This weekend at the Gym, we hosted our first Battle Roads Tournament under the direction of our own Gym Leader Marthe. Despite the fact that attendance is usually low at most spring events, we had good turnout for the tournament. The Harrisonburg league brought several of its players and lent us one of our area’s most experienced tournament judges to help officiate the event. We saw a nice mix, in every age group, of some of the top tier decks and some very interesting rogues. The tournament was highlighted by a 3 way showdown of our top seniors that provided some great matches.
Speaking of showdowns, lets start with the Junior Division. The favorite entering the tournament had to be Virginia’s #1 ranked Junior, Gym Leader Georgia. Georgia’s Championship Point total has her sitting just outside of the requirement for her first World Championship invitation. She will enter the National Championships needing to make the top cut to earn the trip. The daunting task of taking out this little powerhouse fell on our league’s top juniors, Alex D, Jordan L and Addison M. Early rounds saw both Alex’s and Jordan’s decks stall out of the gates as the each faced Addison. Addison cruised through his first 2 games, taking out his competition and locking himself into a last round battle with undefeated Georgia. Georgia began their match by immediately wearing down Addison’s field and taking 2 easy prizes, while he loaded up one of his EX pokemon. With the help of a “laser”, Addison took out Georgia’s active EX, claiming 2 prizes. However, the damage Georgia did over the opening turns allowed her to close out the game over the next 2 turns. Addison played well, but Georgia’s experience showed as she claimed the win.
When the smoke cleared, Georgia (3-0) won 1st place, followed by Addison(2-1) in 2nd place. Jordan L (2-1) rebounded to claim 3rd place by virtue of a narrow tie-break advantage over Alex D (2-1). While the Junior division was full of entertaining matches, the Senior division was where the action was.
The field hosted the possibilities of battles between our leagues top two trainers, Hunter H and Brycen F, two-time World’s competitor, Gym Leader Logan and several strong players from Harrsionburg. While the 1st round was uneventful for Hunter and Brycen, Logan found himself on his heels from the opening turn, as he squared off with Luke L. Luke jumped out to an early lead and seemed to have Logan beat. However, the always patient and cool headed gym leader slowly worked his way back into the match and evened the prize count at 2 remaining each. Logan caught a damaged Moltres EX off the bench and with the added damage from a “laser”, got the last KO. While that was the match of round 1, round 2 set the match up that is always entertaining, Hunter vs Brycen.
Knowing each others’ decks made this a true battle of skills and strategy as the power of Hunter’s deck would have to weather the speed of Brycen’s. Speed was definitely the name of this game, as Brycen threw everything at Hunter in an attempt to keep him from setting up. Turn after turn, Squirtles fell by the wayside, keeping Hunter behind. As the game neared the end, Brycen’s heavily damaged field was complimented by a deck that was down to 2 cards left. Brycen wisely “hunted” a catcher back out of the discard pile which he used on the following turn to finish the game. Brycen’s win locked him into a final round battle against Logan, who cruised through his second round game.
The decisive 3rd round battle pitted Brycen’s speed was against Logan’s speed, whose speed turned out to be quite speedier than the aforementioned speed of Brycen’s speed. Translation…. Logan set up really fast. Like Brycen’s win over Hunter, Logan never allowed Brycen to get anything going and took out 3 EX’s in a row to win the game handily. Luke and Hunter closed out their final round games quickly to join Brycen with 2-1 records. In the end, Logan (3-0) claimed 1st place, Brycen (2-1) took 2nd and Luke (2-1) grabbed 3rd place.
While judging the Junior and Senior Divisions, I was unable to follow the events of the Master Division matches. Dakota G and Zach M were able to work their way through the opening rounds and pair up in the final round as the only 2 remaining undefeated players. Dakota took control of their game quickly and finished the day 3-0 and in 1st place. Our Gym’s own Jeff D took 2nd place and Zach fell to 3rd place by a narrow margin in the tie-break column.
The tournament ran smoothly and we had a great time hosting our own Battle Roads. We definitely saw some high quality matches and some strong play in all 3 divisions. We know that there were some disappointments from those who came up short in some close losses. Brycen summed it up best with the quote of the day that was in reference to his win over Hunter…. “Being a turtle has its ups and downs”.
Congratulations to all those who took home prizes from the tournament. Thanks to Juanita for serving as our head judge. We will have league this Sunday with the Alderson family as our guest hosts. We will be traveling to NC for more tournament play. Everyone have fun this Sunday at league and we will see you soon at the Gym!