate in the October 9–10 Qualifier Weekend; the August 2021 Ranked Season will then continue as normal, with the top 1,200 Mythic-ranked players at the end of the season receiving an invitation as well.

You can review all the details for the updated August 2021 Ranked Season over on Magic.gg.

August 11 Update: When we initially announced the "Early August" season we said we would award Qualifier Weekend invitations to the "Top 500" Mythic ranked players. When we needed to delay the Jumpstart: Historic Horizons release, that was changed to "first 500 to reach Mythic rank" as we can only get an accurate leaderboard if we "stop the clock" in some fashion—either season end or game downtime, neither of which happened.

We know this led to some confusion, since we didn’t clearly state in our announcement article that this was an intended change, and why we had to make it. While we can't fully correct this because of the technical limitations, we can invite more players who were working towards a Top 500 placement.

We intend to award additional invitations to the October 9–10 Qualifier Weekend based on an approximation of the Top 500 Mythic ranked players for Constructed and Limited as of 7:00 a.m. PT August 10. This will be in addition to the invitations granted to the first 500 to reach Mythic rank.

It is always our goal to have skill and dedication rewarded, and this lets us do that for as many competitors as possible given the difficult circumstances of the season change.

Players will find Qualifier Weekend badges added to their MTG Arena account by the end of business day on Friday, August 13. If you believe you should have received an invitation and have information to share, please contact Customer Service so we can assist you.

Summary of Ranked Play Changes

  • August 2021 Ranked "Doubling Season": August 1–24
    • Players can earn the combined rewards from the previously announced split August season. This applies to both Constructed and Limited.
    • First 500 players on August 10 at 7 a.m. PT will receive an invitation to the next Qualifier Weekend in addition to the top 1,200 players at season end.
  • September Ranked Reason: August 24–September 30
  • October Ranked Reason: September 30–October 31

Premier Historic Drafts—First Entry on Us!

Given the additional time until Jumpstart: Historic Horizons arrives, we're also adding more Historic-themed Premier Drafts with a "twist" to help hold you over until Jumpstart: Historic Horizon's release: the first time players join each of these drafts, we'll waive the entry fee! These Premier Drafts will run for about five days before changing to the next. Here are the sets making a return:

Complete Summary of Dates

First One on Us Historic Premier Drafts: August 10–26

No Entry Fee Historic Brawl Event: August 12–24

MTG Arena Game Update: August 24

Jumpstart: Historic Horizons: August 26–October 14

August 2021 Ranked Season (with combined pack and style rewards): Now–August 24

September 2021 Ranked Season: August 24–September 30

Innistrad: Midnight Hunt Release: September 16

Excitement Awaits

We know you build excitement and plans around the timelines we announce, and we try hard to stick to them. In this case, moving the dates was the best way to ensure that these large and important changes will provide a better experience for our players, and we hope the extra events will help make the wait for Jumpstart: Historic Horizons a little bit easier to bear.

Thank you for your patience for what comes next to MTG Arena!

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