The Fincastle Gym Leaders came back home from their trip to the 2018 Pokemon World Championships in Nashville, TN. Upon returning, we immediately had to pack up for GEXCON, in D.C. on the following weekend, so we are unfortunately delayed in getting this report out. While not competing in the main event, Gym Leaders Joel, Logan and Georgia did try their hand at the Nashville Open, a regional-level tournament held on Saturday. They were also there to cheer on Ridge and Anna Radtke, as they competed in their first Video Game World Championship. Overall the weekend was a really cool. There were a multitude of things to see, including a massive Mega Construx Blastoise accompanied by its previous forms, a diorama to end all dioramas, a decked out Pokemon Center full of unique things to buy and of course, lots of Nashville themed decorations throughout the hall. The weekend full of competitions had its strikes and gutters, ups and downs for The Gym. As the Dude once said, you know, sometimes you eat the bar, and, sometimes uh, you know…. Alas, The Gym abides. Continue reading
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. Continue reading
As many of you have seen, The Fincastle Pokemon Gym was awarded its 3rd Regional Championship right here in Roanoke, coming this November. That of course leaves us a bit confused when we try to reference it, or the recent one. Both take place in 2018, so we can’t just say the “2018 Blue Ridge Regional” anymore. It’s bad to confuse old people like that. While we are working on branding, we thought we’d share some photos from the Memorial Day event, as we’ve finally had time to sit down and organize them. We will follow-up soon with some more info on the November 2018 event.
We want to jump right into the cool stuff… the Cosplay Contest. Last year, our 1st cosplay competition, was a lot of fun, as we had a small group excellent entrants. This year was the real deal. As we stated before, we are so glad that we had an experienced judge, Mera Babineaux to evaluate the contestants. There is no way we could have picked the best out of this group on our own.
****All of these amazing photos are thanks to the event staff photographer: Doug Morisoli.
Here are a few more of the event.
We will be back with some info on our next event. Check back here often. We also will have a League Challenge (Standard Format) at the Gym at our regular time this Sunday, 6/17. See you there!
The goal of the Fincastle Pokemon Gym regarding league/premier challenges is to conduct one of each (TCG & VG) each month. Well, its March and unfortunately we’re busier than a cat covering poop on a marble floor this month. However, we do have a solution to help those chasing championship points not miss out on a chance in the month of March. While it’s not something that we intend to do often, this Sunday, we will host both challenges at the Gym. Registration for both events will take place at our regular time. We don’t want either event to fall short of the required number of players to make it official, as we have several trainers at the Gym that play both the TCG & VG. So, should it Continue reading
The challenges facing the “powers that be” at Pokemon vary from season to season. When it comes to deciding the format and rules for each year’s VGC season, those decisions are very consequential, as once they are released, that’s what you get for the entire year. There are no major shifts in the format like there are in the TCG as various sets are released throughout the year. Sometimes the VGC format is pretty wide open and sometimes it becomes painfully narrow. Two seasons ago, the addition of the “Primals” (Groudon and Kyogre) was devastating to the format, as it narrowed it so much that almost all of the top 32 teams at the Virginia Regional Championship were identical. Inversely, the 2017 season was much more open, seeing a much wider variety of teams take the top spots at events throughout the year. 2018 is here and so is the new Ultra Sun & Moon format. Each new season usually brings a surge of new players with it with the hopes that the season will provide a fun, different and creative environment for the players. While we can’t see the future, we like the 2018 format and its possibilities. Continue reading
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
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
Yay, we have a computer again…. (can you hear the excitement in Gym Leader Joel’s voice?). In case you can’t tell, Joel is a real lover of technology… kind of in the same way that most people love skunks. We at the Gym are a little disturbed at how easily the loss of an electronic device (i.e. our laptop) can completely cripple one’s ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. That being said, our new computer (supposed to be “in-store” on the next day from the time of order) has arrived (now 6 days after the order date). The timing of this computer crash was bad for us at the Gym, as this Sunday’s video game tournament was to be our 1st Premier VG event. Gym Leader Marthe is frantically working to get “TOM” (the pokemon program used to manage and record tournaments) up and running on our new laptop. Once some vital data is transferred from our old hard drive, we’ll be good to go. However, that will not happen by this Sunday. Fear not… the tournament will still take place. Continue reading