One of the most significant changes in the history of the DCI has come around today. The change affects how points are awarded for playing in sanctioned tournaments.
Before, the DCI granted or took away points based on wins and losses in tournaments, and those gains or losses were relative to the ranking of the person you were playing. If you played a lower-ranked player and lost a match, your loss would be small compared to if you faced someone a lot higher in the rankings, for example.
This led some pros to hit a certain threshold of points and "sit on them" in order to qualify for certain tournaments. "What's the point in playing," they'd say, "if we can lose our byes by having bad rounds in relatively small events?"
Today, that all changes.
The DCI has put together a new points system for Magic called "Planeswalker Points."
This is the gist of how it works (and the article is linked in the title of this post): Players will receive points not only for their match records in tournaments, but also just for attending. And the bright part of this system is NO POINTS CAN BE LOST FOR MATCH LOSSES.
That's right! The system does NOT penalize you for losing in Magic.
Players will automatically get points just for attending a tournament. Casual events (which have no specific tie-in like FNM, Grand Prix, etc.) will net a player 1 point just for playing and will not have math records affect their total in any way (so wins are just as good as losses as they're both worth 0 Planeswalker Points at Casual events).
At competitive events, the attendance points are based on how many people play. The more that play in the event, the more points you get just for playing! Match wins then award 3 points toward your Planeswalker Points, Ties award 1, and Losses 0.
Planeswalker Points will be divided into a few categories like Lifetime Points, Competitive Total, and Friday Night Magic Total. Byes and other rewards will be available from time to time depending on the category. For example, Grand Prixs will be divided into seasons now, and having a certain Competitive Total for a season gives you a certain amount of Byes for Grand Prixs in that season!
Competitive Events will have Multipliers built in to help raise your total quickly. For example, let's say after all your matches and attendance points at Grand Prix - MakeUpaCity, you earn 100 points. Grand Prixs have a multiplier of x8, so you earned 800 points!
What does this mean for the Pro Tour, then?
Grand Prixs will no longer directly offer invites into the Pro Tour. But because of their Multiplier values, attending them is strongly recommended to quickly raise your Competitive and Lifetime Points rating so you can play in the now-Invite Only Pro Tours.
I know this can all be confusing. I wanted to get this out as fast as I could. For more information, click the link on this headline.
Questions? Comments? Feel free to post below! :)