izards of the Coast is excited to announce the addition of a fourth Pro Tour in 2014. This event will be associated with the Magic Core Set release in the summer, providing another high-profile opportunity to showcase the top players in the world and energize all players about the new set.
The growth of Magic around the world, and in particular the increased participation in tournaments, displays the strong demand for more competitive Magic. Adding a fourth Pro Tour will increase the number of Pro Tour Qualifiers run worldwide to 800—up from the current 660—and give thousands of players more chances of competing on the Pro Tour. This growth rate of PTQs also preserves the size of each Pro Tour at approximately 350 participants. It's important to keep the Pro Tour a special event, and growing beyond that target would reduce the value of the experience for many players.
The expansion to four Pro Tours mandated a reexamination of the starting and ending points for a pro season. As a reminder, the current 2012–13 season ends with Pro Tour Dragon's Maze, setting Pro Club levels for 2013–2014. The 2013–14 season begins at Grand Prix Guadalajara on May 25–26 and will conclude with the Core Set Pro Tour in 2014. Starting in the summer of 2014, the pro season will start with the first Grand Prix following the Core Set Pro Tour, and conclude with the Core Set Pro Tour the following calendar year.
Since a fourth Pro Tour will add a significant amount of Pro Points to the system, Pro Players Club levels will be adjusted starting with the 2013–14 season. Details about the 2013–14 Pro Players Club will be announced in early April. As we go forward in the 2013–14 season, Pro Club levels will be monitored closely and may be adjusted for future seasons once the Pro season is better aligned with the schedule of four Pro Tours and forty-plus Grands Prix.
A fourth Pro Tour also triggered a review of the optimal schedule of Constructed formats at Pro Tours. Standard, Modern, and Block Constructed are the three Constructed formats best suited to be run at the Pro Tour level, which means one of those formats needed to be run a second time during a season. Legacy was not considered as a Pro Tour format due to challenges in card accessibility worldwide.
Because of these considerations, Standard is the obvious choice for a second Pro Tour. Since the fall rotation is the most important point of the year for the metagame, the best spots to put a Standard Pro Tour are immediately after the rotation in the fall and then again for the Core Set Pro Tour.
For the 2013–14 season, the formats for the Pro Tours are as follows:
|Pro Tour "Friends"
||Standard, Booster Draft
|Pro Tour "Romans"
||Modern, Booster Draft
|Pro Tour "Countrymen"
||"Friends" Block Constructed, Booster Draft
|Pro Tour Core Set
||Standard, Booster Draft
To align with the new four-Pro Tour schedule, the format for Pro Tour "Friends" in Dublin has been changed from Modern to Standard.
Along with the Pro Tour schedule realignment, there will now be four Pro Tour Qualifier seasons each year—two Constructed seasons and two Limited seasons. Approximately two hundred Pro Tour Qualifiers will be run by selected WPN locations each season, with sixteen more taking place on Magic Online. This overall increase in the number of Pro Tour Qualifiers will give us the opportunity to better serve the countries where we see growth.
Adding a Pro Tour will put more of the game's greatest players, new cards, and top decks on display to a worldwide audience while providing further Pro Tour Qualifiers around the globe. The aspiration of the local player dreaming of making it to the Pro Tour is fundamental to the premier-play structure, and we are thrilled to add the spectacle and all the opportunities that come with a fourth Pro Tour.