Changes Announced for Magic: The Gathering SCG Tour

Published: November 2, 2016 8:30 AM /


eternal-masters-artwork, the well-known Magic: The Gathering retailer, will be making changes to their SCG Tour, according to an announcement posted on Halloween.

The SCG Tour is a set of tournaments hosted at major metropolitan areas across the east coast of the United States. The most common of these are the SCG Opens, which feature open registration, allowing for non-professional players to compete in a large tournament setting. SCG Opens also feature the Classic tournaments, which take place on the second day of the Open Weekend. SCG Classics do not feature the same format as the main Open event, so Standard, Modern, or Legacy players can still attend, depending on what format is used for the Classic. In addition, players who finish in the top spots can qualify for the SCG Invitational series, exclusive tournaments with $50,000 in prizes.

In restructuring the SCG Tour, StarCityGames cited "a number of significant and increasingly complex challenges" as influencers. "As we attempted to address each of them, it became apparent that the majority of those challenges were either directly resulting from, or being noticeably exacerbated by, our inability to quickly modify our various Organized Play offerings in order to adapt to external changes we had little to no control over," SCG President Pete Hoefling said in the announcement. Hoefling did not go into specific issues the company was facing but did mention the possibility of discontinuing the SCG Tour altogether if conditions did not improve.

The restructuring has cut the 2017 SCG Tour to two seasons, down from 2016's three. The SCG Invitationals have been cut in half, going from four events to two in 2017, though the remaining tournaments will feature double the prize support. Invitational Qualifiers have also been affected and will be merged with the Super Invitational Qualifiers, keeping the prize structure of the latter. The Player's Championship appears to be axed from the schedule altogether, with no date being listed in the new schedule. State Championships will also come to an end, due to difficulties in holding tournaments in all 50 states.

The Legacy format was impacted the most, in light of receiving a renewed interest since the release of the Eternal Masters set in June. For the 2017 season, there will be only two Legacy Open and Legacy Classic events, cut down from the three Classics and 22 Opens in 2016. StarCityGames cited a desire for players in the main Open event to have a "second chance" Classic in which they could compete in, should they not make it to the second day of the tournament, resulting in Legacy Classics only being available for the same weekend as Legacy Open events.

However, the changes resulted in a new tournament format for the SCG Tour: Team Constructed. Teams consist of three participants, with each member being designated as their team's Standard, Modern, or Legacy player. Rounds consist of players competing against their respective counterpart on opposing teams. So far, this format has only been confirmed as the main event for the Baltimore Open Weekend in February.

Reactions to the announcement have been mixed, with Legacy players in particular expressing disappointment and anger. One commenter on Reddit described Hoefling's announcement as a "bizarre vanity piece," calling into question the "excitement" he expressed in spite of scant details. Some have speculated that the cutbacks are a result of financial difficulty, but Hoefling himself dismissed this in a Reddit comment.

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What are your thoughts on the restructuring of the SCG Tour? Do you think the changes are positive or negative? How do you think this will impact Legacy? Let us know in the comment section below.

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| Staff Writer

People sometimes call me the Hatman. I write about video games and Magic: The Gathering. In my spare time, I play video games and Magic: The Gathering.