The 2019 NRG Championship Series

Over the past three years, the Nerd Rage Gaming Championship Series has brought competitive Magic back to the Chicagoland area and the Midwest. Since the Series launched in 2016, we’ve had over 1,200 unique players play in our events for over $60,000 in prizes. Each year, we’ve made improvements to our events thanks to detailed feedback from our players, and this year is no different. Today, we’re thrilled to announce what the NRG Series will look like in 2019.

What will a 2019 Championship Trial look like?

As always, any player who wins a Championship Trial earns an invitation to the Championship Event. In 2019, there will be 11 individual Championship Trials from January to November, and the year will conclude with the December Team CT, which will award invitations to the Championship to all members of the winning team.

Starting in January, each of our 12 CT events will award $5,000 in cash prizes to top finishing players, and each player will earn Championship Series points to help them qualify for the 24-player, $10,000 Championship Weekend in December. That means that 2019 will award $70,000; more money than the first three years of the NRG Series combined.

While the prize support is increasing in 2019, we’re happy to announce that our entry fees will not. Entry into a CT will stay at $40 if you preregister for the event. Entry to the event without preregistration is $45. We’re also working with sponsors that will be providing free Magic supplies to all competitors on the 2019 NRG Series, so stay tuned!

Standing Cash Prize Championship Points
1st $1,200 20
2nd $600 18
3rd-4th $400 15
5th-8th $200 12
9th-16th $100 8
16th-32nd $50 4
33rd-64th 2
65th+ 1

In 2018, we experimented with holding Championship Trials outside of the Chicagoland area for the first time. We received a ton of support from areas like Iowa and Wisconsin, so we’re happy to announce that we’ll be going back to those areas twice each during the 2019 NRG Series. We’ll also be going to the Bloomington/Normal area in central Illinois for the first time to host 2 Championship Trials. We’d like to thank these areas for being so engaged with the NRG Series thus far, and look forward to an even bigger and better 2019!

How do I qualify for the 2019 Championship?

Qualification for the 2019 NRG Champion will work nearly the same as for the 2018 Championship, with one exception. Since there will only be one Team CT in 2019 (compared to two in 2018), there will be two more at-large spots available at the end of the year. Here’s the full list of ways to earn your seat at the $10,000 Championship:

  • Be the 2018 Series Champion (1)
  • Win an individual CT in 2019 (11)
  • Be a member of the winning team for the Team CT in December (3)
  • Be the Season 1 point leader (only counts points from the January CT to the June CT)
  • Be the Season 2 points leader (only counts points from after the June CT to the December CT)
  • Finish in the Top 7 at-large Championship Points (from the January CT to the December CT) among players not already qualified (7)

We won’t be announcing the structure for the 2019 Championship just yet since we’ll be considering feedback about the 2018 Championship structure before finalizing our details for next year. To read about the structure for the 2018 Championship, please check out our recent announcement

When can I play?

We’re still working on finalizing exact venues for 2019 Championship Trials, but we can give you an idea of dates, locations, and formats for Season 1 of the NRG Championship Series.

Date Location Format
January 12, 2019 Palatine, Illinois Modern
February 9, 2019 Milwaukee, Wisconsin Modern
March 2, 2019 Bloomington, Illinois Standard
April 13, 2019 Palatine, Illinois Legacy
May 18, 2019 Cedar Rapids, Iowa Modern
June 15, 2019 Gurnee, Illinois Standard


Looking Ahead

We’re confident that 2019 will be the best year yet for the NRG Championship Series. We look forward to providing competitive events to the Midwest United States, and we couldn’t do it without you. These changes are based on valuable feedback we’ve received from players, judges, and staff members throughout our region. If you’d like to leave feedback about the NRG Championship Series, or you have any questions or concerns about 2019, feel free to email me at

In the meantime, there’s still a few events left in 2018. Be sure to check out the official NRG Series Facebook Group for more information about our upcoming events and be sure to tune into the livestream of the 2018 NRG Series Championship on Twitch on December 15th and 16th at

Max Kahn is the Event Manager for the Nerd Rage Gaming Championship Series and the Judge Manager for all Nerd Rage Gaming events. Contact him at

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Max Kahn