Grand Prix (Magic: The Gathering)

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Grands Prix (GPs) 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 450 Grands Prix have been held since, the biggest being GP Las Vegas 2015 with 7,551 competitors, making it the biggest trading card game tournament ever held.


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.[1] In 2015 GP Las Vegas marked the biggest Magic tournament ever held with 7,551 competitors, which had to split into two independent Grand Prix event sharing the same venue.

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, however the exact amount formerly depended 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. All players achieving a record of 6−3 or better (prior to 2015 required a 7-2) 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. 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 6−3 or best 40 teams advance 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 competitors (or best four teams for team Grand Prix) - or all players with at least 39 match points at the end of the tournament, whichever is greater - receive an invitation to a previously determined Pro Tour. Cash prizes have varied considerably, ranging from $10,000 to $75,000. From December 7, 2013 prize payout depends on the number of competitors. Currently Grand Prix top finishers at an individual Grand Prix will receive:[2][3]

Place <3,000 Players ≥3,000 Players Pro Points
1st 10,000 8
2nd 5,000 6
3rd–4th 2,500 5
5th–8th 1,500 4
9th–16th 1,000 see below
17th–32rd 500 see below
33rd–64th 250 see below
65th–100th 250 see below
101st–180th 200 see below

Top 8 players receive Pro Points based on rank. All other players receive Pro Points based on their match point total at the end of the event.

Match Points Pro Points
39+ 4
36-38 3
33-35 2
30-32 1
0-29 0

All amounts in US Dollars.

Most successful players[edit]

The following players have won at least three Grands Prix.[4]

Name Wins Top 8
Japan Shuhei Nakamura 7 27
Japan Yuuya Watanabe 7 24
Germany Kai Budde 7 15
France Raphaël Lévy 6 21
France Olivier Ruel 5 28
United States Luis Scott-Vargas 5 14
Venezuela Fabrizio Anteri 5 10
Brazil Carlos Romão 5 9
United States Seth Manfield 5 8
Czech Republic Martin Jůza 4 24
Japan Tomoharu Saitou 4 23
United States William Jensen 4 21
United States Alex Shvartsman 4 21
United States Owen Turtenwald 4 21
United States Reid Duke 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 9
Canada Richard Hoaen 4 9
United States Brian Kibler 3 13
Japan Yuuta Takahashi 3 11
United States Bob Maher, Jr. 3 10
United States David Williams 3 10
United States Paul Cheon 3 9
United States Gerard Fabiano 3 9
United States Jon Finkel 3 9
Canada Ryan Fuller 3 9
United States Tom Martell 3 9
United States Chris Benafel 3 8
Japan Yuuki Ichikawa 3 8
Israel Shahar Shenhar 3 8
Lithuania Gaudenis Vidugiris 3 8
United States Matthew Nass 3 7
United States Trey Van Cleave 3 7
United States Jacob Wilson 3 7
United States Mike Hron 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 162
2 Japan Japan 86
3 Germany Germany 29
France France
5 Canada Canada 28
6 Brazil Brazil 18
Australia Australia
8 Netherlands Netherlands 11
9 Austria Austria 10
10 Italy Italy 9

As of 14 March 2016

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Event Coverage Archive". Wizards of the Coast. 1 December 2008. Retrieved 29 November 2009. 
  2. ^ "Worldwide Grand Prix Prize Structure". Wizards of the Coast. 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-08. 
  3. ^ "MAGIC: THE GATHERING® PREMIER EVENT INVITATION POLICY" (PDF). Wizards of the Coast. 26 December 2011. Retrieved 2012-01-09. 
  4. ^ "Lifetime Grand Prix Top 8". Wizards of the Coast. 2016-03-21. Retrieved 2016-04-17. 

External links[edit]