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2021 World Championship
World Championship XXVII.png
Date October 8-10, 2021
Location MTG Arena
Format Standard and Innistrad: Midnight Hunt draft
Prize pool $1,050,000
Winner Yuta Takahashi
Previous Worlds:
Next Worlds:

The 2021 World Championship or Magic World Championship XXVII, the 27th Magic: The Gathering World Championship, is held at the end of the 2020–21 Players Tour Season on October 8-10, 2021.[1][note 1]


The 2020 World Championship was skipped, due to the COVID-19 crisis. The Magic World Championship XXVII was therefore tentatively planned for the summer of 2021 as an on-location event that would represent the pinnacle of Magic Esports. But given the continued uncertainty around in-person events, these plans needed to adjust as the season ended and Wizards reevaluated the feasibility of in-person events. The definite October date was set in May 2021.[2] [3]

The 2020–2021 season World Championship featured the League and Gauntlet winners from the season in lieu of Championship winners. By extension all invitees other than the reigning champion already had qualified for the MPL in the next cycle.

Based on the announcement from 2019, it was expected that the 2021 World Championship would feature a prize pool of $1,000,000.[1] However, after the decision to abandon support for Pro Play, the prize pool was silently decreased to $250,000.[4] After the final League weekend, the pool was clarified to be in addition to a $50,000 per-person appearance fee, bringing the total to $1,050,000.[5]


The World Championship features the best 16 players within and new to the MPL from the postseason:

Since tabletop play had been postponed, no places were reserved for Players Tour winners. Reigning World Champion Damo da Rosa won another slot in the second Strixhaven League Weekend, and so his invitation was added to the slots awarded to third-place finishing player at the MPL Gauntlet.[7]

Country Player Method of qualification
{BRA} Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa 2019 World Champion, 2nd in MPL 2020-21
{CZE} Ondřej Stráský 1st in MPL 2020-21
{LBN} Eli Kassis 1st in Rivals League 2020-21
{CZE} Stanislav Cifka 2st in Rivals League 2020-21
{FRA} Gabriel Nassif 3rd in MPL 2020-21
{USA} Seth Manfield 4th in MPL 2020-21
{USA} Matt Sperling 3rd in Rivals League 2020-21
{JPN} Yuta Takahashi 4th in Rivals League 2020-21
{USA} Sam Pardee 1st in Challenger Gauntlet
{JPN} Noriyuki Mori 2nd in Challenger Gauntlet
{DEU} Arne Huschenbeth 3rd in Challenger Gauntlet
{JPN} Keisuke Sato 4th in Challenger Gauntlet
{JPN} Rei Sato 1st in MPL Gauntlet
{JPN} Yoshihiko Ikawa 2nd in MPL Gauntlet
{FRA} Jean-Emmanuel Depraz 3rd in MPL Gauntlet
{DEU} Jan-Moritz Merkel 1st in Rivals Gauntlet


The structure returned to Swiss pairings after the 2019 World Championships.

Friday, October 8

Saturday, October 9

At the conclusion of Day Two, four winning players advance to the Sunday playoffs.

Sunday, October 10

  • Top 4 playoff
    • Upper Finals
    • Lower Finals
    • Grand Finals


An unprotected decklist submission site revealed the player's decklists three days early.[9][10] Rotation was initially seen as liberating for the Standard metagame, but did not take long for the top players to crystallise: Esika's Chariot for Green, Goldspan Dragon for Red, Faceless Haven in aggro, and at the top of the pile was Alrund's Epiphany, which made an archetype in and of itself, as two extra turns with any sort of board generally resulted in a win. Nine players of sixteen (and a tenth had a copy) played Epiphany decks, and five of the six remaining played monocolor aggro as an attempted counter.

Day 1[]

The draft followed Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa and Seth Manfield in different pods, where they drafted White-Black and White-Green respectively. da Rosa tested out Red before leaving it for White, and eventually got a 2-1 despite minor cutting on the right. Manfield nominally received the open colors, but did not feel his deck was strong and ended 1-2. The winners of the Draft were Pardee and Strasky, with White-Black, while the losers were Takahashi in Blue-Green splash Red, and Keisuke Sato in Red-Black. Red's weakness in the format still came through despite high level in-pod play, with the three Mountain decks going 2-7 in total.[11]

With only two rounds left for the day, little could be concluded for Standard. Strasky took down Pardee and Sperling for an undefeated record.[11]

Day 2[]

Strasky could not be stopped in the morning of Day 2, with two more wins putting him in the qualified bracket. After drafting an 0-3 deck, Takahashi ran up a perfect 7-0 in Constructed to qualify in the last round. The last two places were tiebreaker matches at 6-4: Merkel defeated Sperling in the Grixis Epiphany mirror, while Depraz defeated Pardee in the Green semi-mirror.[12]

Day 3[]

Strasky's win streak was not as dominant as Takahashi's; he took two losses to be the first to be eliminated. Takahashi, on the other hand, extended his streak to 9-0 as the top finalist. Depraz defeated Merkel in the lower finals, leading to a Goldspan Dragon finals matchup that was ultimately won by Takahashi.[13][14]

Final standings[]

Rank Player Prize money
1 {JPN} Yuta Takahashi $ 70,000
2 {FRA} Jean-Emmanuel Depraz $ 40,000
3 {DEU} Jan-Moritz Merkel $ 25,000
4 {CZE} Ondřej Stráský $ 18,000
5 {USA} Matt Sperling $ 13,500
6 {USA} Sam Pardee $ 13,500
7 {LBN} Eli Kassis $ 10,000
8 {JPN} Yoshihiko Ikawa $ 10,000
9 {JPN} Rei Sato $ 7,500
10 {BRA} Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa $ 7,500
11 {JPN} Noriyuki Mori $ 7,500
12 {CZE} Stanislav Cifka $ 7,500
13 {FRA} Gabriel Nassif $ 5,000


{JPN} Keisuke Sato $ 5,000
15 {USA} Seth Manfield $ 5,000
16 {DEU} Arne Huschenbeth $ 5,000


  1. The partial season in 2020 did not feature a 2020 World Championship.