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DCI logo

The DCI (originally, Duelists' Convocation International[1]) was the official sanctioning body for competitive play in Magic: The Gathering and various other games produced by Wizards of the Coast and Avalon Hill until 2020. Most player-facing aspects of the DCI system are now handled by a player's Wizards Account via the Magic: The Gathering Companion app from Wizards Play Network.

History[ | ]

Created in January 1994, the DCI provided game rules, tournament operating procedures, and other materials to private tournament organizers and players.[2] It also operated a judge certification program to provide consistent rules enforcement and promote fair play. Starting in 2008, and completed in 2020, the DCI has been replaced by the Wizards Play Network.[3]

DCI numbers[ | ]

Up until 2020, players had to register for a free membership and receive a DCI number (PIN) in order to play in sanctioned events.[4] The DCI maintained a global player ratings database using the Elo rating system and members had access to their entire tournament history online. The Elo was once used to qualify for professional play, but it eventually was abandoned as players refused to play and risk their rating once achieved. The Elo was otherwise private, though a fan-tracked system was implemented for interested viewers. If a member committed frequent or flagrant rules infractions, their membership could be suspended for variable amounts of time depending on the severity, from one month to a lifetime.

On May 27, 2020, DCI numbers and Planeswalker Points were sunsetted and access to the Planeswalker Points website was removed.[5] Future in-store play and esports events, as well as other play opportunities, would require players to have a valid Wizards Account which worked with the Magic: The Gathering Companion app and a new event tool for local game stores.

Tournament formats[ | ]

The DCI sanctions tournaments for a variety of games. Unlike those of many other game producers, a significant proportion of DCI events are organized and run by independent businesspeople and hobbyists, as opposed to by retailers.

Magic: The Gathering[ | ]

The DCI maintains three format categories for Magic: Constructed, Eternal, and Limited. Each category supported a number of related tournament formats.

Participation eligibility[ | ]

Major tournaments[ | ]

Pro Tour[ | ]

Magic protour logo

Multiple Pro Tours were run every year around the world. A Pro Tour season began in August (starting with the 2012 season), with an event held roughly every three months, In the months proceeding each Pro Tour, local qualifiers (Pro Tour Qualifiers) are held around the world, where invitations are earned. Players accumulated Pro Points by attending Pro Tour events and can receive many more by placing highly. Pro Tours are invitation-only events, and only players with either a invitation (For most cases, finishing high in Grand Prix or Regional Pro Tour Qualifiers), high number of Pro Points can attend.

Winning a Pro Tour was every competitive Magic player's dream. Currently, each Pro Tour carries a total purse of $240,245 [US], with the winner receiving $40,000 [US] (the exact payout varies by player's match record). Other benefits to top finishers include invitations to future Pro Tours, with the highest-ranking players over the course of several Pro Tour stops receiving additional prize money for participation.

World Championship[ | ]

Magic worlds logo

The most prestigious tournament of all was the Magic: The Gathering World Championship, where the best of the best in previous season played against each other until the world champion was crowned. World Championships used to be played over four to five days, and an invitation was required to be eligible for play. This could be by winning a pro tour, placing very highly in Pro Points ranking, or finishing overall first in either Standard or Limited portion in the previous Pro Tour season.

Grand Prix[ | ]

Magic grandprix logo

Grand Prix tournaments were open to everyone, both amateurs and professionals. The payout wasn't as big as for a Pro Tour and winning a Grand Prix was not as prestigious, but they still attracted international competition, as Pro Points and Pro Tour invitations were awarded to high finishing players.

Invitational[ | ]

Main article: Magic Invitational

The Magic Invitational (formerly the Duelist Invitational) was a non-sanctioned tournament held for the 16 highest performers of the year. The winner of the World Championship, the Pro Tour Player of the Year, and several fan-voted players were among the contestants in a who's-who of professional Magic. The prize of this tournament is not money but rather the opportunity to design a new card for an upcoming expansion. When the card is printed, its artwork traditionally depicts the victor as well. It was retired after 2007 running.

Other tournaments[ | ]

Prerelease tournaments were held in hundreds of locations around the world twelve to thirteen days before each new expansion, or set, is available for sale in stores. The prerelease provided a casual play atmosphere and provides an enjoyable atmosphere to get a preview of new cards. At Prelease tournaments, a special prerelease card is given away.

Friday Night Magic (FNM) and Arena League (now defunct) were offered in many local game stores and clubs, allowing local players to compete for special foil DCI promo cards and other prizes.

Many other stores, school clubs, and community groups held DCI-sanctioned events on a regular basis. Events are also held at almost all gaming conventions, such as Origins International Game Expo and Gen Con.

Changes[ | ]

Legend membership program[ | ]

The DCI originally offered two different membership levels: The free Mana membership and the USD$30 Legend membership. While the Mana membership was sufficient to participate in DCI sanctioned tournaments, the Legend membership provided some additional items, including membership promos[6] and a Magic poker deck. In 2001 the Legend Membership Program was replaced by the Magic Player Rewards program.

Planeswalker Points[ | ]

As of September 2011, a new system called Planeswalker Points was used instead of Pro Points. Planeswalker Points was designed to let all players, from casual to competitive to pro, track and show off how much they play and win in Magic events.[7] Starting in 2012, the number of large-scale tournaments were significantly increased.[8][9][10]

Retirement[ | ]

On May 27, 2020 Planeswalker Points and DCI numbers were sunsetted and access to the Planeswalker Points website was removed.[5] Future in-store play and esports events, as well as other play opportunities, would require players to have a valid Wizards Account which worked with the Magic: The Gathering Companion from Wizards Play Network. This effectively also retired the DCI[3], although is still exist in name (see Tournament Rules).

References[ | ]

  1. Magic Arcana (August 06, 2009). "The First DCI Tournament". Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Jason Carl (June 01, 2009). "The DCI Organizes Magic Play". Wizards of the Coast.
  3. a b Steven Asarch (May 27, 2020). "'Magic: The Gathering' Retires DCI and Planeswalkers Points to Players Chagrin".
  4. Magic Arcana (March 05, 2009). "The Lowest DCI Number". Wizards of the Coast.
  5. a b Wizards of the Coast (April 27, 2020). "Sunsetting Planeswalker Points".
  6. Magic Arcana (April 11, 2003). "DCI promo cards". Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Mike Turian (September 06, 2011). "Introducing Planeswalker Points.". Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Wizards of the Coast (April 14, 2011). "Changes to 2012 Tournament and Event Structure". Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Aaron Forsythe (November 02, 2011). "Deep Dive into Magic's Organized Play Changes". Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Helene Bergeot (December 23, 2011). "Addressing Changes to 2012 Magic Premier Play". Wizards of the Coast.

External links[ | ]