The following articles take a deep dive into how to use the Melee platform.

Introduction to Melee

Updates are in Progress

We're currently working on a massive overhaul of our Documentation which is updated and edited in real time. Please be aware that if you see a half-built section, blank section, or a confusing one, that it will be updated shortly. All updates should be finished by the end of November, 2022.

What is Melee?

Melee is an event registration and tournament operations platform catered to the needs of tournament organizers, their staff, and players alike. Melee is designed by a team with over five decades of experience organizing, running, and playing in some of the largest and most prestigious Magic: The Gathering tournaments of all time. That shared experience has empowered the team to give Tournament Organizers all the tools they need to run successful tournaments for their players.

What do I need to do to get started?

Step 1: Create an Account

Whether your looking to participate in tournaments or run them, the first step is creating an account. Once you've created an account, you can turn it into an Organization Account by becoming an Organizer.

Step 2: Review Important Documentation

It's important to make sure you're aware of our Terms of Service and Entry Fee and Payment Policies before running tournaments. You'll also want to familiarize yourself with the Documentation found on this page.

Step 3: Join our Discord

The Melee team is very dedicated to ensuring Organizers and Players have the best possible experience they can. To ensure this, we pride ourselves on being as helpful as possible. The best play to contact us is via our Discord which you can join by clicking HERE.

Account Creation and Profiles

Account Creation

The first step to playing in or running tournaments on is creating an account.

Clicking Here will take you to our registration page (Hold Shift while clicking to keep this walkthrough open)

Once you've created an account you can turn that account into an Organization account. There is no application process for becoming an organizer. You can go Here to turn your account into an Organization account.

Account Creation

Becoming an Organizer

There is no application process for becoming an Organizer to run tournaments on Any user account can become an Organizer by clicking here. It's important to follow our Terms of Service and Entry Fee and Payment Policies. Failure to do so will result in account suspension.

Filling Out The Form
Organization Name

The name of the organization will be displayed on your organization page and all of your tournaments.

Contact Email

Your Contact Email will be the email address players will use to get in touch with you.

Becoming an Organizer

Your Profile Dropdown

This menu is located in the top right corner of the screen next to the search bar. Once you've uploaded a profile picture, a thumbnail version of it will be displayed here.

Here is a list of the options available in this menu:

  • Your Profile: View your profile as it appears to other players, including stats and past results.
  • Your Organization (Organizers only): Access your Organization Dashboard, where you can create and manage tournaments and other organization-specific activities.
  • Your Tournaments: View your upcoming tournaments, browse for new ones, and see results of past tournaments.
  • Your Decklists: View the decks you've submitted in tournaments or create new decklists to generate links and visual displays. Note: This is not where you will submit decklists for tournaments - you will do this in your Player Controller.
  • Settings: Edit your account settings, including your profile picture and personal information, and add links to your social media.
  • Documentation: Link to the document you are currently reading.
  • What's New: View details on site updates, including new features and bug fixes. You will see a small red dot at the lower right corner of your profile image thumbnail when there is a new update for you to read. We recommend reading all updates to stay informed.
  • Sign Out: Sign out of your account.
Your Profile Dropdown

Setting Up Your Profile

There's a few reasons why editing your Profile Settings is valuable.

Texted Pairings

If you add your mobile phone number to your profile, will send you texted pairings and table seatings whenever you're paired in a match.

Social Media Links

Social Media icons will display by your name in tournaments if you add your social media links in the "Social Media" tab. This helps others discover you on other social media platforms.

Opt in to Newsletters

Melee periodically sends out Newsletters to players detailing upcomming tournaments, cons, and features. You can opt in under the settings tab.

Registering for a Tournament

Overview of Playing in Tournaments uses a system of "controllers" for the operations of tournaments hosted on the site. Once a player registers for a tournament, they will gain access to their Player Controller for that tournament which is the only page they will need to access for the tournament. Within the controler, players will be able to submit decklists, recieve pairings, enter results, chat with their opponents, and view standings.

All tournaments have a unique 5-digit code found in their web address. This 5-digit code can also be found in the web address for a player's individual Player Controller. The web address for each player is:

Player Controller

The Player Controller will be your home for any tournament you play in. You'll perform the following actions here:

Deck Submission

Every tournament has the option to require players to submit a decklist. This can be done manually by entering the card names and quantities, or by uploading directly from Magic Arena. Once your decklist is submitted, you can view it on your player controller page and make any necessary edits. Some tournaments may also allow you to purchase your deck through TCGPlayer and download a copy.


Pairings for each round will be displayed on your player controller page. You will be able to see your opponent's name, their Discord username (if provided), and their decklist (if available). You can also use the chat feature to communicate with your opponent and tournament staff.

Results Entry

After your match is complete, you will need to report the results on your player controller page. Simply select the winner and the number of games won for each player. If there are any issues or disputes, you can contact tournament staff through the yellow banner on the right hand side of the page.


If you need to drop from a tournament for any reason, you can do so on your player controller page. Simply select the "Drop from Event" button. Note: To drop on mobile open click on Tournament and Player Details.

Contact Tournament Staff

If you have any questions or issues during your digital tournament, you can contact tournament staff through the yellow banner on the right hand side of the page. Please note that tournaments are run by third-party organizers, not Melee, so be sure to contact the organizer for assistance.

A quick overview video can be found HERE

Player Controller

The Player Portal

The Player Portal is a mobile-friendly tool for players to receive pairings and submit results. This feature is intended to be a option for players to use over The Player Controller for in-person tournaments. It's also a great tool for new-to-Melee players making it a great tool for Organizers.

New Player Onboarding

When an Organizer manually enrolls a new-to-Melee user, an account is created for them and they will receive an email which includes:

  • Information on how to finalize account creation
  • A link to the tournament's Player Portal

This allows new-to-Melee players to instantly get access to receiving pairings and submitting results, without needing to finalize their account before Round 1!

The Player Portal will not be replacing the Player Controller, instead complimenting it as an option players can toggle between depending on their needs at any given time. The Player Portal has reduced functionality to improve ease of use, especially to first-time-users.

Here’s a breakdown of what players will be able to do on the Player Portal:

  • Receive seatings for player’s meetings, draft pods, and build tables.
  • Receive pairings for matches.
  • Ability to submit their phone number for texted pairings.
  • Ability to submit and confirm match results.
  • Drop for the tournament.

Actions player’s will still need to do in their Player Controller:

  • Unenroll from a tournament that hasn’t started yet.
  • Submit decklists.
  • View opponent decklists in open decklist tournaments.
  • View Standings.
  • View tournament match pairings.
  • Upload files to the organizer.
The Player Portal

Find a Tournament

The Tournament page can be reached by clicking "Tournament" in the top menu or click "Your Tournaments" in your player Menu.

Navigating The Tournaments Page
Your Tournaments

Deckstop: On the top very left side of the screen you'll find a list of upcomming tournaments you're registered for or currently participating in.

Mobile: You'll find the tournaments you're registered for under the black "hamburger" dropdown.

Browse Tournaments

Found at the top of the page, the "Browse Tournaments" sections allows you to filter by:

  • Upcoming, In-Progress, or Finished (Results) tournaments.
  • Format
  • Entry Fee or no Entry Fee
  • and more
Visual View and Table View

In the top right corner of the screen is a toggle for how the table information is displayed.

Tournament View Page

Once you have selected a tournament you would like to explore, you will be brought to the “Tournament Details” page.

Contact Tournament Staff

To submit a ticket for an issue during a digital tournament, click on the "Contact Tournament Staff" banner on the right hand side of the screen. Select the subject that best matches your issue, describe the problem in detail, and submit the ticket. If the tournament is currently in progress, this will start a chat with the organizer. Once the organizer assigns the ticket to a staff member, you can discuss the issue further in the message center. If you submit a ticket before check-in or after the tournament, the organizer will receive an email and can respond accordingly.

Contact Tournament Staff

Playing in a Tournament

Submitting a Decklist

Decklists for tournaments are submitted in that tournament's Player Controller. Once a decklist is submitted, you will receieve an email verifying the decklists' submission.

Decklists are NOT final until a tournament starts or a Decklist Submission Deadline has ended. You are able to edit or delete decklists up to that point.

To submit a decklist for a tournament, players can use the "Upload" button to upload a text file of their decklist, or use the "Paste" button to copy and paste a decklist from Magic Online, Magic Arena, or other websites. Players can also create a decklist from scratch by entering the quantity and card name for each card in their deck. Once the decklist is complete, players should make sure to hit the "Submit Decklist" button to submit their decklist for the tournament. If a player needs to edit their already submitted decklist, they can click on the "Edit" button to access the same tools they used to initially submit their decklist. Players should make sure to double-check that their decklist is legal before submitting it.

Submitting a Decklist

Receiving Pairings

When a round is paired, you will receive your table number and opponent's information in your Player Controller. For Digital Tournaments it's important to check in to receive your opponent's Direct Challenge ID. Checking in is not important for paper/tabletop tournaments.

Texted Pairings
Enabling Texted Pairings

In your Profile Settings you are able to save your mobile number under the "Account" tab. If saved, you will receive texted pairings anytime you receieve a pairing.

Note: Melee will not send any marketing or spam text messages to your phone. Currently the only player-based text messages Melee sends to players are when pairings are posted. In the future we may send test messages to remind players to submit their results if they have forgotten.

Receiving Pairings

Playing in Digital Tournaments

Here is a list of things to know when playing in digital tournaments on

About Check In
Player Check in to the Tournament

Players are often required to check into digital tournaments. To do this, be sure to navigate to your Player Controller within the 90-minute window before your tournament begins.

Player Check In to the Match

When you receive a new pairing, you'll be asked to check in to the match. Once you do so, you'll gain access to your opponents Direct Challenge ID for match making, and the organizer will be able to see you've checked in.

In-Melee Direct Messaging with Opponent

In the bottom left corner of your Player Controller you'll see a chat box. This is a 1-on-1 direct message to your current opponent.

Starting A Match in Arena

It is now time to begin the match. If you click on your opponent's Direct Challenge Id it will automatically copy their screen name for you. You will need to issue a direct challenge to play against your opponent. To issue a direct challenge you will need to:

  1. Log-in to Arena

  2. Click on the Home tab

  3. Click on the Direct Challenge Play Blade icon (the crossed swords) on the upper right-hand side of the screen. This takes you to the Direct Challenge menu.

  4. At the top of the Challenge menue select the type of match required for your tournament. Note: Tournament Match is typically used as this contains features like coin flip for who goes first, match clock and turn timers.

  5. Enter your opponent's Direct Challenge Id

  6. Click the Select Deck button to choose from your available MTG Arena decks

  7. Click the Play button

  8. Once you hit Play you will be taken to the matchmaking screen. From there, the system will wait for your opponent to challenge you in return before putting you into a match. A game will only start once both players have challenged each other.

Please contact your opponent in the Melee Player Controller Chat if there's any problems

Starting A Match in Arena

An Organizer's Intro to Melee

Section Overview

This section will give you an introduction to the platform. Here you'll learn about:

  • Navigating the website
  • How to enable Entry Fees
  • How to set up your first tournament
  • The basics of running a tournament

Introduction to Dashboards and Controllers

Melee has two types of pages: dashboards and controllers.

Dashboards (For Organizers)

The Organization Dashboard is for organizers to manage business logistics and accounting.

Controllers (For Organizers and Players)

The Tournament Controller is for organizers to run tournaments and for players to participate in them.

The Player Controller is what players use to participate in tournaments and use it to submit decklists, receive pairings, enter results, and drop from the tournament.

Tournament-Specific Pages

Each tournament has three specialized pages.

  • The Tournament Edit Page
  • The Tournament View Page/Tournament Landing Page
  • The Tournament Controller

Creating a Tournament

To create a tournament on, go to the "Organizers" dropdown or the Organization Dashboard and click "Create Tournament".

This will take you to the Tournament Edit page. Almost everything on the Edit Page is optional, but you will need to set a start time, platform, and name the tournament. Once you are finished, create the tournament and you'll be sent to the tournament's "View Page". Click on the "Tournament Controller" button on the Tournament View Page to finalize the process.


A Phase is what determines how the tournament will be paired as well as the format. Then click "Publish" to make the tournament visible to the public. Players can then register for the tournament.

Begin Your Tournament

Hit the "Start" button when you're ready to start your tournament. Once a tournament has started:

  • Players will no longer be able to submit or edit decklists.
  • Depending on your settings in the Edit Page, players may be dropped, and others added from the waitlist.
  • You will now be able to pair the first round.
Begin Your Tournament

Pairing Rounds

Once you are ready to pair round 1, head over to the Pairings tab. On the right-hand side of the screen, click the “Pair Round” button. The round will be paired, and all players will receive pairings in ther Player Controller.

Once you’ve paired the round, you have the option to Edit Pairings, and Delete the Pairings. Editing and Deleting the pairings should only be done if a mistake was made.

Editing Pairings
Pairing Rounds

Once Results are In

During a Mock Tournament, you can use the Dummy Results button to generate random results for the round. Players can report their match results from the Player Controller and contact you through support tickets in the tournament controller. Once all results for the round are entered, move on to the next round. Repeat this process for all phases of the tournament. When the Finals are finished, end the tournament by clicking the "End" button in the upper right corner.

Once Results are In

Running "Mock" Tournaments in a Test Environment


Tournament Edit Page

General Details

The tournament edit page is where you’ll enter most of your tournament’s essential details, add graphics to make your tournament’s view page stand out, and select important settings for how your tournament will be structured. One thing you won’t do on this page is select the format your players will be playing, that’s something you’ll do on the Tournament Controller.

General Details

The name of the Tournament that will be displayed to your players.

Start Date

The data and time you intend the tournament to start. Keep in mind that the time will be reflected based on your computer's internal clock. This is true for your players as well.

Example: If you're in PST and set the tournament for 10:00 AM, any users in EST will see the tournament starting at 1:00 PM EST.


The Platform is where play will take place.

MTG Arena: On Magic Arena

MTG Online: On Magic Online

Other: Typically used for tournament ran over SpellTable

Paper: Tabletop Magic most commonly played at Local Game Stores or Convention Centers

Registration Only: The tournament will not be ran using Melee as the tournament operations platform, and instead using Melee for registration solutions. For more information, please review our Entry Fee and Payment Policies

Prize Distribution Deadline in Days

For Entry Fee tournaments, Organizers must agree to pay out prizes in less than 60 days after the end of the tournament. If you're playing out immediately, leave this as zero.

This Tournament is for testing

This check box will allow you to enter a "sandbox" mode to be able to test all of Melee's features. Any "test tournament" will not be visible to the public, and you'll be able to enroll fake players allowing you to run a complete tournament without actual players.

General Details


The section of the Tournament Edit page pertaining to registration.

Registration End Date

This is the last date players will be able to register for the tournament.

Unenrollment End Date

The last date players will be able to unenroll themselves and receive automatic refunds.

Registration Type

Open Registration: Anyone is able to register for the tournament.

Invite Only: Used to let specific users play in the tournament. Often used for community-run and qualifier-only tournaments.

Entry Type

Code Only: Give out an Organizer-created code for players to be able to register for the tournament.

Entry Fee: Charge an Entry Fee for the tournament. *If you do not see this option, you will need to link your PayPal to your account.

Free: The tournament is free to play in.



Add your businesses branding to your tournament's on Melee.

Brand Text

A short description for your tournament that will be added to the automated email sent out when players register.

Brand Image Source

A URL of an external image. Ideal size is 550x275 (2:1 ratio). Use of copyrighted images may result in removal as an organizer.


A Twitter hashtage for your tournament.


Player Communication

Free form communication for your players that will be displayed on your Tournament View page. These will be displayed as tabs in the section.

Player Communication

Player Data Requirements

Here you can control what data is collected from players when they register for this tournament. This data will appear in the Melee API, player card, hovercard, and some exports in the tournament controller. Sensitive data like emails is only available to your organization until 60 days after the start of the tournament.

Custom Metadata
Adding Records

Player metadata is a way of collecting custom data from your players. Each custom field will appear on the registration form as the player registers for this tournament.

Player Data Requirements


Section of the Tournament Edit Page where you can set decklists to be public, decklist submission deadlines, or automatic drop players without decklists.

Decklist Settings
Decklist Submission Deadline

The date that is the last moment your players can submit or edit their decklists.

Note: If your tournament has a Decklist Submission Deadline and has the checkbox Make Decklists Publisc checked, decklists will be public once the Decklist Submission Deadline as ended.

Make Decklists Public

Decklists will be open to players in their Player Controller and to the public.

Auto-drop Players Without Legal Decklists

When you start the tournament, all players that haven't submitted a deck, or have a non-legal decklist unsubmitted in their Player Controller will have their status changed to dropped and not be paired for the first round.

Require Decklists

Require decklists for players to submit. If left unchecked, players will not be prompted to submit a decklist in their Player Controller.


Advanced Options

The Advanced Options Settings is home to specific features and tools available to you.

Player Cap

The maximum amount of players who can register for the tournament.

Min/Max Player Age

Ability to set a minimum or maximum for age restrictions.

Country Restriction

A great resource for digital events wanting to restrict players to a specific geo-location.

Names on Printouts

Allows you to decide how print outs will look for paper (tabletop) tournaments.

Ignore Player Check-in

Player check-in involved players going to their Player Controller within the 90 minute window before the tournament starts. If unchecked, players who do not "check in" will be dropped from the tournament once it is started.

Enable Waitlist

For tournaments that reach a Player Cap, a waitlist is started for future players who register. This is a great tool for digital/no-entry tournament.

Enable Draw

Allow players to perform IDs

Delay Deliver of Matches

When enabled, new pairings will only be visible in the Tournament Controller until they are published to players. This is a great tool for Organizers to double check pairings, print standings, ect before players receive their pairings digitally.

Enable the Round Time

Internal round timer best used for Digital Tournaments.

Advanced Options

Tournament Controller

About The Tournament Controller

The Tournament Controller is the main page all tournament operations will take place for an organizer. Each on of your players will have their own page as well called the Player Controller.

The Tournament Controller is an extremely sophisticated tool that empowers an Organizer to perform the most granular actions for their tournaments. We highly recommend running a few test tournaments in our Testing Environment to get familiar with all of our tools and features.

We also suggest you check out our "Advanced Procedures" section of the Documentation found below. There you'll learn how to properly sequence your actions when enrolling late players, editing pairings, running Team Trios tournaments, ect.

Let’s explore the Controller

In the upper right-hand corner, you will see a Publish button. This is the first button you need to press. It publishes your tournament to the Melee page and makes it visible to the public or group of people that will be playing in the tournament. It allows players to be able to register as well.

Tournament Landing Page

This will take you to the tournament's public-facing landing page.

Edit Tournament

This will edit the Create a Tournament page in case you need to change details of the tournament.

About The Tournament Controller

The Player Card

When you click on a player's name in the Tournament Controller the Player Card for that player will appear. This is a centralized location for that player's information and also an area for you to take any actions necessary for that player.

  • Editing a Player's status
    • Giving players byes into following rounds using the Qualified status
  • Submitting Penalties
  • Choosing fixed seating
  • Reviewing Player data
  • Issuing refunds

Editing the Player's Status

The most used feature of the Player Card is editing a player's status. For example if a player who has dropped themselves now wants to rejoin the tournament, you'll edit their status from Dropped (self) to Active. Here's a description for each status a player could have or be given.

  • Active: In the tournament and will be paired against an opponent in the next round.
  • Cut: Eliminated from the tournament based on a phase’s cut parameters.
  • Disqualified: Disqualified from the tournament based on the * * Organizer’s decision.
  • Dropped (Self): The player dropped themselves from their “Player Controller”.
  • Dropped (Staff): The Tournament staff dropped the player from the tournament.
  • Eliminated: Has received the
  • Enrolled: They are enrolled into the tournament before it has begun.
  • No Show: They did not show up for the previous round and are dropped due to it.
  • Qualified: The player will receive a bye in the following round; not receive a pairing against an opponent and will receive a win for the round.
  • Unenrolled: The player has unenrolled from a tournament that has not started yet.
  • Unenrolled (Decklist): The player was enrolled, but did not meet the decklist requirements set by the Organizer and therefore is not active to be paired in round 1.
  • Unenrolled (Payment): The player was enrolled, but did not submit payment for the tournament.
  • Unenrolled (Waitlist): In tournaments with Waitlists, the player was on the waitlist but there was not enough room for them to join the tournament when it started.


The Player Card is where you'll issue refunds to players once a tournament has started and before it has completed. Once you click on the refund button, our system will initiate a refund for that Player. This will not change their status in the tournament though so you'll manually have to do that if the situation calls for it.

Before a Tournamernt has Started

Players will automatically trigger a refund when they unenroll from a tournament. They are able to do this from either the Tournament’s View Page, or from their Player Controller by clicking on the red “Unenroll” button.

After a Tournament has Finished

There is no way for an Organizer to issue a refund once a tournament has concluded. If you wish to issue a player a refund, please reach out to Melee staff to assist you at

Fixed Table Seeting

Found underneath the “Status” drop down you’ll find the “Fixed Table” section. Here you can select a table number for a player to always be paired at. Again, make sure to use the blue floppy disk icon to save this setting.

If you set a player to have a fixed seating, this won’t change their current table number. It will only impact future pairings when they are generated. If you need to change a player’s table number seating for the current round, you will need to use the “Edit Pairing” feature found on the “Pairings” tab.


You’ll also be able to enter penalties for players in their Player Card. This tool is solely used for documenting situations, and will not change a player’s status in the tournament. If you wish to escalate a situation after multiple penalties, be sure to manually execute any of those procedures.

The Player Card


This is one of the most important pages to set up, as it determines how your tournament runs. First, click “New Phase”. You will see the following options:

Begin The Phase With A Cut

Except in very rare circumstances, you will only be using this for phases beyond the first. Checking this box will allow you to automatically drop players based on parameters you set. Setting the Pairing Method to Playoffs will automatically check this box for you.

Pairing Method

This allows you to structure the tournament itself. Most tournaments will have two separate phases — a Swiss phase and a Playoffs phase.

  • Swiss will pair players according to the Swiss tournament algorithm. This allows players to play all rounds without being removed from the tournament. This will also attempt to pair players with the same (or similar) records against one another. This is the recommended format for tournaments larger than 8 players

  • Single Elimination will seed your players into a bracket. Any player who loses a single match will be Eliminated from your tournament automatically.

  • When you select Playoffs, it will ask you how you would like to perform your cut (Top X Players or Minimum Points), and how many players you would like after your cut. This option will create a single-elimination bracket, so it is recommended that the number of players you cut to be a power of 2 (2, 4, 8, 16, or 32 are recommended, with 8 being the most common.)

Number of Rounds

For Swiss tournaments, you will choose the number of rounds that you will play before moving to a Single elimination bracket for the top players (if applicable).

The recommended number of rounds for your tournament is based on the number of players in the tournament, and is as follows:



This is where you will choose the format for your tournament. For a complete list of formats supported on Melee Click Here

Match Type

Here is where you will choose the maximum number of games that will be played per round. Most tournaments use Best of Three, while some tournaments might use Best of One. Best of Five is typically reserved for the Playoff portion of tournaments with significant prizes on the line.



Staffing for tournaments is an important step for insuring a smooth event for the players. On the Staff tab on the Tournament Controller you'll find the ability to add staff members for the tournament using their Melee user account email addresses. You may permanently add staff members to your organization using the Organization Staff tab on the Organization Dashboard.

There are four unique staff roles:

  • Coverage
  • Judge
  • Scorekeeper
  • Admin

You may learn more about the permissions for each staff role in your Organization Dashboard under the Staff Permissions tab.

Note: Staff for an individual tournament will not be able to access the tournament's "Edit Page". Staff set on the Organization Dashboard will be able to access your tournament's Edit Page.



The "Preregistration" tab is a powerful tool for organizers running "invite only" tournaments on Melee. This feature allows you to import player information, such as email addresses, to grant certain players special access to your tournament.

To use the Preregistration tool, navigate to the "Preregistration" tab on the Tournament Controller. In the upper right corner, you will find an "Import players" button. Clicking this button will open a table where you can enter player information, such as email addresses.

It's important to note that the "Preregistration" tab is not used to actually register players in a tournament. Instead, it acts as a key to an "invite only" tournament. By importing player information, you are granting certain players the ability to register for your tournament while others cannot.

For example, if you are running an "Invite Only" tournament, you can set the "Data Type" to "Melee Account Email" and import a list of email addresses for players who have been invited. When a player with one of these email addresses goes to register for the tournament, they will be able to do so without any issues. However, if a player with a different email address tries to register, they will be unable to.

Another example would be if you are running a tournament with an entry fee. You can set the "Import Type" as "Preregistered and Paid" and import a list of players who have already paid their entry fee outside of Melee. These players will be able to register without having to pay again, while others will have to pay the entry fee.

It's important to note that all organizers and their staff must adhere to Melee's Entry Fee and Payment Policies when using the Preregistration tool.


This is a tool you can use to communicate with everyone in the tournament. Click “New Announcement” to share information. Players will receive an audio message that an announcement has been made, as well as a pop-up window inside their Player Controller that will not go away until clicked on. This way, you can be sure your players have seen what you need them to see.


Support Tickets

The "Support Tickets" tab is a tool that allows players to request assistance during a tournament. Tournament admins will receive an audio notification when a new ticket is submitted, and can then read the message and start a conversation with the player(s) through the Melee chat.

When you open the "Support Tickets" tab, you will see a list of all the tickets submitted for your tournament, including the timestamp, type of issue, severity, status, and name of the staff member handling it (if any). To take a ticket, click on the "Assign to Me" button and the system will automatically assign it to you.

Once you have assigned the ticket to yourself, you will have additional options available by clicking on the cogwheel at the end of the row. The first step is to select the "Join Chat" option, which will open a new Melee chat with the player requesting assistance. Depending on the type of request, the opponent may be included in the chat as well.

To keep track of the conversation and the status of the ticket, it is recommended to keep the Chat Messages window open in a separate tab while you work on the ticket. Remember to update the ticket's status as you work on it, and mark it as "Resolved" once you are done.

It is also possible to request additional information from the players and continue the conversation through the Melee chat. However, if you are using an additional communication tool like Discord, it is recommended to send a message through it for redundancy. Keep in mind that the Melee chat has text-only functionality, so if you need a screenshot or for the player to share their screen, you will need to use another platform.

For more information on how to use Melee's integration with Discord to quickly reference players' Discord usernames, please refer to the next part of the documentation.

Support Tickets


From this screen, you can view your registered players and whether or not they have checked in for the tournament. You can also add players manually via the search function (First, Last, or Arena name) or import a whole list of players via username, email, or Arena name). You can either import them directly into the tournament as registered, or click the “Enroll as Preregistered” box, which will drop them automatically from the tournament if they do not check in when the tournament starts.


Click Here for a list of the different player statuses



The "Decklists" Tab allows an Organizer to view and edit their player's decklists, and access to printing individual decklists.


The Pods tab on the Tournament Controller is used to generate draft pods. Once pods have been generated, players will be entered into pods based on current standings (1st-8th in Pod 1, 9th-16th in Pod 2, ect). Order within pods is randomized.

  • The size of the draft pods generated is designed to minimize the number of pods with an odd number of players.
  • Pods pair using the swiss pairing structure.
  • Placement in pods and order within pods can be edited then saved using the blue save icon on each field.


The seating tab generates seating for non-match playing purposes such as:

  • Players Meetings
  • Sealed Deck Constrcution
  • Drafting Pods
  • Draft Deck Construction

Note: You will need to generate pods before you'll be able to generate seatings for Draft Pods and Draft Deck Construction.

Generating seatings will not automatically push that information to the Player Controller. Once you've generated the desired seatings, you will need to hit the Publish Seatings for players to receive this information. This will update previous seating assignments (if they've been updated), and add new seating assignments to their Seatings tab.

Once you've generated seatings, you will also be able to print off desired documentation such as:

  • Draft Pods By Name
  • Draft Pod Slips
  • Build Seats By Name


This page shows you the pairings of the current round. It also allows you to pair and re-pair the round, manually enter results in case the players can’t, and advance the tournament to the next rounds and phases. Here is a sample screen that you might see before the tournament begins and without players entered.



The "Standings" tab shows the current or final standings for each round of the tournament.

Organization Dashboard

Organization Dashboard

The Organization Dashboard is where you can:

  • Create a tournament
  • Edit your Organization's information
  • Add staff members to your organization
  • Review players who have participated in your tournaments or have received suspensions
  • Review past tournaments
  • Create Custom Formats
  • Create a Tournament Hub
Organization Dashboard Features
Enable Entry Fee Events

In your Organization Dashboard you'll find an "Edit Organization" button in the top right corner. On the edit page you'll be able to link your PayPal account enabling you to host tournaments with Entry Fee's on Melee. Please review our Entry Fee and Payment Policies before doing so.

Create a Tournament

To learn more about creating a tournament, click here.

Tournament Hubs

Tournament Hubs are organizer defined lists of tournaments. They are designed to make it easier for players to find groups of tournaments such as an event weekends or leagues.

Organization Dashboard

Create a Tournament

Will take you to a new "Tournament Edit" page to create a tournament.

Edit Organization


Public Profile

Details Coming Soon!

Public Profile









Staff Permissions


Organization Staff

Staff access is how you give external users permission to view and edit information about your organization and tournaments. The staff members listed here have permission to interact with all of your tournaments. You may review what permissions are given to each role by clicking on the Staff Permissions item in the left nav bar of the Tournament Controller. If you want to restrict staff access to a single tournament, you may do so by creating staff records on its Tournament Controller. You should not add staff members here if your intent is to restrict their access to a single tournament.

Organization Staff







Tournament Entries


Tournament Formats


Tournament Hubs


Venues and Locations


Advanced Procedures

Editing Pairings


Late Enrollment


End of Round Features


Team Trios Setup

Support for Team Trios is still on our development roadmap, but that hasn’t stopped organizers from discovering inventive workarounds to be able to host them on Here's a step-by-step process many organizers use to run Team Trios Tournaments.

Tournament Set Up
Three Players, One Account

The first hurdle for Team Trios is that there’s no way for to link registered players together to create a team. The workaround for this is that one player will register for the entire team, becoming the “team captain”. That means each team will only have a single player register for the tournament. Tournament entry should reflect this and charge a sum equal to the total entry for that team.

Teammate Data Collection

Collecting information on all three players is vital. When the "team captain" registers, it's important to collect their teammates names, emails, and the formats they are playing. To achieve that you’ll want to create custom metadata field for the team captain to submit when they are completing registration. You’ll find these custom metadata fields under the Player Data Requirements section on the Edit Tournament page. Now when the “team captain” goes to register for the tournament, they’ll fill in this information before confirming registration. This information will be visible on the “team captain’s” Player Card.

Team Trios Decklist Submission will ask a player to submit a decklist for each format of the tournament. This is why it’s necessary for every team trios tournament to have three phases, whether or not the tournament technically requires that many phases.

In a situation where you only need two phases (Swiss + Top 8), a third "fake" phase is required to be created that follows the top 8 phase. Once the tournament is complete, that extra phase can be deleted and the tournament can be ended.


Only the "Team Captain" is technically registered for the tournament, so they'll be the only player on the team to recieve pairings and be able to submit results digitally.

Tournament Format Configs

Tournament Format Configs

Melee uses format configuration files to control card legality, decklist size, and other decklist validation rules. Files managed by Melee are called “evergreen format configs” and include configs for official tournament formats like Standard, Legacy, etc. Organizers can create their own format configs to run tournaments with custom formats.

The legality of cards in each evergreen format supported on Melee are updated on the official release date of Magic: The Gathering Sets. This creates a one week window with each set release where the legality of formats on Magic Online and Magic Arena will not reflect the legality of formats on Melee.

Organizers can create these custom configs in their organization dashboard.

In their dashboard, organizers can see and clone evergreen configs. Also, it’s possible to create new configs from scratch.

Creating Custom Formats

Format configurations can be complicated or simple. We've designed a web form to help you build yours. Clicking on "New Config" in your organization dashboard opens a page with a blank form.

You must name your custom format. This name must be unique for your organization. This name will be shown to players whenever they go to register so they know the format of the tournament. Hovering over the name of the format on the tournament pages will show the format’s rules.

Config Sections

The rules section contains fields that represent general rules about deck construction including deck size restrictions and Commander validation.

Allow Lists

The allow list section contains lists of allowed sets, cards, card types, etc. By default, all sets and cards are legal. Setting an allow list will make it so only those values are allowed. An allow list of a given type overrides the deny list of the same type.

Deny Lists

The allow list section contains lists of denied (or banned) sets, cards, card types, etc. By default, all sets and cards are legal. Setting a deny list will make it so those values are not allowed or banned. An deny list of a given type is overridden by the allow list of the same type.

Card Quantities

The card quantities section contains fields that control the minimum and maximum card quantities per deck. For example, the Commander format allows for a maximum and minimum of 1 for each card of a given name. The Standard format allows for a maximum of 4 cards and no minimum.

You can also assign custom card quantities for individual card names. For example, the Vintage format has several cards restricted to a maximum of 1.

Card Points

Some formats, like Canadian Highlander, use a points system to restrict the power level of cards in a player's deck. The card points section allows you to assign points to cards of a given name and limit the number of points per deck.

You must assign points to at least one card for this section to have an effect.

Format Explanation

On the form to create/edit format configs, there is an explanation tab. This tab shows a human readable explanation of the format’s rules. This explanation shows up whenever a player looks at the tournament details and hovers over the format of the tournament.

Format Testing

On the form to create/edit format configs, there is a testing tab. On this tab, you can copy/paste decklists and check them for parsing and validation against the custom format config you created. The parsed decklist and any errors appear below the copy/paste decklist box.

Settings Menu

Profile Page

You can enter and update your basic info on this page.

Click on "Your Player Menue" located in the top right hand corner of the screen next to the search bar. Once a profile picture has been loaded, a thumbnail version will be displayed here. Select "Settings" in the drop down to update you profile

Profile Page Information
Profile Picture
This is optional

You can upload your profile picture here! Optimal size is 200x200px.

This is optional

This is your chance to say a little something about yourself. You can write about your experience and history with playing Magic: The Gathering, your favorite decks or formats or just a fun fact to break the ice. There are no restrictions but this will be public.

This is optional

If you have a personal or professional website you would like to share. This is not for social media accounts. That is on the “Social Media” page.

MTG Arena Screen Name
This is optional
  • If you want to play in MTGA tournaments you must enter it with the Arena ID (careful it is case sensitive)
  • Need to create an account? Click Here
  • Don't know your username? Open arena and start a direct challenge. This will pull your name up. Click your name to copy it so you can paste it here. Learn How To Direct Challenge
Magic Online Screen Name
This is optional
  • If you plan on playing in MTGO tournaments you must enter it.
  • Need to create an account? Click Here
DCI Number
This is optional

Melee has the ability to link to your DCI account and upload results if you are updating your stats there.

Display Username by Default

If you check this box it will display your user name instead of your full name

Profile Page

Social Media Page

Update and authorize your social media accounts here

Accounts To Displays On Profile
This is optional

All of your social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, Discord, YouTube and your Podcast can be entered here. They will be displayed on your profile as their icon button (Example in orange box). If you do not want your info to be public, do not enter anything here.

Third-party Apps
Link Your Accounts. Does not Display
This is optional

This is very important as some organizers require you to have a Twitch or Discord account linked to your profile. You must hit the “Authorize” button (Buttons in red box) to link your account. Linking it will not display your information on your profile and will remain private. You do not have to link your accounts but you will not be able to enter a tournament that requires it without doing this.

Social Media Page

Account Page

All of your settings for your account are found here.

Account Settings
Account Email
Log-In Email

Update and change the email address associated with your account. Make sure this email is correct to receive tournament reminders and reset password if needed.

Phone Number

Add your phone number to receive pairings via text message and add extra security like two factor authentication. Available for USA only at this time.

Blocked users

A list of the users that have been blocked

Change Password

In case you need to change your password just click this button.

Enable Two Factor Authentication

Add an extra layer of security to your account.

Delete Account

If you decide Melee is not for you and would like your profile deleted.

Magic: The Gathering

MTG Arena

Frequently Asked Questions

Direct Challenge
  1. Log-in to Arena

  2. Click on the Home tab

  3. Click on the Direct Challenge Play Blade icon (the crossed swords) on the upper right-hand side of the screen.This takes you to the Direct Challenge menu.

  4. At the top of the Challenge menue select the type of match required for your tournament. Note: Tournament Match is typically used as this contains features like coin flip for who goes first, match clock and turn timers.

  5. Enter your opponents Direct Challenge Id

  6. Click the Select Deck button to choose from your available MTG Arena decks

  7. Click the Play button

  8. Once you hit Play you will be taken to the matchmaking screen. From there, the system will wait for your opponent to challenge you in return before putting you into a match. A game will only start once both players have challenged each other.

Please contact your opponent in the Melee Player Controller Chat if there's any problems



Click Here to create an account for MTGA

Click Here for Wizards FAQ for MTGA

Click Here for Wizards Official Rules of MTG

Additional Information

Player/Team Statuses

Each player or team has a status field that shows what their current status is in the tournament.

Definitions of Player/Team Statuses

The Preregistered status is used for enrollment. A team can be preregistered into the tournament by an organizer. This means that they are able to enroll into the tournament, if the tournament is an invite only tournament, but aren't considered active. Teams who are preregistered must enroll themselves before they are considered enrolled in the tournament. This status essentially saves a place for the team/player.


Teams with the enrolled status have registered in the tournament and will be converted to active whenever the tournament starts.


The team is active in the tournament and will be paired.


The team didn't make a cut requirement. Cuts happen at the beginning of phases, such as a cut to day two or a cut for Top 8.


A team will be eliminated from a tournament whenever they lose in a single elimination or double elimination round.


Teams have the Dropped status if the team dropped themselves from the tournament.


Teams will have the Deleted status if they unenrolled themselves from the tournament. This is different from dropping from a tournament and signifies that the team did not play in the tournament.


Teams with the Disqualified status were disqualified from the tournament.


Teams gain the Qualified status whenever they mean the 'Play Until X Wins' threshold. I.e.; If the tournament is set to 'Play Until 2 Wins', when a team hits 2 wins they will gain the Qualified status. This makes it so they are not paired for the subsequent rounds.

Supported Formats

Magic: The Gathering formats are various ways in which the game can be played. Each format provides rules for deck construction and gameplay, with many confining the pool of permitted cards to those released in a specified group of Magic card sets.

Descriptions Of Supported Formats

Cards from core set Eighth edition and Mirrodin through today are legal. It is a constructed format and therefore it adheres to the constructed rules.


Standard is a dynamic format where you build decks and play using cards in your collection from recently released Magic sets. Evolving gameplay and fresh strategies make it one of the most fun and popular ways to play Magic.


Pioneer is a new nonrotating format featuring cards from Return to Ravnica and forward. It is a constructed format and therefore it adheres to the constructed rules.


Each player chooses a legendary creature as their "Commander" of their deck. It is played with a 99-card deck that contains only cards of their commander's colors. Other than basic lands, each deck can only use one copy of any card.


Historic is MTG Arena’s largest Constructed format, filled with both old and new Magic cards. Digital-only cards are legal in this format, including rebalanced versions of existing cards. Play unique strategies, wild synergies, and construct unique decks! Historic never rotates and is curated as a digital-first format.


Decks may consist of cards from all Magic card sets. Even cards from expansions and special sets are legal in the Legacy format. It is a constructed format and therefore it adheres to the constructed rules.


Players play with decks constructed at the tournament from a limited and usually randomized pool of cards, rather than constructing decks ahead of time


Restricts decks to only cards with the common rarity. It is a constructed format and therefore it adheres to the constructed rules. Vintage- The most powerful of constructed formats is Vintage as decks may consist of cards from all Magic card sets. It is a constructed format and therefore it adheres to the constructed rules.


Alchemy is a digital-only rotating format and play mode for Magic: The Gathering Arena that was introduced in December, 2021 as a fast and ever-evolving experience. It intentionally diverges from the metagame of Standard and other formats to provide an alternative experience to play.


Explorer is a new digital experience on MTG Arena – a true-to-paper, non-rotating format featuring all cards legal in the Pioneer format that appear on Arena.


It is a little like Standard, a little like Commander, and a uniquely exciting deck-brewing challenge. Build a deck around a specific legendary creature or planeswalker from the Standard card pool. Choose Your Champion!

Historic Brawl

Historic Brawl is a variant of Brawl format that is played with a deck of 60 cards. Basically, Historic Brawl is just what you would expect; the Brawl format (which otherwise uses only Standard-legal sets) with the added Historic card pool. It was introduced to MTG Arena in December 2020.


Gladiator is a 100 card singleton format, intended to be played primarily on MTG Arena. Many of the rules of the format are shared among other singleton variants, while also providing a unique experience.


Is a very casual Magic format rather relaxed. Play with any set or card, no cards are banned, build your deck with as many copies as you’d like and msure you have at least 40 cards.

Old School

A casual constructed format using an older or limited card pool, or older rule sets. There are many different variations, often with different rules set regionally by a play group or a local tournament organizer.

Additional information

Please note these are generalized overviews and not full descriptions or rules. For questions about the rules please contact your tournament organizer for your tournaments specific rules or For a complete list of formats, visit Wizards of the Coast's website.