The $1 Million Weekend, Pro Club Updates, and More

Posted in Competitive Gaming on September 26, 2017

By Elaine Chase

Elaine Chase is the vice president, global brand strategy and marketing for Wizards of the Coast.

2018 is Magic's 25th Anniversary, and we're celebrating with a $1 million prize pool weekend, along with fantastic Magic events all year long. We have details on Magic 25 Weekend, updates to the Pro Club, and information on the 2018 World Championship in store for you today, so let's not waste any words.

For a quick summary of how you can be a part of the celebration or grab a slice of that $1 million weekend, we've summarized the main points right here. For the nitty-gritty details, read on below.

Magic 25 Weekend and Team RPTQ/PTQ Updates

  • Magic 25 Weekend will have a total prize pool of $1 million, split between Pro Tour 25th Anniversary and a special 25th Anniversary Exhibition Event.
  • Pro Tour 25th Anniversary in Minneapolis, Minnesota, will have a prize pool of $850,000, with $150,000 going to the winning team. The tournament will be fourteen Swiss rounds with a cut to Top 4 teams, and all players that finish with a 10-4 or better record will earn invitations to the Pro Tour in Atlanta, Georgia, November 9–11, 2018.
  • There are a lot of ways to qualify for this team Pro Tour, including an updated way for Pro Tour Hall of Fame members to help their friends qualify. There's no short way to summarize those methods, so to learn more, check below.
  • Magic 25 Weekend will also feature an invite-only 25th Anniversary Exhibition Event. More on this event will be revealed in 2018, but it will have a $150,000 prize pool.

Pro Club Updates

  • The Pro Club has been updated to calculate points based on the best twelve finishes across all four cycles, changed from the best three finishes per cycle.
  • The date ranges for the Spaghetti and Meatballs cycles are now available, finishing out the cycle schedule for 2018 and into the start of 2019.
  • Pro Points awarded at the 2017 World Magic Cup are being adjusted back to their previous values, meaning the event will now award more points.
  • Pro Club thresholds through the end of the Spaghetti cycle have been updated.

2018 World Championship

  • The 2018 Magic World Championship will take place in Las Vegas, Nevada, the weekend of September 22–23, 2018. Qualification for this event is unchanged from 2017 and will be based on qualification criteria met from the 2017–18 season up through August 5, 2018.

The $1 Million Weekend (and Also Team RPTQ Updates)

We simply cannot wait for August and Magic 25 Weekend. The weekend—taking place in Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 3–5, 2018—will be a celebration of all that is Magic past, present, and future, with a special emphasis on the future.

Here are the details.

That weekend we'll be hosting two events. The main event will be the Team Trios Constructed Pro Tour, where teams of three will compete across three different formats to win their share of $850,000, including $150,000 awarded to the team that comes out on top. The second event will be a special 25th Anniversary Exhibition Event featuring a $150,000 prize pool. We'll have more information on the exhibition event at a later date; for now, we have tons of information on Pro Tour 25th Anniversary.

Prize Breakdown

Place Prize Money (per team) Prize Money (per player)
1st $150,000 $50,000
2nd $72,000 $24,000
3rd–4th $45,000 $15,000
5th–8th $27,000 $9,000
9th–16th $15,000 $5,000
17th–24th $12,000 $4,000
25th–32nd $9,000 $3,000
33rd–48th $6,000 $2,000
49th–64th $3,000 $1,000

Pro Points Awarded

Place Pro Points (per player)
1st 20
2nd 18
3rd–4th 16
Match Points Pro Points (per player)
33+ 16
32 14
31 13
30 12
29 10
28 9
27 8
25–26 5
24 4
0–23 3

Additionally, 30 or more match points (for the team) during Pro Tour 25th Anniversary will qualify all members of the team for the following Pro Tour.

How to Qualify as a Team

Here's how to qualify yourself and two of your friends to play together on the Pro Tour!

  • Team up for the Pro Tour Team Series* – Every member of the Top 16 teams in the Pro Tour Team Series after Pro Tour Dominaria will all be invited to Pro Tour 25th Anniversary in Minneapolis. Players who qualify in this way must form a trio comprising members from the Team Series roster (if able).
  • Team up for a Grand Prix – Make the Top 4 of a Team Grand Prix from January 6, 2018, to May 27, 2018. Players who qualify in this way must compete with the team members they competed with at the Grand Prix.
  • Team up for a Sunday Pro Tour Qualifier at a Grand Prix – Win a Pro Tour Qualifier held on a Sunday of any Team Grand Prix from January 6, 2018, to May 27, 2018, and your team is qualified for the Pro Tour. Players who qualify in this way must compete with the team members they competed with in the PTQ.
  • Team up for an RPTQ** – Finish in the Top 2 teams at a Team Regional Pro Tour Qualifier. These are like our normal Regional Pro Tour Qualifiers, but players compete as teams of three. Again, players who qualify this way must, if able, compete with the team they qualified with at the RPTQ.

Some extraordinary players might qualify in multiple ways on multiple teams. If that happens, first, great job! Second, to figure out which team you'll be playing with, start from the top of the list above—the higher on the list, the higher they are in priority. If you qualified as part of the Team Series, for example, then that's your squad, regardless of Grand Prix or RPTQ finishes. If that leaves one or two of your friends out of the mix, they're still qualified for the Pro Tour, but they'll have to form a trio with other qualified players who don't have full teams (that list will be made available to solo players when the time comes).

*Note for Team Series players: You may request to disband your team prior to this Pro Tour. Details on how to officially disband a team have been posted in an updated to the Pro Tour Team Series Rules today.

**Note for Hall of Fame members: For this Pro Tour, Hall of Fame members may compete in PTQs (at Grand Prix) or RPTQs (without first playing in a PPTQ). However, if a Hall of Fame player chooses to compete in a PTQ or RPTQ for this event, they will rescind their Pro Tour Hall of Fame invitation to the Pro Tour.

How to Qualify as an Individual

Hey, maybe you're more the lone-wolf player. That's good, too. You'll still have to play with a team at Pro Tour 25th Anniversary, but you don't have to qualify that way. You can qualify by yourself by:

  • Being a member of the Pro Tour Hall of Fame who does not compete in an RPTQ or PTQ during the qualification period.
  • Utilizing Pro Club status. Gold and Platinum players are, of course, qualified. Silver players may use their invite as normal.
  • Finishing with 33 or more points at Pro Tour Dominaria. Players who finish high enough at the prior Pro Tour will also, as is normal, qualify for the subsequent Pro Tour.

Players in this group and players who are left without full rosters from the team qualifications will all be able to form trios with other qualified players for this event. Those players will also be included on the list I mentioned above.

Pro Club Updates

With some updates and all the events in 2018, including Magic 25 Weekend, it's going to be a big year for the Pro Club.

The Pro Club Updates to Twelve Events Per Four Cycles

After feedback from the pros, particularly those in Latin America and Asia, we are tweaking the Pro Club system from counting players' best three events per cycle across four cycles to counting the best twelve events across the four most recent cycles.

We mostly made this change for lifestyle and travel reasons. Players in regions with fewer Grand Prix noted that some cycles were feast and some famine. By moving to a best twelve-of-four cycles system, players are better able to plan Grand Prix schedules to suit their own needs.

This means is that, looking at the cycles we announced in July, by the end of the Core 2019 cycle on September 16, 2018, your Pro Club status will account points earned through the Ixalan cycle, Rivals of Ixalan cycle, Dominaria cycle, and Core 2019 cycle. Once the Spaghetti cycle commences, which is the cycle that begins September 17, 2018, your Pro Club status at the end of that cycle will be determined by your finishes from your best twelve events from November 13, 2017, until December 9, 2018.

This change is effective immediately.

2018 Cycle Dates

Speaking of Pro Club cycles of the future, we're ready to announce when some of those cycles will take place.

The Spaghetti cycle (less delicious name to be announced later) will count all events that take place from September 17, 2018, until December 9, 2018.

The Meatballs (also not its actual name) cycle will count all events that take place from December 10, 2018, until March 24, 2019, taking us suitably into the future.

Note that the Spaghetti cycle is a little shorter than normal. This is to ensure a more even spread among flagship events, such as Pro Tours and Worlds-level competitions. The Spaghetti cycle will contain the World Championship and the Pro Tour in Atlanta, while Meatballs will include the 2018 World Magic Cup and the first Pro Tour of 2019.

Pro Club Thresholds for 2017–18 and Beyond

Given some of the changes above, we also needed to recalculate Pro Club thresholds for the 2017–2018 season through the end of the Spaghetti cycle (which covers the Rivals of Ixalan, Dominaria, Core 2019, and Spaghetti cycles). Those new thresholds are:

Level Pro Points Needed
Platinum 52
Gold 37
Silver 22
Bronze 10

One additional note: We're working on a modification to the 2017–18 premier play leaderboard. In the coming weeks, this page will include both the number of points that a player has earned in each cycle and the number of events in which those points were earned. This will provide players with Pro Club aspirations a little more ease in determining how many Pro Points they'll need in each cycle to hit the level they're aiming for.

As we transition fully into the new Pro Club system, we'll look at other ways to make use of this leaderboard for players who want a quick reference on how they're doing in terms of Pro Points.

2017 World Magic Cup Pro Point Change

The rolling cycles for the Pro Club has also led us to recalculate the Pro Points available at the 2017 World Magic Cup. The points awarded when the event was originally announced ended up being too low in the new rolling system, so we have reverted to the previous levels, meaning we will be awarding more Pro Points at the event—including at least 2 Pro Points for every competitor. Here's the breakdown:

Place Pro Points (per player on team)
1st 8
2nd 7
3rd–4th 6
5th-8th 5
9th–16th 4
17th–32nd 3
33rd+ 2

The 2017 World Magic Cup takes place December 1–3, 2017, and Pro Points earned during this event will count toward the Rivals of Ixalan cycle as well as toward the 2017–18 annual season.

2018 Magic: The Gathering World Championship Details

Finally, we're very excited to announce that we'll be heading back to the site of some of our biggest events for our crowning event of 2018—the Magic: The Gathering World Championship in Las Vegas, Nevada!

Scheduled for the weekend of September 22–23, 2018, the tournament will feature 24 of the world's very best players. Qualification for this tournament will remain the same as 2017. But when you're in Las Vegas, why stop with just one championship? That weekend will also host the Pro Tour Team Series finals, pitting the two best teams of six against one another, with wall-to-wall coverage of both events.

However, the cutoff for all 2018 World Championship invitations awarded based on Pro Points will be determined at the end of Pro Tour 25th Anniversary in Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 3–5, 2018.

To recap, the following players will be invited to compete:

  • The four top Pro Point earners from each geo-region (North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America)
  • The six Pro Tour Champions during the 2017–18 season (The individual winners from Pro Tours Ixalan, Rivals of Ixalan, and Dominaria, plus the three players in the winning trio from Pro Tour 25th Anniversary will qualify)
  • The player with the most Constructed match points earned in Swiss rounds at Pro Tours in the 2017–18 season (Constructed Master)***
  • The player with the most Booster Draft match points earned in Swiss rounds at Pro Tours in the 2017–18 season (Draft Master)***
  • The remaining invitations will be awarded to the top Pro Point earners in the 2017–18 season who don't already have an invitation to the World Championship, based on the 2017–18 leaderboard (through Pro Tour 25th Anniversary in Minneapolis)

***These titles will be determined by individual match points only, and thus will be determined at Pro Tour Dominaria.

It's going to be an exciting year, and as we look forward to seeing how the field shapes up 2018, we are also excited for 2017's World Championship in Boston October 6–8. Tune in starting next Friday at 6 a.m. PT/9 a.m. ET/1 p.m. UTC on to see it all unfold!

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