Live spectators will become a thing of the past with invitation-only World Championship events
If you haven't been to a Magic: The Gathering event lately, then you've got a lot to catch up on. Wizards of the Coast has been rolling out a series of changes to their organized play programs, and the shakeups continued yesterday with major revisions to the Worlds tournament, National Championships, and the Pro Players Club.
For the newly re-scoped 2012 Pro Tour World Championship, Wizards has announced the 16-player invitee list:
- 2011 World Champion
- 2011 Magic Online Champion (determined at the 2011 Magic Online Championship held at Magic Weekend San Francisco)
- Winners of the previous three Pro Tours (Philadelphia, Dark Ascension in Honolulu, and the second Pro Tour in 2012). Pro Tour Philadelphia champion Samuele Estratti is the first invitee to the 2012 World Championship.
- The top-ranked player from each geo-region (Asia Pacific, Europe, Japan, Latin America, and North America) in the Planeswalker Points 2012 Professional Total who are not yet invited based on the above criteria.
- The top-ranked players in the worldwide Planeswalker Points 2012 Professional Total who are not yet invited based on the above criteria sufficient to bring the total number of invited players to the 2012 World Championship to sixteen.
Notably absent are National Championship winners. While the tournaments won't be going away, Wizards felt that with the growing world-wide popularity of Magic, country-specific tournaments as World Championship feeders were a one-size-fits-all solution that no longer worked. Instead, National Championships will now grant players an 8x Planeswalker Point bonus for their participation, with the hopes that players can qualify for the Pro Tour based on regional points rankings.
Stay tuned for more changes as well. The Pro Players Club, which grants members tournament invitations, comped travel, and appearance fees, will be going away after 2012. The new system yet to be announced, but it is already known that it will lean heavily on Planeswalker Points.