May 2021 Judge Academy News and Updates

FREE Arena Judge Event:

This past weekend we had our first of two Judge Arena tournaments, sponsored by Facebook to test out their new Facebook Gaming interface! Congrats to Axel Martinez for winning, and thank you to everyone who participated. We’ve informed them of various bugs and feedback around optimizations, and are looking into additional tools, including a possible check-in function to help account for and eliminate Round 1 no-shows. More information will be posted on the event once it has been worked out!

The second event is scheduled for June 12th at 6am PDT (1pm UTC) The event is Arena – Standard Bo3, 256 player single elimination brackets, with prizes for Top 8. 

Judges participating must have a Magic Arena account and Standard deck, and use their full ArenaName#### as their gamer tag when signing up. If you don’t have a FB and want to sign up, please reach out to us so we can manually get your information to add you to the event.

Website: The look of our site has continued to grow and improve over the last month!

Completed Features/Updates:

  • Event Assistants for Drafted Events: If you are organizing events and would like to assign event assistants with permissions to setup/edit your event before it is officially posted, you can now add them to ‘Drafted’ events.
  • Various bug fixes and optimizations.


  • Change to forum reply notifications: The presentation and formatting of the replies a user receives to their forum posts is being cleaned up and made more readable. We mentioned these with our last update, and they’re just about ready to go – we are just finalizing the QA such that all subsequent replies also receive the same treatment as new ones. 
  • Re-Application to Events Change: We are changing the process such that an application that has been rejected cannot re-apply to the same event repeatedly. However, if an applicant withdraws their OWN application they will still be able to re-apply.
  • Changes to User Search page: We are making changes to remove the DCI information from the search results and arranging the full name and display name order. Since privacy settings affect these items, the word ‘private’ will be used instead of blank spaces if a user chooses to hide certain information. We are still planning to roll this out, however this item has been slightly impacted by the following…
  • Improve consistency in the display of Full Names and Display Names: We have always had the internal position of displaying a user’s Full Name as an identifier unless it has been expressly hidden using privacy settings – in which case we will use the chosen ‘Display Name’. We noticed some instances where someone may have ended up WITHOUT a Display Name set, and we are taking some technical steps to keep with our philosophy. 
    • The Display Name field will now be marked as mandatory on newly created accounts.
    • In such a case where a Full Name is hidden under privacy options and a Display Name is not entered, ‘Display Name Missing’ will be shown.
    • We encourage all of our members to have a Display Name set, and this can be done from your User Profile, with the ‘Edit Your Profile’ button. 

New Modules:

This month we’ve continued working through editing and processing our Level 3 content. While new applications for L3 have been paused until we know more about what what organized play will need from it’s leaders as it starts back up, these modules will be a part of that process, and are a great starting point for anyone wanting to start to understand what topics or skills they’ll need to start building or to help them decide if it’s something they ultimately want to pursue. As always, if you have any questions about your own process, please feel free to reach out to me directly at

  • Leading By Example
  • Deep Dive on IPG PPP
  • Looking For Incentives

Judge Apparel

The MTG Proshop let us know that the company printing their Judge Academy gear had a small delay due to some large sport season orders and it will likely be about 2 weeks before the first wave of gear makes starts arriving to judges. If you have any questions about your particular order, please reach out to MTG Proshop directly.


We’ve put together some additional conference resources. First off is a form intended to help walk organizers through the process of requesting promos after a conference. The sponsorship calculations can be confusing, and in order to avoid delays caused from back and forth clarifications or unstandardized requests, we’ve streamlined the request process into a single form. That form is here, and organizers will be instructed to use that to request sponsorship once their conference totals are finalized. 

We’ve also gotten some questions around the turnaround for conference distribution, so we’ve put together an informational graphic to help illustrate to attendees what happens after their conference ends. While we can’t account for unforeseen circumstances, this best clarifies the estimated and expected timeline for digital conference sponsorship. For MOST areas, these are incredibly conservative estimates, but we want to make sure judges understand all the steps that have to happen for digital conferences in order to set expectations as best we can.

To help clarify and set expectations around promos, for the month of June, as much as possible, conferences around the world will receive Eye of Ugin is their July 2020 slot, and The Gitrog Monster in their Jan-April 2021 slot in their promos sponsorship packs, meaning each pack will be:

  1. Grand Arbiter Augustin IV
  2. Karlov of the Ghost Council
  3. The Gitrog Monster
  4. Eye of Ugin

Why clarify “as much as possible”? The promos are an extremely limited resource compared to other printings and, towards the end of a card’s rotation, it’s possible that we might run out of a particular promo from an older wave, or not have enough of that specific card to cover a larger conference. We are constantly monitoring allocations and inventory, and don’t expect this to be a common issue, but if it does happen, we’ll be in contact with the organizer to inform them of any substitution. THIS WILL NOT OCCUR FOR CURRENT (NEW) CARDS.

As usual, thanks for your questions and feedback as we all navigate a world of online conferences together.