DCI (Wizards of the Coast)
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The DCI (formerly Duelists' Convocation International) was the official sanctioning body for competitive play in Magic: The Gathering and various other games produced by Wizards of the Coast and its subsidiaries, such as Avalon Hill, before being gradually rebranded as the Wizards Play Network starting in 2008. The DCI provided game rules, tournament operating procedures, and other materials to private tournament organizers and players. It also operated a judge certification program to provide consistent rules enforcement and promote fair play.
The DCI was formed in late 1993, and developed Magic: the Gathering's first tournament sanctioning and deckbuilding rules. Over the next decades, it filled several roles in Magic's Organized Play. It maintained policy documents as changes were needed, addressing new questions and supporting new product releases. It maintained the registration systems for both players and sanctioned tournaments. It also developed and operated a certification program for tournament officials, known as Judges.
Over time, the roles of the DCI were gradually absorbed by other organizations, such as Wizards of the Coast itself, through its Wizards Play Network program, or through the independent Judge Program. The DCI's name is still commonly used, however, to refer to both the player registration number ("DCI number") and the event sanctioning program ("DCI-sanctioned event").
DCI Sanctioned Events
In order to play in sanctioned events, players must register for membership and receive a DCI number. This number is up to 10 digits long, and uniquely identifies a competitor in a sanctioned tournament. The DCI maintains a global player ratings database (formerly based on a variation of the Elo rating system, now based on "Planeswalker Points", earned for participating in events as well as for each win) and members have access to their entire tournament history online. If a member commits frequent or flagrant rules infractions, his or her membership can be suspended for variable amounts of time depending on the severity, from one month to lifetime.
Magic: The Gathering
Until September 2011, the DCI maintained rules and assigned players ratings for three basic categories in Magic: Constructed, Eternal, and Limited. These categories recorded a player's ranking based on their records of wins and losses. A fourth rating category, Composite, was the average of a player's Constructed and Limited ratings. Starting in 2010, the DCI introduced a new rating category, called Total rating. This rating replaced most of the existing individual ratings at. While the other ratings were still published, Total replaced the other categories for rating-based invitations and byes.
The rating system was discontinued in 2011 in favor of a points-based system, known as Planeswalker Points, administered by Wizards of the Coast. The new system awards points for participating in a tournament, as well as additional points for each win during the event. This system replaced the rating system for invitations and byes.
Prerelease tournaments are held in hundreds of locations around the world five to six days before each new expansion, or set, is available for sale in stores. The prerelease provides a casual play atmosphere and a preview of new cards and sets.
Friday Night Magic (FNM) and Arena Leagues (currently defunct) are offered in many stores and clubs, allowing players to compete for special foil DCI cards and other prizes (rarely involving a cash top prize). These tournaments are mostly for amateurs and first-time players seeking a start in professional play.
Many other stores, school clubs, and community groups hold DCI-sanctioned events on a regular basis. Events are also held at almost all gaming conventions, such as Origins and Gen Con. In addition, some companies hold tournament series for Magic: The Gathering at locations across the US outside of DCI regulation.
The DCI was also the home of the Judge Program. Early in Magic's competitive history, the event's organizers needed a system for training and certifying qualified tournament officials. To have a measure of capability of the judges the DCI introduced judge levels. Over time the Judge Program grew and transformed, and is now an independent organization.
Hecatomb was previously supported by the DCI over its short lifetime. In August 2006, it was announced that the game would no longer be produced by Wizards of the Coast, and the DCI has ceased to support it.
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