|Players Tour Series 2|
|Date||June 13, 2020 - August 1, 2020|
Players Tour Series 2 was originally planned to be played on tabletop in May, 2020 in Copenhagen, Denmark (for Europe), Charlotte, USA (for the Americas) and Kitakyushu, Japan (for Asia-Pacific). The Finals had been planned for Minneapolis, USA on July 10–12, 2020. These events were canceled due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and replaced by a series of events on MTG Arena.
There were four tournaments. Qualified players could play in only one of their choosing.
All players were invited that were on the invitation list for 2020 Players Tour (Series 2), including all outstanding qualifications, those earned through fractional invites, and earned through Events awarding Players Tour qualification that took place prior to these Players Tour events. Invitations couldn't be deferred as no future Players Tour events will be scheduled in 2020. There was a total of 918 invitees.
Each event used the following structure:
- 15 Swiss rounds
All players that finished with 33 or more match points qualified for the 2020 Players Tour Finals.
There was a $150,000 prize pool per Players Tour event (First Place: $8,000).
Players Tour Online 1
- Jun 13, 2020: 12:00 AM PDT
The players field comprised among others 6 members from the MPL, 5 from the Rivals League and 12 Hall of Famers. Although scheduled to fall into proper daytime hours for Europeans, the single biggest national contingent came from Japan: a total of 35 players. Overall, 195 players signed up to compete in the first Players Tour event run on MTG Arena, and fought through nine rounds of Standard. Following the most recent bannings and rules change, Temur Reclamation became the deck to beat (claiming a metagame share of 40.5%). Five players ended 8-1 (Elias Watsfeldt, Joonas Eloranta, HoF-er Kenji Tsumura and Sergio Garcia Gonzalez, all on Temur Reclamation, and Rivals League player Louis-Samuel Deltour running Bant Ramp), and 96 players in total continued to Day Two.
On day 2, 45.8% of the players played Temur Reclamation. 58.3% of the Top 24 — that is, everyone who finished with a record of 10-5 or better, with eight players at 11-4. Among the Top 8 were two brothers: Dominik and Simon Görtzen, a feat not seen at the highest levels since the Ruels in 2006.
|1||Elias Watsfeldt||$8,000||None awarded||Temur Reclamation|
|2||Dominik Görtzen||$7,000||Temur Reclamation|
|3||Joonas Eloranta||$6,000||Temur Reclamation|
|4||Louis-Samuel Deltour||$5,000||Bant Ramp||Rivals League, Second Top Finish|
|5||Simon Görtzen||$4,500||Temur Reclamation||Rivals League, Second Top Finish|
|6||Shinsuke Hayashi||$4,500||Bant Ramp|
|7||Jeong Woo Cho||$4,000||Temur Reclamation|
|8||Kazuhiro Noine||$4,000||Temur Reclamation|
Players Tour Online 2
- Jun 13, 2020: 9:00 AM PDT
There were 242 players who competed in Players Tour Online 2, and Temur Reclamation comprised 30% of the field. In the end, just one player went undefeated. Eduardo Sajgalik brought a tweaked version of the newly resurgent Jund Sacrifice deck, and finished a perfect 9-0. 119 players went through to Day 2.
|1||Ryuji Murae||$8,000||None awarded||Temur Reclamation|
|2||Jean-Emmanuel Depraz||$7,000||Temur Reclamation||MPL, Third Top Finish|
|3||Allison Warfield||$6,000||Temur Reclamation||Rivals League|
|4||Christoffer Larsen||$5,000||Jund Sacrifice|
|5||Eduardo Sajgalik||$4,500||Jund Sacrifice||Third Top Finish|
|6||Eli Loveman||$4,500||Rakdos Sacrifice||Rivals League, Second Top Finish|
|7||Kevin Antonio Perez||$4,000||Sultai Ramp||First Guatemalan/Central American Top Finish|
|8||Abe Corrigan||$4,000||Temur Reclamation|
Players Tour Online 3
- Jun 19, 2020: 5:00 PM PDT
151 players signed up for tournament 3. Again, the most-played non-land cards were Growth Spiral, Mystical Dispute, Shark Typhoon, Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath, and Aether Gust, in that order. What was surprising, however, was that the top spot in the metagame chart was taken not by Temur Reclamation (23.8%) but by Bant Ramp (24.5%). The consensus belief was that Bant Ramp had a good matchup against Temur Reclamation, the deck that everyone was gunning for after the previous weekend. The surprising challenger archetype was Rakdos Knights, an archetype not even present in the previous weekend, largely due to the anti-aggro deck of Jund Sacrifice dropping in popularity after a weaker showing. Orzhov Yorion was the breakout deck of the day, not on its quantity, but on the prestige of its pilots: Brad Nelson, Ben Stark, Eric Froehlich, Seth Manfield and in the next event Shahar Shenhar and William Jensen all registered the deck. Two others also registered the deck, making it a rare instance where the pros championed a deck so far ahead of the metagame that few others did. Although Stark fell in the quarterfinals and Manfield narrowly missed in tenth place, they cemented Orzhov Yorion as a powerful new addition to the competitive Standard metagame.
|1||William Craddock||$8,000||None awarded||Jund Sacrifice|
|2||Rei Hirayama||$7,000||Temur Reclamation|
|3||Iurii Babych||$6,000||Sultai Ramp|
|4||Dennis Chan||$5,000||Bant Ramp|
|5||Isaac Egan||$4,500||Jund Sacrifice|
|6||Logan Nettles||$4,500||Temur Reclamation|
|7||Ben Stark||$4,000||Yorion Orzhov Blink||Rivals League, Eighth Top Finish|
|8||Joshua Chan||$4,000||Rakdos Sacrifice|
Players Tour Online 4
- Jun 20, 2020: 6:00 AM PDT
The East-Coast-friendly 4th tournament was the biggest of the four with 315 players, having the remaining players and many who waited for the metagame data of the previous week. Reclamation's dominance trended down, but not the extent of the PT3: it was the most popular, but only 26.4% wielded the deck. As above, Bant and Knights were the other top decks, though six other decks had 10 or more registrants. A surprising 28.3% proportion of the decks were classified rogue decks with less than 10 pilots each - higher than even most Modern events. 152 players participated in Day 2. The Top 8 itself was stacked with a mix of the game’s biggest names from history and a crop of skilled rising players. Temur Reclamation reigned supreme, with four copies in the Top 8.
|1||Akira Asahara||$8,000||None awarded||Temur Reclamation||Fourth Top Finish|
|2||Thomas White||$7,000||Azorius Control|
|3||Gabriel Nassif||$6,000||Azorius Control||MPL, 12th Top Finish|
|4||Arne Huschenbeth||$5,000||Temur Reclamation|
|5||Thomas Hendriks||$4,500||Bant Flash||Third Top Finish|
|6||Tomasz Sodomirski||$4,500||Temur Reclamation|
|7||Pesach Israeli||$4,000||Bant Ramp|
|8||Alexander Hayne||$4,000||Temur Reclamation||Rivals League, Third Top Finish|
The Players Tour Finals for Series 2 took place on July 25-26, 2020, with Top 8 playoff occurring the following weekend on Saturday, August 1.
145 players qualified for the Players Tour Finals:
- All MPL members;
- All players who had qualified for the Players Tour Finals in Houston (Players Tour Series 1);
- Top finishers from Players Tour events (based on record)
- Top finishers from previous Players Tour Finals
- Each Grand Prix winner in the qualifying season
- All players who had qualified for the cancelled Players Tour Finals in Minneapolis;
- All players who finished with 33 or more match points in the four Players Tour events held the weekends of June 13-14 and June 19-21;
- The winner and finalist of each MagicFest Online Season Finals event.
The Players Tour Finals used the following structure:
- 14 Swiss rounds
- Day 1: 7 Rounds of Standard Constructed. All players with 12 or more match points after day 1 will advance to day 2
- Day 2: 7 Rounds of Standard Constructed
- Top 8: Standard Constructed (played on the following weekend on August 1)
The Top 16 players qualified for the 2020 Season Grand Finals.
There was a $250,000 prize pool (First Place: $10,000).
The third-party tournaments in the time between the Players Tour and the Finals showed that Temur's dominance was not really going to leave, with strong players keeping the deck on top. However, it gained few tools with the release of Core Set 2021, whereas most other decks got enough upgrades - notably Scavenging Ooze in multiple archetypes - that while Temur had access to all the tools it needed to beat every deck in the format, it couldn't do all at once, and this opening was where three monocolored aggro decks (Green, White and Black) and Bant collectively got edges over Temur. The biggest innovation for Temur was in fact adding White for Teferi and superior point removal spells, but naturally skewed the mana to more taplands and more shocks, supposedly beating the mirror and the known anti-Reclamation card Rotting Regisaur.
For the event, 68.3% of the field were running Growth Spiral-Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath decks, with 57 Temur players, 22 4C Reclamation players, and 17 Bant players, with the next most popular deck being Mono-Green aggro with 9 pilots, with Mono-White aggro just behind at 8 pilots. However, decklist analysis shows a low rate of Flame Sweep and Storm's Wrath registered in Temur, which suggests the aggro decks may have an edge against the unprepared pilots.
There were 145 players who qualified for the Players Tour Finals. By the end of Day One and after seven games there was only one undefeated player: Kristof Prinz, from Hannover, Germany. Like more than 50% of the field, Prinz was playing a Wilderness Reclamation deck. His was 4-colored. Lurking just behind him were plenty of notable names. Pro Tour 25th Anniversary winner Allen Wu lost to Prinz in the last round, and next to him at 6-1 were Magic Pro League members Seth Manfield and Piotr Glogowski.
Just 74 players returned on Sunday for Day Two and a shot at the Top 8. Allen Wu and Patrick Fernandes were the first to reach the requisite 10 wins, drawing with each other then with Raphael Levy (over Rei Sato) and Riku Kumagai (over Andrew Baeckstrom). Prinz, who had a 10-1 record early, could only draw in the last round after two more losses, with Michael Jacob, who won over Ivan Floch. Gloglowski was paired down against Larsen, whose exceptional breakers got him into the Top 8 with a win despite being at 6-4. Finally, Benjamin Weitz, also paired down from 10-3, fought off Baeckstrom for the first seed.
After the second day, sixteen players had qualified for the 2020 Season Grand Finals:
The top 8 battled it out in the next week. In the finals, Kristof Prinz battled Riku Kumagai, who had eliminated Reclamation players throughout the tournament with a Mono-Black Aggro deck built specifically to prey on the ramp deck's weaknesses. In the end, it was Prinz's 4C Reclamation that won the day.
|1||Kristof Prinz||$10,000||None awarded||4C Reclamation|
|2||Riku Kumagai||$8,000||Mono-Black Aggro|
|3||Michael Jacob||$7,000||Mardu Winota|
|4||Allen Wu||$6,000||Temur Reclamation|
|5||Patrick Fernandes||$5,000||Temur Reclamation|
|6||Christoffer Larsen||$5,000||Jund Sacrifice|
|7||Ben Weitz||$5,000||4C Reclamation|
|8||Raphael Levy||$5,000||Azorius Control||MPL|
- Wizards of the Coast (April 1, 2020). "Esports Update: MPL, Rivals, and Competitor 2020 Partial Season Changes". Magic.gg.
- Tobi Henke (June 14, 2020). "Players Tour Online 1 Day 1 Highlights". Magic.gg.
- Tobi Henke (June 15, 2020). "Players Tour Online 1 Day 2 Highlights". Magic.gg.
- Corbin Hosler (June 14, 2020). "Players Tour Online 2 Day 1 Highlights". Magic.gg.
- Corbin Hosler (June 15, 2020). "Players Tour Online 2 Day 2 Highlights". Magic.gg.
- Frank Karsten (June 20, 2020). "Players Tour Online 3 Day 1 Highlights". Magic.gg.
- Frank Karsten (June 21, 2020). "Players Tour Online 3 Day 2 Highlights". Magic.gg.
- Corbin Hosler (June 21, 2020). "Players Tour Online 4 Day 1 Highlights". Magic.gg.
- Corbin Hosler (June 22, 2020). "Players Tour Online 4 Day 2 Highlights". Magic.gg.
- Wizards of the Coast (June 24, 2020). "2020 Players Tour Finals Invitations". Magic.gg.
- Frank Karsten (July 24, 2020). "Players Tour Finals Metagame Breakdown". Magic.gg.
- Corbin Hosler (July 26, 2020). "Players Tour Finals Day One Highlights". Magic.gg.
- Corbin Hosler (July 26, 2020). "Players Tour Finals Day Two Highlights". Magic.gg.
- Corbin Hosler (August 1, 2020). "Players Tour Finals Top 8 Highlights". Magic.gg.