The 2011-2012 Pokemon TCG and VG seasons are on their final stretches. At the end of the line lie the 2 biggest events of the year…. the National and the World Championships. The National Championships wrap up the open entry events for the TCG and VG. The World Championships are invitation only. For many, the National Championships are the last chance to earn or solidify their invite for Worlds. For everyone else, it is a chance to meet lots of interesting people, play competitors of all ages and skill levels and spend the weekend surrounded by all things Pokemon. This will be the 3rd year that the Fincastle Gym Leaders have attended the event and the reason we return each year is that we definitely feel that it is worth the trip. Each year our experience has only gotten better than the year before, so we can’t wait for everything to begin this year.
The National Championships begin this Friday, 6/29 and continue through Sunday, 7/1, at the Indiana Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis. Registration takes place on Thursday afternoon from 4pm-6pm and again on Friday morning from 8am-830am. Play will begin shortly after 9am Friday morning and continue through Saturday evening. At the end of the evening on Saturday, the top cuts for each age group will be announced. Those that make the cut will return on Sunday to battle it out for all the marbles. The “marbles” include scholarships up to $5000, automatic invitations to the World Championships in Hawaii including paid travel and accommodations for the top finishers, booster packs, additional championship points and other various merchandise (playmats, hats, deck boxes, etc.). Obviously, there is plenty of motivation to compete and do well. However, there is open league play all day, each day, where more casual players can pick up a game with anyone and also receive free prizes which usually include a variety of cool promo items. The only downside is that the video game tournament takes place simultaneously with the trading card tournament, so competitors have to pick one or the other (a tough choice for players like our own Gym Leader Logan who took home 2nd place this year in the Regional TCG Championship and 4th place in the Regional VG Championship). Logan could contend for either title, but he, like many others, had to choose.
Speaking of Logan…. our youngest Gym Leader carries the hopes of the Fincastle Gym on his shoulders (quite a heavy burden for such a young man). He enters the tournament looking to lock in his place and gain an invitation to this year’s Worlds, hopefully making a run at the title in the process. One of the major changes in the game over the last year is the variety of competitive decks. This time last year the main question to ask yourself was what might you “tech” into your “Magneboar” or “Megajudge” deck. It is very refreshing this year to be able to sit down and ask yourself, “What will you play?”. Every deck we’ve seen this year has a bad match-up. There is no perfect play. That is also what we feel it comes down to for Logan. If the deck he plays it the right choice, then who know what will happen. The same goes for sister, Georgia and Gym Leader Joel. If we chose correctly and get a little fortune in terms of match-ups, then anything is possible. That is what we feel makes this year the most exciting one yet.
Gym Leader Marthe will try her hand at a completely different event, the Professor Cup. You must be a qualified “Professor” to compete and they will play a special format with no basic pokemon and a rotation to a Call of Legends-on card pool. It is a very fun way to play and her tournament also divvies out some pretty sweet prizes as a way to thank all of those who volunteer and help run events. Marthe will also volunteer during the main events so she may have the busiest weekend of all.
We will try to post a update each night about the days events, so check back each day this weekend for pictures from the event and updates on all of our progress. Thanks to the Bowen family, the Gym will still have league at its normal time on Sunday, so come on out and play and cheer us on while we take on the rest of the country! See you soon at the Gym!