The month of March is just about kaput for the Gym, at least as far as league events go. The Fincastle Pokemon Gym will not hold league for the next two weeks, for sure, and perhaps three, depending on what happens with our robotics team. So, for now, there is NO LEAGUE on Sunday, 3/11/18, or the following week on Sunday, 3/18/18. We are not sure how things will play out over the last weekend in March, so we will leave that date open for now. We will make an Continue reading
The Fincastle Pokemon Gym is thrilled to announce that the Regional Championships are returning to Roanoke in 2018! The Regional will return to the Berglund Center on Memorial Day weekend, the 25th through the 27th of May, 2018. Pokemon confirmed this with us prior to their announcement this past Wednesday and informed us that our TCG event will be in the Expanded Format. We are planning on returning many of the features from this year’s event, like the vendor marketplace and a variety of side events including Battle Fiesta style tournaments. We have other ideas in mind to expand the weekend experience, including several Friday evening events, which we will share soon on the Regional website as we solidify those details. Roanoke was one of the biggest and most diverse Regionals of the 2016-17 season. It is our goal to outdo ourselves for next May’s event. Check back here and on the Regionals site for details as they come! See you at the Gym!
The Fincastle Pokemon Gym took a well-deserved break following the Blue Ridge Regional Championships before diving into the task of sorting and putting away materials (which we did not complete until the end of last week). Following that, we did some data collecting from the event that we’d like to share with everyone. The Regional Championships exceeded our expectations and went as smoothly as any event that we’ve ever attended (more so than many). We know that those results would not have been possible without the strong response from players, fans and staff. We hope that all who attended were as satisfied with the weekend as we were. Now, we sit and wait and hope that we are awarded another Regional next year, a decision that is beyond our control. Should we be so lucky, we are already thinking of ways to improve upon and expand what we did this year. Only time will tell. Continue reading
Posted in Blue Ridge Regional Championship
Tagged anime con, Berglund Center, Blue Ridge Regional, comic con, Cosplay, Fincastle Pokemon Gym, Play!Pokemon, pokemon live stream, pokemon trading card game, Pokken, regional championships, video game tournament
One of the first ideas that came to Gym Leader Joel upon learning in July of 2016 that we would host and organize Roanoke’s first-ever Regional Championships event was to develop a program to prepare trainers from our leagues for the tournament. Joel outlined the details for Hee-Haw’s Generals, the Fincastle Pokemon Gym’s juniors team, shortly after and waited for the response. And waited, and waited… and waited. The service that the Gym is offering is the same that many pay-to-view deck sites offer, for a fee of course, with one big difference. Our service does not cost a dime. We have several promising TCG prospects that are perhaps a bit young (5 & 6) for a day-long tournament. However, we did get a video game trainer who wanted to give the Regionals a whirl. While we feared that our first taker jumped in the game a little too late to properly prepare for the event, Gym Leaders Dean, Noah and Joel scrambled to help him gather a team together and then put the rest in his hands. Ridge R, now known to us as “The First General”, showed what a quick study he is. Ridge stepped up, practiced with his team and at the Blue Ridge Regional Video Game Championship, claimed 4th place, falling one match short of potentially winning the whole thing. Continue reading
Gym Leader Joel has always enjoyed the late-season tournaments in Pokemon organized play, in both the TCG and VGC. On top of enjoying playing in them, he has enjoyed considerable success in tournaments this time of year. Why is that? Gym Leader Joel does not devote much time to deck sites that spout about “The 3 Tops Plays” for the next event, as those seem to be efforts to dictate the format, rather than aid players with helpful info. This often leaves Joel a step behind in terms of what to expect early on in a season. However, by this time of the year, he has had time to step back and absorb what has been going on and build decks that handle most, if not all, of the format. Joel regrets not being able to play this year’s Roanoke event, but as the Fincastle Gym has too strong of an obligation to helping the Regional weekend go as planned, playing is just not a possibility this time. So, in this environment where secret decks or strong lists kept close to the vest are virtually impossible, here’s a look at what he was heavily considering playing. Continue reading
July 6, 2016. A date that will live in Pokemon lore forever… The day exercise became FUN! If you love catching Pokemon in the real world, we have a fun addition to the Blue Ridge Regional Championships for you: a Pokemon GO Tour around Roanoke!
What could be more fun than exploring this beautiful city with your Pokemon companions, you ask? BINGO! Before you go pack your marking dots and stake out a six-table spread at the local VFW, it’s not that kind of BINGO. It’s Pokemon BinGO!
That’s right – BINGO with Pokemon GO!
As we’ve mentioned here recently, the Fincastle Pokemon Gym and its companion store, Dark Moon Cards and Games, has branched out from our online store to try our hand at local conventions. While we are still learning that side of our business and trying to improve what we have to offer, we have had a great time at these local events. The main reason is the environment. When you are in a building surrounded by people who love the same stuff that you do, its hard not to enjoy yourself. In our planning for the Blue Ridge Regional Championships, we did a lot of brainstorming on how to bottle that environment and bring it to our event. As soon as we started planning, we ran into one slightly monumental hurdle to our plans… licensing from Pokemon. We think we’ve cleared that hurdle, perhaps not in the purtiest fashion ever, and put together a pretty cool group of vendors to supplement this weekend’s event. Continue reading
The next aspect of the Blue Ridge Regional Championships that we are going to look at is the planned TCG and VGC Side Events. Side events have been a staple of the Regional Championship format since we at the Fincastle Pokemon Gym have been playing the game. Typical “sides” have been 8-person, single elimination pods in formats ranging from Standard to Expanded to Theme Deck contests. In more recent Regionals, Day 2 (usually Sunday) has included a League Challenge. While these are great additions to the main events at these weekends, we are looking for (and have found) some great ways to expand those options and, in the process, bring you the 1st event of its kind on the east coast (maybe USA…, 1st that we’ve heard of anyway). The Battle Fiesta events are exciting new events for us to try out. We’ve read some amazing articles from American and European players that have been lucky enough to travel to Japan to compete in the real thing. Their tournament reports make for some fascinating reading. On both Saturday and Sunday, we will hold Japanese-style Battle Fiesta contests. Let us break down some details on all of these events. Continue reading
One of the unique features to Roanoke’s first Regional Championship should be another first in its own right in the Roanoke area. Saturday, during the main event, there is also a Pokemon Costume and Cosplay contest. Now, Roanoke has been developing an ever-growing base of talented cosplayers for a while now… probably longer than we’ve been aware of. The Fincastle Gym Leaders have attended recent events like the Roanoke Anime Convention and Geekmob for the last two years and have been blown away by the outfits that we’ve witnessed at these events. Our love for manga, anime and basically everything else to do with Japan grows larger every day, which means we actually know the anime characters that people dress up as (a pretty amazing feat for some 40-something parents of two, I say). This side event at the Blue Ridge Regional will be the first Pokemon-only contest that we have witnessed in the area. Continue reading