2019 World Championship

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2019 World Championship
Date February 14-16 2020
Location Honolulu, Hawaii
Format Standard and Theros Beyond Death Booster draft
Prize pool $1,000,000
Winner Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa
Previous Worlds:
2018
Next Worlds:
2021
World Championship XXVI.png

The 2019 Magic World Championship, promoted as World Championship XXVI, was held on February 14-16 2020 in Honolulu, Hawaii.[1][2]

Description[edit | edit source]

Sixteen players concluded a groundbreaking year for esports and competitive gaming in Magic by vying for $1 million in prizes. Only the best MPL players and Challengers were invited.[3] The championship for the first time was played exclusively on MTG Arena (a decision met by criticism from tabletop players[4]). With $300,000 for first place it featured the largest individual prize in Magic history.[5]

Qualification[edit | edit source]

The sixteen slots were spread out across tabletop Magic and MTG Arena qualification paths. They included:

Country Player Method of qualification
{ESP} Javier Dominguez 2018 World Champion

Mythic Championship V (MTG Arena) winner

Most Mythic Points of MPL

{GB-ENG} Autumn Burchett Mythic Championship I (Cleveland) winner
{USA} Eli Loveman Mythic Championship II (London) winner
{ARG} Matias Leveratto Mythic Championship III (MTG Arena) winner
{DEU} Thoralf Severin Mythic Championship IV (Barcelona) winner
{FRA} Jean-Emmanuel Depraz1 Mythic Championship V (MTG Arena) runner-up
{CZE} Ondřej Stráský Mythic Championship VI (Richmond) winner

3rd most Mythic Points of Challengers

{POL} Piotr Glogowski Mythic Championship VII (MTG Arena) winner
{ITA} Andrea Mengucci 2nd most Mythic Points of MPL
{USA} Seth Manfield 3rd most Mythic Points of MPL
{PRT} Marcio Carvalho 4th most Mythic Points of MPL
{BRA} Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa 5th most Mythic Points of MPL
{USA} Chris Kvartek Most Mythic Points of Challengers
{FRA} Raphael Levy 2nd most Mythic Points of Challengers
{FRA} Gabriel Nassif 4th most Mythic Points of Challengers
{ARG} Sebastian Pozzo 5th most Mythic Points of Challengers
^1 As already-qualified Javier Dominguez won Mythic Championship V, the spot was passed down to the runner-up.

Schedule[edit | edit source]

Friday, February 14

Unlike previous iterations of Worlds, the structure had changed from Swiss pairings into a series of double-elimination brackets. As there were no points to be awarded, this allowed for hard eliminations throughout, two 0-2 players at a time. At the conclusion of Day One, four winning players have advanced to the Top 8 on Day Two while eight more remain in the field to fight for those last four slots in the in Top 8.

Saturday, February 15

At the conclusion of Day Two, four winning players have advanced to the Sunday Top 4 playoff.

Sunday, February 16

  • Upper Finals
  • Lower Finals
  • Grand Finals

Proceedings[edit | edit source]

Day 1[edit | edit source]

Day 1 split the 16 players into two pods of eight for three rounds of draft, then players with two wins sorted into winners brackets and two losses into elimination groups for three rounds of Standard. The standard metagame was the first since the 2016 World Championship to not be a binary format, with a nearly-clean quartered metagame of four Temur Wilderness Reclamation, four Jeskai Fires of Invention, three Azorius Control, and four Mono-Red aggro, with the outlier of Glogowski's Jund Sacrifice.In the elimination group, players were fighting for their tournament lives, with the Top 4 players advancing to the play-in group on Day 2 and the losers being eliminated from the event.[7]

In the elimination group, Sebastian Pozzo and Piotr Glogowski went 2–0 to make the play-in group, while Jean-Emmanuel Depraz and Thoralf Severin won their 1-1 matches against Andrea Mengucci and Ondrej Strasky to keep their tournament hopes alive. Mengucci and Strasky were eliminated with their loses, as were the 0-2 players Matias Leveratto and Javier Dominguez.

In the winners group, players were competing to advance directly to the Top 8 bracket on Day 2. Marico Carvalho went 2–0 to complete an undefeated Day 1 and stamp his ticket in the Top 8, where he was joined by the other 2-0 Standard player Eli Loveman. Manfield, who lost to Carvalho in the 1-0 bracket, went on to defeat Autumn Burchett in the battle of the 1-1 players to advance to the Top 8, as did Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa, who defeated Gabriel Nassif to advance to the Top 8. Burchett and Nassif still advanced to Day 2 but will be forced to compete in the play-in group for their shot at the Top 8, as will the 0-2 Standard players Chris Kvartek and Raphael Levy.

Day 2[edit | edit source]

The middle 8 players were to be halved in the first session of Saturday. In two matches, Glogowski and Severin were eliminated, with Depraz and Pozzo advancing. Nassif lost his third match against Kvartek, and Burchett defeated Levy for the last spot.[8] The upper 4 bracket and bottom 4 bracket played concurrently - Damo da Rosa and Carvalho survived the upper half, Manfield bounced back from a loss to Damo da Rosa, and Nassif was the sole challenger surviving the lower field scrap.

Day 3[edit | edit source]

With the unique structure of World Championship XXVI, both Carvalho and Damo da Rosa played seven matches over three days to reach the Grand Finals.[9] The other two players in Sunday's Top 4, Gabriel Nassif and Seth Manfield, played a total of 12 and nine matches, respectively. Carvalho advanced through both Days 1 and 2 undefeated to make it to the Top 4, while Damo da Rosa suffered one loss—to Carvalho on Day 1—on his way to the Top 4. The players met again in the upper bracket finals in the Top 4, where Damo da Rosa came out victorious two games to one to advance to the Grand Finals, knocking Carvalho into the lower bracket finals. Manfield fought his way through the back half of the lower bracket to reach the lower finals and battle Carvalho for the second spot in the Grand Finals. Carvalho emerged victorious two matches to one to set up a rubber match with Damo da Rosa in the Grand Finals. After three intense days of Magic, it all came down to four best-of-three matches to crown a World Champion, with Damo da Rosa coming out victorious.

Final standings[edit | edit source]

Rank Player Prize money
1 {BRA} Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa $ 300,000
2 {PRT} Marcio Carvalho $ 150,000
3 {USA} Seth Manfield $ 100,000
4 {FRA} Gabriel Nassif $ 75,000
5 {ARG} Sebastian Pozzo $ 62,500
6 {USA} Eli Loveman $ 62,500
7 {FRA} Jean-Emmanuel Depraz $ 50,000
8 {GB-ENG} Autumn Burchett $ 50,000
9 {POL} Piotr Glogowski $ 25,000
10 {USA} Chris Kvartek $ 25,000
11 {FRA} Raphael Levy $ 25,000
12 {DEU} Thoralf Severin $ 25,000
13 {CZE} Ondřej Stráský $ 12,500

14

{ESP} Javier Dominguez $ 12,500
15 {ITA} Andrea Mengucci $ 12,500
16 {ARG} Matias Leveratto $ 12,500

Since Magic World Championship XXVI actually concluded the 2018–19 Pro Tour Season, there were no Mythic Points to be won.

Notes and references[edit | edit source]

  1. Elaine Chase (August 14, 2019). "The Future of Magic Esports". Magic Esports.
  2. Wizards of the Coast (February 3, 2020). "World Championship XXVI Survival Guide". Magic.gg.
  3. Wizards of the Coast (February 20, 2019). "How to Become The Next Magic Champion: Qualifying for Mythic Championships and Worlds". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Cody Gravelle (December 10, 2019). "Magic Worlds Being Played Only On MTG Arena is a Mistake & Here's Why". Screenrant.com.
  5. Wizards of the Coast (December 6, 2019). "Find Your Champion at Magic World Championship XXVI". Magic Esports.
  6. a b If a player in the Top 4 earned an invitation through another means, that qualification slot passed down to the next highest Mythic Point earner.
  7. David McCoy (February 15, 2020). "World Championship XXVI Day 1 Recap". Hipsters of the Coast.
  8. David McCoy (February 16, 2020). "World Championship XXVI Day 2 Recap". Hipsters of the Coast.
  9. David McCoy (February 17, 2020). "Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa Wins World Championship XXVI". Hipsters of the Coast.