Starting today, the 2016 Magic: The Gathering World Championship will commence, featuring 24 of the world's very best players competing across a four-day bonanza. The prize pool is $250,000, and the winner will walk away from the tournament on Sunday with a $70,000 first-place prize and the title of Magic: The Gathering World Champion.
Oh, and a shiny new trophy. Emphasis on shiny. And new. As in, this is literally the first time we are giving away this trophy design.
Today, I'm going to run you through the basics of what to expect. For folks new to following Magic coverage, this will likely answer a lot of your questions. For veterans, this will help you plan out your week of watching coverage (and it may even answer a question or two that comes up).
And for Organized Play regulars, I have some Regional Pro Tour Qualifier numbers for you at the very bottom of this article. If you're just interested in that, scroll all the way down (or, you know, read everything because it's the Magic World Championship and this will be a helpful read).
2016 World Championship Basics
Normally, this is the section where I bullet out what this tournament is, and it's really long. Today, it's going to be much shorter—but you should check out Rich Hagon's deep dive if you want more!
- This tournament is invitation-only, featuring 24 players from all over the world.
- The prize pool is $250,000, with $70,000 going to the winner.
- You should bookmark the 2016 Magic World Championship coverage page. Like, now. You'll be seeing a lot of coverage there the next few days. Also, in the pre-show coverage tab is all of the extra reading that will show you what to expect from Magic at PAX West, the World Championship, and more.
- It's four days of really, really good Magic on Twitch, YouTube, Niconico, and BiliBili, at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle if you have a PAX West badge, and wherever you might want to watch online, so tune in.
That coverage page houses a lot more for you to read in the pre-show coverage section if you want to know about Magic at PAX West or the World Championship, so if you want to dive into the nitty-gritty, I advise checking that page out.
When Does Coverage Start?
Pay close attention. This isn't your typical Magic tournament.
- Day One coverage starts Thursday at 9 a.m. PT/noon ET/4 p.m. UTC and features three rounds of Eldritch Moon-Shadows over Innistrad Booster Draft followed by four rounds of Standard. All matches this day are best two out of three games.
- Day Two coverage starts on Friday at 2 p.m. PT/5 p.m. ET/9 p.m. UTC and features three rounds of Eldritch Moon-Shadows over Innistrad Booster Draft (although if you want to enjoy some Kaladesh goodness, I reeeeeeeeally recommend tuning in at 11 a.m. on twitch.tv/magic for the three hours prior to the start of Day Two). All matches this day are best two out of three games.
- Day Three coverage starts on Saturday at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET/5 p.m. UTC and features four rounds of Modern. All matches this day are best two out of three games. At the conclusion of those four rounds, we will cut to our Top 4 players.
- Day Four coverage begins on Sunday at 11 a.m. PT/2 p.m. ET/6 p.m. UTC. The Top 4 single-elimination playoff matches are Standard, and feature best-three-out-of-five-game matches.
Of course, if you follow our Twitch channel, you can get notifications when we go live, so I also recommend doing that.
The Coverage Team
Here's the quick rundown of the coverage team you will see in the booth, at the news desk, and behind laptops/social media platforms this week:
- Play-by-Play Commentators: Marshall Sutcliffe, Tim Willoughby, and Gaby Spartz
- Color Commentators: Matej Zatlkaj (special guest!) and Ian Duke (with a possible Sunday cameo by World Championship competitor Luis Scott-Vargas)
- News Desk: Rich Hagon and Brian David-Marshall
- Feature Match Floor Reporters: Rashad Miller, Tim Willoughby, and Gaby Spartz
- Feature Match Spotter: Neil Rigby
- Writer-Reporters: Corbin Hosler, Frank Karsten, and Chapman Sim
- Content Managers/Editors: Blake Rasmussen, Mike Rosenberg, and Chris Gleeson
- Social Media: Meghan Wolff, Nate Price, and Trick Jarrett
- Executive Producer: Greg Collins
Where Can I Experience Coverage?
The 2016 Magic: The Gathering World Championship will feature live video, articles, and plenty of tweets all weekend.
Watch the video coverage live on twitch.tv/magic. Alternatively, you can also watch the live stream (in English) on YouTube and Niconico. Japanese-language coverage can be found on Niconico, and Chinese-language coverage will be broadcast on BiliBili.
Articles will all be on the coverage page, and that includes decklists, pairings, results, and standings.
Additionally, you can join the conversation around the 2016 Magic: The Gathering World Championship on Twitter using the hashtag #mtgchamp. Meghan Wolff will be on social media duties this weekend, and your tweets might make it into our live broadcast or our CoverItLive content wall (a new addition to our coverage page that we're trying out for the World Championship!).
When Will Decklists Be Published?
All of the competitors' Standard and Modern decklists will be published after the first round in which the players compete in that specific format. This means:
- All Standard decklists will be published after Round 4 on Thursday, September 1
- All Modern decklists will be published after Round 11 on Saturday, September 3
Draft Viewers from both drafts will be published once Round 3 and Round 10 are underway, respectively.
Should I Tune In to the World Championship?
Yes, of course you should. See you in the Twitch chat later today! I'm sure you'll all be nice. Kappa.
(But seriously, be nice. We have chat rules and loving moderators who ensure those rules are followed.)
I guess that wraps up today's Organized P—oh, right. Regional Pro Tour Qualifier numbers!
Attendance Numbers from the Latest RPTQ Round
The last two weekends featured over 30 Regional Pro Tour Qualifiers all around the world as players competed for invitations to Pro Tour Kaladesh in Honolulu, Hawaii (which takes place October 14–16).
We'll have decklists from these events next Thursday in a brief article so as not to distract you too much from Kaladesh previews, but in the meantime, here are how many people attended each RPTQ during the latest round.
|Alapraia - Estoril||67|
Congratulations to the Top 4 players from these Regional Pro Tour Qualifiers on earning their spots at Pro Tour Kaladesh! Interested in earning an invite for yourself? The current Preliminary Pro Tour Qualifier round is still going on, so find your local PPTQ to start your path to the Pro Tour!