Articles / How to run an MTG Tournament

How to run an MTG Tournament
Competitive Guide 
By: andreliverod - 19 Feb 2019

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Want to run your own MTG Tournaments with other people? Either over the internet, with your local LGS or just with your friends in your living room, Aetherhub has the tools you need. The following article will explain how to use the Tourney tool on the site, While it is easy to run a normal tourney we will go more into the depth of the more advanced functionality our site has to offer. 

Making a Tournament can be done from the Tourney Menu. You can also create Leagues here, which is something you use to group tournaments together. An example would be grouping tournaments together by year or seasons. You can make tournaments Private or Public. Only Public Tourneys can be joined by other Aetherhub users. If you wish to hide the tournament after allowing entrants to join, you can make the tournament you create private after everyone has joined. This will make the participants unable to view it after it is done. In this example, we will make a Public Tourney.

After creating a new tournament, you can share the join URL with participants so they can join. It is a good idea to write a description first with details if you have special conditions entrants should know about. You can also input player names manually. Please take note that you cannot add other Aetherhub users to your tournament unless they have already been in one of your earlier tournaments. You can also add players without Aetherhub accounts. This is useful if you are hosting a local tournament. We recommend everyone add or join as Aetherhub users as tournament stats and participation history is recorded in their own account.

When People sign up to the tournament, they will be put in a join queue. As the tournament creator, you have to approve their signup for them to become registered in the tournament.

There are icons on each user to describe their current status. The Gamepad signifies that the player has entered a game nickname. If you or other users click this icon, their nickname will be copied to your clipboard for you to paste into your MTG client. The offline/online icon signifies if the user has the Tourney page open in their web browser. This is great for live tournaments on streams where you want to ensure that all players participating are live, so you can kick them out of the tournament if they are inactive. Be sure to communicate this to viewers so no misunderstandings happen. If kicked out, the player can still sign up again to the tournament.

This is what a player will see when they click the signup link and log in with their Aetherhub account. The get to sign in, the default name is their Aetherhub name. DCI number is an official MTG number you get when you participate in real tournaments, it is not required and does not link to your official WOTC DCI account. If you are joining an MTG Arena or MTG Online tournament, your entrants should put in their username so that other players easily can match against each other. This MTGA/MTGO nickname listing is only visible to other players registered in the tournament and is not shown to other people outside of the tournament.

When an entrant has signed up and is approved by a tournament organizer, they will get this message and will be provided access to the Tourney Chat. All that is left is for the organizer to start and pair up players. This window will refresh when the tournament starts. The Tourney chat is a useful tool for participants to communicate or banter with each other. These messages are not saved and will disappear when the tournament is over.

The number of rounds will be automatically selected by the Tourney. The Tourney will update based on the number of players after every addition or removal of a player from the tournament. If you want to overwrite this, be sure to update the rounds number after everyone is added to the Tourney.

After you start the tournament, you can click the Auto Pairings button and the entrants' browsers will refresh and show them their pairings. The pairing row will light up for easy visibility for each entrant. You also have access to a round timer. Starting this will also start a timer in each of the entrants' browser, which will synchronize with the timer of the organizer. When players finish their round, they can update their results within their Tourney window. It is important that both players deliver results, as the Tourney will automatically accept the result if both results are the same. This will allow the Tourney organizer to avoid having to do this manually. As the Tourney organizer, you have full control over updating the results if there are any errors or discrepancies.

The Tournament Organizer can undo pairings by clicking "Manual Pairings". This is used mostly in situations where an error is found, or if you need to go back to the last round. We recommend you use the Auto Pairings function, as this will always pair correctly. If you select more rounds than recommended, it might fail to pair in cases where most players have already played against each other. It is recommended to let the Tourney decide the number of rounds. Playing less rounds than recommended should not cause any issues.

This is the view from the entrant's side in a round. When their game is finished, both entrants need to click the "Add results" pane and type in their results. They can choose to drop from the tournament. The result is only valid if both players put in the same result. In cases where only one player delivers the result the Tournament organizer will often just take that as the final score.

About andreliverod

André Liverød Founder and CEO of, techie, senior IT Network consultant, web dev, and MTG enthusiast. Likes to play with fire. You can follow André on Twitter.

"Nuts & Bolts Spike spends his energy looking within. He tries to understand his own internal flaws and works to improve them"


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