If you don’t know yet (you’d have to be living under a rock to not), Wizards has changed how players can access the Pro Tour.

Let me simply break it down: Full details can be seen here http://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/new-path-pro-tour-2014-07-29

Local Game Stores can now run events Currently dubbed at Preliminary Pro Tour Qualifiers (PPTQs)

The Winners of these PPTQs go on once a season to compete in a Regional PTQ (RPTQs). These take place at Advanced Plus LGS locations (100 or more capacity stores that regularly hold tournaments)

The Top 4 (or Top 8 if there are 128 players or more) from these RPTQs go on to play in the Pro Tour.

And thats pretty much it.

The Good: 

I don’t have to drive 4 hours at 4am to get to an event upstate or in Philly or Delaware to play in a PTQ. Now there are local events I can get to that offer a level of competitive play above say FNM and GPT, that have an actual effect on whether I can make it to a Pro Tour.

More of these events means less people will be at each event. Which means they should be run more smoothly.

Local PTQs save me money on travel (this season I’ve spent $400 on travel expenses to 5 PTQs) thats money that could go to rent, more Magic cards, camera equipment, NOT TO ZIPCAR, or maybe set me up for traveling to GPs.

The Bad

There’s another tourney that separates me from my Pro Tour Dream.

RPTQs that my friends don’t qualify for mean I’m traveling alone into enemy territory.

The PTQ ROAD TRIP is dead.

The Real

RPTQ,s if they are run right, should be like mini GPs. Side events, dealers, in a solid location (like Philly). This means your friends should want to come, if they hold these in the right locations they should be easy to get to, fun for folks that haven’t R Queue’d. Hell they could even run a PPTQ during these events to get friends to come out, and cheer each other on.

A lot of what i’ve seen online about these events are negative. Why is that? This change only really affects mid level grinders that have the chops to regularly win PTQs. These are for the most part the writers we as players read the most from. They are the closest to our level, so gleaning information from them tends to make us feel liek we are on the cutting edge of the metagame. Most local players that are poo pooing this change by saying that this makes getting to the PT impossible for them are living in Magical Christmasland.

Here’s the long and short of it. Ask yourself, whats the closest you’ve ever come to winning a Pro Tour? How about a PTQ? How about a PTQ top 8? If you have PTQ top 8s and lower under your belt then it’s the perfect for you. You have the chops to win a 7-8 round event at your local shop! After that it’s into the shark tank but you just need to make it to the top 4. That’s not impossible.

There’s a small level or prestige in making it to an RPTQ. You knuckled up in you local area and proved you have a shot at the big time.

Here’s the score, no one’s making a living playing Magic: the Gathering. Not even the Pros. It’s not like winning a GP and walking away with four grand is gonna change the way you live your life. I gave up on being a professional cardflopper a while ago. That doesn’t mean I don’t wanna make the Pro Tour. That dream is with me everytime I sleeve up a new deck. So any tourney thats more convenient for me to get to that gives me a chance to make it to the big time sounds great to me.

In poker they say “All you need is a chip and a chair”. In Magic: the Gathering you need a little more. But these PPTQs are your chair, and there are more of them locally so I say take advantage.

Zac Clark @DurdleMagus 


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