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Pro Tour Kaladesh Organized Play Updates


Director of Global Organized Play Helene Bergeot took time today to discuss the state of Organized Play in the run up to Pro Tour Kaladesh. The complete article can be found here and the main takeaway from the piece is that Organized Play is focused on player experience. Whether this is about unneeded wait times between rounds or climate, Helene and her team are listening to players.

Bergeot announced some changes to the system for the 2016-17 season. The threshold for Pro Player Levels has changed. Platinum will require 52 Pro Points instead of 50, Gold 35 (from 33), and Silver requires 20 Pro Points (from 18).

The structure of the Pro Tour will be changing slightly. Electronic deck submission was a success and will continue with a deadline of 11:59pm (local time) the day prior to competition. The efforts to prevent scouting were also seen as a positive and will continue. The effort to prevent concessions in late rounds did not go as planned. As such the special pairing in place at Pro Tour Eldritch Moon for rounds 15 and 16 will not be repeated. From Bergeot:

As such, we are exploring ways to change the culture and possibly the rules or tournament structure to reduce both the feeling that conceding is the "correct play" and the desire to do so. In order to facilitate that shift, we'll continue working with players on a variety of solutions that incentivize playing matches out in more instances than not. While we recognize sometimes the incentives are simply imbalanced for two paired players, we believe there is a middle ground between the attempted fix in Sydney and the status quo.

We realize that changing a culture is a lengthy process and might have limited impact, but we're willing to give it a try. If, however, we do not see a significant shift, we will look at other ways to prevent concessions at the Pro Tour level of play, up to and including simply making concessions illegal.

The new Sunday Structure announced prior to Pro Tour Eldritch Moon will take effect at Pro Tour Kaladesh. The hope is that this new seeding structure will take away the incentives from conceding in the late rounds.

Moving over to the Grand Prix circuit, the main announcement is the ending of the Super Sunday Series. The 2017 Championship, held January 6 and 7 at Wizards of the Coast headquarters, will be the terminal tournament. When discussing reasons for the change Bergeot cited the fact that the qualifiers were often the final tournament to finish, usually as the venue was being taken apart. The removal of the Super Sunday Series opens up different opportunities for Sunday at Grand Prix. Grand Prix Milwaukee in December will feature the final Super Sunday Series tournament.

The announcement also released some updates to the Grand Prix schedule. The location of the Asian Grand Prix on the weekend of October 27th has been revealed as Hong Kong, taking place in the Kowloon International Trade and Exhibition Centre.

After player feedback on the climate in the tournament venue, Grand Prix Lille (August 25-27) has been moved to Metz and will take place at the Metz-Expo venue. Grand Prix Sydney (June 23-25) will be moving to the newly renovated ICC to improve player experience. Grand Prix Las Vegas was originally to be three Grand Prix featuring Legacy, Standard, and Modern. Feedback from the community has resulted with Standard being replaced by Limited.

Player feedback also prompted a change in the Pro Tour Team Series. The season long contest, soft launching with Pro Tour Aether Revolt will now feature teams of six players. The Top five players from the teams at Pro Tour Aether Revolt and Pro Tour Amonkhet will have their scores added to the team total. The entire roster of the Top 4 teams will be invited to Pro Tour Hour of Devastation. Each player on the first place team will received $6,000; second place team members receive $2,400.

The Series' full launch in 2017-18 will see the first, second, and third Pro Tour count the top five points earners per team. All team members from the Top 8 teams will be be invited to the fourth Pro Tour of the season. After the fourth Pro Tour, the top two teams will compete for the title at the 2018 World Championships.

Speaking of the World Championships, the 2017 edition of the tournament will be held October 5th through October 8th in Boston, Massachusetts, United States. After two years, the event will be uncoupled from PAX.

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