Pro Players Club

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The Pro Players Club is a system set up by Wizards of the Coast to reward players on the Magic: The Gathering Pro Tour. It was announced in May 2005 by Randy Buehler and replaced several older and more complicated sytems like the end-of-the-year payout. It took effect with Pro Tour London in 2005. The Pro Players Club was terminated in 2019, when Magic Esports were introduced with the Magic Pro League and Mythic Championships on MTG Arena.[1]

There were four ranks in the Pro Players Club: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum.[2][3]

History[edit | edit source]

Prior to the establishment of the Pro Players Club, Wizards had experimented with various ways of enabling a pro lifestyle by giving top players a method of somewhat regular income. The first of these was the Masters Series, introduced for the 2000–01 season. Each event took place prior to the Pro Tour and in the same city; the top players in the world were invited to a 32-person single-elimination tournament with a cash prize of $150,000.[4] The Masters series was phased out following the 2002–03 season, as the single-elimination nature of the event proved too volatile and high variance, and too low profile next to the Pro Tour taking place almost simultaneously. In its place, the End-of-Year Payout system was introduced. This system paid the top fifty finishers in the Player of the Year race a total of $635,000 at the end of each season; however, this was phased out during the next season, as it did not give immediate rewards to players for traveling to events, and it failed to encourage top players to stay on the Pro Tour for the next season.[5]

The Pro Players Club was introduced on the 2nd of May, 2005.[6] It featured a system with six levels based on Pro Points earned during the previous season, where a level 3 player would be invited to all Pro Tours, and level 6 players were also given significant appearance fees for attending Grand Prix and Pro Tour events, as well as airfare and a hotel room for all Pro Tours. Exact benefits and level requirements have since changed over the years, and prior to the 2008 season, the system was changed to having eight levels. During the 2012 season, the Pro Players Club was overhauled, and the previous eight levels were replaced by three: Silver, Gold, and Platinum.

Cycles[edit | edit source]

In July 2017, it was announced that starting with the 2018–19 season, instead of being tied to annual seasons, the Pro Players Club levels are tied to cycles. There are four cycles in a year, each tied to an Expansion and including one Pro Tour, and the last four cycles count towards a player's point total, with the Pro Players Club membership being checked at the close of each cycle.[3] Originally, at most 3 Pro Point finishes in each cycle would count towards the Pro Players Club level, but revised version was released in September 2017, where it was announced that the 12 best finishes across the last four cycles would count towards the level instead. In August 2018, a further revision to the system was made, where players now retained a level earned for two cycles instead of one.[7]

Players winning a Pro Tour, the World Championship, or the Magic Online Championship, all of which award Platinum level in the Pro Players Club, retain that level for 5 cycles (including the cycle that event was in). A similar rule applies to the Rookie of the Year's Gold level.

Earning Levels[edit | edit source]

From the Pro Tour Players Club Guidelines and Procedures:[8]

“  When a member reaches the required number of Professional Points in the current Professional Points season, he or she is immediately promoted to the applicable Club Level for the rest of the current season. At the beginning of each new season, every member will be awarded the membership level based on his or her final point total in the previous Professional Points season.  ”

Starting with the 2012 season, players that win a Pro Tour event, the World Championship, or the Magic Online Championship are immediately promoted to Platinum level until the end of the next season (5 cycles starting with the 2018–19 season). The Rookie of the Year is immediately promoted to Gold level until the end of the next season.

For the 2013–14 season, only the five best Grand Prix results (in terms of Pro Points earned) counted towards a player's total number of points during a season. This cap was increased to six for the 2014–15 season, a system which lasted until the 2017–18 season,[9][10] when the Grand Prix cap was replaced by the cycle system, where the best 12 results in the past 4 cycles were counted.

Levels and benefits[edit | edit source]

In the 2012 season, the Pro Players Club was changed to a system with three ranks; benefits and requirements are adjusted on a yearly basis if necessary. In 2017, a new rank, Bronze, was added.

The 2018–19 system's benefits and requirements are listed below, unless stated otherwise, events mentioned on list below indicates on respective events held in that cycle.

Bronze (10 points)[edit | edit source]

Bronze-level players receive:

  • two byes at all individual-format Grand Prix tournaments.
  • invitations to their country's Nationals.
  • an invitation to one Regional Pro Tour Qualifier during each Regional Pro Tour Qualifier season.

Silver (22 points)[edit | edit source]

Silver-level players receive:

  • two byes at all individual-format Grand Prix tournaments.
  • an option of attend to the Pro Tour, if they are not invited otherwise. If they choose to attend the Pro Tour this way, they are not allowed to use the same option in the following three cycles. This option do not affect their eligibility of Pro Tour Qualifier events.
  • invitations to their country's Nationals.
  • 15 QPs each month for the Magic Online Championship Series.
  • an invitation to one Regional Pro Tour Qualifier during each Regional Pro Tour Qualifier season.

Gold (37 points)[edit | edit source]

Gold-level players receive:

  • three byes at all individual-format Grand Prix tournaments.
  • invitations to the Pro Tour with the expenses-paid air travel tickets.
  • invitation with one bye at their country's Nationals.
  • 35 QPs each month for the Magic Online Championship Series.

Platinum (52 points)[edit | edit source]

Platinum-level players receive:

  • three byes at all individual-format Grand Prix tournaments.
  • a complementary sleep-in special at all Grand Prix (where available).
  • invitations to the Pro Tour with the expenses-paid air travel tickets.
  • invitation with two byes at their country's Nationals.
  • 35 QPs each month for the Magic Online Championship Series.
  • appearance fees for attending select tournaments:
    • Pro Tour – $3000
    • World Magic Cup – $1000
    • Nationals and Grand Prix – $500
      • For Grand Prix events, however, appearance fees are only paid out for the first 2 events attended per cycle.
  • Players Cards (similar to Pro Tour Player Cards) which have their name, photo, and team in the Team Series (if any) printed on them.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Elaine Chase. (December 6, 2018.) “The Next Chapter for Magic: Esports”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Revamped Premier Play Coming in 2012. Wizards of the Coast (2011-12-23). Retrieved on 2015-09-29.
  3. a b Chase, Elaine (2017-07-19). THE PRO CLUB TRANSFORMS AFTER 2017–18. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2017-07-19.
  4. Information on the Masters Series. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2016-05-03.
  5. The Dragonmaster's Lair - Upheavals In OP. StarCityGames. Retrieved on 2016-05-03.
  6. Buehler, Randy (2005-05-02). WELCOME TO THE PRO PLAYERS CLUB. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2016-04-29.
  7. Rasmussen, Blake (2018-08-16). AUGUST 16, 2018 PRO TOUR UPDATE. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2016-04-29.
  8. PRO TOUR PLAYERS CLUB GUIDELINES AND PROCEDURES. Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Bergeot, Helene (2014-07-29). NEW ENHANCEMENTS TO THE PRO PLAYERS CLUB STARTING AUGUST 2014. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2015-09-29.
  10. Helene Bergeot. (June 23, 2016.) “State of Organized Play”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.