On December 15th and 16th, players in the NRG Series Championship will compete for their share of a $10,00 prize pool. These 24 players have been competing in our events all year for their seat at the Championship, and we’re excited to announce exactly how these players will earn the trophy by battling Standard, Modern, and Legacy in three unique Stages.
2018 has been a flagship year for coverage of the NRG Series, and we’re very excited to announce our team bringing you live coverage for each round of the Championship Event on our Twitch channel. Joining Mat Bimonte and Brad Brown on the coverage team will be defending SCG Players’ Champion Joe Lossett and former CT winner Dakota Clark. Our coverage team will not only be bringing you engaging commentary on matches of Magic all weekend but also exclusive interviews, deck techs, and roundtable discussions with our Championship competitors throughout the weekend.
Here’s the prizes that our competitors will be playing for:
Stage One: Group Play
Stage One will feature round-robin group play. On the Friday night before the Championship Event officially kicks off, the players will be split into four groups of six players each by random draw. Then, the 2018 MVP (that’s the overall points leader) will get to swap any two players in any group. That could mean moving themselves into a group of their choice, or switching someone else out of their own group for another player. After the MVP has made their choice, we’ll get ready for Stage One play on Saturday morning.
Since each group has six players, that means we’ll be playing five rounds of Magic, so that each player in a group plays against each other member of their group. The formats for these matches will be Standard, Modern, or Legacy, and each format will get played during the round-robin play. Rounds 1-2 will be “Format A”, Rounds 3-4 will be “Format B”, and Round 5 will be “Format C”, but we won’t announce the exact order to the players until just before Stage One begins.
After the five rounds of Stage One, the 1st place* player in each pod gains a huge advantage: they automatically become four of the eight players to advance to Stage Three. These group play winners will still play in Stage Two, but only for seeding.
The other four spots in Stage Three will be determined by play-in matches. Each 2nd place* player from Stage One will play against another pod’s 3rd place* player. The format of this match will be the same format as Round 5 (“Format C”) and the 2nd place player will choose whether to play or draw in this match. The winner of this match advances to Stage Three along with the 1st place players from Stage One, while the losers of this match will be eliminated.
* If there are two players with the same record within the same pod, ties will be broken using head-to-head results in group stage. In the case that three or more players with the same record are involved in a tie and head-to-head records do not break the tie, they will be broken using their head-to-head match result of each tied time against the next highest-ranked player in their pod until the tie is broken.
Stage Two: Play for Seeding
Welcome to Stage Two! The field has been cut from 24 players down to 8, and each of these 8 players has already qualified for Stage Three. However, players’ seed will be very important for Stage Three, so each of the players in Stage Two will play two rounds to determine their seeds. All of these matches will be played using “Format C”.
In order to determine the top seeds, the 1st place players from Stage One will play two rounds, where the winners of the first round matches play a second match to determine the overall 1st and 2nd seed and the losers of the first round matches play a second match to determine the overall 3rd and 4th seed.
The lower seeds in our bracket will be determined the same way. The remaining players will play two rounds, where the winners of the first round matches play a second match to determine the overall 5th and 6th seed and the losers of the first round matches play a second match to determine the overall 7th and 8th seed.
Stage Three: Elimination Bracket
It’s a good thing that we seeded this bracket on Saturday night, since seed matters in every Sunday match. The elimination rounds will be paired in typical bracket style, and in each match of the Top 8, the lower seed in the match will start by vetoing one of the three formats (Standard, Modern, or Legacy). Then, the higher seed will choose which format to play between the two remaining formats. The higher seed will have the choice to play or draw during their match.
In the Top 4, the structure is the same, with one exception. The lower seed still has the ability to veto one of the formats, but if they were the lower seed in the previous round, they are not able to veto the same format. The higher seed will still choose which format to play between the two remaining formats. The higher seed will still have the choice to play or draw during their match.
Once we reach the finals, the two players will play up to three matches: one each of Standard, Modern, and Legacy. Each match will be played with best-of-3 games, and the higher seed will get to choose to play or draw during each of the matches while the lower seed will choose the order that the formats will be played in. Whichever player wins two of the three matches will raise the trophy and be the first player qualified for the 2019 NRG Series Championship.
The NRG Championship is still more than two months away, but we’ve been working hard behind the scenes making sure that this event is the perfect way to cap off a successful 2018 on the NRG Series. We’ll have some more announcements very shortly about what the NRG Series will look like in 2019, but in the meantime, feel free to share your feedback about the Championship with us on Twitter @NRGSeries, in our Facebook Group, or directly to me at email@example.com. And remember to tune into live coverage of the 2018 NRG Championship on December 15th and 16th at twitch.tv/nerdragegaminglive.