League Rules

Eligibility

You must be a person of a marginalized gender and 18 years or older to enter the VML.

VML eligibility is based on the sole discretion of the Tournament Organizer and may be revoked at any time.

Tournament Rules Enforcement

The VML is run with guidance from the Digital Magic Tournament Rules (DMTR) and the Digital Infraction Procedure Guide (DIPG); both available here. In the case of a conflict between these rules and those stated in the DMTR or the DIPG, these rules will take precedence.

The VML Head Judge for Season 9 is Elaine Cao. The best way to contact her is via Discord (Oritart#0001) or in the #vml-questions channel of the VML Discord Server. 

In all cases, the decision of the VML Head Judge is final.

League Structure

Players will be put into 8 person divisions and the league will consist of 7 weeks of round robin play within each division and 5 rounds of single elimination playoffs. After registration is complete and before play begins, the full list of divisions and schedule of matches will be published on the website.

For the purposes of the league, all times stated will be in US Pacific Time.

A “week” is considered to be from Monday to the following Sunday. Each week, players will submit a decklist which they will use to play a different opponent within their division. Decklist submissions are due by 11:59 PM on the Sunday before the week begins. Play for a week can commence once decklists are published on the website, which will happen by noon on Monday. Each week, play will conclude at noon on Sunday. Match results must be submitted by this time.

Schedule

Event Date Time
Registration begins Tuesday, January 24th Noon
Registration ends Thursday, January 26th Noon
First decklist due Sunday, February 5th 11:59 PM
Week 1 begins Monday, February 6th Noon
Week 2 begins Monday, February 13th Noon
Week 3 begins Monday, February 20th Noon
Week 4 begins Monday, February 27th Noon
Week 5 begins Monday, March 6th Noon
Week 6 begins Monday, March 13th Noon
Week 7 begins Monday, March 20th Noon
Top 32 begins Monday, March 27th Noon
Top 16 begins Monday, April 3rd Noon
Quarterfinals begins Monday, April 10th Noon
Live Semifinals and Finals Friday, April 14th 6:00 PM

Decklist Submission

Decklists must be submitted through the player portal by 11:59 PM on the Sunday before a week begins. Players must accurately indicate the archetype of their deck during submission. 

If a player does not submit a decklist by the deadline, their last submitted decklist will be used as long as it is legal in the current format. If they do not have a legal deck, then that player will receive a game loss and must submit a new, legal decklist.

The VML is an open decklist event as defined in DMTR §2.7.

Format

The format for the VML will be Standard, best of three, with a 15-card sideboard as defined in DMTR §6.3

Judge staff will communicate any changes in the event of a Banned & Restricted announcement in accordance with DMTR §3.3

Matches will be played using the ‘Direct Challenge – Constructed Tournament Mode’ option within the MTGA client unless otherwise directed.

Arranging a Match

Each week, players are required to coordinate with their respective opponents, via Discord or other agreed upon means, to establish a match time in the current week. In the spirit of community-building, players should make prompt and good faith efforts to arrange match times.

In the event the players cannot or do not reach an agreement, the default time at which players will play is 9am Sunday. Each week, play will conclude at noon on Sunday. Match results must be submitted by this time.

Players may submit their scheduled match time on the website through their player profile page. We strongly encourage players to use this feature to serve as evidence of an arranged match time.

What to do if your opponent does not show up for a match

Kindly remember that the VML staff are human and cannot be awake 24 hours a day. They will try to help you contact the other player if possible, but they are not responsible for scheduling your match.

If there is difficulty in scheduling a match, or special circumstances arise, please contact the VML Head Judge on Discord as soon as possible.

Technical or Other In-match Issues

If a technical issue arises during your match

Video evidence and screenshots may be used to assist in rectifying any problems, so we recommend recording your match if possible.

Players found to be intentionally exploiting bugs will be disqualified from the league and any prizes rescinded in accordance with DIPG §3.9.

Reporting Results

Once the match is complete, the winner must report the match score using the “Submit Results” button on their player portal. The other player should also confirm the match score through their player portal. If the result of the match does not align with the options presented, please contact the VML Head Judge immediately. We recommend that you take a screenshot of your “Victory” or “Defeat” screen in case of a dispute. If there are any concerns, please contact the VML Head Judge as soon as possible.

Tiebreakers

Tiebreakers are used to determine playoff eligibility and seeding based on division play results. The tiebreakers will be used in the following order:

In the case where tiebreakers are used to determine seeding during the playoffs, if players are still tied after all of the above, there will be a coin flip to determine higher standing.

In the case where tiebreakers are used to determine if players qualify for the playoffs, if players are still tied after all of the above, there will be a playoff match to determine higher standing.

In the case of a three (or more) way tie, head-to-head will only be applied if a player has won against all the other players within the tie. If needed the head-to-head and game win percentage breakers may be applied iteratively to determine placement within a multi-way tie.

Example scenario

Players A, B, and C all have the same record, and head-to-head records are: A beats B, B beats C, C beats A. Head-to-head is discounted at first, and game win percentage is applied. If A has a higher game win percentage than the other two players, A will be first in the standings. Head-to-head will then apply to the tie between B and C since A is taken out of the three-way, and B will be placed second followed by C.

Playoffs

At the end of the regular season, the top 2 players from each division will advance to the single elimination playoffs. 

In the event that fewer than 16 divisions of players compete in Season 9, some wildcards may be awarded to players to ensure there are 32 players in the playoffs. Wildcards are the top players across all divisions who have not otherwise qualified, and will be seeded below the top 2 players from each division.

The playoffs bracket will be published following the final week of round-robin play. Please note that the deadlines for match play will be different during the playoff weeks. These deadlines will be communicated prior to the start of the playoff rounds.The Top 4 players will play their matches live on the VML Twitch stream on Friday, April 14th 2023 starting at 6:00 PM. Players who make the Top 4 must be available to play during this time.

Prizes

The top 32 finishers of Season 9 will receive cash payouts. The prize pool for Season 9 will be $7,000.

Place Cash Prize Additional Prize
1st $1,400 Invite to a Regional Championship and an invite to the VML Championships.
2nd $980 Invite to a Regional Championship and an invite to the VML Championships.
3rd & 4th $630 Invite to a Regional Championship and an invite to the VML Championships.
5th – 8th $280 Invite to a Regional Championship and an invite to the VML Championships.
9th – 16th $140 Invite to a MTG Arena Qualifier Weekend
17th – 32th $70

In the event that a Top 8 competitor is already qualified for the VML Championships from a previous season, their invite will pass down to the Top 16, ranked in order of standings from the round-robin season of play. 

There is no pass down for Regional Championships or Arena Qualifier Weekend invites.

Deck Trackers and Streaming

MTG Arena deck trackers are allowed during league play.

Streaming is encouraged! You can also check out our official broadcast each Friday at 6:00 PM on Twitch.

We recommend that you stream your match with a suitable delay. Any player found to be “stream sniping” will be disqualified and removed from the league in accordance with DIPG §2.2.

Feature Matches

Please note that feature matches are handled by the production team, not the VML Head Judge. For all questions regarding features, contact VML Co-Chair Haiyue (niphette#6702) or, for technical questions, VML Producer Phoebe (pzeitler#2424).

Each week, members of the production team will choose a number of matches to be recorded and shown on the Friday broadcast. If your match is chosen, you will be contacted via Discord (or other means if not available) and asked to record your match and answer a number of written questions.

If you are chosen for a feature match, please record your match and submit it according to the instructions pinned in the #match-recordings Discord channel. These recordings will be used during the Friday broadcast. Please also respond to the production crew’s questions in a timely manner as they use the information to make assets for the stream.

You may also be asked to play your match live on stream. We will only do so if you have indicated that you are able to on your player survey. This will be 100% optional, but we ask that players who are selected respond to inquiries promptly so that another feature may be found if needed.

You may also be asked to do a recorded or live video interview with a member of the production team. These are 100% optional and we will help you with preparation if necessary.

Drop-outs

It’s incredibly important to the integrity of the league that players finish all weeks of division play. Please keep in mind your fellow competitors and display good sportsmanship by completing your match each week. 

In the unfortunate event a player cannot continue with the league, we will ask them to finish any matches they can as soon as possible.  If a match cannot be completed, their future opponents will receive match wins. The VML Head Judge reserves the discretion to deal with these situations on a case-by-case basis.

Changes to These Rules

The rules set out above are based on 128 players entering Season 9 of the VML. If the size of the league is not 128 these rules may be adjusted accordingly.

Any changes to these rules will be announced via Discord and email.

Enforcement of these rules is subject to the full discretion of the Tournament Organizer and VML Head Judge and may be changed at any time.