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Esports Update: Grand Finals Formats, Decklist Hub, and More

September 16, 2020
Ben Drago and Bear Watson

Congratulations to Seth Manfield, winner of the 2020 Mythic Invitational!

It was a gauntlet of the Top 8 packed with MPL and Rivals players, and a well-earned victory in the debut of Historic in Magic esports.

Manfield wasn't alone in earning recognition over the weekend. They and 15 other players netted invitation to the next event on our packed fall schedule: the 2020 Season Grand Finals.

Broadcasting live October 9-11 at, the 2020 Season Grand Finals is our endcap to the 2020 partial season featuring both Standard and Historic formats:

  • Rounds 1-3: Historic
  • Rounds 4-9: Standard
  • Rounds 10-12: Historic
  • Top 8 Double Elimination Playoff: Standard

(And if you want all the crunchy rules details, they're available now and have been shared with the Grand Finals field.)

With Zendikar Rising releasing on Magic: The Gathering Arena this week, Standard and Historic receive hundreds of new cards alongside Standard rotation. The 2020 Season Grand Finals will showcase the latest both formats have to offer, celebrating the most successful Magic players in 2020. Through the Players Tour Finals and last weekend's Mythic Invitational, these 32 players earned their invitation to the most exclusive tournament of the year.

Congratulations again to Seth Manfield—who made Top 16 at both qualifying events—and everyone else we'll see in a few weeks at the 2020 Season Grand Finals!

Introducing the Decklists Hub on

New set releases and Standard rotation can be tricky even for the best players to navigate. With hundreds of new cards unlocking strategies and combos we know exactly what every competitive player wants to see in a fresh format: the latest winning decks.

Coming next week, the new decklists hub on

Decklists Navigation

(From Dave Humpherys, R&D)

Starting the week of September 21, we will begin publishing decklists that have put together long win streaks at Platinum rank or higher in Magic: The Gathering Arena's Ranked Play ladder. The goal is to supplement decklists from tournament results and social media with additional promising decklists for inspiration. We will publish these decklists once each week on the new decklist hub on, and plan to increase the publishing frequency in the future.

We will be publishing lists from Standard Ranked, Traditional Standard Ranked, Historic Ranked, and Traditional Historic Ranked play queues. Like we do for Magic Online Leagues, we will be posting an example list for each category of deck that share a minimum number of cards: at least 55 of 75 cards (across main deck and sideboard) shared in Traditional (best of three games, or Bo3) or at least 45 of 60 main deck cards shared in best of one (Bo1). All lists published will have won at least six consecutive matches.

Our goal is to best condense information, highlighting a mix of both strong and varied deckbuilding options. We will let you know if we adjust some of these parameters as we learn more from this data and gather your feedback.

Player information—your MTG Arena username—will not be associated with these decklists. If you are concerned about a deck you play being shared this way you can change a card in your main deck before you reach six or more consecutive match wins. Even swapping to a different basic land version or a new version of another card in your deck will suffice.

We're excited to share more decklists and look forward to hearing your thoughts.

A New News Page (and More

In addition to our upcoming hub sharing decklists, we've made several recent updates to improve the experience for competitors, players, and fans visiting

Last week we rolled out another change, this time updating the news page so articles are more accessible than before.


Category Filter

Here's what you need to know.

  • A new carousel with the most important articles and information is at the top of the page, making it easy to catch up on what you should know first.
  • In addition to showing every article on, you can filter down to three categories to better find what you want most:
    • "Updates" are the latest changes and updates for Magic esports, including rules announcements and Esports Updates like this!
    • "Events" are all of the coverage articles from the biggest Magic events, plus guides with broadcast details and prizes for tournament.
    • "Players" drills down to articles featuring the players of the MPL, Rivals League and beyond, with interviews, strategy, and insight from the best competitors in Magic.
  • The new search feature looks across headlines and within articles for the keyword(s) you enter.

There a few things you won't find in the news page though.

  • The pairings, results, and standings by round for events continue to be available on each event's page in the event archive. (Every event, including last weekend's Mythic Invitational, generates an impressive amount of data. We'll keep bundling these pages together on events for easier reference.)
  • Similarly, photos and Twitch clips for an event are featured on each event's page.
  • Round by round videos of feature matches are catalogued on our VODs page. (It's organized by event, and shows the players and the archetype they played. You can even filter to find just the player or archetype you want to see within the event you select.)

We're continuously making improvements to, and our work with the news page isn't finished yet. We'll continue tagging older articles so they appear under the appropriate category filters, improving search to provide more contextual results, and adding integration into other content we're publishing.

As always, your feedback and requests are amazing. We'll keep listening and working to make even better!

What's Next?

That's all the new information we have today, but there's plenty to look ahead to.

Stay safe and enjoy the launch of Zendikar Rising!

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