We are ready to announce our 2017 In-Store Program updates! We will open scheduling for January and February at noon Eastern on November 1st. In making our plans for 2017, we reflected on the 2016 changes and weighed feedback we have received over the year from our organizers. You had concerns about the removal of SCG Points from Invitational Qualifiers. We are bringing SCG Points back to Invitational Qualifiers in 2017 and renewing our focus on IQs being exclusive, competitive events.
The very first competitive tournament I traveled to attend (before Invitational Qualifiers existed) had no branding or advertising other than the prize pool. It was simply a “1K,” and it brought myself and a carload of friends in from over an hour away. Starting in 2017, we are increasing the Invitational Qualifier prize pool to $1,000. One of the primary draws for players to attend an Invitational Qualifier is the standardized prize structure. By making the prize pool more attractive across the board, we are going to encourage more players to fill cars to play in your stores.
The prize structure for Invitational Qualifiers will be:
|Prizes||Promotional Items||SCG Points||Qualification|
|1st||$400||Playmat & Pin||3|
|2nd||$200||Playmat & Pin||2|
|3rd – 4th||$100||Playmat & Pin||1|
|5th – 8th||$50||Playmat & Pin||0|
Another piece of feedback from organizers over the years is that Invitational Qualifiers should be more exclusive to encourage players to attend the events when they are available.
- We will increase the driving distance between IQs from around 2 hours to 4 hours.
- Organizers may also host only 1 IQ per store, per month.
- IQs may only be hosted on weekends.
Our goal is for players to view Invitational Qualifiers as special, must-attend events. With these scheduling guidelines, players will not have the opportunity to skip an IQ to play in the next one, because every one will matter more.
With the focus on the events becoming more exclusive and competitive, I want to assure you that there will still be promotional items in the kits to encourage the more casual, but still competitive players to attend. The event fee for Invitational Qualifiers in 2017 will be $350, and shipping will still be included.
Here are the kit contents for 2017:
Find out more about the Invitational Qualifier Event Kit.
Invitational Qualifier Plus events will be an even better value and will still only cost $30 more!
- 4 Additional Retired Playmats
- 25 Retired Tokens
- 2 Retired Dicebags
Items may differ from those shown.
With the anticipated size of Invitational Qualifiers in 2017, we are requiring them to have at least a Level 2 Head Judge or 2 Level 1 Judges on staff. We want to maintain a consistent, high-quality play experience for attendees and having an adequate judge staff is part of that. We will continue to assist stores in finding judges.
Finally, the last change to the operations of the tournaments will be how qualifications work. Both 1st and 2nd place will receive qualifications, and these will be valid for the next Invitational. This will further encourage players to attend YOUR IQ to get qualified before the next Invitational.
These changes will improve attendance for Invitational Qualifiers and we will continue to back up our expectations with the SCG Guarantee. As long as you have met the conditions for the SCG Guarantee, we will waive the event fee for a future IQ if you do not have at least 45 players at your IQ!
I do have one more change for Invitational Qualifiers, and this one takes place after the tournament. When you send us your post-event information on-time, you will receive a coupon for 10% off your next IQ or IQ Plus! With that savings, you can upgrade future IQs to IQ Plus events and STILL pay $5 less per event.
We are very excited about new opportunities to offer sales and discounts to our organizers in 2017. In order to have this opportunity, we are changing how Organizer Reward Points work.
Organizer Points will still matter for achieving different levels for Priority Approval and Scheduling. They will not be redeemable for events beyond December 31st, 2016.
You will have between now and then (effectively January – March) to redeem your points for Free IQs. Remember, any IQ for 2017 will require a $1,000 prize structure. This change gives us the opportunity to explore new promotions and discounts in 2017.
Below are the new Organizer Points Levels and Benefits:
|Points to Level||0||1,800||3,600||5,400||7,200|
|Priority Approval [?]|
|Priority Scheduling [?]||3 days||5 days||7 days|
|Priority Event Limit*||1||2||3|
Thank you for the opportunity to work together on the highest-quality, competitive Magic events. We also appreciate the feedback that has brought us to the changes I’ve outlined today. Please feel free to share feedback with us any time at [email protected], on our Facebook group, or give us a call at 540-685-4386.