Grand Prix

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A Grand Prix, frequently abbreviated GP, is a type of DCI-sanctioned Magic: The Gathering tournament. Grand Prix events are open to all players, with no need to qualify for the event, unlike a Pro Tour event.[1][2] As a result, these tournaments have the largest turnouts of any Magic tournaments.

Grand Prix events are split over two days, with the top players advancing to Day 2 and a final single elimination top eight playoff taking place at the end of Day 2.

Structure[edit | edit source]

Currently, Grand Prix are two-day events with nine rounds of Swiss on day one, and six rounds on day two (five for team events), followed by a top eight playoff (top four for team events). In the past, Grand Prix had rounds according to the size of the event; individual Grand Prix events had 11 to 17 rounds of Swiss, but present-day individual events have 15 rounds regardless of size, while team events have 14.

In order to advance to the second day of competition, players need to have at least 18 match points (a 6–3 record).[3]

Grand Prix events are either Limited, Team Limited, Standard, Modern, or Legacy, and starting in 2017, Team Modern.[4] For Limited Grand Prix, day one of competition is Sealed deck, while day two is Booster draft. For Team Limited Grand Prix, the Swiss portion is Team Sealed, while the single elimination is Team Draft.

Prizes[edit | edit source]

Grand Prix events' prize purse depends on the size of the tournament, with a minimum of $50,000.[5] Starting in 2016, the winner of individual Grand Prix earns $10,000.[3][6]

Attendance Individual GP Team GP
Up to 2,999 $50,000 $60,000
3,000+ $75,000 $84,000

The prize money is distributed as follows:

Grand Prix prize money distribution
Place (individual) Prize Place (team) Prize (per team)
1 $10,000 1 $15,000
2 $5,000 2 $7,500
3–4 $2,500 3–4 $3,750
5–8 $1,500 5–8 $2,100
9–16 $1,000 9–12 $1,800
17–32 $500 13–16 $1,500
33–64 $250 17–20 $1,200
65–100 (only if 3,000+ players) $250 21–24 $900
101–180 (only if 3,000+ players) $200 25–30 (only if 3,000+ players) $900
31–42 (only if 3,000+ players) $750
43–58 (only if 3,000+ players) $600

For individual Grand Prix events, players with 30 or more match points (equal to a 10–5 record) earn Pro Points. At team Grand Prix events, teams with 30 or more match points (a 10–4 record) get Pro Points.[5]

Individual Grand Prix Pro Point payout:

Finish Pro Points
1st 8
2nd 6
Top 4 5
Top 8 4
39+ points 4
36–38 points 3
33–35 points 2
30–32 points 1

Team Grand Prix Pro Point payout:

Finish Pro Points
1st 6
2nd 5
Top 4 4
34+ points 4
33 points 3
31–32 points 2
30 points 1

Additionally, the top finishers at Grand Prix events qualify for the Pro Tour it feeds. All players in the top eight receive an invitation. Additionally, for individual Grand Prix, all players with 39 or more match points (a 13–2 record) win an invitation; for team Grand Prix, players on teams with 36 or more match points (a 12–2 record) receive invitations. Starting with the 2015–16 season, players who earn invitations this way also get free airfare.

Byes[edit | edit source]

It is possible to earn free wins (byes) at individual Grand Prix events by fulfilling various requirements. Byes are awarded at the start of the first day of competition; a player with three byes gets an automatic win in the first three rounds of a Grand Prix.

The requirements for byes are as follows:

  • One bye:
    • Have 1,300 Yearly Planeswalker Points (current season or previous season)
    • Be Bronze-level in the Pro Players Club
  • Two byes:
    • Have 2,250 Yearly Planeswalker Points (current season or previous season)
    • Be Silver-level in the Pro Players Club
    • Win a Grand Prix Trial
  • Three byes:

Previously, winning a Grand Prix Trial or having a sufficient number of Planeswalker Points (or a high enough DCI Rating, prior to 2012) could make a player earn three byes; however, the requirement for three byes has been tightened, as Wizards found the number of three-round byes awarded to be detrimental to tournament play.[7]

No byes are awarded at Team Limited events.

Grand Prix Trials[edit | edit source]

Grand Prix Trials, or GPTs, are tournaments associated with a particular Grand Prix, often using the same format. Winning a GPT will give a player two byes (previously three) for the Grand Prix it feeds. Until Grand Prix Las Vegas 2017, GPTs were held locally around the world, and at the Grand Prix itself; current GPTs are held on the day before the main event (the Friday), and are 32-player single elimination tournaments.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The largest Grand Prix tournament of all time was GP Las Vegas 2015 (Modern Masters 2015 Limited), with 7,551 players. However, this event was split into two Grand Prix; if these are counted as separate events, the largest Grand Prix was GP Las Vegas 2013 (Modern Masters Limited), with 4,500 players.
    • The largest Standard Grand Prix: GP Tokyo 2016 – 3,335 players
    • The largest Modern Grand Prix: GP Richmond 2014 – 4,303 players
    • The largest Extended Grand Prix: GP Atlanta 2011 – 1,223 players
    • The largest Legacy Grand Prix: GP New Jersey 2014 – 4,003 players
    • The largest Block Constructed Grand Prix: GP Madrid 2004 – 1,465 players
    • The largest Team Limited Grand Prix: GP Washington, D.C. 2016 – 3,366 players (1,122 teams)
  • The smallest Grand Prix tournaments of all time were both in Melbourne: GP Melbourne 1998 (Limited) and GP Melbourne 2005 (Extended), both with 140 players.
  • The most successful Grand Prix player of all time is Japanese professional player Shuhei Nakamura, with seven wins in 28 top eights.
    • Notably, all of Nakamura's wins were at Limited Grand Prix events.
    • Yuuya Watanabe and Kai Budde also have seven Grand Prix wins, but they have 26 and 15 top eights, respectively.
    • Olivier Ruel also has 28 top eights, but only five wins.
  • No player has finished a Grand Prix with a perfect record (no draws or losses). The closest was Jeremey Schofield, who lost in the finals of GP Vancouver 2012 to David Stroud after finishing the Swiss rounds 15–0.[8]
    • Five additional players have finished the Swiss portion of the event 15–0: Kevin Grove at GP Brighton 2009,[9] Fabrizio Anteri at GP Madrid 2015,[10] Josh Buitenhuis at GP Toronto 2016,[11] Mike Sigrist at GP New York 2016,[12] and Brian Braun-Duin at GP Richmond 2017.[13] All five players lost in the quarterfinals.
    • Germany's Christoph Hölzl posted a 14–0 record for the Swiss portion of Grand Prix London 2002, but lost in the finals to Jakub Slemr.[14] Rene Kraft did the same at Grand Prix Birmingham 2004, losing in the finals to Stefan Jedlicka.[15]
  • The oldest Grand Prix winner at the time of the win was American Tom Swan, who was 50 years old when he won Grand Prix Boston 2001.[16]
  • Nine players have won two consecutive Grand Prix events:
    • Kai Budde won GP Barcelona on 6–7 February 1999, and then GP Vienna on 13–14 March 1999.
    • Daniel Clegg won GP Turin on 26–27 May 2001, and then GP Taipei on 21–22 July 2001 (both of these were Team Limited Grand Prix).
    • Kenji Tsumura won GP Kuala Lumpur on 3–4 June 2006, and then GP Toulouse on 24–25 June 2006.
    • Shuhei Nakamura won GP St. Louis on 22–23 July 2006, and then GP Hiroshima on 19–20 August 2006.
    • Raphaël Lévy won GP Dallas on 24–25 February 2007, and then GP Singapore on 3–4 March 2007.
    • Tomoharu Saito won GP Singapore on 21–22 March 2009, and then GP Kobe on 18–19 April 2009.
    • Yuuya Watanabe won GP Shanghai on 20–21 August 2011, and then GP Pittsburgh on 27–28 August 2011.
    • Owen Turtenwald won GP Washington, D.C. on 16–17 November 2013, and then GP Albuquerque on 23–24 November 2013.
    • William Jensen won GP Cleveland (as a member of team Peach Garden Oath) on 24–25 June 2017, and then GP Kyoto on 22–23 July 2017.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Reid Duke. (May 18, 2015.) “Playing in a Grand Prix: Part I”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Reid Duke. (May 25, 2015.) “Playing in a Grand Prix: Part II”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  3. a b Pro Tour Magic Origins Tournament Center: Organized Play Announcement from Helene Bergeot. YouTube (2015-08-02). Retrieved on 2015-10-02.
  4. Bergeot, Helene (2016-08-02). PRO TOUR ELDRITCH MOON ORGANIZED PLAY ANNOUNCEMENT. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2016-08-02.
  5. a b GRAND PRIX. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2015-09-30.
  6. 2016 GRAND PRIX UPDATES. Wizards of the Coast (2015-09-10). Retrieved on 2015-10-02.
  7. Grand Prix Byes to be Set by Yearly Planeswalker Points Total. Wizards of the Coast (2014-05-29). Retrieved on 2015-09-30.
  8. STROUD STANDS PROUD IN VANCOUVER. Wizards of the Coast (2012-06-24). Retrieved on 2016-05-01.
  9. “Here, I Ruel”. Wizards of the Coast (2009-08-08). Retrieved on 2015-09-30.
  10. TELAROV TAKES OFF IN MADRID. Wizards of the Coast (2015-09-13). Retrieved on 2015-09-30.
  11. GRAND PRIX TORONTO. Retrieved on 2016-05-01.
  12. GRAND PRIX NEW YORK 2016. Retrieved on 2016-05-08.
  13. GRAND PRIX RICHMOND 2017. Retrieved on 2017-05-09.
  14. 2002 Grand Prix London Coverage. Wizards of the Coast (2002-08-31). Retrieved on 2015-09-30.
  15. Live Coverage of 2004 Grand Prix Birmingham. Wizards of the Coast (2004-03-28). Retrieved on 2015-09-30.
  16. 2001 Grand Prix Boston Coverage. Wizards of the Coast (2001-02-25). Retrieved on 2015-10-05.

External links[edit | edit source]