Last updated on October 17, 2023
Sigarda, Champion of Light | Illustration by Howard Lyon
With the return of the Pro Tour and the revamped system for organized play there are a lot of new sub-systems and qualification paths. They’re easy to mix up, which is why I’m going to help you by breaking down the layers of tournament play, starting with the MTG Arena Championship event.
I’ll go over the tournament itself, how to qualify, and what you could win if you manage to get into the top of the bracket. It’s not too much info but it can be a little tricky to process, so let’s get started!
What Is an MTG Arena Championship Event?
Champion of Wits | Illustration by Even Amundsen
The MTG Arena Championship is a premier, 32-person tournament event with a $200,000 prize pool that awards an invite to the Magic World Championship. The event takes place three times a year, with invites going out to winners of the previous Qualifier Weekend events.
You can qualify for the MTG Arena Championship by winning a Qualifier Weekend. Qualifier Weekends are 2-day events that you can enter with high-ranked placement in the top 250 players in a season, or by winning a Qualifier Play-In event which takes place shortly before each Qualifier Weekend. You can enter Qualifier Play-Ins with gold, gems or Play-In points, so jamming those evergreen events is a grindy yet legit way to start your path to an Arena Championship.
There are four Qualifier Weekends that feed into each MTG Arena Championship, one each month. These Qualifier Weekends also qualify winners for the Pro Tour!
There are three MTG Arena Championships per year with each Championship having four Qualifier Weekends before as a way to invite players.
When Is the Next Arena Championship?
The next one is Arena Championship 4 on Oct. 7 – 8, 2023. Qualified players are listed on magic.gg standings for Arena Championship 4. Details like: What the format is for Day 1 and Day 2, who to submit decks to, and when you qualify, are listed in the Arena Championship 4 fact sheet.
The MTG Arena Championship has a $200,000 prize pool, and the specific breakdown of the prize structure is:
Can You Qualify for the Pro Tour via MTGA Championships?
Yes, earn seven wins on Day Two of a Qualifier Weekend and you will qualify for the next tabletop Pro Tour event and the next MTG Arena Championship. This is a huge bonus to organized play since it not only gives more legitimacy to MTG Arena and online competitive play but also reinforces the Pro Tour, and paper play as a whole.
Worlds remains the ultimate endgame for any competitive Magic player and require players to win or place extremely high in previous MTG Arena Championships or Pro Tour events. While the Arena Championship and Pro Tour have name recognition and massive prize pools on their own, the World Champion is a title only one person can have, so it’s as competitive as ever.
Trynn, Champion of Freedom | Illustration by Jesper Ejsing
That concludes just about all there is to know about the MTG Arena Championship and how it fits into the new system of premier play for Magic! I’m really happy about a lot of these changes, and I’m glad to see the Pro Tour coming back.
What do you think of the new system? Do you think it puts too high a focus on digital play despite the return of the Pro Tour? I want to know your thoughts, so please leave a comment below or talk about it in the official Draftsim Discord.
And since you're an MTGA player, you definitely should check out our free app, Arena Tutor. It tracks all your matches, has an excellent draft AI, and even helps you manage your collection!Follow Draftsim for awesome articles and set updates: