Invitational Tournaments are Premiere Tournaments, which means that you can only play in one by qualifying. Invitational tournaments occur once per season, and are the final tournament of the season. As of 2018, there are four seasons per year. Previous Invitational Champions are listed below:
2017 (6 Seasons)
Season 1: Toth201
Season 2: iReedMinds
Season 3: Angrychicken
Season 4: childroland
Season 5: Sunyveil
Season 6: LightsOutAce
2018 (4 Seasons)
Qualifying for an Invitational Tournament
Invitational tournaments invite players based on their results during the season the tournament is held in. There are eight weekly tournaments, as well as a Last Chance Qualifier, that help players demonstrate their ability and qualify for the Invitaitonal. The primary means of qualifying is via Invitational Points. Please see this page for more information.
Invitational tournaments invite 32 players to compete in them. Initially, players are invited via first wave invites, and give two days to confirm their attendance at the invitational. Any players who decline their invite will be replaced by the next highest ranked players via secondary invites. Primary invites come from the following sources:
- Eight (8) Weekly Winners
- Four (4) Rookies with the highest IP totals among rookies
- Sixteen (16) players with the highest IP totals who have not already qualified
- Four (4) Last Chance Qualifiers
The eight players who win a weekly tournament directly qualify for that season’s Invitational tournament, regardless of how many Invitational Points they have. A player can win multiple weekly tournaments, the extra invite they win will be filled via secondary invites.
Highest Ranked Rookies
The four Rookie Players with the highest Invitational point totals will be invited to the Invitational tournament, regardless of how their points compare to non-rookie players. This takes place before any other players are invited via Invitational points – a Rookie who could qualify via having one of the sixteen highest IP totals would instead be invited as a high ranked Rookie, if possible.
Who are Rookies?
A Rookie is a player who has played in three or fewer ETS tournaments prior to the current season. This does not take into account tournaments played during the current season – Rookie status doesn’t “fall off” if you play in too many tournaments during a season. For example, a player could have played in three unrelated ETS tournaments in the last year, then enter their first 2018 tournament in Season Two. They would be considered a Rookie in Season Two, regardless of whether they played in only one tournament that season or all eight. However, they would NOT be considered a Rookie for any and all subsequent Seasons. Conversely, if a player had played in only one prior ETS tournament, then played two tournaments in 2018 Season One, they would be considered a Rookie for Season One. They would ALSO be considered a rookie the next season that they entered, as they will have played in only 3 total events. All ETS branded events are considered for this purpose – Last Chance Qualifiers and Invitationals count, while ETS Team League is considered a separate, team series, and does not count for Rookie status.
Highest Ranked Players
Once the winners and the top Rookies have been removed from the pool, the sixteen remaining players with the highest Invitational Point totals are invited.
Last Chance Qualifier
The three sets of players listed above are invited as part of the first wave, and are not eligible to play in that seasons Last Chance Qualifier,e even if they decline their invite. The four players who make Top 4 at the Last Chance Qualifier will be invited to the Invitational, regardless of their Invitational Point total.
Once all players have been invited, the missing players will be filled via secondary invites. All the qualified players will be removed from the pool, then the remaining players players with the highest point totals will be invited (as many as necessary).
Quite often, two or more players will have the same point total and tie for a points based invite. All tied players are ALWAYS invited together – often, enough players will decline their invites to make tie breakers unnecessary. In the event that we end up with more than 32 invited players, tied players will play tiebreak matches with their chosen Invitational decklists in order to determine who will play in the tournament. Tiebreakers will never be based on previous statistics.
Players who are invited via a tied invite that are on the bubble (i.e. tied for 16th overall or 4th rookie, etc) are allowed to participate in the Last Chance Qualifier.
Invitational Tournaments are two day events that feature two tournament formats. On the first day, a modified Swiss tournament takes place with 32 players. On the second day, a single elimination tournament takes place with 16 players to determine the winner.
Day 1 – Modified Swiss
Day 1 is a 32 person, 7 round Swiss tournament with a modified rulest. In a regular Swiss tournament, players will play all 7 rounds. However, in this format, players are removed from the Swiss event once they reach either 4 wins or 4 losses (ties are not possible). If a player reaches 4 wins first, they qualify for Day 2. If a player reaches 4 losses first, they are eliminated from the tournament. Otherwise, the rules (including pairings) are the same as any other Swiss event.
Day 2 – Top 16 Single Elimination
On the second day, its down to the wire – players play in a single elimination tournament to determine the winner. Seeding is randomized and has no basis in Day 1 results. Once a player loses, they are eliminated.
Premiere events always have cash prizes, as well as Series Point payouts. Cash prizes will vary from tournament to tournament, but Top 16 will always give players Series Points based on their final standings. Please see the Series Points page for more details.
1st: 12 Series Points
2nd: 10 Series Points
3rd/4th: 8 Series Points
5th through 8th: 6 Series Points
8th through 16th: 4 Series Points