Today, Director of Organized Play Helene Bergeot announced several changes to Magic's Organized Play structure in 2015. Some of these changes take effect in 2014, but most apply to the 2015 Grand Prix, Pro Tour, and PTQ schedule.
The first was a set of sweeping changes to the Pro Tour Qualifier system. Starting with qualifiers in December (for the second Pro Tour of the 2015 season), Preliminary PTQs will take place. Every store may run a Preliminary PTQ, using either Standard, Modern, or Sealed as the format regardless of the Pro Tour it leads to. Those that qualify for the Regional PTQ cannot play in Preliminary PTQs, and will have to choose one Regional PTQ to attend. Regional PTQs will take place a few weeks after Preliminary PTQs end for the season, and the Top 4 (or Top 8 if it's over 128 players) of each Regional PTQ will receive the traditional travel and invite to the next Pro Tour prize of current PTQs. Additional invitations for next season's Regional PTQs and other prize support exclusive to Regional PTQs is being provides.
Summaries of what both Preliminary and Regional PTQs entail were provided:
The second was some updates and tweaks to Grand Prix:
- 54 total Grand Prix for the 2015 season, with the schedule to be announced during Pro Tour Magic 2015 this weekend.
- The Top 8 of every Grand Prix (or Top 4 teams at team Grand Prix) will receive invites to the Pro Tour.
- The total cash prize payout is increased for events with 3,600 or more players.
- All Grand Prix will be fixed at 15 rounds (14 for team Grand Prix), beginning with Grand Prix Portland taking place the weekend after Pro Tour Magic 2015.
The final announcements covered changes to the Pro Players Club, including adjustments requested by players after this year's "Five Grand Prix" cap on Pro Points towards the Player of the Year race:
- Significant adjustments to the points paid out at Grand Prix and Pro Tours, now based on place within Top 8 (Top 4 for teams) or final match points earned. World Magic Cup and Players' Championship points payout remain as before.
- Now a player's six best Grand Prix finishes will count towards their seasonal Pro Players Club and Player of the Year totals.
- The points threshold for Platinum, the top level, of the Pro Players Club is now 48 points (up from 45).
- Gold level players will no longer receive an appearance feee at Pro Tours will instead receive airfare for it, beginning with Pro Tour Khans of Tarkir later his year.
- Also started with Pro Tour Khans of Tarkir, all players that earn 33 or more match points at the Pro Tour will receive invite and airfare for the next.
What do you think of the latest changes to Organized Play at the top levels of the game?