Mar 7, 2019

First Look: The New Tournament Software

Get a sneak peek at the ways we're updating WER to improve the player experience, streamline event management, and reduce the overall cost of running in-store play.

Mar 7, 2019

First Look: The New Tournament Software

Get a sneak peek at the ways we're updating WER to improve the player experience, streamline event management, and reduce the overall cost of running in-store play.

By Bill Stark, Product Manager, Wizards of the Coast

If you’ve run a Wizards event in the past decade you’re very familiar with WER. It’s been a workhorse of a tool for years, though admittedly not without some imperfections.

My team is dedicated to building the tools that support your business and your events, and a big part of our focus is seeking to improve how Wizards Event Reporter (WER) helps you succeed. In 2019, we're completely reimagining WER, and I'm very excited to give you and early peek at some of the features we're working on.

Let's take a look:


The Player Experience


I’ve been a Magic player since 1995, including a professional career in the mid-2000s. In all that time, the player experience hasn’t changed much.

Take pairings, for example. You listen for your name as tournament staff tries to shout over a crowd of gamers, or you scroll through list for your name while that same group of gamers jostles for position to find their name, too. No one is going to call that a well-designed customer experience.

We’re reimagining this element of the in-store experience. Results, standings, and all kinds of tournament information will be able to self-serve, so players can find what they need when they need it.

Here’s a look at a design that notifies players directly through their phones where they need to go to sit for the next round. (Just to be clear, this is a prototype.)

This streamlines their experience and frees them to enjoy what they like about your store instead of simply waiting around for things to happen while worrying about missing something important. It also conveniently brings me to our next focus. . .


Streamlining Your Work


Events in your store drive revenue, traffic, and build relationship with your customers. That’s awesome, but there’s a cost: they’re work!

If you’re running a Magic tournament, you've got less time to greet customers, make a recommendation to a new player, or any of the other things you do to make your business successful. With a new approach we can significantly reduce the amount of work you have to do to manage an event.

Features like this should help. Players entering their own round results means less paperwork to manage to keep the tournament running freeing you up to focus on other areas of your business and customer service experience.

Our goal is to reduce your paperwork, minimize the onus of scorekeeping, and make event management as hands-off as we can reasonably do. Every task WER can do instead of you means you’re free to continue focusing on making your business the best it can be for your players.


Reducing Your Costs


I grew up in a home of small business owners and have helped manage stores during my career as a gamer. At the end of the day the most impactful things are the ones that hit the bottom line. Included in our designs for WER are ways we can reduce the costs you incur when running Magic events.

Even something as simple as standings players can access on their mobile device means a reduction in the costs you spend on office supplies each year.

I’m really excited about the changes coming from my team in 2019 and I can’t wait to show them to you. If you’re interested in an early sneak peek of some of the prototypes (again, everything shown in this article is a prototype) we’ve put together come see me at the GAMA Tradeshow next week!

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