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Organized Play (or OP) is the worldwide program for all levels of sanctioned tournaments of Magic: The Gathering.

History[ | ]

In January 1994, the DCI was created to provide game rules, tournament operating procedures, and other materials to private tournament organizers and players.[1]

Over the next decades, the DCI filled several roles in Magic's organized play. It maintained policy documents as changes were needed, addressed new questions, and supported new product releases. It maintained the registration systems for both players and sanctioned tournaments. It also operated a judge certification program to provide consistent rules enforcement and promote fair play.

Over time, the roles of the DCI were gradually absorbed by other organizations, such as Wizards of the Coast itself through its Wizards Play Network (WPN) program, or through the independent Judge Program. Part of the 2008 Wizards Play Network rebrand was "in response to feedback from organizers, particularly retailers". This also opened up Magic pre-release tournaments to participating WPN stores. The WPN was designed to include "a wider range of casual formats, including leagues, Multiplayer, and team play.

To play in sanctioned events, players must register for membership. Previously, players would receive a DCI Number. In 2017, players were encouraged to create a Wizards Account which would include a player's DCI number. Starting in 2020, there was a transition to sanctioned events requiring a player to have a Wizards Account instead of a DCI number. If a member commits frequent or flagrant rules infractions, their membership can be suspended for variable amounts of time depending on the severity, from one month to a lifetime.

The WPN previously maintained a global player rating database of Pro Points based on a variation of the Elo rating system; and later based on Planeswalker Points, earned for participating in events as well as for each win. Members had access to their entire tournament history online. However, in 2020, both the database and Planeswalker Points were retired.

The stepped structure of organized play made it possible for some players to rise through the ranks and make a professional living from their tournament winnings. This was encouraged by Wizards of the Coast by the creation of the Magic Pro League in 2019.

In March 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Wizards of the Coast suspended in-store events in North America, Europe, and Latin America. In response to the in-person suspension, Wizards of the Coast launched the Friday Night Magic at Home program utilizing Magic: The Gathering Arena.

Ending professional play[ | ]

In May 2021, Magic Esports announced a return to in-person play post-COVID-19 for the 2022–23 Players Tour Season.[2] Although the digital play was considered to be a lasting part of of the tournament scene, it was deemed to be only part of the equation going forward. As a result, the 2021–22 Players Tour Season was announced to be the last season featuring the MPL and the Rivals League.[2] Pro Players were told that they should no longer consider success in tournament Magic to be a valid career option.[3][4]

Premier Play[ | ]

In 2022, William "Huey" Jensen retired from the Rivals League for a position at Wizards of the Coast as the Director of Play Programs.[5] In this capacity he oversees the full range of Magic organized play programs from high-level competitions to new suits of social and casual play.

For the highest levels of competitive play, he organized the Premier Play program.[6]

Other programs[ | ]

Other programs that Jensen oversees are a.o. FNM, Commander Party events and Store Championships.

References[ | ]