Tag Archives: Pokemon Video Game Championship Series

Pokemon Video Game 2012 Regional Championships – April 15

Pokemon.com has the information up for the Spring 2012 Pokemon Regional Championships.

Unlike last year, where the regional matches were part of a big Pokemon road show and occurred on consecutive weekends throughout Spring, this year the matches are being run by regional partners and are all taking place on the same day, April 15.

Locations and Times

In California, the nearest regional event is still close by my home, just across the bay in Pleasanton.

The Pleasanton event is being run by Second City Gym, which has details about the event on their own web site.  You can also pre-register for the event there to secure yourself a spot.

Links to information about other regional matches are available at Pokemon.com.

The US National Championships will be held in Indianapolis, Indiana on June 30th – July 1st, 2012, and the World Championships will happen in Waikaloa, just up the road from Kona, on the big island of Hawaii on August 10th-12th, 2012.

2011 Pokemon World Championships

The final event of the Pokemon Video Championship Series kicks off tomorrow, August 12th, in San Diego.

Official Artwork of the Championship

Players from Europe, Japan, South Korea, and the US will compete for the world champion title.

In addition, the Pokemon Trading Card Game world championship, which includes considerably more countries, will be going on in parallel at the same venue down in San Diego.

If you are interested, information, standings, and updates can be found at the Pokemon World Championship Official site.

Pokemon in San Jose

The Pokemon Video Game Championship Series is in full swing now, with an even going on somewhere every weekend through most of the summer.

And back on May 21st the Western Regional round was held in San Jose, at the San Jose Convention Center, which is pretty close to our home.  So, like last year, we went down to take a peek.

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.

Pokemon Here!

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.

Look! Denise Crosby!

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 line starts to loop back on itself

The event hall however was pretty empty.

Compete under the watchful eye of Pikachu!

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.

Just tables this time

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.

Are you ready for registration?

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.

Inflatable Pokemon are inflated

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.

Pokemon Regional Championship – Question of the Day

Tomorrow is the Pokemon Video Game Regional Championship here in Silicon Valley.

And I was hoping my daughter and I would be able to at least go see how things look this year, having gone to the regional championships last year as well.

Nintendo has at least chosen a nicer venue this year, and given all the work that went into the Pokemon Black and White tour, I have some hope that they will step it up a notch this time around.

But, if you had not heard, tomorrow is also the Rapture, at least according to the revised Harold Camping view of things.

So my immediate thought was, at what time is the Rapture supposed to occur?  Will it come before the event or after?  If I decide to enter, will my chances be improved?  How much overlap is there between those destined to be saved and competitive Pokemon players?

And what will this do to the parking situation down town?

I guess we’ll find out tomorrow.

2011 Pokemon Video Game Championship Dates and Locations Announced!

The official site for the 2011 Pokemon Video Game Championship Series page is up at last, and Nintendo has released the dates and locations for the events leading up to the final world-wide Championship in San Diego.  Kotaku first posted the dates and locations, which I reposted here.

For the United States, the events will be:

In Europe, the events scheduled are:

The US National championship will be held in Indianapolis on July 8-10.

And the final World Championship round will be held August 12 through August 14 at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront in San Diego, California.

There is a page up for tournament regulations and a FAQ.

The San Jose location is very close to me, so I am sure my daughter and I will at least head out to see how the event goes.  Remember, arrive early… very early.  The lines for entering the event have been, in the past, very long.

How about you?  Will you be able to get to an event?  Will you enter and compete?

2011 Pokemon Video Game Championship Series Announced

Pokemon.com has announced the 2011 Pokemon Video Game Championships. [Dates and locations here.]

While the Pokemon Trading Card Game gets all sorts of tournaments throughout the year, there is only one sanctioned event for the video game.

Last year, one of the regional events was held here in the San Francisco Bay Area and my daughter and I were able to go watch.

They have not yet announced where the regional events will be held this year.  We will see if my daughter and I will get another chance to see the event.

Of course, last year the final championship was held in Kona, Hawaii.  For 2011 the final round will be held in San Diego in August.  Not as glamorous as Hawaii, but still a nice place to visit.

Of course, to push the new Pokemon release, only Pokemon from the Pokemon Black and White regional Pokedex, the 150 new Pokemon available with the game, will be eligible to participate.

The official announcement

Join players from around the world and get ready to compete in the 2011 Pokémon Video Game Championship series! The series starts this spring and consists of multiple events across the United States and Europe—events where anyone can compete. Top players from the National Championships will be invited to the Pokémon Video Game World Championships, taking place this August in San Diego, California!

Here’s a quick snapshot of the major changes you’ll see at the 2011 Pokémon Video Game Championship competitions.

All of the events will be played exclusively on Pokémon Black Version and Pokémon White Version, which will launch in early March. Players will be limited to Pokémon from the Unova Pokédex only, and no two Pokémon on a player’s team can have the same Pokédex number.

Players will compete in one of three age divisions, based on their date of birth:

  • Junior Division: Born in 2000 or later
  • Senior Division: Born in 1996, 1997, 1998, or 1999
  • Masters Division: Born in 1995 or earlier

Each battle will use the Double Battle rules. Players may register 4–6 Pokémon at the beginning of the tournament. Before the start of each battle, players will select 4 Pokémon to use that round, with two Pokémon active at once.

During each battle, all Pokémon will be capped at Level 50. Any Pokémon that is Level 51 or higher will temporarily be reduced to Level 50 for the duration of each battle. Pokémon that are Level 49 or lower will not be raised to Level 50. Pokémon retain all moves they’ve learned, regardless of when they were learned.

Look out for more details after the release of Pokémon Black Version and Pokémon White Version!

Dates and locations posted.

Pokemon by the Bay

This past Saturday was the Pokemon Regional Championships in San Francisco.

A Pokemon event in my area

Only it wasn’t really in San Francisco.

As is often the case, San Francisco was given as the location because if they said they were holding it in San Mateo, which is 30 minutes down the highway, most people wouldn’t know what they were talking about.  People barely know the way to San Jose, which is the 10th largest city in the US.

So it was more of a battle in the city down the road from the city by the bay.

But not being in San Francisco was probably better for all concerned.  It made the whole thing much easier to attend for most people I would guess.

The event was part of the Pokemon Video Game Championship Series.

This should not be confused with the Pokemon The Card Game Championship Series.

The Pokemon Video Game Championship Series is a set of regional events that lead into a national event in the case of the US and Japan, and a series of national events in Europe that lead into a regional event.  All of that leads into a world wide Pokemon Videogame Championship in Kona on the island of Hawaii at the Hilton Waikoloa Village.  (I’ve stayed at the Outrigger Waikoloa, right next door.  It is very nice area.)

Pokemon Championship Locations

With the San Francisco about a 30 minute drive away in San Mateo, I thought we ought to go up and see how this sort of thing was run.  It would get us out of the house and they were offering up a shiny Eevee download for spectators and participants.

We had a soccer game in the morning, which precluded my daughter from entering the junior division to compete, but after a post-game shower and some lunch, we were able to get up there in time for the senior division part of the program.

For the purposes of the Pokemon Video Game Championship Series (PVGCS), a senior is defined a somebody born in 1997 or earlier.  13 year old seniors.

I was not sure what to expect.  On the one hand, Pokemon is kind of a big deal.  Nintendo sells a lot of Pokemon cartridges for its GameBoy systems.  And this was one of only six regional championships in the US.  This could be a serious, big-time event.

On the other hand, I haven’t really got any sort of feel for how much actual Pokemon battling goes on outside of the storyline of the game.  When it comes to competition, I hear a lot more about the card game.  There are a lot more events for the card game, a whole ranking systems, and the whole world championship series.

We grabbed our Pokemon games, our DSs, and my camera, and headed up the road to San Mateo to see what we could see.

The venue was at about the county fair ground level.  The building in which they were holding the event was typical polished concrete floor, high ceiling affair which could easily be playing host to a Victorian collectibles show, a home improvement show, or an antique show on any given weekend.  Fortunately the weather was mild.  This sort of venue can be miserable in August, no matter how much air conditioning they have running.

But the first thing we saw when we parked was a line.


That picture is just one segment of the line, which went a couple dozen yards further, then looped back around and came about halfway back to where we were standing, if that makes any sense.  I was a bit worried that we were going to have to stand in that line.

I found an official at the end of the line who explained that it was only for competitors.  Spectators could go in the other door, which had no line at all.

The official was at the end of the line to keep any further potential participants from getting in line.  It was 1:30pm already and registration for the event was supposed to have concluded by this point.

The first sign

We walked into the spectator’s side of the building and were greeted by some inflatable Pokemon.  First, the trio that are featured in Pokemon HeartGold and Soulsilver.

Totodile, Chikorita, and Cyndaquil

And then, of course, the Pokemon superstar.


Size = importance.  The trio were about 3 feet tall each, while Pikachu was probably 8 feet tall and a good 12-15 long, looming there above the competition as he does above the whole franchise.

For non-competitors there wasn’t much of a show.  They had an information booth that was remarkably clean.  It was certainly uncontaminated by information as far as I could tell.  I asked the poor girl sitting there all sorts of questions for which she did not have answers.  I left her alone until somebody replaced her, then started up again, and got the same thing.  I even insinuated that I might somehow be a member of the press, asking if they had a press packet or a press liaison to whom I could speak.  No such luck.  The only information available was also readily available on large, clearly printed signs.

Aside from the non-information booth, there was the download area which had the usual big signs indicating how to download your shiny Eevee.

There was a demo station consisting of two chained down DS Lites where you could try out Pokemon HeartGold or SoulSilver.  I’m not sure I saw anybody who needed that sort of demo.

There was a demo station with two Wii consoles setup where you could try out Pokemon Rumble.  We’ve played the demo at home already, and from what I’ve read, once you’re done with the demo, you’re probably done with the game.  There was no Pokemon Ranch demo, since it does not work with HeartGold or SoulSilver.

There was a table setup with some kids playing Pokemon the card game.  I’m sorry, but the reason I started playing computer games was to jettison the accounting and equipment that went with so many role playing and war games.

Confirming again who was the star, somebody came out in a Pikachu costume, so you could get your picture taken with Poke-royalty.

Fat Pikachu!

And there was a little cafe that sold surprisingly good looking food at the unsurprising gouge-level pricing that is the standard at such events.

So it was clear that this event was really about one thing.  It was about the competition.  The hall was divided in half.  The spectator half was pathetic.  The competition part of the building was where the action was.

Lord Pikachu over the Competition

The competition was just kicking off when we arrived.  I was interested to see how this would be handled.

They have special stations set up.  All you have to do is show up with your Pokemon HeartGold or SoulSilver cartridge and team info sheet (VGC_Team_Info_Sheet_EN),  which lists out your team, and they provide the rest.  You do not even have to bring your DS, as you have to use the special DS stations that they provide.

Pokemon competition stations

You get in, you do your battle with the person you’re assigned to face, one of you wins and advances to the next round and one of you is done for the day.  Each of the competition tiers is a different color.

The orange tier awaits the finalists

I am not sure how they winnow the crowd down to the final set of players and eventually declare the winners.  Again, no press sheet and the site didn’t go into that much detail.  But they had a waiting area all set up for those who won out over the competition.

The Finalists Lounge

And what did you get if you made it through the gauntlet and became one of the top 16 players in the tounament?

1st Place:

  • A Regional Championships 1st Place Trophy
  • A Nintendo DSi system
  • Airfare and 4 day/3 night hotel accommodations for the winner (including parent or legal guardian for players under 18) to attend the Pokémon Video Game National Championships in Indianapolis, IN on June 25th-27th
  • An invite to participate in the Pokémon Video Game National Championships

2nd through 4th Place:

  • A Nintendo DSi system
  • A $300 travel allowance (including an additional $300 travel allowance for players under 18) to participate in the Pokémon Video Game National Championships.
  • An invite to participate in the Pokémon Video Game National Championships

5th through 16th Place:

  • An invite to participate in the Pokémon Video Game National Championships

Not bad.

I guess if you end up in 5th through 16th place, you are going to have to decide if you really, really want to go to Indianapolis for the national championship.

We watched some of the matches.  They had big flat screens at the end of each aisle of the competition that displayed one of the matches in progress.  They even had a competition station set aside for people to try out.  The line for that was both long and somewhat ill-defined, so we gave that a pass.  Besides, we didn’t have our Pokemon setup for competition.

But my daughter decided that she would get ready to compete in next year’s event.  We’ve gone over the rules and printed out the team info sheets so we can practice.  I just wish the video game site had as many resources for organizing and playing tournaments as the the trading card game does.  The trading card game seems to be the main focus for league play, the video game barely getting a mention.

Of course, the trading card game sells product at game shops, so it has that going for it.  The same cannot be said for the video game which, once sold, doesn’t generate any further revenue.

We might have to create our own tournament.