Pro Tour Qualifier Preliminary Schedule Changes

Posted in Magic Online on February 14, 2017

By Lee Sharpe

Many Magic players dream of reaching the Pro Tour. Magic Online players can achieve this dream through our Pro Tour Qualifier events.

Magic Online Pro Tour Qualifiers have a two-step system. The first step is a scheduled five-round Preliminary event where players who finish with four or more wins receive a token that allows them to play in a PTQ Finals event. The PTQ Finals events are larger events that run Swiss rounds based on attendance and cut to a Top 8 playoff, with the winner qualifying for the Pro Tour. This structure is designed to keep the Finals at a reasonable size.

It's important to note that tokens earned in PTQ Preliminary events aren't tied to specific PTQ Finals events. You can use them in any PTQ Finals that's for the same Pro Tour season, or for the next Pro Tour season. Note that Limited Preliminaries only feed Limited Finals and Constructed Preliminaries only feed Constructed Finals, though seasonal changes to formats, such as waiting for the release of a new set, or shifts in Constructed format, such as qualifying in a Standard Preliminary but playing in a Modern final, are allowed.

Schedule Changes

We have increasingly been making Magic Online events as convenient as possible. From Leagues to structure changes, we want players to be able to play the events they want on their schedule. One area of opportunity is in PTQ Preliminaries.

We examined changing the PTQ Preliminaries to League events. Unfortunately, while they do a wonderful job at letting players play more frequently, Leagues don't allow us to manage the size of the PTQ Finals events. The overcrowded 2016 MOCS Monthly events at the end of last year reinforced our belief that events with too many players have more negatives than positives, and we want to do our best to provide a compelling and fun experience. Instead, we are creating a fixed PTQ Preliminary schedule so you know exactly when you can earn PTQ Finals tokens.

To make this work, starting March 2, we're reducing the number of PTQ Preliminaries held during the week but scheduling the same number of Preliminaries every single week, regardless of whether there is a PTQ Finals that week or not. We are not reducing the overall number of Preliminaries, but rather spreading them out and scheduling them consistently so you don't have to check the calendar each week to see if there will be a PTQ Preliminary (the answer will always be yes).

We have endeavored to accommodate a variety of schedules in choosing times for the Preliminaries. Wednesdays were avoided due to downtime, and Fridays have been one of the least-attended days, so there are few events on Friday as well. For the Constructed events, they will follow the format of the next Finals (either Standard or Modern). Typically, Preliminaries are Standard following a set release and switch to Modern leading up to the next set release, before switching back to Standard again. See the schedule on MTGO.com for complete details.

Constructed PTQ Preliminary Schedule (All Times Pacific)
Monday: 6 p.m.
Tuesday: 8 a.m.
Wednesday: None
Thursday: 10 a.m., 3 p.m., 6 p.m.
Friday: 12 a.m. (Thursday night/Friday morning)
Saturday: None (Constructed PTQ Finals usually scheduled this day)
Sunday: 3 p.m.

Note: GMT times increase by one hour during Daylight Savings Time.

Sealed PTQ Preliminary Schedule (All Times Pacific)
Monday: 4 p.m.
Tuesday: 11 a.m.
Wednesday: None
Thursday: 7 a.m., 4 p.m.
Friday: None
Saturday: 3 a.m., 12 p.m., 4 p.m., 7 p.m.
Sunday: 4 p.m.

PTQ Finals Schedule for Pro Tour Hour of Devastation!

The new Preliminary schedule begins Thursday, March 2. You can see the full schedule of PTQ Finals for Pro Tour Hour of Devastation, which lasts from March 5 through May 29 on Magic Online at the Magic Online PTQ page here.

Hopefully you enjoy this new schedule for PTQ Preliminaries. You can leave your feedback with me on twitter at @mtg_lee, or contact us through email at magiconlinefeedback@wizards.com.

Good luck qualifying for the Pro Tour!

—Lee Sharpe
Digital Product Manager, Magic Online

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