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What are 2020-21 Season League Weekends?

October 21, 2020
Wizards of the Coast

What if you could watch the best Magic players in the world play every match of a tournament? What if that tournament occurred over several weekends, with new decks each time? What if everyone in the event played each other, guaranteed—and every match win mattered? What if, through it all, you celebrated success as your favorite players locked in invitations to the biggest postseason events? What if there were $400,000 in prizes on the line? And what if all of this would be streamed live every step of the way around the world?

League Weekends are the answer to everything.

Rivals players look to level up to the MPL. MPL players fight to keep their elite status. $400,000 in prizes up for grabs. Match by match, the 2020-21 season of the Magic Pro League and Magic Rivals League unfolds live with League Weekends.

Watching The Best Play

For the 2019 season, we tried MPL Weekly as a new way to share competitive Magic—and learned that didn't fit well for a viewing audience or with league players. For the 2021-21 season, we reimagined how season-long play could match expectations.

League Weekends provide an updated league experience for Magic fans and competitors:

  • No divisions—everyone faces each other within their league. If you're going to make it to the top of the standings, you must battle—and win more than—everyone else. Championship success is exciting, but a majority of points come from head-to-head League Weekend play.
  • Live gameplay—watch the most compelling feature matches and championship-level commentary on for each League Weekend. Alongside the two days of broadcast, competitors also stream all their gameplay on their personal streaming channel. Whoever you follow, and wherever they are in the world, every match is there to watch.
  • Clear stakes—the road to Magic World Championship XXVII begins with, and is decided by, League Weekends. Plus $100,000 in cash prizes—$50,000 for each league—for competitors across each of the three competitive splits.

For viewers and competitors, it's simple: everyone plays everyone in their league, and winning the most matches earns the greatest prizes for the season. Every match from League Weekends and split-ending championships adds up to the success players need.

With so much Magic happening each day on, we will be focusing the Saturday stream the Rivals League, with the MPL taking center stage on Sunday's stream. We'll publish the full details—including which matches will be on the stream from the each league, complete decklists, and the broadcast team—before every League Weekend.

What The Best Are Playing For

Let's start at the top with a quick refresher of the two leagues:

  • The Magic Pro League (MPL) consists of 24 elite players who earned invitation through competitive event performance throughout the 2019 season.
  • The Magic Rivals League (Rivals) are the next 48 skilled players assembled for a stabilizing development league, inviting top competitive players and rising stars from the 2019 season and the 2020 partial season.

Both leagues are filled with Hall of Famers, championship winners, and some of the most talented individuals to ever play. Together, leagues provide support for the top tier of competitive players to focus on high-level Magic.

The 2020-21 season has three splits, each named after a new Magic set with scheduled League Weekends and championship event:

Dates Event Format
Oct. 24-25, 2020 October Zendikar Rising League Weekend Standard
Nov. 7-8. 2020 November Zendikar Rising League Weekend Standard
Dec. 4-6, 2020 Zendikar Rising Championship Standard & Historic
Jan. 16-17, 2021 January Kaldheim League Weekend Historic
Feb. 27-28, 2021 February Kaldheim League Weekend Standard
Mar. 26-28, 2021 Kaldheim Championship TBD
April 10-11, 2021 April Strixhaven League Weekend TBD
May 15-16, 2021 May Strixhaven League Weekend TBD
TBD 2021 Strixhaven League Weekend #3 TBD
TBD 2021 Strixhaven Championship TBD

It will take three championships and all seven League Weekends to make a claim at being on top of the MPL or Rivals League.

Across the season, players earn points for their league standings through finishing well at championship events and winning matches at League Weekends—where most of their points come from. Standings at the end of every split award $50,000 for each the MPL and Rivals League, plus an end-of-season bonus of $50,000 for each league. Over three splits—along with an end-of-season award—that's $400,000 in total.

MPL Standing Prize
1-4 $3,500
5-12 $2,500
13-20 $1,500
21-24 $1,000
Total $50,000

Rivals Standing Prize
1-4 $2,250
5-12 $1,500
13-24 $1,250
25-36 $750
37-44 $500
45-48 $250
Total $50,000

League standings mean everything for players as they enter the 2020-21 postseason:

  • The Top 4 players in each league move into the MPL for 2021-22 and the Magic World Championship XXVII
  • Upper-ranked players enter postseason Gauntlet events for the remaining MPL and Rivals slots up for grabs
  • The lowest-ranked players are relegated down—from MPL to Rivals, or from Rivals out of the leagues

There's a lot of detail to unpack too, including how the three Strixhaven League Weekends lock in the top spots in each league. But it's a system that asks what competitors plan to do already: Win as many matches as they can against fellow league players to stay on the path to 2020-21 postseason.

League Weekends are a vision to bring as much high-level Magic to as many fans as possible. We're trying new things and will continue iterating how we share league play. We're excited to launch with the first two League Weekends and look forward to your feedback as we move forward into the 2020-21 season.

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