Nov 27, 2023 — In-Store Play, Events

Prizing Your Events with Play Boosters

Play Boosters are coming—it's a great time to review different methods for prizing your events.

Nov 27, 2023 — In-Store Play, Events

Prizing Your Events with Play Boosters

Play Boosters are coming—it's a great time to review different methods for prizing your events.

Play Boosters are making their debut with Murders at Karlov Manor, bringing the excitement of a Set Booster and the playability of a Draft Booster and combining them into one. In case you missed it, our initial announcement has all the details, and our previous installment of Play Booster articles covers how this change affects Prerelease in the near-term—we currently recommend two prize packs per participant in the pool, but how you distribute them is up to you.

Today, we're widening the scope further and discussing prizing with Play Boosters for every Magic event you host across the season.

We've previously shared some guidance on prizing your events, but now is a great time to review your current prizing efforts—with the arrival of Play Boosters, you may consider utilizing different strategies for prizing play.

Common Prizing Methods

Depending on the type of events you run, you might consider using any of the strategies below for prizing.

Flat Prizing

In a flat prizing structure, every player receives the same prize for participation. Alternatively, prizes may be distributed randomly using a method not related to wins or losses.

The benefits of flat prizing include:

  • Allows you to more easily prize Player-List Only events
  • Gives you options to prize based on good sportsmanship, creative deck building, or player mentorship
  • Remains a great method for prizing casual events and unstructured play, such as Commander

Prizing Based on Match Points or Wins

In this method, players earn prizes based on how many wins of match points they accrue throughout a structured tournament. For example, one win—or three match points—earns a player one prize pack.

The benefits of prizing based on match points or wins are:

  • Easy for players to understand
  • Encourages players to keep playing Swiss rounds regardless of performance, since every win counts
  • Players unable to stick around can collect prizes before they leave
  • Is a great prizing method for low-competitive, friendly tournaments such as Prerelease

Prizing Based on Standings

Prizing based on standings awards the top-performing players at your events with incredible prizes. When using this prize structure, keep in mind that you'll need to use tiebreakers when faced with players who receive equivalent match points.

The benefits of prizing based on standings are:

  • Allows precise calculation ahead of time for how much prizing will go out
  • Gives a clear determination of what your top prizes are
  • Ideal when you have special prizing, such as Store Championship Top 8 and Winner promos, "win a box" tournaments, or qualifiers

This prize method attracts more competitive players than previous methods. A common prize booster configuration for prizing based on standings would be 4-3-2-2 (i.e. four boosters for the top winner, three for second place, and two for third and fourth place, respectively). If your community is more competitive, you may do an 8-4 configuration.

If you run "win-a-box" tournaments, please keep in mind that Play Booster Displays come with 36 Boosters per Display—be sure to calculate and readjust your entry fees as desired.

League Points or a Prize Wall

Finally, you can consider using League Points or a Prize Wall, where players earn points based on participation or match outcomes that can later be redeemed for a variety of prizes.

The benefits of League Points or a Prize Wall include:

  • Allows you to more easily incorporate non-pack prizes (such as accessories or collectibles) into your prize structure
  • Incentivizes repeat play as it gives players the opportunity to build up points throughout a league season to earn a larger prize
  • Provides flexibility for how you award points—big plays, achievements, creative decks, attendance across multiple weeks, etc.
  • Great for continuous play leagues or events that offer a wide variety of prize options

In the end, you'll determine what strategy works the best to serve your community. Discuss tips and tricks with other store owners, and of course, be sure to keep a full event schedule so players can find and register for your events all season long.

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