The Pokemon Video Game Championship Series is in full swing now, with an even going on somewhere every weekend through most of the summer.
Getting there was no problem, except for a run in with a lying “spaces available” sign at the center parking garage. Really, how hard is it to make one of these signs that actually reflects reality?
But there was ample parking across the street. The event was held in Exhibit Hall 1, not 2 as listed in the original announcement.
But I doubt people were confused. Hall 2 was hosting an indoor women’s volleyball tournament while Hall 3 had a comic book convention running.
We got there at something of an awkward time. The morning competition had finished up and emptied out, but there was still quite a while to go until the afternoon competition, the Masters round, was set to go. So while there was already a long line of people for the afternoon event.
The event hall however was pretty empty.
That did give us a chance to look around and how things were laid out. Unlike last year, this time the tournament software was completely built-in to Pokemon Black and White, so Nintendo was able to dispense with a lot of hardware. Instead, everybody was able to use their own DS system via the wireless network in the hall.
The people at the registration desk were waiting for the coming storm of people. The signs were posted to make sure when people got to them they were ready to go. Nintendo puts a cap on both the number of participants and the time they in which they are allowed to register. The latter is a 30 minute window.
The big change from last year in the event was the lack of things to do if you were not there to compete. Last year there were demo stations featuring other Pokemon games, a special Pokemon to download, tables to demonstrate the Pokemon trading card game, and even somebody in a Pikachu suit along with the usual inflatable Pokemon.
Granted, we were there at an off time, when a lot of the staff were at lunch or getting ready for the afternoon tournament. But it still looks like the focus of the event was entirely on the championship. Given the size of the line out in front of the hall, I am going to guess that that they do not need to add any incentives to get people to come out and participate.
Still, I think they would have done a booming business in “I was there” T-shirts for the event.
I would have bought one for me and one for my daughter.