Grand Prix (Magic: The Gathering)

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Grand Prix (GP) are professional Magic: The Gathering tournaments, awarding cash prizes, Pro Points and invitations to Pro Tours. They are open to all players and are usually the biggest Magic tournaments. The first Grand Prix was held on 22–23 March 1997 in Amsterdam (Netherlands). More than 250 Grands Prix have been held since, the biggest being GP Las Vegas 2013 with 4,492 competitors, making it the biggest trading card game tournament ever held.[1]


Grand Prix Rotterdam 2009

The Grand Prix was introduced in 1997. In contrast to the Pro Tour, which requires the players to qualify before the event, GPs have always been open to all players. The first Grand Prix was held in Amsterdam and was also the first professional Magic tournament held outside the United States, although awarding comparatively small cash prizes — $30,000 in total compared to $250,000 at Pro Tour Paris a few weeks later. Grands Prix have since been held in such diverse places as Tokyo, Moscow, Rio de Janeiro, Toronto and Cape Town. Approximately 20–30 Grands Prix are held each year throughout the world.[2] In 2013 GP Las Vegas marked the biggest Magic tournament ever held with 4,492 players.

Tournament structure[edit]

All Grands Prix are two day tournaments, taking place on weekends. They are run using a modified Swiss system. On Saturday nine rounds of Swiss are played, the exact amount depending on the number of participants. Competitors may be awarded up to three byes for earned Pro Points, having a certain rating(later replaced by Planeswalker points), and winning special tournaments, called Grand Prix Trials. In current 2014-2015 season's regulation, all players achieving a record of 7−2 or better at the end of first day are qualified for the second day of the tournament. If less than 64 players achieve such a record the best 64 players are qualified for the second day instead. Grands Prix with more than 800 players are split into two tournaments on day one, with each tournament sending at least 64 players to the second day. On the second day six rounds of Swiss are played, before a cut to the final eight is made. These competitors determine the winner of the tournament by playing an additional three rounds of single elimination. Team Grand Prix are using similar rules, the only differences are teams with a record 7-2 or best 40 teams in their pool advances to day 2. And only the best 4 teams after Swiss will enter the two round single elimination.

For Grands Prix played in a Constructed format all rounds are played with the same decks. Limited Grands Prix have a Sealed Deck portion on day one. On the second day Booster Drafts of eight players are held. The Booster Drafts are followed by three rounds of Swiss, with competitors only playing other competitors in their draft. The same procedure is once repeated afterwards. Before the single elimination begins, the final eight players draft for a last time.


Grands Prix awards cash prizes, Pro Points, and invitations to a Pro Tour. The best eight (or best four for team Grand Prix) competitors receive an invitation to a previously determined Pro Tour. Cash prizes have varied considerably, ranging from $10,000 to $54,000. From December 7, 2013 prize payout depends on the number of comeptitors. Currently Grand Prix top finishers will receive:[3][4]

Place <1,200 Players 1,200–2,399 Players ≥2,400 Players Pro Points
1st 4,000 8
2nd 2,700 6
3rd–4th 1,500 5
5th–8th 1,000 4
9th–12th 600 3
13th–16th 550 3
17th–23rd 500 2
24th–32nd 400 2
33rd–64th 300 1
65th–100th 250
101st–150th 200

All amounts in US Dollars.

Most successful players[edit]

The following players have won at least three Grand Prix.[5]

Name Wins Top 8
Japan Yuuya Watanabe 7 20
Germany Kai Budde 7 15
Japan Shuhei Nakamura 6 25
France Olivier Ruel 5 27
United States Luis Scott-Vargas 5 14
Czech Republic Martin Jůza 4 22
United States Alex Shvartsman 4 21
France Raphaël Lévy 4 19
United States William Jensen 4 18
Japan Tomoharu Saitou 4 18
Japan Masahiko Morita 4 16
Japan Katsuhiro Mori 4 14
United States Antonino De Rosa 4 11
United States Steven O'Mahoney-Schwartz 4 10
Canada Alexander Hayne 4 8
United States Owen Turtenwald 3 15
United States Brian Kibler 3 13
United States Reid Duke 3 11
United States Bob Maher, Jr. 3 10
United States David Williams 3 10
United States Paul Cheon 3 9
United States Jon Finkel 3 9
Canada Ryan Fuller 3 9
United States Chris Benafel 3 8
United States Gerard Fabiano 3 8
Japan Yuuta Takahashi 3 8
Lithuania Gaudenis Vidugiris 3 8
Canada Richard Hoaen 3 7
Brazil Carlos Romão 3 7
United States Trey Van Cleave 3 7
Israel Shahar Shenhar 3 6
United States Seth Manfield 3 5
Germany Jim Herold 3 3

Most successful countries[edit]

Number of Grand Prix tournaments won by players from the following countries:

Rank Country Wins
1 United States United States 109
2 Japan Japan 72
3 Germany Germany 25
France France
5 Netherlands Netherlands 15
6 Australia Australia 14
Canada Canada
8 Brazil Brazil 11

As of 25 February 2013

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Appreciating the Spectacle of Grand Prix Las Vegas". Wizards of the Coast. 26 June 2013. Retrieved 26 June 2013. 
  2. ^ "Event Coverage Archive". Wizards of the Coast. 1 December 2008. Retrieved 29 November 2009. 
  3. ^ "Worldwide Grand Prix Prize Structure". Wizards of the Coast. 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-08. 
  4. ^ "MAGIC: THE GATHERING® PREMIER EVENT INVITATION POLICY" (PDF). Wizards of the Coast. 26 December 2011. Retrieved 2012-01-09. 
  5. ^ "Lifetime Grand Prix Top 8". Wizards of the Coast. 2008-12-08. Retrieved 2008-12-19. 

External links[edit]