Organized Play for the upcoming year has had a bunch of large changes, including the digital organized play announcement a couple of weeks ago. This week’s piece is an update to my piece a few months ago on optimizing qualifying for a championship, since the path there is essentially completely different. Unlike last time, I’m going to be giving a definitive result as to the best way to qualify for the Pro Tour.
While there were a variety of options with different pros and cons last time, the current system make qualification through paper the far and away best option, and while I still look at the other systems, there is still just the one optimal answer if it’s available, this piece is more about understanding how the other pieces fit together, what gaps they can fill in and how hard qualifying through other avenues actually is.
I’m going to lead by putting it fairly bluntly: qualifying for the Pro Tour through Arena got much, much harder with this announcement.
Under the previous system, just under one in a hundred players in a Qualifier Weekend, on average, would qualify for a Set Championship. Under the new system, fewer players qualify per number of players in the tournament, and fewer players are eligible to play in the tournament to start with. In this piece, I’m going to assume anyone qualified for the Arena Championship is also automatically qualified for the Pro Tour – this has not been explicitly clear (it is unclear whether players invited to the Championship based on Qualifier Weekend overall performance to get the number to 32 will also be given Pro Tour invites). While this may end up not being entirely accurate, the Arena Championship is a big enough event to qualify for that I will consider qualifying for it at least as good as qualifying for the Pro Tour.