Eldraine Split, the final split of the 2019 season, kicks off for the Magic Pro League next week on October 5. Continuing from the success of one division playing each week of Core Split, Eldraine Split will feature the best in the game competing within their division to earn Mythic Points and a bye into Day Two at Mythic Championship VII.
Every match and every Mythic Point earned fuels the race to qualify for the 2019 World Championship.
Unlike the major changes for MPL play after Spark Split, Eldraine Split features competition similar to Core Split with a few key updates shared in yesterday's esports update. Players still compete within their division in round robin play, with the top two finishers securing a commanding position in the Top 4 playoff.
First and second coming out of divisional round robin play won't be eliminated by losing in the Upper Finals, unlike the players in the Lower Semifinals which will. While just four competitors will enter the Top 4, the cut from round robin play won't be as simple as standings after tiebreakers are considered. Every player finishing 4-3 or better will be eligible. After all, going 4-3 against the best in the world is no easy feat!
Here's how the Top 4 will work in Eldraine Split:
- If four or fewer players finish 4-3 or better, the Top 4 will be determined the same way using tiebreakers as it was for Core Split.
- If five or more players finish 4-3 or better, the No. 1 through No. 3 seeds will be determined by records and tiebreakers, with the No. 4 seed determined by play-in matches among those remaining players.
The play-in matches will be determined by how many players need to do so in a given week of the split.
Players in the lower bracket will still need to win each of their matches to advance to the Grand Finals where there isanother change for this season is in place: The Grand Finals will always be a best two out of three matches. The first player to win two matches there will win the division!
And one last change from Core Split for: Players will use the same deck for both the round robin play and Top 4 playoff in Eldraine Split. Calling the metagame and being prepared for it are more important than ever before.
Each Top 4 playoff will be streamed on twitch.tv/magic across four weeks in October and November. You can look forward to both your favorite casters and guest MPL players to join in week-to-week.
Here's the full schedule:
- September 30–October 3: Sapphire Division Round Robin
- October 5: Sapphire Division Top 4 stream at noon PT/3 p.m. ET/7 p.m. UTC
- October 21–24: Ruby Division Round Robin
- October 26: Ruby Division Top 4 stream at noon PT/3 p.m. ET/7 p.m. UTC
- October 28–31: Pearl Division Round Robin
- November 2: Pearl Division Top 4 stream at noon PT/3 p.m. ET/7 p.m. UTC
- November 11–14: Emerald Division Round Robin]
- November 16: Emerald Division Top 4 stream at noon PT/3 p.m. ET/7 p.m. UTC
Note that the Eldraine Split takes breaks for both Mythic Championship V in October and Mythic Championship VI in November. That's two full months of non-stop Magic among the best players in the world!
For Eldraine Split, the MPL was seeded into new divisions based on Mythic Points as of the end of the Core Split. Here's how the they break down.
Magic Hall of Fame-elect, and tied for first place in MPL season standings, Reid Duke leads off the Sapphire Division for Eldraine Split. Rei Sato, Spark Split division winner, was knocked out of the Core Split playoff by Duke and it's a rematch we could see. Piotr Głogowski, Martin Jůza, Alexander Hayne, John Rolf, and Lucas Esper Berthoud are here as well, vying to move out of the middle of the MPL pack. Rounding out the division is Jessica Estephan who can make up for a slow start to the year here with a strong finish.
2018 World Champion Javier Dominguez and Mythic Championship I winner Autumn Burchett headline the Ruby Division for Eldraine Split. Joining them are a division winner from Spark Split, Ken Yukuhiro, as well as Luis Salvatto and William Jensen. Salvatto is looking to make up lost ground within a tough division rounded out by Jean Emmanuel-Depraz, Eric Froehlich and Grzegorz Kowalski who are all ahead of Salvatto in Mythic Points.
Brain Braun-Duin, tied for the top of the MPL season standings with excellent league and Mythic Championship performances with a Spark Split division win to boot, leads a formidable Pearl Division in Eldraine Split. Andrea Mengucci and Shahar Shenhar are here as well with Shota Yasooka and Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa adding to the Murders' Row of players. Janne "Savjz" Mikkonen, Matthew Nass, and Andrew Cuneo round out the division, each hunting for points in the final stretch.
The Emerald Division for Eldraine Split is packed with previous split winners: Seth Manfield, Ben Stark, Carlos Romão, and Lee Shi Tian were all Core Split winners, and Brad Nelson picked up a division win in Spark Split. Márcio Carvalho is tied for fourth in MPL standings with Manfield, and therefore race to the World Championship, but both Christian Hauck and Mike Sigrist round out a division where everyone is eager to move the needle on their standings.
The final stretch of 2019 MPL split play kicks off next week starting with the Sapphire Division Top 4 on October 5 at noon PT/3 p.m. ET/7 p.m. UTC on twitch.tv/magic. Casters Becca Scott, Marshall Sutcliffe, and William Jensen will be in the studio calling all the action!