GP Judge Compensation Changes for Legion Events

Greetings all, Rob here.

As you may be aware, judges will no longer be receiving foils at Grand Prix events starting with the 2015 season. As a result, Legion Events is making a change to how we handle judge compensation at Grand Prix events at Grand Prix Omaha and afterwords. Our plan is a little complicated, so you will have to bear with me for a moment while I go over the numbers we are using and what the difference in compensation actually means.

In the future, judges will receive pay based on level according to the following for working both Saturday and Sunday:
  • Level 3+
    • $598
    • 3 boxes of current set product
    • One GP judge playmat
  • Level 2
    • $400
    • 2 boxes of current set product
    • One GP judge playmat
  • Level 1
    • $200
    • 2 boxes of current set product
    • One GP judge playmat
There will also be a bonus attached to the event for Saturday and Sunday judges if we end up with significantly higher attendance than planned.  I don’t want to get into too heavy of math in this post, but the bonus structure for our GPs will be in the GP event posting on JudgeApps.  (You can see the one for Omaha here: )  In addition to all of that, there is additional pay for Friday, slightly increased from Friday numbers.  Again, I did not want to put all that info here, but it is called out in each event solicitation for judges.
Things to note:
This money includes what was the prior Legion stipend, and takes the place of any room or food stipend.  It is expected to cover all costs for your travel, lodging, and food for the weekend.  The Friday cash is expected to fully cover a night of hotel, because you are assumed to be working Saturday and Sunday and have that pay covering your travel.
Every judge will be expected to fill out either a W-9 or W-8ben as applicable.  One of these must be on file with us for each calendar year you work Legion GPs.  If you receive $600 or more in a year in pay from us, we will issue you a 1099 as a contractor.

We reserve the right to increase pay on a per-event basis, provide other promotional items, or provide other inducements on a per-person or per-event basis.  These compensation levels are minimums, not maximums.


What does this mean for players?

Event costs will be increasing.  Grand Prix Omaha will cost $60.  We will be providing preregistration discounts for GP Omaha that will give you the opportunity to pay as little as $50 for the event, but the price of events has to increase, because we are shouldering additional costs of compensating the fairly large and skilled judge staff necessary for hosting a Grand Prix.


What does this mean for event quality?

The number of judges needed for a Grand Prix is not going down, but the number of applicants may decrease – for many judges the draw of a Grand Prix was judge foils.  We have always had significantly more quality applicants for a Grand Prix than we were able to accept, so this should not significantly impact the quality of our Grand Prix staff.  If it does, we will re-evaluate compensation for future events.


Due to a misunderstanding on my part, I posted slightly incorrect pay numbers for L3+ judges.  The goal was to pay an amount per day that put them under the 1099 limit, but my understanding of the 1099 requirements was not clear.  I have adjusted the L3+ payment slightly (It is now based on $299 a day) in order to avoid having to 1099 an L3 that works only one event for Legion.  My apologies for the mistake.


7 thoughts on “GP Judge Compensation Changes for Legion Events”

  1. I was on the verge of deciding whether I should go casual or keep up putting the cash in for competitive events.

    You’ve made my decision easy for me. I love you guys, but screwing over L2s AND passing the cost on to players is ridiculous.

    1. Hi Robert, thanks for your comments and bringing up your concerns.

      This is obviously going to be a very difficult transition and there is just simply no easy way out of this. We worked on this plan for months and consulted a number of L2+ judges about the levels we came to. It got moderate approval from most. It is very unlikely that this will be the final be all-end all judge payment plan. But I can tell you I’ve talked to other TOs who have not announced yet and they are looking at near identical plans. So we’re in the ballpark that everyone else is going to be in, we just announced first due to our rapidly approaching event in Omaha.

      We structured the new entry fee payment system to help mitigate the costs. The straight math tells us that at the rates we are opting to pay for our judge staff, a straight $10 increase to $50 will not cover the cost increase. So we opted for the layered registration system we announced. If you pay 3-4 weeks ahead you get in for $50. 2 weeks out gets you $55 and the week or day of gets you $60. We expect this average (based on our previous preregistration numbers) to bring the extra money generated to VERY close to what the increase in judge cost will actually be. This is not in any way a money grab by me.

      We will be monitoring the situation closely, watching the feedback and observing how it is effecting the event. We are going to do our best to provide a great experience as always and hope you come along with us. Ultimately it’s your decision though. if the price point is too high for you, then we certainly hope you enjoy the events you choose to spend your event budget on!


    1. Greetings Emmanuel,

      It depends on your circumstances. We have to take a tax form from everyone, regardless of how much we pay you at a single event. If you have the ability to fill out a W8ben, we will gladly take you at any number of events you are accepted for. If you can’t fill one out, we can’t have you at the event at all.

      I don’t have experience in international taxation at all, so there is a limited amount I can provide for help. My best suggestion is to consult a tax professional of some kind on this.

  2. Usually i do t have issues with the W-8ben form.

    But as my visa limits i cant have a job while visiting USA, so being a contractor is not a posibility for me. (Or most judges who use a regular visa to visit USA)

  3. Usually i do not have any issues with the W-8ben form.

    But as my visa limits i cant have a job while visiting USA, so being a contractor is not a posibility for me. (Or most judges who use a regular visa to visit USA)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *