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2020–21 Players Tour Season
World Champion None
Hall of Fame inductions None
PTs 3 Split Championships
Grand Prix None
Previous season:
2020
Next season:
2021-22

The 2020–21 Players Tour season is the twenty-sixth Players Tour season (formerly known as the Pro Tour).

Description[]

This season was to be the first regular season of the revamped Players Tour after the 2020 partial season. However, the COVID-19 pandemic caused cancellations and rescheduling.[1] The season was supposed to start on August 7–9, 2020 with MagicFest Colombus, USA and to culminate in the 2021 World Championship.[2] Due to the Coronovirus induced rescheduling, the start of the season was postponed to the fall of 2020 (October 24). It was also announced that Wizards of the Coast would shift its focus to shorter length seasons with a structure that provides more flexibility so that they can quickly pivot and adapt in the current global landscape.[1][3]

While the global pandemic at the start of the season closed off traditional pathways for competitive tabletop Magic, Wizards of the Coast structured it to allow the flexibility to add tabletop opportunities. Only as it becomes safe to do so, they will begin to add qualification paths starting with local game stores and building over time to larger regional events.[4]

Esports[]

This season is focused on Esports. As all tabletop events are suspended, the play would be done through MTG Arena and the lack of tabletop qualifiers meant severely reduced invitees. Subsequently, the experimental regional Players Tours from the previous season were dropped, and all players around the world competed in the same tournament from their homes. Coverage was developed through both players streaming their gameplay through to a broadcasting host. Due to Arena's inability to support a secured tournament environment for drafting, Limited was removed as a format and replaced with Historic.

Leagues[]

Main article: 2020-21 Rivals League

In this season, MPL and Rivals League players will play against other players within their leagues in recurring tournaments — League Weekends — where each match wins awards one point toward their league standings. [5] While all players were required to learn streaming software to share their screens, they were also encouraged to stream their play while not featured, giving viewers unprecedented access to nearly 300 matches of high-level gameplay per weekend. Final league standings at the end of the season, after seven total League Weekends, will place players into postseason tournaments — the MPL Gauntlet and Rivals Gauntlet — to determine the new invitees to the following season's MPL and Rivals League. The four highest-finishing Challengers — non-league players — of each split's Championship will qualify for the postseason Rivals Gauntlet for the opportunity to join the MPL or Rivals League. All competitors — MPL, Rivals League, and Challengers — who continue to succeed in their events across the entire 2020–2021 season will receive the best opportunities for league promotion and invitations to the next World Championship.

Qualification[]

Ranked Seasons are monthly periods for Ranked Play on MTG Arena. You can choose from several competitive Ranked Play formats to advance in rank, and finishing in the top 1,200 Mythic ranked players — the highest-ranked players — for a Ranked Season unlocks an invitation to a future qualifying event. Challengers are non-league players rising through the pathways of Magic Esports. Challengers earn qualification to rising levels of competition, beginning with Ranked Seasons on MTG Arena and leading all the way to an invitation the MPL or Rivals League.[4]

In addition to monthly Ranked Play on MTG Arena, qualification opportunities are offered through previous competitive success, Magic Online Qualifiers, and sponsored events (e.g. the Premier Series, Red Bull Untapped). Qualification is also possible via the Arena Open or through Players Tour Online events.

Qualifier Weekend[]

Monthly Ranked Play on MTG Arena earns invitations to monthly Qualifier Weekends. Each monthly Qualifier Weekend is a two-day event in MTG Arena, using a best-of-three Constructed format for both days. Top-finishing players from each Qualifier Weekend are invited to the relevant Split Championship.[4]

Splits[]

The 2020-2021 Magic Esports season was composed of three splits, which were several months of competitive play tied to a set release.[4] Each split was a three-step qualification progression leading all the way to that split's Championship.

In total for all League Weekends, MPL and Rivals League players were palnned to compete in 84 matches — a maximum total of 84 points — across seven weekends.

There was a $400,000 prize pool divided across the three splits with $50,000 each for the MPL and Rivals League, as well as an end-of-season bonus of $50,000 for each league.

Split Championships[]

Three Split Championships each form the culmination of a Split, featuring a $250,000 prize pool with the remote play on MTG Arena. Invited are the top players from Qualifier Weekends, partner events, 2020 Partial Season events, and all members of the MPL and Rivals League.[6] The Split Championships are premier events, in stature which is comparable to the Players Tour Finals or the former Pro Tour tournaments.

On top of League Weekends, MPL and Rivals players will earn points toward their league standings from each split's Championship:[6]

  • 9 wins earn 1 point toward league standings (the same as winning one match during a League Weekend).
  • 10 wins earn 2 points toward league standings.
  • 11 wins earn 3 points toward league standings.
  • Making Top 8 of a split's Championship earns 4 points toward league standings.

Additionally, the eight best-finishing Challengers (or those that finish with a record of 11-4 or better, whichever is greater) in each split's Championship are invited to the postseason Challenger Gauntlet for the opportunity to compete for MPL or Rivals League invitation and qualification to Magic World Championship XXVII.

Schedule[]

Zendikar Rising Split[]

  • Zendikar Rising Split featured two League Weekends of Swiss-style, best-of-three, competitive play.[7]
    • October 24-25 (Standard)
    • November 7-8 (Standard)

Zendikar Rising Championship[]

184 players, from the MPL and Rivals League to top qualifying competitors through Qualifier Weekends, Magic Online Qualifiers and beyond, were competing. The Championship featured a $250,000 prize pool. Friday and Saturday each featured four rounds of Standard. Friday and Saturday each also featured a combined seven rounds of Historic, and Sunday's Top 8 double-elimination playoff was exclusively Historic. On the weekend, however, Mike Sigrist withdrew from the competition to better support his family during COVID exposure.

The Standard metagame was effectively solved, as it was two months since the Omnath banning. The field boiled down to Green Lovestruck Beast decks in Gruul/Temur Adventures and Mono-Green Food, against Dimir Control and Rogues. The significant power disparity Throne of Eldraine had over the other sets was on full display, as the most popular 70% of decks were powered by build-arounds in that set. Historic, too, had little change from the previous metagame, with Mayhem Devil, Uro and Muxus decks making up the top 70%. At the end of Day One, it was Autumn Burchett leading the way with Gruul Adventures that smashed their way to a perfect 7-0 record.[8] Eleven players including Hall of Famers Martin Jůza and Gabriel Nassif, along with Pro Tour champions Jan-Moritz Merkel and Ivan Floch, lurked just behind at 6-1.

On Day 2 Burchett and Merkel both took early losses in Historic, with veteran Scottish player Bradley Barclay taking the lead at 10-1 at the end of Round 11; however, the former two were the first to lock in their places in Round 14. With no permitted intentional draws, the 11-3 players were forced to play, with Nassif and Barclay winning, and debutant Tomáš Pokorný holding with strong breakers and Ondrej Strasky pushed out. The final three spaces were taken by Brad Nelson over Tim Wan, Andrea Mengucci over Luis Salvatto and Luca Magni over Matt Sperling. Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa and Jean-Emmanuel Depraz made up the remaining 11-4 players with Strasky.

On Sunday, Brad Barclay won the Championship with Azorius Control, defeating Autumn Burchett on Mono-Red Goblins two matches to zero in the Grand Finals. Barclay had entered the Top 8’s Historic double elimination bracket as the third seed, while Burchett had entered as the first seed. Both players made their way through the upper bracket and met in the upper finals, where Barclay won two games to one, knocking Burchett down to the lower bracket finals. Andrea Mengucci, whom Burchett had defeated in the first round of the Top 8, worked his way through the lower bracket with Four-Color Midrange to meet Burchett in the lower finals for a rematch and a spot in the Grand Finals. But history repeated itself and Burchett triumphed once again to advance to the Grand Finals. But in the Grand Finals, they were defeated again by Barclay.

Place Player Prize League Points Standard Deck Historic Deck Comments
1 {GB-SCT} Bradley Barclay $15,000 Dimir Control Azorius Control First Scotsman in a PT Top 8
2 {GB-ENG} Autumn Burchett $12,000 4 Gruul Adventures Goblins MPL. Second PT Top 8.
3 {ITA} Andrea Mengucci $9,000 4 Esper Doom 4C Midrange MPL. Sixth PT Top 8.
4 {CZE} Tomáš Pokorný $7,000 Mono-Green Food 4C Midrange PT debut.
5 {ITA} Luca Magni $5,000 4 Dimir Rogues 4C Midrange Rivals League. First PT Top 8.
6 {USA} Brad Nelson $5,000 4 Mono-Green Food 4C Midrange MPL. Sixth PT Top 8.
7 {DEU} Jan-Moritz Merkel $4,000 Gruul Adventures Sultai Midrange Second PT Top 8 after a 14 year gap.
8 {FRA} Gabriel Nassif $4,000 4 Mono-Green Food/ Sultai Midrange MPL. Twelfth PT Top 8.

Kaldheim Split[]

  • Kaldheim Split featured two League Weekends.
    • January, 16-17 (Historic)
    • February, 27-28 (Standard)

Kaldheim Championship[]

  • March 26-28, 2021 (Standard and Historic)

211 players joined in competition for the Kaldheim championship weekend. In Standard, the addition of Faceless Haven reshaped the aggro side of the format, giving Red and White a metagame share, which loosened {U}{B} Rogues' grip on the metagame and consequently opened Yorion, Sky Nomad big mana decks - among them, the frontrunner Sultai Emergent Ultimatum. Alrund's Epiphany was one of the Ultimatum targets, and it also helped the classic Temur Adventures shell that persisted from rotation. Finally, Cycling made a resurgence with the full Pathway manabase and a field less dedicated to Embercleave. For Historic, the Jund Sacrifice variants retained a leading position at 31%, kept at bay from dominance by Yasharn, Implacable Earth splashes. Orhzov Auras took second place, with every other deck less than 10% in share. Despite struggling in league weekends, Andrew Cuneo took the overnight 7-0 spot, joined by Arne Huschenbeth.

After the second Standard run on Day 2, Cuneo and Huschenbeth posted mediocre 2-2 records, with Shahar Shenhar running up from 6-1 to take the lead. Eight players were at 1 loss or less, with League members Chris Botelho, Javier Dominguez and Shota Yasooka among them. Shenhar kept his lead and made 12 wins on round 13, followed by Yasooka in round 14. For the final round, the three previous 11-3 players Huschenbeth, Dominguez, and Riku Kumagai advanced despite two losses between them, with Cuneo clawing back up by defeating Kumagai. The final two spots were taken by Noriyuki Mori over Botelho and Grzegorz Kowalski over Keisuke Sato. Márcio Carvalho, Austin Bursavich, Evan Kaplan, Joao Moreira made up the remaining 11-4 players.

On Sunday, two decks stood out from the other six, with Riku Kumagai's Mono-Red and Arne Huschenbeth's Rogues being the most proactive against the six Green-based midrange decks. Cuneo and Yasooka's Sultai Ultimatum decks fell quickly, while Huschenbeth's worst matchup in Kumagai was removed after facing the Lovestruck Beast decks of Dominguez and Mori. Huschenbeth's Rogues subsequently took the first final spot over Dominguez. The match between Shenhar and Kowalski hit technical problems when Shenhar's system crashed on an extremely crucial turn, forcing two restarts before Kowalski ultimately won. In the grand final, Sultai Ultimatum's significant disadvantage against Rogues made for a crisp ending with Huschenbeth taking a straight 4-0 victory against Kowalski.

Place Player Prize League Points Standard Deck Historic Deck Comments
1 {DEU} Arne Huschenbeth $15,000 Dimir Rogues Orzhov Auras Second PT Top 8
2 {POL} Grzegorz Kowalski $12,000 4 Sultai Ultimatum Jund Food Rivals League. Third PT Top 8
3 {ESP} Javier Dominguez $9,000 4 Temur Adventures Boros Cycling MPL. Fifth PT Top 8
4 {JPN} Noriyuki Mori $7,000 Gruul Food Jund Food PT Debut
5 {ISR} Shahar Shenhar $5,000 4 Temur Adventures Abzan Midrange MPL. Second PT Top 8
6 {JPN} Riku Kumagai $5,000 4 Mono-Red Aggro Orzhov Auras Rivals League. Second PT Top 8
7 {JPN} Shota Yasooka $4,000 4 Sultai Ultimatum Jund Food MPL. Sixth PT Top 8
8 {USA} Andrew Cuneo $4,000 4 Sultai Ultimatum Dimir Control MPL. Fourth PT Top 8.

Strixhaven Split[]

Strixhaven Split features three League Weekends, one of these taking place after the Strixhaven Championship. While the previous two splits had been designed for full round-robin play, the Strixhaven split is seeded into Swiss pairing pods, and every three rounds the pods are repaired. Each weekend the best and worst players lock in their spots for the next season.[9]

Strixhaven Championship[]

  • June 4-6, 2021 (Standard and Historic)

The Strixhaven Championship took place prior to the third Strixhaven Split League Weekend, ensuring league play determines final league standings and placement in postseason playoff events. With John Rolf not present, 250 players came together for the last chance to qualify for the last League in Organised Play. For Standard, Strixhaven was unimpactful, with most decks getting fewer than 10 cards over their full list, and not even the lands being played. Emergent Ultimatum decks, Mono-Red, Rogues and Gruul Adventures got little to no changes, though Gruul evolved away from a Landfall-The Great Henge list to a Magda, Brazen Outlaw-Treasure focus. White decks made good use of Elite Spellbinder, while what could be considered the most influenced by Strixhaven was an Izzet Dragons list with Expressive Iteration and Galazeth Prismari. Historic was a significantly different story, though again it was less to do with actual Strixhaven cards than the Mystical Archive. The Thassa's Oracle ban allowed for the metagame to be less solved, though the second and third-placed decks simply took over. These were Arclight Phoenix and Jeskai Control, with the Jeskai Time Warp decks emerging as a new contender. All of these were powered by Brainstorm. Previous top decks fell sharply, with Jund Food holding on with only 7% share and Orzhov Auras shrinking to one player; other successful decks in Selesnya Collected Company and Gruul Aggro now live in the 5% share range; Growth Spiral decks summed to fewer than five players; and the major aggro archetype is now mono-black. At the end of Day 1, two players came through undefeated, Logan Nettles and Seth Manfield.

Manfield and Nettles took the first two slots in the Top 8 in round 14, both going 4-2 before their final win. With nearest competitors Reid Duke and Gabriel Nassif missing out on Day 2, Manfield led the MPL by six points, nearly guaranteeing a Worlds spot. Matt Sperling, top competitor of the Rivals league, also made Top 8 after round 14 with strong breakers at 11-3. Raphael Levy and challengers John Girardot and Matti Kuisma were in the same position. In Round 15, David Inglis beat Kuisma, and Sam Pardee defeated Matt Nass, overtaking the 11-3 Brent Vos, who lost to Girardot. The other 11-4 players were No Ah Ma, Martin Juza, Rei Sato, Yuta Takahashi, Luis Salvatto, and Lars Luckhaupt.

On the final day, the Top 8 played out in Historic, a format shaken up repeatedly in this month with the release of the Mystical Archive. The top decks of Historic were entirely Blue-Red based, with only Manfield having more than a splash of white. His Jeskai Control deck took a quick exit, while the Izzet Phoenix decks only made one win to four losses against Turns - the last four matches were all mirrors. Sam Pardee fended off John Girardot three times over the Top 8 for the championship trophy.

Place Player Prize League Points Deck Historic Deck Comments
1 {USA} Sam Pardee $15,000 Mono-Red Aggro Jeskai Time Warps Third PT Top 8
2 {FRA} John Girardot $12,000 Temur Adventures Jeskai Time Warps
3 {USA} Matt Sperling $9,000 4 Sultai Ultimatum Jeskai Time Warps Rivals. Fourth PT Top 8.
4 {USA} Logan Nettles $7,000 Naya Adventures Jeskai Time Warps Second PT Top 8
5 {USA} David Inglis $5,000 Jeskai Mutate Izzet Phoenix
6 {FIN} Matti Kuisma $5,000 Jeskai Mutate Izzet Phoenix
7 {USA} Seth Manfield $4,000 4 Izzet Dragons Jeskai Control MPL. Sixth PT Top 8
8 {FRA} Raphael Levy $4,000 4 Gruul Adventures Jeskai Time Warps MPL. Fifth PT Top 8

Notes[]

^† League Points not awarded because the player earlier had been relegated out of MPL play.

Strixhaven Split (final League Weekend)[]

  • July 3–4, 2021 (Standard/Historic)
    • On the final League Weekend of the 2020–21 Players Tour Season, Manfield and Sperling's 6-point lead looked insurmountable, where if they went anything better than even, they had their Worlds positions locked. Dramatically, Manfield started 0-6, turning it from what seemed a certainty to a true race. Sperling also had an unsuccessful start at 2-4, but incidentally both Leagues only had at most five other competitors live for Worlds. Sperling and Manfield finally locked their spots in round 9, when Sperling won his fourth weekend match and Manfield's rivals failed to catch his lead. Gabriel Nassif locked his spot in round 10, while Yuta Takahashi outlasted his rivals in round 11 for the last Worlds spots from League play. At the lower end of the league, Sebastian Pozzo and Shota Yasooka escaped from their second-last places, leaving Simon Görtzen, Frederico Bastos, Andrea Mengucci and Carlos Romao without a Gauntlet to compete in for the post-season.

Post-season events[]

2020–21 Challenger Gauntlet[]

Despite another low-impact set with Adventures in the Forgotten Realms, the minor changes were enough to tip the scales into a new Standard metagame. Winota, Joiner of Forces finally went from a dormant broken card to an active player, which shifted the metagame into, oddly, the Gruul-vs-Dimir framework of Zendikar Rising at the beginning of the year. In Historic, the removal of Brainstorm did little to dissuade Jeskai Control pilots, which made ten pilots of the 24, while the rest were made up of one or two pilots of all of the old known archetypes. With 24 players over six rounds, no players were undefeated at the close of Day One; Huschenbeth defeated the only 5-0 Pardee, putting both Champions alongside newcomer Mori at 5-1 leading the field.

The field stayed narrow throughout, with the three leaders being joined by WMC captains Matti Kuisma and Sam Rolph regularly at co-lead. Pardee finally broke away in Round 11 to qualify for the upper bracket. Round 12 saw three tiebreaker matches, with Huschenbeth fending off Gavin Thompson for the upper bracket, while 13th and 14th seeds David Inglis and Keisuke Sato defeating the 12th and 11th seeds Piotr Wiktorzak and Tomas Pokorny respectively. On the final day, Mori and Pardee won their Worlds spots first, while Huschenbeth defeated Inglis for the third. Keisuke Sato, who scraped in from 14th, ran a three match streak to overcome Kuisma from the bottom bracket to win the last spot.

Participants[]

The 24 competitors of the 2021 Challenger Gauntlet are invited from each 2020-2021 season Split Championship based on final standings:

  • The eight (8) highest finishing Challengers in the event; or
  • The Challengers who finished the event with a record of 11-4 or better (whichever of the two is the greater number of Challengers).

Results[]

Nat. Name Qualification Final standing Result
{GB-SCT} Bradley Barclay Zendikar Rising Championship 3-7 Invite
{CZE} Tomas Pokorny Zendikar Rising Championship 6-6 Invite
{DEU} Jan-Moritz Merkel Zendikar Rising Championship 7-5, Top 8 Rivals Gauntlet
{POL} Piotr Wiktorzak Zendikar Rising Championship 6-6 Invite
{USA} Tim Wan Zendikar Rising Championship 5-7 Invite
{USA} Gavin Thompson Zendikar Rising Championship 8-4, Top 12 Rivals Gauntlet
{PRT} Bernardo Torres Zendikar Rising Championship 4-7 Invite
{ESP} Toni Ramis Pascual Zendikar Rising Championship 3-7 Invite
{DEU} Arne Huschenbeth Kaldheim Championship 8-4, Top 4 Worlds and MPL
{JPN} Noriyuki Mori Kaldheim Championship 8-4, Top 2 Worlds and MPL
{USA} Evan Kaplan Kaldheim Championship 2-7 Invite
{PRT} Joao Moreira Kaldheim Championship 7-5, Top 12 Rivals Gauntlet
{USA} Ian Birrell Kaldheim Championship 7-5, Top 8 Rivals Gauntlet
{JPN} Keisuke Sato Kaldheim Championship 6-6, Top 4 Worlds and MPL
{USA} Michael Bernat Kaldheim Championship 1-7 Invite
{JPN} Yohei Nomiya Kaldheim Championship 5-7 Invite
{USA} Logan Nettles Strixhaven Championship 7-5, Top 12 Rivals Gauntlet
{FRA} John Girardot Strixhaven Championship 6-6 Invite
{FIN} Matti Kuisma Strixhaven Championship 8-4, Top 6 Rivals Gauntlet
{USA} Sam Pardee Strixhaven Championship 9-2, Top 2 Worlds and MPL
{USA} David Inglis Strixhaven Championship 6-6, Top 6 Rivals Gauntlet
{DEU} Lars Luckhaupt Strixhaven Championship 4-7 Invite
{GB-WLS} Sam Rolph Strixhaven Championship 7-5, Top 12 Rivals Gauntlet
{CAN} Ron Branchaud Strixhaven Championship 4-7 Invite

2020–21 Rivals Gauntlet[]

  • September 3-5, 2021 (Traditional Standard Constructed, Best-of-Three).
    • Historic had been planned to be a part of play, but the format was dropped from the schedule because of scheduling problems with Jumpstart: Historic Horizons.[12][15] The system revamp lead to further issues when multiple server failures resulted in an update needed to be made the day prior to play, and so the four-day event was compressed to three much longer days, much to the consternation of international players.[16]
    • Jeskai Mutate made to be the surprise pack leader with four more pilots than with the runners-up of Dimir Rogues and Izzet Control. This put blue control shells as the leader for the first time in the season. Kai Budde ran away with Day 1, skipping three rounds with an undefeated record; Kuisma follows up with the only 7-2. Nettles and Avignon were eliminated, locking them in Rivals.
    • From the Top 8, Challengers Merkel and Thompson took the lead and locked MPL first, with Lee following through after losing to Merkel. Budde lost the quarterfinals to Lee, but defeated Deltour and Lee in the lower bracket before falling to Merkel as well. Despite losing their first set in the Upper Finals, Merkel vanquished Thompson and indeed all three other MPL qualifiers for the last Worlds spot.
Participants

The 24 participants for the 2020-21 Rivals League Gauntlet were defined as follows:

  • 13th through 16th in MPL standings from the end of the season.
  • 21st through 32nd in Rivals League standings from the end of the season.
  • 5th through 12th places from the Challenger Gauntlet.
Results
Nat. Name Qualification Final standing Result
{JPN} Shota Yasooka MPL 2020–21, 13th place 8-4, Top 8 Rivals
{HKG} Lee Shi Tian MPL 2020–21, 14th place 7-5, 4th MPL
{USA} Andrew Cuneo MPL 2020–21, 15th place 5-3 Rivals
{JPN} Ken Yukuhiro MPL 2020–21, 16th place 3-7 Rivals
{JPN} Shintaro Ishimura Rivals League 2020–21, 21st place 8-4, Top 6 Rivals
{CZE} Jacub Tóth Rivals League 2020–21, 22nd place 4-7 Rivals
{SVK} Ivan Floch Rivals League 2020–21, 23rd place 3-7 Rivals
{DEU} Christian Hauck Rivals League 2020–21, 24th place 5-7 Rivals
{FRA} Matthieu Avignon Rivals League 2020–21, 25th place 2-7 Rivals
{PRT} Miguel da Cruz Simões Rivals League 2020–21, 26th place 6-6 Rivals
{JPN} Kenta Harane Rivals League 2020–21, 27th place 6-6 Rivals
{FRA} Louis-Samuel Deltour Rivals League 2020–21, 28th place 7-5, Top 6 Rivals
{DEU} Kai Budde Rivals League 2020–21, 29th place 9-0, 3rd MPL
{FRA} Théo Moutier Rivals League 2020–21, 30th place 4-7 Rivals
{ARG} Sebastian Pozzo Rivals League 2020–21, 31st place 6-6 Rivals
{USA} Kenji Egashira Rivals League 2020–21, 32nd place 5-7 Rivals
{FIN} Matti Kuisma Challenger Gauntlet 2020–21, 5th place 9-2, Top 8 Rivals
{USA} David Inglis Challenger Gauntlet 2020–21, 6th place 4-7 Rivals
{USA} Ian Birrell Challenger Gauntlet 2020–21, 7th place 3-7 Rivals
{DEU} Jan-Moritz Merkel Challenger Gauntlet 2020–21, 8th place 8-4, Winner MPL and Worlds
{USA} Gavin Thompson Challenger Gauntlet 2020–21, 9th place 7-5, 2nd MPL
{GB-WLS} Sam Rolph Challenger Gauntlet 2020–21, 10th place 5-3 Rivals
{USA} Logan Nettles Challenger Gauntlet 2020–21, 11th place 2-7 Rivals
{PRT} Joao Moreira Challenger Gauntlet 2020–21, 12th place 6-6 Rivals

2020–21 MPL Gauntlet[]

  • September 3-5, 2021 (Traditional Standard Constructed, Best-of-Three).
    • Historic had been planned to be a part of play, but the format was dropped from the schedule because of scheduling problems with Jumpstart: Historic Horizons.[12][15] The system revamp lead to further issues when multiple server failures resulted in an update needed to be made the day prior to play, and so the four-day event was compressed to three much longer days, much to the consternation of international players.[16]
    • Jeskai Mutate, Dimir Rogues and Izzet Control again took up part of the top of the metagame, but here Sultai Ultimatum retained its top dog status with eight pilots. 2018 World Champion Javier Dominguez takes the lead at 8-1 with Jacob Wilson just behind at 7-2, both the only players with that record. Kowalski and Juza were eliminated at round 9, relegating the latter from the MPL.
    • Dominguez couldn't keep track the next three rounds, but 8 wins were enough to keep him in second seed, while getting overtaken by Kumagai. The top 8 players were set by round 11, with Hayne as the 9th player, losing to Magni in a tiebreaker. Despite the time difference, the Top 8 was headlined by a Japanese testing team of Kumagai, Ikawa and Sato, all on Mutate. The latter two ran through and won Worlds spots, but Kumagai fell to Depraz for the third.
Participants

The 24 participants for the 2020-21 Magic Pro League Gauntlet were defined as follows:

  • 5th through 12th in MPL standings from the end of the season.
  • 5th through 20th in Rivals League standings from the end of the season.
Results
Nat. Name Qualification Final standing Result
{CZE} Martin Jůza MPL 2020–21, 5th place 2-7 Rivals
{USA} Reid Duke MPL 2020–21, 6th place 6-6 Rivals
{PRT} Márcio Carvalho MPL 2020–21, 7th place 6-6 Rivals
{ESP} Javier Dominguez MPL 2020–21, 8th place 8-4, Top 6 MPL
{FRA} Jean-Emmanuel Depraz MPL 2020–21, 9th place 7-5, 3rd MPL and Worlds
{JPN} Rei Sato MPL 2020–21, 10th place 8-4, Top 2 MPL and Worlds
{USA} Brad Nelson MPL 2020–21, 11th place 3-7 Rivals
{USA} William Jensen MPL 2020–21, 12th place 5-7 Rivals
{USA} Luis Scott-Vargas Rivals League 2020–21, 5th place 4-7 Rivals
{JPN} Riku Kumagai Rivals League 2020–21, 6th place 9-3, 4th MPL
{POL} Grzegorz Kowalski Rivals League 2020–21, 7th place 2-7 Rivals
{USA} Corey Burkhart Rivals League 2020–21, 8th place 6-6 Rivals
{USA} Austin Bursavich Rivals League 2020–21, 9th place 6-6 Rivals
{CAN} Jacob Wilson Rivals League 2020–21, 10th place 8-4, Top 8 MPL
{ITA} Luca Magni Rivals League 2020–21, 11th place 7-5, Top 6 MPL
{USA} Zachary Kiihne Rivals League 2020–21, 12th place 6-6 Rivals
{ARG} Luis Salvatto Rivals League 2020–21, 13th place 5-7 Rivals
{DEU} Thoralf Severin Rivals League 2020–21, 14th place 3-7 Rivals
{USA} Mike Sigrist Rivals League 2020–21, 15th place 3-7 Rivals
{JPN} Yoshihiko Ikawa Rivals League 2020–21, 16th place 8-4, Top 2 MPL and Worlds
{USA} Chris Botelho Rivals League 2020–21, 17th place 8-4, Top 8 MPL
{PRT} Bernardo Santos Rivals League 2020–21, 18th place 6-6 Rivals
{CAN} Alexander Hayne Rivals League 2020–21, 19th place 7-5 Rivals
{KOR} Ma Noah Rivals League 2020–21, 20th place 4-7 Rivals

2021 World Championship[]

Mythic Invitationals[]

The October 22–25, 2020 Mythic InvitationalZendikar Rising was canceled[1], and no other Invitationals were scheduled. The Split Championships of this season took a similar spot in the schedule.

Tabletop[]

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all tabletop events for this season were canceled.

Grand Prix[]

As a consequence of the Coronavirus pandemic all Grand Prix of the 2020 Players Tour Season were canceled and MagicFest Online was created.[17] It is unclear if and how tabletop Grand Prix will return.

Feeding in the Players Tour Finals (Series 4)[]

  • July 31 -August 2, 2020: MagicFest Strasbourg, France (Pioneer) (canceled)
  • August 7–9, 2020: MagicFest Columbus, USA (Modern) (canceled)
  • August 14–16, 2020: MagicFest Kobe, Japan (canceled)
  • August 21–23, 2020: MagicFest Bologna, Italy (canceled)
  • August 27–30, 2020: MagicFest Las Vegas, USA (canceled)
  • September 11–13, 2020: MagicFest Montreal, Canada (canceled)
  • October 8-11, 2020: MagicFest Washington DC, USA (canceled)
  • October 15–18, 2020: MagicFest Barcelona, Spain (canceled)
  • October 16–18, 2020: MagicFest Sydney, Australia (canceled)
  • October 23–25, 2020: MagicFest Milwaukee, USA (canceled)
  • October 30-Nov. 1, 2020: MagicFest Budapest, Hungary (canceled)
  • November 6–8, 2020: MagicFest Anaheim, USA (canceled)
  • November 13–15, 2020: MagicFest Utrecht, Netherlands (canceled)
  • November 20–22, 2020: MagicFest Memphis, USA (canceled)

Feeding in the Players Tour Finals (Series 5)[]

  • November 27–29, 2020: MagicFest Nagoya, Japan (canceled)
  • December 4–6, 2020: MagicFest Hartford, USA (canceled)
  • December 11–13, 2020: MagicFest London, UK (canceled)
  • December 18–20, 2020: MagicFest Portland, USA (canceled)

Players Tours[]

Series 3[]

  • October 9-11, 2020: Players Tour Americas - Washington DC, USA (canceled[1])
  • October 16–18, 2020: Players Tour Europe - Barcelona, Spain (canceled)
  • October 17–18, 2020: Players Tour Asia-Pacific: Sydney, Australia (canceled)
  • Players Tour Finals (Series 3) (canceled)

Series 4[]

Canceled

Series 5[]

Canceled

References[]

  1. a b c d Wizards of the Coast (May 20, 2020). "What's Next For the Magic Esports 2020 Partial Season". Magic.gg.
  2. Elaine Chase (August 14, 2019). "The Future of Magic Esports". Magic Esports.
  3. Elaine Chase (May 29, 2020). "2020 MagicFest And The Future of Tabletop Magic Esports". Magic.gg.
  4. a b c d Wizards of the Coast (July 14, 2020). "Announcing The 2020-2021 Magic Esports Season". Magic.gg.
  5. Wizards of the Coast (July 14). "The 2020-2021 Magic Pro League Season Overview". Magic.gg.
  6. a b c Ben Drago and Bear Watson (August 27, 2020). "Esports Update: Changes to 2020-2021 Magic Pro League Play". Magic.gg.
  7. Wizards of the Coast (May 29, 2020). "Upcoming MTG Arena Ranked Season Qualification and Players Tour Qualifiers". Magic.gg.
  8. Corbin Hosler (December 4, 2020). "Zendikar Rising Championship Day 1 Highlights". Magic.gg.
  9. Wizards of the Coast (April 7, 2021). "What are Strixhaven League Weekends?". Magic.gg.
  10. Rich Hagon (April 13, 2021). "April Strixhave League Weekend Highlights". Magic.gg.
  11. Wizards of the Coast (May 4, 2021). "May Strixhaven League Weekend Historic Rules Change". Magic.gg.
  12. a b c d Wizards of the Coast (June 17, 2021). "2020-21 Postseason Event Updates". Magic.gg.
  13. Rick Hagon (July 26, 2021). "What's at Stake for the Challenger Gauntlet?". Magic.gg.
  14. Meghan Wolff (July 28, 2021). "The Challenger Veterans Taking Aim At The World". Magic.gg.
  15. a b Wizards of the Coast (August 9, 2021). "Upcoming Gauntlet Formats and August Ranked Season Updates". Magic.gg.
  16. a b Nick Miller (September 1, 2021). "Schedule Of MPL, Rivals Gauntlets Changed Day Before Start". Starcitygames.com.
  17. Elaine Chase (May 29, 2020). "2020 MagicFest And The Future of Tabletop Magic Esports". Magic.gg.
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