WPN Qualifiers: Everything There is to Know

WPN Qualifiers: Everything There is to Know

January 13, 2020 | 4 min to read

Wizards Play Network Qualifiers for round two of 2020 are underway!

Now that WPNQs have fired up and players are qualifying for tabletop Magic’s most prestigious event as we speak, now's a good time to revisit how the events work—especially if you're interested in WPN Premium, which gives you access to one WPNQ per season.

Here's the breakdown.

How to Get One: Apply or Be WPN Premium.

If you're interested in running WPNQs in your store, the best thing to do is reach WPN Premium—they're guaranteed a WPNQ for each season. They can schedule them with a handful of clicks in Wizards Event Reporter.

We even give extra consideration to WPN members who've initiated the Premium process, even if they haven't earned the seal yet. Get more information and apply for Premium here.

Not Premium yet? No problem. All WPN members can go here and apply to host a WPNQ.

Couple things to keep in mind before you apply.

When we select stores, we're looking for folks we can trust to put on the best possible play experience, and who we can trust to put their full weight behind it. Magic fans' expectations for these events are very high, and we're looking for organizers who can meet those expectations.

So, when you open the application and see things like "How are you advertising and branding your event?" and "We utilize a robust online preregistration system," that's why. We expect these events to be comfortable, effortless, thrilling experiences for our players.

Which leads us to:

How to Run One: Closed or Open?

When it comes to running the event, you've got two options. One: a single event, open-to-the-public. Two: an invite-only event, for which players earn invites through WPN Preliminaries.

The two options share similarities. They're both run at Competitive Rules Enforcement level. (Learn more here.) They both ultimately award a Players Tour invite and a promo card to the Top 32 finishers. And they follow the same format schedule—format options vary by season (sometimes even within a season).

But there are some important differences in the structure. Let's start with open qualifiers.

Here's the structure. Run Swiss rounds, fifty minutes each. Cut to a single elimination playoff after a certain number of rounds based on the number of players in the event (see chart below).

As for staffing, you can see the Judge Community's recommendation here. (Judge Apps is a service provided by the Judge Community, an independent organization.) If you want to work with a judge at your event, reach out to Judge Academy.


Swiss Rounds



3 Single-Elimination Rounds (No Swiss)

None (Run Single Elimination)



4 (if Limited Format with Booster Draft in Playoff)

5 (All Other Formats)

Top 8 (If Limited Format with Booster Draft in Playoff)

Top 4 (All Other Formats)



Top 8



Top 8



Top 8



Top 8



Top 8



Top 8


Once a winner is determined, you're all set. Wizards will get in contact with the winner and let them know what comes next.

Open WPNQs: Need-to-Knows
  • Must take place on a single day
  • Registration is first-come, first-served
  • All players eligible to participate, unless they're already qualified for the Players Tour
  • Must be a stand-alone event (cannot be combined with another event)

Open qualifiers must have space for at least 128 players. If that's above your store's capacity, you can try running your event at an alternate venue. Or you can try running preliminaries.

Here's how that works.

How to Run Preliminaries

WPN Preliminaries are a good option for stores with limited capacity—this way, the capstone event can fit in your store, but the overall event structure still allows the same number of players to compete.

In this model, you'll run between two and four WPN Preliminaries, each of which awards invites to your WPN Qualifier.

WPN Preliminaries: Need-to-Knows
  • All events, both the preliminaries and the qualifier, must take place within four-weeks.
  • All preliminary events must offer the same number of invites to the qualifier.
  • Preliminaries must take players directly to the qualifier in a single event.

Total number of available seats for all preliminary events must be at least 128 players, spread across either two or four preliminaries. Here's how it breaks down:

Event Structure

Preliminary Capacity Requirement:

Preliminary Invites Awarded To:

Qualifier Capacity Requirement:

2 Preliminary Events, Closed Qualifier

64 minimum

Top 16


4 Preliminary Events, Closed Qualifier

32 minimum

Top 8



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