The Fincastle Pokemon Gym is proud to announce that two of its own are on their way to the 2018 Pokemon World Championships in Nashville, TN, this coming weekend, August 24th – 26th. Siblings Ridge and Anna Radtke have both qualified for the video game event in their respective age divisions. They are the charter members of The Gym’s team, Hee-Haw’s Generals, and are the first active members of The Gym to earn invitations to the event under the tutelage of its founders, Joel & Marthe Honts and their children, Logan and Georgia. Logan and Georgia have earned a combined 6 invitations to past World Championships, stretching back to 2011. In 2016, Georgia became the 1st from Fincastle to earn an invite to the video game event. Georgia, who qualified for both the trading card game and video game championships in 2016, was forced to choose between the two, ultimately picking the card competition. This year marks the first time local players will compete in the video game event.
Ridge forged the path for the Radtke siblings into the competitive scene. He began playing the card game at The Gym in 2013, a time where the Honts siblings dominated the southeast and many began to follow their lead after seeing their successes. The card game remained a casual interest for Ridge, but he did not pursue the competitive side. That all changed when the Fincastle Gym began to learn more about the video game.
In 2014, Roanokers, Dean Evans and Noah Hastings joined the Fincastle group and brought a wealth of knowledge of the in’s & out’s of the video game with them. They opened the eyes of the Honts family as to how the statistical framework of the video game functioned and how precise the builds of characters used in the game had to be in order to be competitive. Their input allowed the Honts family, who had only focused on the card game, to become competitive, leading to Georgia’s video game success. Joel leaned heavily on Dean and Noah for advice and assistance once Ridge and Anna became interested in the video game.
Ridge dove into the competitive side of the video game as a Junior Division competitor over half-way through the 2016-2017 season. He had immediate success, winning several local tournaments and placing 4th in the 2017 Regional Championship held in Roanoke. Despite the success, Ridge did not accumulate enough points to earn an invitation to Worlds. He returned for the 2017-2018 season (which runs from July to July) in the Senior Division and battled throughout the year and racked up an impressive resume. Ridge won 3 different Premier Challenges and finished 4th at a large Mid-Season Showdown tournament. He finished 17th at an early Regional Championship in Hartford, CT. Ridge’s excellent season culminated with a 2nd Place finish at the May, 2018 Regional Championship in Roanoke. He earned 261 Championship Points, surpassing the 250 points required to earn entry into the World Championship event.
In the same vein that Logan’s success and experience made it easier for his sister, Georgia, to follow suit and expand on that success, Ridge’s experience drew his younger sister, Anna into the game. Anna competed in the Junior Division for the first time during the 2017-2018. Anna quickly became one of, if not, the best Junior in the southeast. She won 6 different Premier Challenges and finished in the top group in 2 Regional Championships. Anna claimed 7th Place at the Hartford, CT Regional and followed it with a 4th Place finish at the Roanoke Regional in May. Anna compiled a massive 320 Championship Points, almost doubling the required 200 point threshold for the Junior Division this season en route to her World Championship invite.
Both Ridge and Anna sat out the International Championships in July 2018 in Columbus, OH, a luxury they earned by surpassing the point requirement for Worlds. Unlike the card game, keeping the contents of your video game team secret prior to Worlds gives you an advantage when competing against the best in the World. Playing in July would have only revealed their teams ahead of time.
The Radtke’s proud parents are Derrick and Kathleen Radtke of Blue Ridge. Ridge is currently in the 7th Grade at Read Mountain Middle School. Anna is a 3rd Grader at Colonial Elementary. You can follow their adventure this weekend in Nashville where the best in the world will compete for a share of $500,000 in prizes. Look for round-by-round updates through tournament links on Pokemon.com. Look for Ridge and Anna on live streams on Twitch. Join all of those at The Gym in cheering on the Radtke siblings as they take on the world!