Jul 26, 2016

Why I Ran 150 Standard Events in 150 Days

We asked Level Up Games why they run Standard every night of the week. Here's what they had to say.

Jul 26, 2016

Why I Ran 150 Standard Events in 150 Days

We asked Level Up Games why they run Standard every night of the week. Here's what they had to say.

Standard is by far the most popular way to play Magic, and no one leverages that popularity better than Level Up Games in St. Paul, Minnesota. They've built such a strong Standard community that they've successfully fired more Standard events than any other North American WPN member in 2016, with an average of more than 16 players per event. We asked them to share with us how they've done it. Here's what they had to say.

At Level Up, we've made Standard the foundation of our Magic scene with one simple idea: Standard every night of the week.

Running a tournament every night may seem like a stretch—especially of the same format. But there are a number of ways this has led to growth in our community that has yet to stop.

Why We Focus On Standard

By focusing on Standard, we make sure the highest number of players have the highest number of opportunities to play.


Because Standard is the most accessible format in Magic. It has the most events offered and the cards involved are all still in print. By offering Standard every night, players know that when they get the urge to sling a few spells, they can always come on down to the LGS.

It doesn't actually take much additional effort to make this happen. We're already open with staff in the shop, so the majority of the resources are already in place. And even if some nights we don't have enough players to sanction the event, just getting players in and demonstrating that we're reliable goes miles in building long-term growth.

How We Keep It Fresh

Just because we offer Standard every night doesn't mean it's the same experience.

By offering different types of events for Standard throughout the week, it remains fresh and also allows players to choose an experience that more suits what they are looking for. This could be a more social event like Friday Night Magic or a tournament with a slightly increased entry and a larger prize payout, like our Level Up Magic Cup (a large monthly tournament series).

Having these different events throughout the week is fascinating to watch, because each night ends up forming its own micro-community of players who come to participate in that specific event each week.

When Standard Becomes a Gateway

Standard is the only format we offer every night, but it is far from the only format we offer.

Inevitably, the players who come in for Standard are going to see other formats being played and discover how fun it can be to put Emrakul, the Aeons Torn on the battlefield on turn one, or to open a Planeswalker in a Booster Draft and dominate the rest of the field. That exposure to more formats has helped those scenes grow in our store, as well as getting customers interested in a broader range of products.

Nightly Standard events might be a bit much for most stores, but keeping the focus on Standard can have benefits for anyone. For us, it's helped grow our community grow into something we couldn't have even dreamed of.

Store Stats: Level Up Games

  • Location: St. Paul, Minnesota (Population 300,000)
  • WPN Level: Advanced Plus
  • Age: 6 years
  • Size: 8,200 sq. ft.
  • Website: www.levelupgamesmn.com/

By Chad Divine of Level Up Games

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