The Players Tour was the tabletop competitive structure for Magic: The Gathering introduced in 2020. It was planned to effectively replace the Pro Tour and the short-lived Mythic Championships. Regional Players Tours were to serve as qualifiers for a premier event called the Players Tour Finals. Each season's Players Tours and the Mythic Invitationals were to culminate in a World Championship.
It was announced that there would be three regional Players Tours for which Player Points would be awarded:
- Players Tour Americas
- approximately 500 players; $250,000 prize pool
- Players Tour Europe
- approximately 400 players; $200,000 prize pool
- Players Tour Asia-Pacific
- approximately 250 players; $150,000 prize pool
A year-long season of the Players Tour would have have three Players Tour events per region, making a total of nine Players Tours per season. These nine Players Tour events would offer approximately 3,600 invites—double the approximately 1,800 the old Pro Tour/Mythic Championship system offered.
Whilst Players Tour events were regionalized, if you lived in one region but wanted to play in another, you could do that. You were, however, limited to playing in just one regional Players Tour event per Players Tour Finals.
Players Tour Finals
There were supposed to be three Players Tour Finals each year, and these events would have smaller invite lists than Players Tours. Each set of three Players Tour regional events i supposed to feed one Players Tour Final. These events would invite approximately 120 players and would each have a $250,000 prize pool.
Participants were to be:
- Top finishers from Players Tour events (based on record)
- Top finishers from previous Players Tour Finals
- All 24 MPL players
- Each Grand Prix winner in a qualifying season
Doing well at a Players Tour Finals can qualify you for the next Player Tour Finals, depending on your final record. All Finals participants qualify for the next regional Players Tour.
After the 2020 Partial Season was disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic and had to be partially moved to MTG Arena, it was 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. It is unclear if and how high-level tabletop tournaments like the Players Tour will return.
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. Although the digital play was considered to be a lasting part of of the tournament scene, it is 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. Pro Players were told that they should no longer consider success in tournament Magic to be a valid career option. Some form of managing invites for large, Pro-Tour equivalent tournaments will be implemented, and the salaries towards the Leagues would be directed into the prize pool, but no system appears to have been developed at this time.
Although professional play wouldn't be viable anymore (no planes or hotel tickets, no salaries, no guaranteed qualifications for events), competitive play would still exist. This came through with the introduction of the new Premier Play program.
Doing well at a Players Tour would earn you prizes and invites to future Players Tours. Top finishers will be invited to the global Players Tour Finals where you would face off against the most successful players in the world. The final goal was to claim your spot in the Rivals League by earning enough Player Points from the Players Tour and Players Tour Finals events.
Doing well at the Player Tour but not well enough to qualify you for a Final could also qualify you for the next round of Players Tours. This was based on record, not place finish and was similar to how players could string together invites under the old system.
You could qualify for a Players Tour event by winning (or placing very highly) at a Qualifier-level event. These included Players Tour Qualifiers, WPN Qualifiers, Grand Prix, Players Tour Premier Series, and MTGO Qualifiers.
Also qualified were:
- All players from the previous Players Tour Finals
- Top finishers by record from the previous Players Tour
- All MPL players
- All Rivals League players
- Players who finish in the Top 8 or with at least 39 match points at individual Grand Prix
- Top 4 teams and all other teams with at least 36 match points at team Grand Prix
- Last Chance Qualifier winners held the day before Players Tour events
- Players with Hall of Fame status
- Discretionary invitations
- Elaine Chase (August 14, 2019). "The Future of Magic Esports". Magic Esports.
- Wizards of the Coast (March 31, 2022). "Return of the Pro Tour, Your Path to Playing Magic at the Highest Level". Magic.gg.
- Wizards of the Coast (May 20, 2020). "What's Next For the Magic Esports 2020 Partial Season". Magic.gg.
- Elaine Chase (May 29, 2020). "2020 MagicFest And The Future of Tabletop Magic Esports". Magic.gg.
- Wizards of the Coast (May 13, 2021). "Esports: Transitions And Getting Back To The Gathering". Magic.gg.
- Mike Sigrist (May 13, 2021). "We were told and given permission to say that we should no longer consider Magic professionally moving forward.". Twitter.
- The new ORGANIZED PLAY announcement and how it affects competitive players (Video). Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa. YouTube (May 14, 2021).