Oh how time flies…
It's wild to think that there aren't any more SCG Tour® Open Weekends this year, but it's true! Our final Open Weekend of 2019 was this past weekend in Atlanta, with the main event won by Grixis Death's Shadow in the extremely capable hands of Georgia native John Holland. Our Sunday's Classics were championed by two SCG Tour® mainstays in Russell Lee, winning the Modern Classic with Izzet Delver, and Dominic Harvey, winning the Standard Classic with Sultai Food. These three players are now qualified for the Season Two Invitational at SCG CON Winter in just under three weeks!
Speaking of the Season Two Invitational, that tournament is a culmination of a year's worth of hard work for many on the SCG Tour®. I, personally, have seen players of all shapes and sizes carve out a name for themselves all throughout 2019 on the SCG Tour® and I know just how important this tournament is for everyone who is qualified. With $100,000 in prizes, a bye plus free entry into each individual format Open for Season One of the 2020 SCG Tour®, free entry into one Classic per weekend for Season One of the 2020 SCG Tour®, having your likeness immortalized on an exclusive token, and an invitation to the year-end Star City Games® Players' Championship, the Season Two Invitational is, for many, the most important tournament of the year.
With that in mind and after deliberation with the entire SCG Tour® team, we have decided to make an emergency change to the formatting of the Season Two Invitational at SCG CON Winter. Instead of being a tournament with a Standard and Modern split culminating in a Modern Top 8 on Sunday, the Season Two Invitational will now be a tournament with a Pioneer and Modern split culminating in a Pioneer Top 8 on Sunday.
There are a few reasons we're making such a dynamic change, so let's dive into those.
Oko Appears To Be Broko
If you've been paying attention to Throne of Eldraine Standard, you know that Oko, Thief of Crowns is having an impact on the format unlike almost anything we've even seen in Magic before. Simply put, Oko is a card that has warped Throne of Eldraine Standard around itself and that is undeniable. So much, in fact, that maindecking cards that are typically seen as sideboard cards (Noxious Grasp, Aether Gust, and Veil of Summer) is becoming commonplace.
When making the decision to eliminate Standard from the Season Two Invitational, not only did we take the health of Throne of Eldraine Standard into account, but we also weighed heavily the thoughts and feedback of fans of the SCG Tour®. We take our role in hosting tournaments very seriously and part of that role is to ensure that those who attend our tournaments have a pleasurable experience playing the game of Magic and those watching from home have a pleasurable viewing experience watching the game of Magic to the best of our ability.
Unfortunately, Oko's dominance in Throne of Eldraine Standard has led many to not only find the format unfun to play, but our attendance numbers have shown that more and more players are actually electing to not participate in the Throne of Eldraine Standard tournaments we're holding at events altogether. Further, on Monday, October 28, Wizards of the Coast made it clear that no changes will be taking place in Standard until November 18, the day after the Season Two Invitational's completion.
There will be no B&R changes prior to #MythicChampionshipVI— Magic Esports (@MagicEsports) October 29, 2019
The next B&R Announcement will be November 18th, 2019
In situations like this, when we can make a change that we believe will impact our fans' experience with the SCG Tour® in a positive way, we do our best to make it. And we believe that with this confluence of factors at hand, changing the Standard portion of the Season Two Invitational to Pioneer will do exactly that.
As always, we welcome all constructive feedback, and will respond as much as possible on Twitter.
Thank you for your continued support of both Star City Games® and the SCG Tour®, and we look forward to seeing everyone at SCG CON Winter!
Please note that some SCG Tour® and Star City Games® In-Store Programs web pages and policy documents may have not yet been updated to reflect the changes contained within this announcement.