The first postseason tournament of the 2020-21 professional Magic season has come and gone. The Challenger Gauntlet took 24 players who had strong seasons while not being members of the Magic Pro League or the Rivals League and gave them a shot at moving up in the ranks. A strong finish in the Challenger Gauntlet meant a spot in the Rivals League for the 2021-22 season and a top finish on Sunday meant an automatic invitation to the World Championship (as well as the $50,000 appearance fee) and a spot in the 2021-22 Magic Pro League.
At the end of two days of competition across Historic and Standard, 12 players had a shot at the one of the coveted World Championship slots. The top four players after 12 rounds of Swiss -Sam Pardee, Noriyuki Mori, Arne Huschenbeth, and Matti Kusima- had a slightly easier route on Sunday – one win and they earn the Worlds invite and a spot in the MPL and if they lost they had another shot at the win in the Lower Bracket. The other eight competitors – Logan Nettles, Ian Birrell, David Inglis, Sam Rolph, Gavin Thompson, Jan Merkel, Joao Moreira, Keisuke Sato – would have to go undefeated on Sunday to earn the top prize.
The first two players to earn their World berth and a spot in the MPL were Sam Pardee and Noriyuki Mori. Arne Huscehnbeth won his match against David Inglis, securing his spot. The final spot up for grabs saw Matti Kusima square off against Keisuke Sato. Keisuke Sato had to win a tie breaker match to earn his Top 12 spot and managed to rattle off three more wins after that, defeating Kusima and earning a place at the World Championship and on the MPL roster.
The remaining 8 players all qualified for next season’s Rivals League and have another shot at the World Championship as part of the Rivals Gauntlet.