With the completion of the City Championship series, we are somewhere near the half-way point in the 2011-2012 season. There are still some of the biggest events of the season coming later this year (State Championships, Spring Regionals and the National Championships). With no real announcement/decision from Pokemon so far, no one really knows what will be required to get invited to this years World Championships in Hawaii. The change made for this season from the ratings system to the championship points (CP’s) system was a strong move to reward the top players for their performance and prevent others from manipulating their rankings by winning games at events and then dropping. Here is a brief look at how some of the Gym’s best stand so far by CP’s.
Gym Leader Logan was the Fincastle Gym’s star last year, making it to the World Championships in San Diego and narrowly missing the final rounds. Logan is off to a great start again in pursuit of the return trip and a second chance at this year’s event. Logan is #1 in Virginia, #16 in the United States, #17 in North America and #25 in the World. Last year, invitations went out to the top 40 in North America. Logan is trying to keep pace with his friend and rival in North Carolina, fellow 2011 World Competitor, Blaine H. By comparison, Blaine in #1 in North Carolina, #2 in the United States, #2 in North America and #7 in the World. So far, the pair have split head-to-head meetings with Blaine besting Logan in the finals at Regionals and Logan defeating Blaine twice during the City Championships in the Carolinas. While the strongest concentration of players seems to be in Florida, Texas and out west, the east coast duo definitely look to be a force to reckon with as Nationals and Worlds approach.
Speaking of trying to keep pace…. there is a certain 6-year-old sibling that is also in the hunt. Georgia has dug in and battled with some amazing players this year, winning a Battle Roads, finishing 2nd (to Logan) in several and losing some very close games at Regionals and Cities. She is ranked #3 in Virginia, #89 in the US, #96 in North America and #126 in the World. Based on where she stands at the moment, Georgia will likely miss the invites. However, with Nationals and Spring Regionals still to come, Georgia is within striking distance. Strong performances (or even an outright win) at these events would easily put her in that “top 40” range (if that is what Pokemon goes with this year). Either way, at 6 years old, the next few years could see her become one of the top players in the US and maybe the World.
It is difficult to say whether or not Gym Leader Joel is “in the mix” at this point or not. Joel stands at #7 in Virginia, #158 in the US, #170 in North America and #221 in the World. With over 1500 Masters scoring CP’s in North America to this point, that places him firmly in the top 1/4. Much like Georgia, it would require some impressive finishes in the last major tournaments to give him a shot. Only time will tell.
Several of the Gym’s trainers have made some great showings at recent events and have racked up a few points, but haven’t been able to make it to many events and keep their totals on pace with the top ranked players. Junior competitor Noah B is #5 in Virginia (#227 in the US) thanks to winning his first City Championship. Seniors siblings Caleb Y (#11 in Virginia, #219 in the US) and Tessa Y (#13 in Virginia, #260 in the US) both had strong showings at the Fall Regionals. Fellow Seniors Kelli B (#16 in Virginia, #470 in the US) and Gym Leader Austin (#18 in Virginia, #542 in the US) have scored some CP’s in local events as well. Ah, if the Gym only had a bus……. . That remains the main drawback to the game…. you have to get to the events which are not always nearby.
Here are the last few numbers to throw at you. There are over 2300 Juniors registered in the World. Seniors show over 3400 registered players and the Masters over 8100 worldwide. That’s a lot of players. Attendance has been very good at most events. There is still a lot of pokemon left to play, chances for some to make a move towards the top and chances for some to lock in their positions as Worlds approaches. The upcoming releases of Next Destinies and the set that will follow will surely have a major impact on the “meta-game”. It should definitely get interesting from here. So long for now and see you at the Gym!