Innistrad Championship Information for Invitees
Locations and Times
The Innistrad Championship takes place online as a direct-challenge tournament using Magic: The Gathering Arena on the following days:
Day 1: Friday, December 3, 2021 – 9:00 a.m. PST / 17:00 UTC / 02:00 Saturday December 4 JST
Day 2: Saturday, December 4, 2021 – 9:00 a.m. PST / 17:00 UTC / 02:00 Sunday December 5 JST
Top 8: Sunday, December 5, 2021 – 9:00 a.m. PST / 17:00 UTC / 02:00 Monday December 6 JST
Please note that the above times are the expected start times for each day's play and broadcast. Players who qualify for this event will receive instructions that may have designated check-in times earlier than listed above.
The formats for the Innistrad Championship are both Traditional Standard and Traditional Historic Constructed formats (Best-of-Three with sideboard) on Magic: The Gathering Arena.
Players must submit each format's decklist via the MTG Melee tournament page no later than Sunday, November 28 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific time (7:59 a.m. Monday UTC)
Players with a late decklist submission for a particular format will be unable to submit through MTG Melee and must submit their decklist to email@example.com instead. Players who are late with their decklist submission are also subject to tournament error penalties, which will upgrade for every 4 hours they are late on their submission.
Players who fail to submit a decklist within 24 hours of the deadline will be automatically dropped from the tournament.
No changes are allowed to a player’s decklist past the submission deadline.
The Innistrad Championship is an invitation-only tournament. The following players are invited to compete in the Innistrad Championship:
- All members of the Magic Pro League and Magic Rivals League
- Players relegated from the 2020-2021 Rivals League
- Players who finished in the bottom 12 of the Challenger Gauntlet
- Players with 10 or more wins at the Strixhaven Championship
- Players that earned 7 match wins on Day Two of a single Innistrad Qualifier Weekend (August, October 9-10, or October 30-31) on Magic: The Gathering Arena
- Players that won a Innistrad Championship Magic Online Qualifier
- Top 2 players from each Innistrad Championship Magic Online Super Qualifier
- The winners of the 2021 Season 1 Magic Online Champions Showcase
- The 8 competitors in the 2021 Season 2 Magic Online Champions Showcase
- The second-place finishers in each of the 2021 Season 2 MOCS Showcase Open events
Additional invitations for Championships may be added at Wizards of the Coast's discretion to support additional qualification paths, including those offered through third-party partners or pass-down invitations from Magic Online events.
The event will be 15 rounds of Swiss, with 7 Rounds of Traditional Historic Constructed and 8 rounds of Traditional Standard Constructed, followed by a double-elimination Top 8 playoff with Traditional Historic Constructed.
All rounds of competition use the Tournament Match Direct Challenge settings via Direct Challenge in Magic: The Gathering Arena, which means:
30-minute time banks for player priority are enforced in-client.
- Timers are on.
- Matches are best two-out-of-three games.
- Players should double-check to ensure they have not selected "Tournament Match – Limited", or "Challenge Match" in Direct Challenge settings.
- Players should double-check to ensure they have selected the correct format for each round ("Tournament Match – Standard" or "Tournament Match – Historic").
For the Innistrad Championship there are no draws, intentional or otherwise, during the Swiss rounds. Players are expected to play until a winner is declared, either via traditional means of ending a match if Traditional Standard or Traditional Historic, or via a player's time bank running out.
Additionally, concessions of matches that have not reached a clear, natural conclusion are not allowed in this tournament. All competitors are expected to play to the best of their abilities to reach a point of natural conclusion for each match.
The following are acceptable examples in which a player may concede the game:
- A player is being attacked for lethal damage and sees no means of surviving the turn.
- A player has reasoned that they have no lines of play in which they can win the current game and wishes to concede to conserve their time bank.
- Players have been instructed to concede games in an admin-ruled match remake due to a compromised match that was restarted.
The following are unacceptable examples in which a player should not concede:
- A player has not played a single turn of a game.
- A player is choosing to concede when it is clear they have an advantage.
- A player chooses to mulligan to virtually no cards as a workaround to not technically concede, despite drawing multiple playable hands.
In general, the goal of this rule is ensuring that matches in this tournament are decided by players completing matches of Magic: The Gathering Arena in best-of-three Traditional Standard and Traditional Historic Constructed formats and are not influenced by outside motivations. Players that violate this rule with the intent that goes against the philosophy of this rule may be subject to penalties as defined in the Digital Magic Tournament Rules.
Day One: 7 Swiss Rounds
Rounds 1-3: Historic Constructed
Rounds 4-7: Standard Constructed
Players that reach four (4) or more wins return for Day Two.
Records and tiebreakers earned on Day One carry over to Day Two.
Day Two: 8 Swiss Rounds
Round 8-11: Historic Constructed
Rounds 12-15: Standard Constructed
Players for Top 8 are determined and seeded by earning twelve (12) match wins or standings at the end of Round 15.
Whenever a player reaches twelve (12) match wins, they immediately advance to the Top 8 and are removed from future pairings in Swiss rounds.
Players in the Top 8 are seeded in order from 1st through 8th. Seeding is determined by:
- The round in which a player reached their 12th win
- Their OMW%, GW%, and OGW% as of the round in which they earned their 12th win
- Seeding for the Top 8 is locked after each round in which a player reaches their 12th win
After Round 15, players with fewer than twelve (12) match wins (if any) are seeded into Top 8 based on standings until there are eight players in total. Tiebreakers for seeding among all players at less than twelve wins are determined by Swiss standings.
Each Swiss round will be timed by tournament officials at 60 minutes:
- Players must challenge their opponent by the time the round has officially started based on the time provided by the tournament organizer.
- Players who have not been able to begin their match, but have received communication from their opponent, should contact a tournament admin once the round has begun.
- At the end of 60 minutes, tournament admins will message players who have not yet reported their match. Players still in a match at that time are expected to respond to the admin's message to confirm they are still playing.
Top 8: Double-Elimination Top 8 Bracket Playoff
Matches are best two-out-of-three games Traditional Historic Constructed. Choice of play or draw in each match is determined by the higher-seeded player.
Exception: The Championship Round will be best two-out-of-three matches.
- Match 1 – The winner of the Upper Bracket chooses play or draw.
- Matches 2-3 – The player who lost the previous match chooses play or draw.
There is a $450,000 prize pool which will be awarded to competitors based on their final standing in the tournament.
The Top 6 finishers—players that win at least one Top 8 playoff match—in the Innistrad Championship will qualify for Magic World Championship XXVIII in 2022.
All other players will have their match point total applied to their points standings as World Championship Qualifying Points. (Four (4) additional WCQPs are awarded for players finishing in 7th or 8th place).
Players should review the complete Magic World Championship Invitiation Policy for full details.
Additionally, all players who are not part of the Magic Pro League or Rivals League with 10 or more match wins will earn an invitation to the Neon Dynasty Championship.
MTG Arena Accounts
Each qualified player will be provided access to an account on Magic: The Gathering Arena stocked with enough wild cards and gems to craft cards for both Standard and Historic formats. This account may be used by the player to prepare for, and is required to be used to participate in, the Innistrad Championship.
Additional rules that apply to Magic: The Gathering Arena play using this account will be provided to players with account information.
Players will receive their playtest account information on or about November 4 after completing their player information survey.
Wizards will use Digital MTR and IPG documents to govern the Innistrad Championship:
Additional player requirements, including streaming and other policy changes that supersede the Digital MTR, will be communicated to players prior to the start of the tournament. Consult this page for all policy documents that pertain to Premier Play on Magic: The Gathering Arena.
Magic: The Gathering Arena Known Issues and Disconnects
Players should review the known issues in Magic: The Gathering Arena prior to participation in sanctioned digital events. Wizards of the Coast is not responsible for impact on game and match results as a result of players experiencing known issues.
Wizards of the Coast is not responsible for the results of any disconnection or network problems experienced by players.
Hardware Disclaimers and Feature Matches
Players competing in the Innistrad Championship are assumed to be competing with hardware that meets the recommended specifications for running Magic: The Gathering Arena (found in the Magic: The Gathering Arena FAQ). Players who are found to be using hardware that is under the recommended hardware specifications are solely responsible for any and all issues they experience, will be subject to any and all tardiness or disconnect penalties that may delay their matches from starting or progressing, and may be removed from the tournament if their hardware of choice delays the tournament or presents issues with progressing the tournament at a reasonable pace.
The above includes any issues a player may experience as a result of under-specification graphics cards, processor clock speeds, using an unsupported operating system, or using a computer with less RAM than as recommended. Additionally, players assume any and all responsibilities that their Internet connection is stable, reliable, and fast enough to support playing in the tournament, and assumes responsibility for issues experienced as a result of their connection or Internet Service Provider (ISP).
This hardware disclaimer includes if a person's hardware is incapable of supporting broadcast feature match selection. Additionally, players participating in this tournament must agree to be willing to support a feature match to the best of their abilities, including hardware and software settings and requests to comply with production team members if obstructive or distractive elements appear in the player's background of a web camera. Failure to cooperate with production and player management team members may result in tournament penalties.
Competitors are expected to use a desktop or laptop computer for all rounds of competition. Players should not use a mobile device, tablet, or other platform in early access.
During matches, players may not seek play advice from spectators and spectators may not give play advice to players. Reports of players receiving outside assistance will be investigated and penalties will be assigned, up to and including disqualification. Players who receive unsolicited outside assistance from another player or spectator are expected to report the incident to tournament officials and submit any supporting evidence of attempt to provide outside assistance.
Wizards of the Coast reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to suspend, modify, and change this document or the program it supports at any time and for any reason without notice.