It’s finally here! Wizards of the Coast just dropped a MAJOR announcement today that players have been waiting for for a while! Last month, they announced the revival of the Pro Tour and the tabletop paths to get there. Well today, we have the MTG Arena Organized Play Announcement and it’s everything we could have hoped for!
Similarly to the tabletop structure, there’s a newly revamped system for MTG Arena organized play. Here’s the graphic that WotC provided for us to look at.
There are three levels in the path and a direct translation to the big leagues of Paper play. So let’s break this down because there’s a bit to cover here. Let’s start at the bottom of the pyramid, as this is where a lot of the exciting changes are happening.
Play-In’s and Play-In Points
Let’s start with Play ins and Play in Points. In the old structure, the only ways to get into “Qualifier Weekend” was to rank in the top 1200 of the Mythic Ladder, or until more recently, get an invitation through various third party Online events. Well no longer.. well sort of.
With our new system, we have events called Play In Qualifiers. There will be 2 of these events held before each “Qualifier Weekend” (QW), each on a different day. There will be a Best of 1 event that’s held 1 week before QW, with players needing to get 6 wins before 2 losses in order to qualify. Then there will be a Best of 3 event that’s held 1 day before QW. Players here will need to get 4 wins before 1 loss in order to qualify. The question here is how do you participate in these events.
Well, there’s a few ways to do this. The cost to enter these events are 20,000 Gold, 4,000 Gems, or 20 Play-In Points. It appears that you can enter these events as many times as you’d like as well, similar to the “Arena Opens”. Now Play-In Points are a new way to get into these events, so how can we acquire these new points?
It’s fairly straight forward actually. If you reach the maximum amount of wins in the “evergreen” Constructed events (like a Standard Event / Traditional Standard Event), or if you reach maximum wins in a Traditional Draft, you’ll win some Play-In Points in addition to other rewards.
There’s a whole revamp to the structure and rewards for these events, so definitely check those out in the announcement article. Now let’s take a look at Qualifier Weekend and the changes there!
If you’re familiar with what Qualifier Weekend, then some of this may seem familiar. But where things are changed with the details and stakes of the event. Getting into the event can be done through 2 ways. First, is through the events, most of which we just talked about, and secondly is through Ladder play. In addition to Play-In Qualifiers, if you get 6, 7, or 8 wins on Day 2 of the Arena Open will also qualify.
For Ladder play, finishing in the top 250 of Mythic for Constructed or Limited ladders qualifies you right away. If you make the top 1200, you’ll be rewarded enough Play-In Points for 1 entry into a Play-In Qualifier event.
As for prizes, here’s where things get exciting. In Day 1 of the event, players are competing for up to 20,000 gems ($100), and getting 7 wins advances you to day 2. If you get 7 wins on Day 2, you qualify for the Arena Championship. This will start with the next Qualifier Weekend at the end of May.
After all of the Qualifier Weekends that feed into a particular Arena Championship has finished, additional invites will go out to players who had the most total match wins from the contributing Day 2 QW events.
The big kicker here is that Starting in September, these events will also feed invites to the Pro Tour for players who reach 7 Wins on Day 2.
The last thing to talk about here is the Arena Championships, which has some great changes here as well!
For the Arena Championships, there will be 32 players who come from the above mentioned events competing for $200,000. Additionally, the first place and runner up players for each Arena Championship will earn their seat at Worlds, which is the peak of Competitive Magic Play.
Overall, these changes are incredibly exciting! It’s been a long time coming and now the Arena player base has a real path to Professional play that’s straight forward and accessible.