It seems like a while ago now…. because it actually is. Over the weekend of October 4-5th, the Fincastle Gym Leaders took their show on the road to Philly for the 1st Regional TCG and VG tournament of the 2015-2015 season. Gym Leader Marthe served on the staff, in charge of deck-checks for both days of the TCG event, no small task as their were over 500 competitors (507 to be exact). On that subject, this is how the TCG event broke down by division. There were 348 Masters, who played 9 rounds on day 1, with the top 32 returning on day 2 for more and then a top cut. There were 107 Senior competitors, who played 7 rounds and cut to a top 8. There were 52 Juniors, who played 6 rounds, also cutting to a top 8. A dreadfully long day for all involved, but seems to be as good as it will get for a while, as Play!Pokemon seems to be content with the best 2 of 3, 50 minute, egregious # of rounds, format. Gym Leaders Georgia, Logan and Joel all dove in head-first (one in each division). They were joined by the Gym’s top trainer, Hunter H, who also entered the Seniors competition.
It is not too much of a stretch to summarize all of the Gym’s entrants as having about the same kind of day. Everyone played very well and came down to the final round before their fates were decided. In the Junior division, Georgia burst out of the gates, winning her 1st 3 matches in straight games, quickly seating her at table 1, meaning she would be taking everyone’s best shot for the rest of the day. Georgia played to a tie in round 4 and then squared off with Quinn T in round 5. Quinn seems to have Georgia’s number at the moment, as he handed Georgia her only loss of the day (3 wins over Georgia this year). With a 3-1-1 record, Georgia entered the last round in a “must-win” situation if she hoped to make the top 8. Georgia entered into a very slow match, as her opponent took very long turns. Despite the stall, Georgia won game 1, but had to use a lot of the match time to do so. Game 2 was one of those dead-draw games where she got nothing going (which she should have scooped) and eventually lost. Game 3 saw her set up and start running through her opponent, but time was called. Georgia had 2 prizes left (opponent only took 2), coming back to her with a KO in hand for the match when the turns ended. The tie, again, dropped her record to 3-1-2, landing her in 15th place, a result not worthy of the day she had. Lesson learned… don’t waste time (or allow your opponent to). Georgia picked up 18 packs for her finish.
Seniors Logan and Hunter both had strong days in their division. We weren’t able to gather round by round info on Hunter’s day, but know that he finished 3-1-3 (placed somewhere in 30’s, we think). Logan had an outstanding tournament, going 4-0-2 over the opening 6 rounds. A win in the last round, would guarantee entry into the top cut. However, he drew a very tough opponent (eventual finalist in Seniors…. Macname???), who handed Logan his only loss on the day. The loss dropped his record to 4-1-2, landing Logan in 18th place, out of the top cut and 2 spots out of championship points (by tie-breaker). Logan won 9 packs for his finish.
Joel entered the Master Division with one of his off the wall decks, this one sporting no EX’s. After a slow start (ties in the 1st 2 rounds), Joel got into a bit of a groove, working his record back to a 2 win, 1 loss, 3 ties, mark after 6 rounds (roughly 7:30pm). Learning that Logan and Georgia both barely missed the cuts, Gym Leader Joel had to transform back into father-form and exit the TCG event in favor of feeding himself and his “youngins”. At best, he could have stretched his point total for the day to 18, which usually sits right on the fringe of to 32. How the day would have finished falls into the whole “how many licks to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop” category. The world will never know.
We all came back on Sunday for the VG tournament, which posted similar attendance numbers to that if the TCG event. There were 493 competitors in all. By division, there were 357 Masters, 101 Seniors and 35 Juniors. Georgia (who plays the VG the least) posted the best results of the day. Georgia finished 3-2 and in 11th place, winning another 18 packs. Logan finished 4-3 and in 37th place, on a day that included a close loss to 2013 VG World Champion, Brendan Zheng. Unfortunately, the Masters event started late, allowing Joel to only play 3 rounds before have to hoist the anchor on the day, gather the family and head back home to Virginia.
In addition to 45 booster packs for the Gym, the Gym Leaders picked up several playmats from the door prize pool. All in all, the event was a decent start for the Gym. Georgia missed the chance to defend her title, but learned some good time-management lessons. The Gym had a great time competing, as they always do. Congrats to all the winners on both days in both events! See you soon at the Gym!