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Upcoming Gauntlet Formats and August Ranked Season Updates

August 09, 2021
Wizards of the Coast

The event schedules for the Rivals Gauntlet and MPL Gauntlet have been updated. See this article for more details.

Today, we announced important updates for MTG Arena and a new August 26 release date for Jumpstart: Historic Horizons. With the MPL Gauntlet and Rivals Gauntlet each scheduled for September 2–5, these changes would significantly impact the 48 competitors participating. Additionally, the MTG Arena updates also affect players seeking a high Mythic rank finish in the "Early August" and "Late August" ranked seasons for invitation to the October 9–10 Qualifier Weekend.

We're taking several steps to provide a robust competitive experience and ensure players receive the opportunities to qualify they looked forward to.

MPL Gauntlet and Rivals Gauntlet Changes

The MPL and Rivals Gauntlets were designed with two formats in place: Standard after the release of Dungeons & Dragons: Adventures in the Forgotten Realms, and Historic after the release of Jumpstart: Historic Horizons. With the new Jumpstart: Historic Horizons release date, we reviewed multiple options to maintain the existing formats and structure, including alternative formats other than Historic and rescheduling the event to a new weekend.

Out of respect to players' commitments for testing and event scheduling, these Gauntlets will continue to take place September 2–5 with the following changes to the structure and formats:

  • All 12 rounds, as well as the Day Three playoffs, will be Traditional (Best-of-Three) Standard Constructed. (Historic is no longer a format for these events.)
  • Competitors will be able to play an opponent up to once each on Day One, and then again on Day Two. (Previously, competitors could play someone once each across Standard and Historic formats, respectively.)
  • There is no longer a cut to the Top 16 at the end of Day One—all competitors in each event may continue to play on Day Two (until they receive their 7th loss).

While we did consider shifting the dates of the event to preserve the formats, ultimately this would have impacted player preparation and scheduling to a greater degree than we were comfortable with. Additionally, it would have potentially impacted the date for the Magic World Championship XXVII. As such, we made the change with the fewest impacts to player experience. These shifts are also reflected in updated information for invitees (tournament rules) for both the MPL Gauntlet and Rivals Gauntlet.

August 2021 Ranked Season Changes

With the initial announced update plan for MTG Arena, the August ranked season was split into an "Early August" and "Late August" season with two sets of seasonal rewards and two waves of invitations to the October 9–10 Qualifier Weekend.

As detailed in today's MTG Arena announcement, the split August ranked seasons are now combined into one, underway now and concluding on August 24—combining rewards and qualifications from the initially planned seasons.

Here's how the new invitations to the October 9–10 Qualifier Weekend work:

  • The first 500 players, as well as the approximate Top 500*, players to reach Mythic rank, in either Constructed or Limited ranking, by 7 a.m. PT on August 10 (the previously scheduled Early August season cutoff).
  • The Top 1,200 Mythic ranked players, each for Constructed and Limited, at the conclusion of the August ranked season on August 24.

(*Updated as of August 11.)

Players will be granted the Qualifier Weekend badge ahead of the October 9–10 event as follows:

  • Players who earn invitation on August 10: Friday, August 13
  • Players who earn invitation at season's end on August 24: Friday, September 3

The latest Ranked Season and Qualifier Weekend information pages have been updated to reflect these changes.

The World Championship Awaits

With four invitations to the World Championship waiting for players—three at the MPL Gauntlet and one at the Rivals Gauntlet—the excitement of the 2020–21 postseason continues to build. We look forward celebrating with the biggest Magic event of the year—Magic World Championship XXVII—taking place live October 8–10!

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