Yesterday surprised us, because as casual Pokemon fans, we never expected the game to this hyped.
The Pokemon Summer Battle Arena, held over last weekend at Funan Digitalife Mall, hosted both the TCG National Championships 2012 and the Video Game Elite Four Competition. A total of 180 players took part in the tournaments; specifically 107 and 73 participants in the TCG Nationals and Elite Four Competition respectively.
One player from each competitive division of the TCG category won themselves a sponsored trip to Waikoloa, Hawaii, to compete in the global TCG championship. The divisions were segregated according to age group, with the Junior league comprising of competitors aged 10 and below, the Senior league with players 11 to 15, and the Masters league with players aged 16 and above.
The younger players from the Junior and Senior categories also won their chaperones a plane ticket each. We had earlier asked Manesh Lal, Director of Maxsoft, if the organisers ever had to deal with any complaints from parents… We found out why, then. Who wouldn’t want their child to win them a free holiday?
The video game category had a different prize at stake – there were no plane tickets, but the winners would go on to be the ‘Elite Four’ of Singapore for a year. Ng Soon Aik, better known as Soon, and the overall in-charge of the tournament, explained that the competitive video game category of Pokemon was still growing, and had no official support from The Pokemon Company. Fortunately, Maxsoft stepped up to the plate to sponsor prizes and medals. Yes, winners of the video game tournament also got their own Elite Four medals!
While we couldn’t stay for the finals (which seem to have taken place only around 9pm), it was a real treat meeting the competitive Pokemon community and spectating their national tournament. We’ll definitely be back with more news on the players and the community, but in the meantime, check out our little interview with a family who plays the Pokemon TCG together, as well as a more technical explanation of how the Pokemon Nationals were conducted.
Do check out RGB’s Facebook page for more photos of the event!