The Fincastle Pokemon Gym and some of its best trainers played host to its first City Championship on Sunday at the Cosmic Castle. The small but very competitive field produced some great match-ups and a very good variety of decks, thanks to the recent Noble Victories release. Masters played 4 rounds with a top cut of 2. Juniors and Seniors combined and played 3 rounds each. The prize breakdown for each age group were as follows: 1st Place – 18 booster packs and 6 Championship Pts, 2nd Place – 10 booster packs and 5 Championship Pts, 3rd & 4th Place – 4 booster packs and 4 Championship Pts each. At the end of the day, each division saw competitors walk away with their first-ever City Championship victory.
In the Junior division, siblings Georgia and Logan squared off again with Logan edging out Georgia in a very close game. Gym Leader Logan’s win set him up for a final round match with Noah B. Noah, who has proved himself as a tough challenger in Gym Leader challenges at the Gym, had 1 loss on the day entering the game with Logan. Another loss would likely drop him out of the prizes. Noah battled to the end and pulled off the upset victory over Gym Leader Logan in a very well-played back and forth match. With tied records of 2-1, the head-to-head victory gave the Championship to Noah. The win is Noah’s first major tournament victory. Noah defeated the same deck that Gym Leader Logan went undefeated with in Juniors the day before in Mocksville, NC (which included a win over rival, Blaine H.). Great job Noah! Logan took 2nd place, while Georgia followed at 3rd place and Jayden Edgell finished 4th.
The Senior Division was also packed with very tough competitors, including one of North Carolina’s best in Tracy R. Tracy had her hands full with the Gym’s talented group. As the rounds unfolded, key matches included a long, hard-fought match between Kelli B and Tessa Y. The game went to time and Tessa came out on top to set up another sibling battle, this one to decide the Senior Division. Tessa squared off with Caleb Y, who was coming off of an outstanding performance at the Autumn Regionals where he missed the top 8 by tie-breaker resistance. In this sibling match up, the younger sister had the better day, as Tessa defeated Caleb in an impressive match. Tessa earned her first City Championship and first major tournament win. Caleb took home 2nd Place. Kelli B battled her way to 3rd Place and Tracy R finished 4th. Watching the final 4 finishers, the Gym Leaders see a group that would likely vie for the top spots in the Masters group. Excellent job seniors!
The Master Division was a very interesting collection of players, bringing lock decks, speed decks, spread decks and several heavy hitters. At the end of the swiss rounds, Gym Leader Joel stood as the day’s only undefeated competitor. Joel have to wait to see what the tournament software would have to say in sorting out the 3 players that all stood at 3-1, Jon S, Cullen J and Josh H. The computer said that Joel would have a rematch with Jon, who Joel had just defeated in the last round. Game 1 saw Joel set up relatively easily and take control of the game and get the first win. Game 2 was exactly the opposite, as Jon had a great set up and dominated his way to the win. In the 3rd and final game, both players got what they hoped for in the previous 2 games… great set-ups on both sides and an epic battle. Game 3 went back and forth, as both Jon and Joel got everything they could out of their decks and momentum seemed to change with each turn. With 1 prize card left, Joel was able to search his deck and pull out the energy necessary to get the last knockout. Jon is great fun to play, but when it comes down to it, is also an excellent competitor. Gym Leader Joel ranks the match as one of his all time favorites (which is rare for a win, as most of his favorites are close losses to some amazing decks over the years). The win is Joel’s first City Championship. Jon took home the 2nd Place rewards, while Cullen and Josh took home 3rd and 4th Place respectively.
Thanks to Jeff Reynolds (and family) for putting on another great event. Don’t forget to check back for details about the next Fincastle Gym tournament coming up on January 2nd at the Fincastle Library. See you this Sunday at the Gym!