Pro Tour Theros was this past weekend, and amid all the excitement about the professional debut of the new set, R&D Director Aaron Forsythe and Organized Play Director Helene Bergeot announced a slate of updates that would be made to the upcoming Pro Tours. All of them seem like exciting ideas that will make the high-level play of these events even more competitive and thrilling, so let's break them down.
First, Bergeot said that the formats of Pro Tours would be announced well in advance from now on, analogizing the notification system of the Grand Prix, and gave a rundown of Pro Tour events through Worlds '14.
Event / City / Dates / Format
Pro Tour Theros / Dublin, Ireland / October 11-13, 2013 / Standard/Theros Draft
Pro Tour Born of the Gods / Valencia, Spain / February 21-23, 2014 / Modern/Born of the Gods-Theros Draft
Pro Tour Journey into Nyx / Atlanta, USA / May 16-18, 2014 Theros Block Constructed/Theros Block Draft
Pro Tour Magic 2015 / Portland, USA / August 1-3, 2014 / Standard/Magic 2015 Draft
Worlds Week / Nice, France / December 2-3, 5-7, 2014 / Mixed (TBA)
Worlds Week is feeling the brunt of the changes. The World Magic Cup and the World Championship will be spaced apart further; the Cup will be from December 2-3 and the Championship will be from December 5-7.
The World Championship will now see a fifty percent increase in its player pool, from sixteen players to twenty-four. To compensate for the broadening of the field, the prize will also be increased fifty percent, from $100,000 to $150,000.
The following players will be qualified for the World Championship as of next year:
2013 World Champion
Player of the Year
Rookie of the Year (NEW)
Pro Tour Theros Winner
Pro Tour Born of the Gods Winner
Pro Tour Journey Into Nyx Winner
Pro Tour Magic 2015 Winner
Magic Online Champion
National Champion from World Magic Cup winning team (NEW)
Top two players per region according to ranking by Pro Points
At-large invitations for remaining slots (by Pro Points)
This means two out of twenty slots are already known: 2013 champ Shahar Shenhar of Israel, and Cup winner Raphael Levy of France.
Next year's World Magic Cup qualifiers are to be held on August 16-17, August 30-31, and September 13-14.
Finally, the benefits of Pro Club membership have been expanded to include byes and bonus prize money at the World Magic Cup qualifiers.