The Fincastle Pokemon Gym sent players in each age group to take on the fields in both the Virginia and South Carolina State Championships. Thanks to undesirable scheduling (VA on the same day as NC…. boooo!), none of our players had a shot at the NC field. Anyway, both days were full of ups and downs and in the end, two Junior Division players turned in the best overall results.
The Virginia State Championships in Sandston, VA, had 161 players total. Juniors played 5 rounds, with a top cut of 4, Seniors played 6 rounds with a top cut of 8 and Masters played 7 rounds with a top cut of 16. The Fincastle Gym contingent started out of the gates quickly as Juniors Logan H. and Noah B. both went 2-0, while Georgia H, who opened with Logan as her first round opponent, trailed behind at 2-1. Senior Kelli B. also started 2-0 and Master Joel H. went 2-1. The proverbial “wheels” definitely fell off for Logan, Georgia, Kelli and Joel. Of the wheel-less group, Logan finished the best (10th in the Juniors). While that group struggled, Gym Seniors Brycen F and Kolin H battled back to eventually even their records on the day at 3-3 (20th and 22nd respectively). Master Troy B also recovered from a slow start to finish his day with a 4-3 record and in 4oth place. The performance of the day went to Junior Noah B.
Noah opened with 3 straight wins and was handed his first (and only) loss in round 4. He closed his day with another win and a final record of 4-1, in what we thought was a lock for the top 4 playoffs. However, Noah was one of 4 players with 4-1 records, all trailing Brian R, the lone 5-0 competitor. Enter the computer tie-breakers. By virtue of his opponents’ finishes, Noah’s resistance was 49.0%, landing him in 5th place, the only 4-1 player not making the top cut! What a heart-breaker! Noah played an outstanding tournament. Tie-breakers, as both Gym Leaders Joel and Logan have both learned the hard way, are a part of this game that is out of your hands. Noah earned 5 championship points and 9 booster packs for his finish. Great job, Noah!
With NC being removed as an option, the Fincastle Gym took their posse to Fort Mill, SC, for the South Carolina State Championships. Organizer Jeff Reynolds, based on previous SC States, was planning for an overall attendance of around 100 players. That being said, the biggest surprise of the day was probably on Jeff. A whopping 192 players arrived to battle it out. Juniors played 5 rounds with a top cut of 4, Seniors played 6 rounds with a top cut of 8 and Masters played 8 rounds with a top cut of 16. As in Virginia, the top performance went to a Junior.
Georgia H opened with a loss in which she made some early mistakes. She recovered quickly to take the next 2 games and raise her record to 2-1. In round 4, she ran into sibling Logan. Logan set up too quickly and was able to control the game and defeat Georgia. The loss eliminated Georgia from contention, but her level of play was definitely at the level of the top players.
Logan cruised through his first 2 games into an undesirably early showdown with friend and rival Blaine H. Blaine took the first prize and that was enough as the two engaged in a prize-for-prize battle. When the smoke cleared, Blaine took his last prize as Logan had 1 remaining. At 2-1 (3-1 after the next round win over Georgia), Logan was looking forward to a shot at a re-match with Blaine. What do they say in sports about not looking ahead? Logan did a little and was surprised in round 5. His opponent jumped out ahead of him and he was unable to recover. The last round loss landed Logan in 7th place. That surprising turn of events opened the door for Blaine. Blaine crushed his competition in top cut and finished the day without losing a game. Great job, Blaine! Logan picked up 5 championship points and 9 booster packs for his finish. Way to go, Logan!
It has been a busy few weeks in the trading card game. Hopefully things will slow down a little now and we will be able to post more often. This season still has much more in store, so come by and play and practice with us. See you at the Gym!