NRG Series 2020 Announcement

At Nerd Rage Gaming, we’ve had the absolute pleasure of hosting the NRG Series annually since 2016, featuring bigger and better tournaments throughout the Midwest year after year. In 2020, as the NRG Series enters its fifth year, we’re looking forward to continuing to celebrate the Midwest Magic community by bringing you even more Magic tournaments and over $150,000 in total prizes! Let’s break it down:


The NRG Series in 2020 will be broken down into three seasons, each one lasting approximately four months. During each season, we’ll be running NRG Series Trials in various locations throughout the Midwest. Trials will be held back-to-back on Saturday and Sunday so that players can play in each event.

Each Trial awards $5,000 in total prizes and Championship Points towards the 2020 NRG Series leaderboard (more on this later). Here’s how the prize pool at each Trial breaks down:

Finish Prize Money Championship Points
1 $1,200 20
2 $600 18
3-4 $400 15
5-8 $200 12
9-16 $100 8
17-32 $50 4
33-64 2
65+ 1

Here’s a look at Season 1 of the 2020 NRG Series:

Date Location Saturday Event Sunday Event
January 11-12, 2020 Gurnee, IL $5,000 Trial – Modern $5,000 Trial – Legacy
February 15-16, 2020 Indianapolis, IN $5,000 Trial – Pioneer $5,000 Trial – Modern
March 21-22, 2020 Milwaukee, WI $5,000 Trial – Team Constructed $5,000 Trial – Pioneer
April 4-5, 2020 Naperville, IL $10,000 Showdown – Modern $5,000 Trial – Modern

Note: The above chart has been edited to include all formats for Season 1.

Season Showdown

As you can see in the schedule above, each season ends with the Season Showdown event, in which players compete for $10,000 in cash prizes, invites to the 2020 NRG Series Championship, and an invite to an upcoming Players Tour. The eight players that have earned the most seasonal Championship Points heading into each Season Showdown will earn free entry, but all players are more than welcome to compete. Here’s the prize breakdown for each Season Showdown:

Finish Prize Money Championship Points NRG Championship Invite Players Tour Invite
1 $2,500 30
2 $1,500 25
3-4 $700 20
5-8 $350 15
9-16 $200 12
17-32 $100 8
33-64 4
65-128 2
129+ 1

The Swiss rounds of each Season Showdown event will happen on Saturday, with the Top 8 playoff playing out on Sunday morning. Players who don’t make the Top 8 are welcome to play in a $5,000 Trial on Sunday morning, which will be the first event to earn points on the following season’s Seasonal Leaderboard. Should a player make Top 8 of the Seasonal Showdown and intend to play in the Trial on Sunday, they will receive the appropriate number of byes into the Trial (up to 2).

At the conclusion of each season, the winner of that season’s Season Showdown along with the two highest players on the Seasonal Leaderboard will qualify for the 2020 NRG Series Championship.


The 2020 NRG Series Championship will pit the 16 best players from the year on the NRG Series against each other as they battle for $20,000 in cash prizes along with an invite to the 2021 Championship for 1st Place.

But if you’ve been following along and doing some math in your head, we haven’t quite explained how each of the 16 slots will be determined. Here’s the full list of ways you can qualify for the 2020 NRG Series Championship:

  • Season 1 Showdown Winner
  • Season 1 Seasonal Leaderboard (1st)
  • Season 1 Seasonal Leaderboard (2nd)
  • Season 2 Showdown Winner
  • Season 2 Seasonal Leaderboard (1st)
  • Season 2 Seasonal Leaderboard (2nd)
  • Season 3 Showdown Winner
  • Season 3 Seasonal Leaderboard (1st)
  • Season 3 Seasonal Leaderboard (2nd)
  • 2020 At-Large Leaderboard (1st-6th)
  • 2019 NRG Series Champion

The exact format of the Championship won’t be announced yet, but with $20,000 in prizes and a re-invite on the line, it’ll certainly be the experience of a lifetime.

Other Updates

We’ve had a great year broadcasting our events on Twitch and we look forward to continually improving the production value of events. We’ll continue to broadcast live from each Trial and Seasonal Showdown and provide additional benefits for our Twitch subscribers.

Additionally, we’re happy to announce that starting in 2020, we’ll be testing our online decklist submission tool. This will improve the quality of our broadcast and post-event coverage and will help you make sure you don’t receive any of those pesky game losses for misregistering your deck. We’ll begin the public testing of our online decklist submission tool towards the end of 2019 on an optional basis, and we’ll hopefully move to digital-only submission sometime during Season 1 of 2020.

To The Year Ahead!

Even though the 2019 NRG Series has yet to conclude, we couldn’t be more excited about what we have in store for 2020. With over $150,000 in total cash prizes, invitations to the Players Tour on the line, and the opportunity to qualify for a 16-player $20,000 Championship, the NRG Series Trials and Season Showdowns are can’t-miss events. We look forward to hearing your thoughts on what the 2020 NRG Series has in store on our social media platforms either through Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. To the year ahead!

Note: Content found on this website may not yet be updated to reflect the information found in today’s announcement.

Max Kahn is the Event Manager for the NRG Series and the Judge Manager for all Nerd Rage Gaming events. When he’s not answering your judge calls or working behind the scenes at your local event, he splits his time between Chicago, Seattle, and Twitter.

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Max Kahn