Season 3 Fact Sheet

  • Our Invitational is an exclusive invite only tournament at the end of each season hosted at Kingslayer Games. Each season is a 6 month long queuing cycle, that starts on January 1st and July 1st respectively.
  • The Season 3 Invitational will be dual format.
    • 3 Rounds of Draft
    • 4 Rounds of Standard
    • Top 8 Draft
  • There are 32 spots available for Season 3.
    • 24 of those slots are reserved for the top players in our Championship Points.
    • 5 are reserved for winners of our Invitational Qualifier tournaments.
    • 2 for our Last Chance Trials.
    • The final slot is reserved for the Season 2 Champion.
  • Championship Points are earned through playing in weekly events. Each win in a match awards one Championship Point (CP). CP’s are no longer awarded in Prerelease Events.
  • Invitational Qualifiers are held throughout the Season 3. There are 3 of them, starting with Team Trios on August 18th.
  • Last Chance Trials will be held the day before the Invitational. One will be Standard and one will be Limited.

Breaking Down Season 2 and Deep Dive on Season 3

Over the past year, Kingslayer Games has gone through immense change. From streaming our weekly events to starting an Invitational circuit last July, taking the play experience to the next level has always been a goal. While I have not always been involved in the day to day happenings at the shop, I’ve come to see all of our players as friends.

Lessons Learned

With the end of Season 1 in December we had set the stage for a successful system of events to replace the now defunct PPTQ system, and with the new year a host of other stores had sought to bring their own Invitational events to the area. Coinciding with this announcement came some feedback from our in-house players — while the first Invitational provided and incredibly exclusive and exhilarating experience for qualified players, the nature of a Top 9 qualification system excluded most players from participating. Entering late into the season made it nearly impossible to qualify, even with good records, while being unable to play four events a week left players at a similar disadvantage. Many players work early in the morning and already put off sleep to play in one or two weekly events a season — under the original system these players were quickly left behind.

Going into Season 2, we wanted a system that was more inclusive, while still encouraging players to play in events. By offering progress rewards and fully utilizing a season of our Stamp system, we had hoped to encourage players to play additional events, without snowballing these players too far ahead. Nevertheless, this system failed to motivate players. With less of a reason to compete, along with the rise of Arena and an uncertain future for paper Magic, attendance was down. By looking at the point totals for both Season 1 and Season 2, we can try to understand the problems with both systems.


Season 1 had 459 players, earning a total of 6837 points. By comparison, Season 2 had 644 players — more than 200 more — but its total points earned were 7670. While these numbers may mean nothing on their own, understanding that the average points earned per player for Season 1 were 15, compared to 12 for Season 2, we can see that overall participation was significantly lower. Compounding this data is the additional points we awarded this season. By ensuring that Prereleases gave points, as well as massively increasing point payout at IQ’s, we gave out nearly 15% more points to help players achieve the point thresholds.

One striking piece of data for the seasons is the way the points were distributed. While Season 1 had a higher average points per player, the average for the Top 32 players for both Seasons was incredibly similar. With such a stark difference between the Top 16 players, we can see that the points are evened out more for Season 2 compared to Season 1 — point totals were more competitive.

Using all of the available data, as well as player feedback, we wanted to find a way to preserve the exclusive feel of a Kingslayer Games Invitational. 16 players proved too low for our large player base, while a more casual qualification system like Season 2 showcased the opposite extreme. Additionally, we liked the IQ system, but scheduling these events showcased difficulties planning around so many other local events.

Balancing a unique tournament feel with a qualification structure that ensures enough spots are available is a difficult task, yet we feel confident in our ability to learn from previous seasons.

The System

For the Season 3 invitational season, we will be moving away from a point threshold. While there is merit to simply raising the threshold, we want to encourage a competitive spirit and ensure that each match matters. As such, we decided to eliminate the point threshold, and move towards a system similar to Season 1. This time, the Invitational will be 32 players — 24 from the Points leaderboard, 1 spot for the winner of the Season 2 Invitational, and 7 spots for IQs.

Secondly, we are revisiting our Special Event calendar, and reducing the amount of IQ’s per season. With too many IQ’s players may find themselves unable to adequately prepare for each event. Having a Standard IQ right around Modern season is a difficult ask in a low-stakes system, so scaling back the number of events allows us to schedule format appropriate IQ’s (though we are open to any format with enough demand).

With this revision to our Special Events also comes a revisiting of point payouts. In Season 3, prereleases will no longer award points on the leaderboard, and IQ’s will have their points adjusted to make them more relevant later in the season.

Next is the addition of Staples events (or other Monthly events). In Season 3 we will be having both a Modern and a Legacy Staples event. While we are open to hosting other special events based on demand, these two allow us to cater to our varied player base while incorporating the Invitational System. The goal of these Staples events is to give players a different tournament structure that is exciting to play in — we want players to play these events because they’re fun, not because they have to for points. That being said, we are giving points for these events, but it will be less than an IQ — think more in line with a slightly buffed Weekly event.

Finally, to account for the last two qualification spots, we will be adding two Last Chance Qualifiers to take place the day before the Invitational. There will be one event for each format in the Invitational, and they do not award points — instead first place gets an invite. Specific information will become available as the date nears.

To Recap:

  1.  32 Player Invitational for Season 3 — 24 Points At Large invites, 5 IQ winners, 2 Last Chance Trial Winners, and the Season 2 Champion.
  2.  Prereleases no longer award points, and IQ’s have adjusted point payouts.
  3.  Bi-Monthly IQs, and periodic Staples Events for both Legacy and Modern (and as long as Travis doesn’t read this…maybe Pauper???).

Dates and Information (Tentative)

With the uncertainty of future MCQ formats and dates, it is impossible to definitively assign a date for any specific event. Still, we’ve provided tentative dates below to give players a sense of around when they should expect the event.

Season 3 Start: July 1st

Season 3 End: December 31st

IQ # 1 — Team Trios — August 18th

September Legacy Staples Event (September 22nd tentatively)

IQ #2 — Limited — October 13th 

November Modern Staples Event (Nov 17th tentatively)

IQ # 3 — Standard — December 8th

Season 3 Invitational — Sometime in Late January/Early February

Last Chance Trials — Same weekend and format as Invitational

Thanks for your support in our Invitational System, and for making the store what it is today. Let us know your thoughts on the Season 3 format, as well as any of the changes. What’s good, What’s bad, and Who is getting fired?