Welcome to Nugget Bridge - Premier Competitive Pokémon VGC Community

Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to contribute to this site by submitting your own content or replying to existing content. You'll be able to customize your profile, receive reputation points as a reward for submitting content, while also communicating with other members via your own private inbox, plus much more! This message will be removed once you have signed in.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
  • entries
  • comments
  • views

Act Locally: Building a Local VGC Community

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0


blog-article1.jpgHello and welcome to my first Nugget Bridge article! This guide is meant to help both new and old players become more active in the Video Game Championship community, whether that means starting your own local VGC group or finding one that already exists. If you’re running an event, how can you be more welcoming to new players? How can you attract new players, and how can you get them interested in our format? These are just a few of the questions I hope to get you thinking about. VGC is expanding more than ever every year, and now is your chance to get involved and make a difference.

I’m new. Where can I go to play locally?

Congratulations! You’ve come to the right people, and hopefully we can get you started here at Nugget Bridge. It’s great to play online, but nothing quite compares to meeting up in real life. One of the best things you can do is introduce yourself on the forums and get to know where everyone is, and if they already have regular area meet-ups (even if it isn’t exclusively for playing VGC). You can often find updates on local events in the Local Tournaments section of the forums. Are you anywhere near a Battle Roads TCG event? It might be worth stopping by, as a lot of TCG players are also interested in VGC and actively play both. Some PTOs (Premier Tournament Organizers) are very interested in expanding into VGC, and it wouldn’t hurt to ask them about local players. If any of your local video game stores host tournaments, try and make an effort to get to them even if the battle format is different. VGC players are everywhere, but unfortunately we don’t have a lot of resources to host regular VGC events at the moment. This is where you can come in and make a difference!

Alright, but what can I do?

Good question! Here are some suggestions:

  • Join or start a Pokémon club at your school
  • Grab your friends, host your own tournament!
  • Does your EB Games, GameStop, or any other game store host Pokémon Tournaments? If not, go fix it!
  • Do you live near a comic or pop culture store? Even if they don’t host TCG, VGC can always be a good start.
  • Video game events like Video Games Live or conventions big and small are a GREAT place to meet new people interested in playing.


One of the best places you can go to play with other people is your school’s Pokémon club. If there is one in place already, you’re in luck! There are already people actively participating that you can meet up with, and you won’t have to push for starting a new club. If there isn’t one but you know people might be interested, take the initiative and propose it. Don’t limit yourself to VGC only: let people know they’re welcome to come by and play TCG or talk about the anime. Pokémon is a huge community and it’s worth it to get to know anyone and everyone you can. Advertise your club via social networking and the traditional poster, and don’t give up if you only end up with a few people. Everyone counts and every expansion is another step, no matter how small.

I want to play with my friends! Where should I start?

You have friends who are interested in VGC? You’re lucky and you should definitely take advantage of that. The best thing about playing with your friends is that you don’t really have to provide ulterior motivation (such as tournament prizes etc), your friends will probably play with you either way. If they’re new to competitive Pokémon, you can talk to them about starting with singles or jumping right into doubles. If they’re really new, then you could probably direct them to the Beginners section here on Nugget Bridge before you dive straight into playing.

The best thing about playing with your friends is that you can play as long as you want even with a very small group. You can decide when you’re all available, and you don’t have to fiddle around with people that might not understand VGC as a whole or deal with slow club days. It’s the easiest way to ease yourself into hosting an event of your own and practice organizing other players besides yourself.

I began hosting my own tournaments with friends for every new game release, since it kept everyone who couldn’t travel to events playing the game in person even in the off season. It was difficult for us because we lived in Canada and, until last year, the closest Regional was over two hours away in another country. I hosted a mix of both singles and doubles tournaments with a group of about 5 people, and we would spend literally all day battling each other. My tournaments set some of them on the path to competitive VGC with better and more creative teams being used each time we played. I did end up offering prizes, though, since I had neat Pokémon merchandise available to me and it was an option, but I’m sure bragging rights would have been good enough as well.

If your friends are opposed to playing competitively but enjoy Pokémon as a game, try appealing to the social aspect. I have made some truly amazing friendships thanks to the VGC community, and because of them I’ve been able to travel to places I otherwise never would have gone. All it took was looking at some photos from the 2010 World Finals to get myself going, and I’ve never looked back.

Local Game stores, Comic stores, and Pop Culture

If you live in the United States and you play Pokémon, you’ve probably been to or at least heard of the various GameStop and EB Games tournaments. They’re usually the only places a more casual player will go to for live tournaments, even though game stores can sometimes use odd rules. The problem with these tournaments is that the store only wants to use them to promote new game releases or sales, which makes sense, but is often unfortunate for the more serious players and new players alike. If the person in charge of the tournament doesn’t play or understand Pokémon, they aren’t going to make very informed decisions when it comes to rules. No proper judges and often no hack checking is a true curse, and it would be great if someone could go out and fix that.

Is there anything to lose in asking the store manager if you can be that fix? If you show them that you know your stuff and that you can dedicate time to hosting, they might just let you play in their store. And the best thing about playing in a popular store is the advertising! Store tournaments, oddly enough, have more advertising than TPCi’s sanctioned events, which is kind of terrible and needs to change if we want to attract more players.

If your thing isn’t games and Pokémon is second to the mighty board, then you’re still in luck because Comic and Pop Culture stores are awesome, and they want you to host tournaments without having to spend any money. It’s even better if people play Pokémon TCG there already, and it gets even more awesome if your store hosts Battle Roads! Assuming there are no Pokémon events there already, it’s a great opportunity to build your own group since groups happen to stick really well in independent stores. Get yourself familiarized with the normal crowd and find out if they’re interested in playing, or even just learning to play. But again, don’t limit others to just a tournament for VGC. Make all people interested in Pokémon feel welcome and find out what they like to play and how serious they are about it. Maybe not everyone will fall into your groove, but you’re still expanding your horizons.

I had my first larger hosting experience at my local independent comic store. I knew the owners, and I knew some of the players. I went every week for games night on Wednesdays, and even though they had never hosted a Pokémon event ever before, they were excited to do it and I was excited to introduce new players. It started as an actual VGC tournament, but as it progressed I realized a lot of the people coming were interested in learning or getting back into Pokémon in general. In the end, I hosted the first official Pokémon Day, advertised over Facebook and a poster in the window of the store. The owner was even nice enough to put all Pokémon in his store at 20% off. It was a successful day of introductions and battling in VGC and TCG, until I had to leave when it lasted much longer than I thought it would. Remember that players of all ages are going to show up, and as the host you have to keep them occupied! If there is anything the members of this community have taught me, it’s that nobody is ever too young to play seriously. That’s why we have the juniors and seniors divisions, after all.

What about other events?

Pokémon is first and foremost, a video game. If you’re going anywhere for any kind of gaming event, find out if Pokémon will be involved! If it isn’t, you can try and make it happen. All kinds of conventions already have their own mini Pokémon leagues, and those are a GREAT way to meet and play with new people of all levels of play. Is there a gaming concert coming to town? Ask if you can arrange something during the pre-show -- most concerts like Video Games Live have a few hours of tournaments before the show starts.  If you think Pokémon can fit, then it probably can, and it never hurts to ask.

Before I wrap things up, I have a quick interview from Mark H. (Crawdaunt) who manages the Pokémon club at the University of Victoria, a great example of a successful and welcoming club for fans of all ages.

Hi Mark! Why don't you begin by telling us a bit about the Uvic Pokémon club and yourself?

The UVic Pokémon Club is a place where people can go for both weekly League play (as in the official type of league sponsored by TPCi) as well as just casual hangout time. We pride ourselves on reaching out to the community at large, and are set to try and expand the Pokémon community here in Victoria (which we have done pretty darned well I'd say!).

As for myself, I've been a fan ever since I was 7 or 8. In grade 3, I remember I made a Pokéball out of a tennis ball, where I chopped it almost in half and removed the felt, then just colored the top red and gave it the Pokéball button. It was awesome. I lost it behind a bookcase in my math classroom. That made me sad.

Then I got back into the game in 4th gen, and I've been super into the game since. I never realized it was so strategic until I was already in university. I've taken more to the TCG since there are so many events and such an active community. But my roots lie in VGC, and I am still playing the metagame even if I don't get to enter events.

How did the club start (or the VGC/TCG portion if you weren't around at the start) and what was it like at first? Busy? Slow?

The UVic Pokémon Club actually has an interesting history. How we started was through the local anime convention "Tsukino Con." At the convention, I decided it would be super awesome to come up with a Pokémon League event where trainers challenged the E4 on their 4th gen cartridges, and 1st place won a reserve copy of Black or White (yet to be released). And in that first year, we got like... 55 people from around the area that came out and competed. And that doesn't include the 8 gym leaders and 3 E4 members we had on staff. So after all that, we decided we needed a Pokémon Community.

That said, I founded the club by going to our student society and applying to start a club. We advertised through the anime convention, and through the university, but it was still not too active at the start. We got around 5-10 people per week, which was still a fun time. We allowed both VG and TCG, though TCG wasn't as active yet.

What does the club focus on regarding TCG and VGC? (for example, team building/deck building, hosting live tournaments etc)

Well... we allow both VG and TCG at league. And as for tournaments, we try and keep a healthy mix of TCG and VGC. We admittedly have better turnouts for TCG, though. After starting our league, I also became an official TO for TPCi, which means I can sanction tournaments for organized play. I don't think this has helped turnouts at tournaments in the slightest, but I think it is very good for trying to show TPCi that our community exists and is thriving.

How many members are there, and how did you or others promote the club?

Right now, we have some ridiculous number, like 140 people, on our mailing list. However, we actually get anywhere from 15-40 people stop by in a week. The best promotion I've had is simply word of mouth. Despite starting through the anime convention, the big thing that got us going was club signup days and just actively promoting the club at school.

Whenever I get into a conversation with someone, and Pokémon comes up in some fashion, I'm sure to let them know about the club. However, some other things we've done is advertising at local comic shops or putting up posters on campus. Lately, I've been leaving my 3DS on with my streetpass message saying "FacebookUVicPkMn" so that anyone I streetpass finds out about us. And from a massive advertising campaign, I consider even 1 new member a success.

That said, if you have any gaming conventions, or anime conventions nearby... That is a great place to recruit.

How often do you host events (VGC or TCG) and what is the turnout like? Do a lot of TCG players also play VGC?

We host a weekly league of course, where players come and play games every week. But for tournaments, we've had numbers around 15 for TCG, and 10 for VGC. A lot of TCG players play VG, but I wouldn't say the majority. The same goes vice versa.

Where are people coming from to play? (eg, the campus, the mainland etc)

We mostly have university students coming from in and around campus to play. However we've had a significant growth of kids lately, who come from the surrounding area.

Roughly how many players there are students at Uvic?

This is a great one. Cause really... I'd say only 30-50% of club attendees are UVic students. We are made up of the community at large.

How did you get involved in VGC? What's your current status in the TCG world and how did you get there?

I got involved in VGC through Smogon. I found out about competitive Pokémon, started playing Smogon, and then found out about VGC. My first VGC tourney was Seattle Regionals 2011, where I flopped miserably. I have only played in Canadian Nationals 2012 since then, but I'm hoping to up my activity this year, at least in online play.

In TCG, I just got involved through the influence of other locals. TCG is a bigger community, so it's easier to dip your feet in, since it's easier to find someone local to play (especially competitively). I'm big on competition, so I got hooked pretty quick.

What advice would you give to anyone looking to start their own community?

As for general advice... I'd say a basic organizational tool that you need is both something like a Facebook group or Twitter or whatever and an email list. If you want to make sure people don't forget about you, you need to have constant reminders there for them.

Also, it's been awkward in the last couple weeks, where a couple of kids have been coming to club and we've had pre-last-minute changes in location, and I have had no way of contacting them. So now, whenever a parent brings their kids to weekly league, I get them to sign up to our email list to ensure things are communicated.

One other thing I think I've learned over the last year of hosting the club, is that you need to embrace the casual. Becoming an official TPCi league has been a great experience, but our roots were based in just hanging out and enjoying the game and the friends around us. The weekly league focuses too much around cards and prizes and feels like you're forced to either play the game or step outside. So I recommend anyone starting their own club out there to try and make sure that if you do apply for a league (it's very easy to do), that you make sure everyone still feels welcome at your group. And if people are just sitting in the corner, then you need to make sure you provide an experience everyone can enjoy.

The other challenge I've had in this period of growth is just that I am personally reaching out to every single one of our members. And as such, each one of them is directly identifying their club experience with me. I am only one person, and I have like... 5-20 people asking me for games or help with decks etc... simultaneously. I need to figure out a way to get people to interact with each other. I think tournaments are great for this since you help people past that awkward "I don't know you and you don't know me, but want to battle?" stage. Once you've had a game with another player, it's like there's some psychological barrier that's broken down and suddenly you're free to play that person at any time.

I've seen this time and time again, so it's important to keep in mind.

Thanks for your time Mark, excellent advice!

In conclusion

Go play some games with your friends! Find members that are local and get together when you can. Inspire your friends to play, host some matches! Anything and everything is worth it and is a small triumph for the VGC community as a whole. Don't limit yourself or others -- the next tournament at our comic shop, for example, is a singles gym leader type tournament!

So yeah, do those things. Because VGC is awesome.

Article image created by Aryana for Nugget Bridge. View more of her artwork on her tumblr.

RajHallmaker and ChimechoOP like this
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0


There are no comments to display.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Similar Content

    • By Bozko
      New to the game and looking for the following Pokemon to finish off my team
      -Relaxed 252 HP, 252 DEF, 4 SpD
      Dark Void
      Fake Out
      Crafty Shield
      5iv no SpA.

      I have an extra Groudon, few extra legendary dogs (entei and raikou) and a number of breed ject Kangs, Clefairy, protean froakie, gengar and shiny pokes im willing to part with.
      Thank you!
    • By spookees
      2016-2017 Arizona TCG & VG Regional Championships
      October 1st and 2nd
      Saturday October 1st
      Main event: VG Regional Championships
      Where: Phoenix Convention Center (South Building), 100 N 3rd St. Phoenix, AZ 85004 www.phoenixconventioncenter.com
      VG: Registration starts: 8am Registration ends: 9am
      VG Please note: Players must load their Pokémon team with their items attached in the battle box. Team sheets are not needed.
      Players must bring their own system in the Nintendo 3DS family (any 2DS or 3DS system).
      Players must bring their own ORAS Game Card or downloadable version.
      Players must bring their own charger for their DS. Players are responsible for making sure their DS is charged for the event.
      · PLEASE NOTE: ALL players must be in the registration line NO LATER THAN THE END of the Registration time listed above. If you arrive later or get in line later than this time, you may receive a first round loss or denied entry to the event. Don't be late!
      ALL TCG & VG Players meeting: 9:30am ish
      Cost for ALL players (TCG & VG):
      Online Registration: $30.00 ( online closes on Wednesday Sept. 28, 2016)
      Onsite Registration: $40.00 cash/$41.00 credit card
      You can also pay in Bulk Pokémon Cards * (see below)
      ***Pokeparent Discount*** -Parents who are playing in the event and have at least one child playing in any age division will receive a $5 discount applied to their own entry fee. (This will be refunded during the event).
      VG Online registration: https://www.1playerplace.com/signups?event=H3YB54WQXY93PGK
      (Online Registration closes on Wednesday Sept. 28, 2016) After this date you have Onsite registration available.
      Juniors - Born 2006 or later
      Seniors - Born 2002, 2003, 2004 or 2005
      Masters - Born in 2001 and earlier
      All players in every age division will receive:
      ~~ Play Points (TBD) for participating.
      ~~ 1 Regional Promo Card, while supplies last.
      ~~ 1 Saturday Raffle Ticket
      ALL Players who REGISTER ONLINE will receive the following (while supplies last):
      ----VG Players----
      1 Pokémon Hat (Zygarde, Articuno, Moltres, Zapdos - Randomly distributed)
      1 AZ Regional Championships Stylus Pen
      1 AZ Wristband
      1 extra Raffle ticket
      REMEMBER: when you register online you MUST return and PRINT out your barcoded Form at the same time you register.
      READ THIS IS IMPORTANT: The registration page will take you to Paypal (you can use paypal or a credit/debit card for payment)- after payment is made you will be taken back to the original registration page to print out the barcoded entry form, if it does not take you back there, please go back to the link above and log in AGAIN, there will now be a REPRINT button, once you click on it, the entry form will appear.
      DO NOT WAIT and do it at a later time. I will not see you are registered and you will not get the dice or an extra raffle ticket. If you have any problems, please email me! FORGET to bring the print out to the event? You will be able to have one printed out for you at the door for an additional $5.00. You cannot play without it.
      * Bulk Pokémon Cards for Entry fee: 1300 Pokémon Cards will be equivalent to the Entry Fee ONSITE. They can be any MINT Pokémon cards excluding Basic Energy and Promo Cards. For those players who attend any LC/PC in September in Arizona, you may bring your cards to the event and I can register you ONLINE for Regionals (only 1000 cards are needed), so you too may get the special Regional Dice and a much faster line on the day of the event! You cannot use cards to cover the cost of the VIP experience.
      VIP Experience – Gold & Platinum Level (optional) – Available to ALL registered players in any age division (While supplies last!) You will have the option to purchase the VIP experience when you register using the link above for TCG or VG. It is the only way to get the VIP experience. This means no arriving extra early to the event, you will have a special VIP line (8am -9am). Don’t wait till the last minute, these will most likely sell out! Limited Quantities! No refunds.
      Gold Level
      VIP Lounge area access (minors + 1parent/guardian)
      VIP Reserved static seating for Swiss rounds
      AZ Regionals Messenger Bag (limited quantities)
      $10 lunch voucher (valid inside the main event hall)
      $10 Vendor voucher
      Pokémon Side event playmat
      VG players can choose their Entry Hat
      Wake up call on Day 2 if you make Top cut
      2 Dedicated Staff in Lounge
      Water & Snacks
      Cost: $90.00 + $30 Entry fee
      Platinum Level (very limited quantities)
      VIP Lounge area access (minors + 1 parent/guardian)
      VIP Reserved static seating for Swiss rounds
      AZ Regionals Messenger Bag
      $10 lunch voucher (valid inside the main event hall)
      $10 Vendor voucher
      Pokémon Side event playmat
      VG players can choose their Entry Hat
      Wake up call on Day 2 if you make Top cut
      2 Dedicated Staff in Lounge
      Water & Snacks
      + Sealed Booster box of STEAM SIEGE
      + Japanese Pokémon Sleeves (62-64 in pack)
      Cost: $140.00 + $30 Entry fee
      MASTERS there will be no Lunch break on Saturday/Sunday. Please plan accordingly. Seniors and Juniors will have a lunch break. This year there will be a Food Vendor inside our Main Hall. I would also highly recommend everyone bringing their own lunch bag. Last year the food locations around our event were crowded and had long lines. This year the Diamondbacks have a home game (both days), so it may be extremely crowded at any Food venue. Last year we had over 226 Masters, I do not want to run the risk of the Master division playing late into the night. My goal is to complete Day 1 Masters between 7pm-8pm at the latest. This of course is dependent on attendance and how long the rounds last.
      VG Tournament Details:
      Day 1:
      VG Tournament Rules & Formats Link for more details: http://www.pokemon.com/…/a…/tournaments-rules-and-resources/
      · Each age group will use Swiss rounds- this means all players get to play every round even if they lose every game. The number of Swiss rounds will be determined by the amount of players in each division. Swiss Rounds - Best 2 of 3.
      --->Top Cut: Will be played on Day 2
       Top Cut matches are Best of 3
       Top Cut is Single Elimination
       Swiss Rounds are Best of 1
      8 Players: 3 Swiss Rounds, Top 2 Cut
      9-16 Players: 4 Swiss Rounds, Top 4 Cut
      17-32 Players: 5 Swiss Rounds, Top 8 Cut
      33-64 Players: 6 Swiss Rounds, Top 8 Cut
      65-128 Players: 7 Swiss Rounds, Top 8 Cut
      129-226 Players: 8 Swiss Rounds, Top 8 Cut
      227-256 Players: 8 Swiss Rounds, Top 16 Cut
      · Players are restricted on what Pokémon can be used. Please check pokemon.com for the latest video game requirements.
      Day 2:
      · Top Cut: Determined by attendance, see above chart. Top Cut will be Single Elimination Finals, run as best-of-three matches, approx. 15 minutes PER GAME.
      RAFFLES: Saturday (between 5pm -6pm, subject to change): You can check back on Sunday to see if you won!
      To be announced!
      Everyone who registers for the main event will get a Raffle Ticket. You can earn extra Raffle tickets thru the Side Events and also earn an extra ticket for every $30 spent in one transaction per Vendor at the tables in the main event area. (For example: If you spend $60 at the Vendor table, you would get 2 Raffle tickets, you cannot combine different vendor purchases). You must be present to win!
      Side Events
      Saturday starts at NOON Sunday starts at 8:30am
      All players will get a Raffle ticket for each event you play on Saturday. Prizes will be posted at the event.
      Most side events require an entry fee.
      Prize wall tickets will be awarded for each side event (excluding the LC and PC on Sunday).
      The prize wall closes on Sunday at 4 p.m. Prizes must be redeemed by that time (subject to change).
      See the side events area at the Arizona Regional Championships for more details.
      ALL DAY - 8 player tournaments – Standard VG Doubles or Singles - $5.00 entry
      ALL DAY - 8 player tournaments - Junior Division Only (doubles or singles) – Free (maximum of 2 free entries)
      Saturday- Time: TBA Little Cup singles - $10
      Saturday- Time: TBA Monotype doubles - $10
      Format details can be found here: http://www.pokemon.com/…/pl…/worlds/2016/side-events-format/
      Sunday -- Premier Challenge - –$10 entry (Championship points are the prizes for this event).
      Registration starts: 9am Registration ends: 10am
      Saturday -ALL DAY - Play all day (no limit) with the purchase of a $5 wristband. Battle your friends, practice and have fun!!
      ----------------Please visit the POKKEN Sign up table for more information-----------------
      Sunday - 8:30am - Noon - Warm ups $5/Free if you purchased a Saturday wristband.
                      8:30am - Noon - Registration for the Pokken Tournament
                                  Entry Fee: $10 + Venue Fee: $5
                    12:30pm POKKEN TOURNAMENT
      Details: Double Elimination, visit the Pokken Sign up table for more information
      Prizes: TBA at the event
      There will be a SPECIAL TEAM SPECIFIC ITEM given to all players who sign up to compete in the Pokemon GO events. (supplies are limited)
      Entry fee: $6 per person per event below. Sign up for one or both.
      Saturday and Sunday: Sign up anytime after 8:30am and choose which event you want to compete.
      Basic - Sign up, pay the Entry fee, then come back to the Sign up table when your ready to start playing (no later than 3pm Saturday). We will log in your current Collector/Battle Girl numbers. You will play for 3 hours. We will note your Start time and the time you need to Check back in. (Saturday sign up ends at 3pm. Sunday sign up ends at Noon).
      You will be competing in these two categories. Try to win 1 or both!
      Collector - Increased # Captured Pokemon
      Battle Girl - Increased # Gym battles won
      Prizes* for each category:
      1st - $10 Google, ITunes or Regionals Vendor Voucher.
      2nd - $10 Google, ITunes or Regionals Vendor Voucher.
      Saturday: Basic winners will be announced shortly after 6pm. You may check on Sunday to see if your a winner.
      Sunday: Basic winners will be announced shortly after 3pm. You must be present to pick up your prize.
      Evolved - Sign up anytime after 8:30am. We will log in your current Jogger/Breeder numbers and you have until Noon on Sunday to check back in. Yes, this means if you sign up on Saturday you have alot more time to win in these categories below. Yes you are accumulating the information both Saturday and Sunday.
      You will be competing in these two categories. Try to win 1 or both!
      Jogger - Increased # steps walked
      Breeder - Increased # hatched eggs.
      Prizes* for each category:
      1st - $20 Google, ITunes or Regionals Vendor Gift Card/Voucher.
      2nd - $20 Google, ITunes or Regionals Vendor Gift Card/Voucher.
      3rd - $10 Google, ITunes or Regionals Vendor Gift Card/Voucher.
      4th - $10 Google, ITunes or Regionals Vendor Gift Card/Voucher.
      Sunday: Evolved winners will be announced shortly after Noon. You must be present to pick up your prize.
      * There is a limited number of Google and ITunes cards available. Regional Vendor Gift vouchers will be given out as an choice or when all other cards are depleted.
      Sunday October 2nd
      Main event: TOP CUT TCG & TOP CUT VG
      (Side events will be going on ALL DAY too!)
      Where: Phoenix Convention Center, (South Building), 100 N 3rd St. Phoenix, AZ 85004
      All TCG and VG TOP CUT players CHECK IN: 8am
      (more details to follow)
      Side Events start at 8:30am

      Transportation: The Metro Light Rail stops at the entrance to the South Building of the Phoenix Convention Center. An all Day pass is only $4 per person and can be purchased at any station. ($2 All Day Pass for Youths age 6-18, Children under 5 years old are Free).
      Sky harbor airport now has a “Sky Train” which connects to The Metro Light Rail too. There are many hotels along the entire route of The Metro Light Rail.
      There are many hotels around the venue and some have lower rates. We could not secure a Pokemon rate. However, If you are willing to stay uptown alittle bit there is a Ramada Inn one block from the Metro Light Rail stop for Osborne Rd. Alot of Pokemon players will be staying here, when you book it online, make sure you become a Wyndham reward member before you book and the room rate will drop in price. Very reasonable.
      There will be a food vendor inside our Main event hall. There are places to eat outside surrounding the building but they will most likey be extremely busy. Half –block in the North Building of the Convention Center there is a food court. You can also order Postmates (a food delivery service) www.postmates.com and use this code (UR4Q) to get a discount!
      Vendors: (More Vendors will be announced in next weeks email)
      Cradilicious: The latest Pokémon Center plushies, keychains, pens, notebooks, earrings, Japanese deck boxes and sleeves, Pokémon Japanese packs, World Championship 2015 plushies and selling singles (English and Japanese). They will also take bulk cards in exchange for Cradilicious credit. Check out our Facebook page for pictures of the current items.
      Amazing Discoveries: Buying and Selling single cards (Tournament Legal ONLY-BLW to current), also buying Bulk commons & uncommons @ $4.00 Cash For 1000 Cards AND they must be mint and in a Card box. They will also offer a 25% trade over cash for any of the Tournament Legal Singles. They will not be buying any older cards.
      Samurai Comics: They will have a great selection of gaming accessories such as Dice, Deck Protectors and Deck boxes! Also, Pop! Vinyl figures, comic books, mystery boxes, Marvel merchandise, Pokemon plushies, posters, figures and more!
      ****I hope you will all join us for this memorable occasion. This is our 4th TCG & VG Regional Championships held in Phoenix, Arizona. Another epic event with awesome prizes.
      Join the crowd of elite Pokémon players who strive to be the very best like no one ever was!
      Someone will be the winner and it could be your destiny!
      Check us out on: https://www.facebook.com/AZRegionals/
      Patricia McCann
      ----Premier Tournament Organizer
    • By fuadorko
      Is it just me or are all the pokemon leagues around me, including those that say they are for both tcg and vgc, only TCG players show up? How can a VGC player get play points then?
    • By Smith
      The 2016 Pokemon VGC season has ended and as we look forward to the 2017 season, we can anticipate, as we have in every prior year, an extensive series of changes in CP structure, best finish limit, top cut percentages, etc. While some changes are non-negotiable and are not for players to discuss, there has been some variance in the past regarding fine details of tournament operations. Even though TPCi makes most of the decisions that impact VGC players at official tournaments, newer players might be surprised to know that the remaining decisions are actually left in the hands of the tournament organizers (henceforth, TOs). If TPCI doesn’t have a formal rule regarding a particular aspect of the tournament, the TO is more or less free to make that decision by theirself.
      This thread, then, is a space for the VGC community as a whole to speak directly to the TOs in control of sanctioned events. Optimistically, I would hope even TPCi might place eyes on it, to get a better sense of what the players want going into the 2017 season.
      The 2017 VGC player is not powerless: now more than ever players are flying to events, and with more organizers and more types of tournament than before, the VGC player in 2017 can choose events based on criteria aside from sheer geographic proximity. There is simply more choice than ever before, and with choices, we have to ask ourselves: what factors will make me choose one event over another? This thread exists so that players and TOs can openly discuss these factors, so that TOs can try to incorporate them into their tournaments.
      Probably a long enough introduction. Without further ado, here are some important factors I’ll personally be looking for in my 2017 VGC season:
      -Bo3 swiss. I consider this currently an absolute requirement at any MSS, Regional, or Continental level tournament, and almost nearly a requirement for a PC level tournament. There are less PCs now, with organizers being limited to only one a month, so I want these PCs to give me lots of practice and accurately reflect skill on that day as close as possible. Bo3 is a more satisfying tournament format which convinces both the winner and loser of the final match result more soundly and which does a better job of developing local, up-and-coming players into players who can compete at the highest level of competition. Players can practice online, but there is something unique and intrinsically valuable about playing in an official, offline tournament. It lets players work on nerves, tournament stamina, and other important factors that will affect them when they go out of region for the first time and compete in a higher-stakes tournament.
      I could sing the praise of Bo3 all day, and I think I’m not alone on this: players I’ve spoken to at virtually every skill level prefer Bo3. People come to these tournaments to play Pokemon, and allowing them to play more should be one of the goals of any successful tournament. I encourage people in the comments to speak to their preference for bo1 vs bo3, because I believe there is a very real consensus for bo3 competition.
      However, I also understand that organizers can find Bo3 challenging to run due to venue or time constraints. I would therefore ask organizers: is there anything that can be done, especially by the player-base, to help make bo3 a reality? Perhaps steps such as cutting back or completely eliminating registration at the door, or other measures, could create the time or resources necessary to enhance our valuable tournament experience. I am always willing to register online, and give additional information in advance to make the tournament run more smoothly on the day of, and I think most other players would be also.
      -Appropriate top cut sizes and methodologies. There have been numerous instances in the past of top cuts being unfairly small, for seemingly arbitrary reasons. Rulings in the past have created regionals where only 4% of the playing field advanced to top cut. There has also been at least one regional sized tournament where the organizer ignored the rules regarding proper top cut size and unfairly shrunk his or her event from a top 16 cut to a top 8 cut. This resulted in a 7-1 player missing top cut, which is patently ridiculous.
      Players want fair top cuts, and fair top cuts means at least cutting to top 16 if you have over 250 people playing in a tournament. I say this because I believe resistance is a foolish, essentially broken way of establishing placing. Look at past results: in the VGC 2015 US Nationals Top Cut, 6/7 sets went to the lower seeded player. At this most recent worlds, Jonathan Evans and Eduardo Cunha were seeded outside the top 16 at the conclusion of swiss and both finished in top 4.
      I would say that an even more fair top cut is simply cutting to all X-2s. Since resistance is essentially absurd, completely eliminating it from tournaments with real cash prizes seems to me the only viable option. I understand that this is almost impossible for TOs to implement presently, but I want it to be known that I will be seeking out any and all tournaments which can promise all X-2s advancing to top cut. At the very least, providing more opportunities for greater amounts of X-2 players to play in cut and compete for their placing directly should be a goal this season.
      -Stream. While sometimes challenging to implement, streams offer a net good to the community and should not be ignored. Streams give exposure to the TO and the local scene at large, and helps draw attendance from individuals who may not otherwise have been aware of the scene. They provide opportunities for up-and-coming commentators to cut their teeth, increasing the pool of viable commentators which can be used on official streams. Perhaps most importantly, if the stream can be broadcasted onto a projector, it can greatly enhance in-person experience of the event and allow spectators to observe otherwise unobservable games of top cut.
      If the TO does not have necessary resources to stream, or if the official Pokemon stream is not available, various third-party organizations or even merely enthusiastic individuals have demonstrated interest in the past in streaming regional level tournaments. TOs should seek out individuals willing to stream the event and provide necessary physical resources to make the stream a reality (commentary station far from the play station, separate stream table, etc.)
      -Location. I don’t mean physical location on a world map necessarily. Micro-details of a tournament location can make all the difference for potential attendees. Is the tournament near an airport? Is it accessible by other measures, such as bus or even public transportation? Is there ample FOOD near the event? Do I have to pay for parking? Is the surrounding area safe? Does the state my tournament is in have a current body of legislation which prohibits certain members of the Pokemon community from feeling welcome in public or private spaces, such as when US Nationals was in Indiana? Is there enough physical space in the venue for the amount of people I’m expecting, or even slightly more than that? If TOs can bear these factors in mind when choosing event location and speak to them while marketing the event, I think it would greatly impact attendance.
      I would recommend TOs to create a simple “Traveler’s Guide to X Regional” post on Nuggetbridge, Twitter, and/or the event website. I think if TOs are able to clearly articulate information on all of these points and distribute that information to the playerbase, it would result in not only fewer problems / complaints during the actual event but an increase in overall attendance.
      -Entry fee / prizes / attendance favors. Whenever possible, I want to stop receiving TCG prizes for competing in a VGC tournament. I have no plans to ever play TCG and I oftentimes receive playmats, dice boxes, etc. when I have no chance of ever using them. I prefer receiving cash, but I know this is difficult or at times impossible because of local legislature. In cases where money is not an option, prizes with definitive resale valuable are preferable (DSes, boxes of cards, etc.) I would much rather pay $20 for a regional than pay $40 and receive a playmat, because all I will do is try to turn around and sell the playmat for $20. I think offering favors in TCG tournaments is acceptable but the favors should be VGC specific in a VGC setting.
      -Organizer history. Put bluntly, some tournament organizers have a reputation for running a fast, effective tournament, and some don’t. I spoke above about a situation where a TO incorrectly assessed the proper top cut size and kept at 7-1 competitor out of cut. We have also had situations where TOs did not give byes to players who had earned official byes via TPCi (not that we have official byes anymore, but still). We have had a situation where the ruleset of a tournament changed on the morning of the tournament from bo1 to bo3, which, while positively intended, messed up players who were building for a bo1 setting. Beyond these, there have been numerous, numerous instances of tournaments running very late, not offering lunch or dinner breaks, or experiencing very long delays.
      Here I will encourage players: speak out about your experiences at different tournaments! Feedback threads are a healthy thing and I would like to see them for every medium or large sized tournament. I want players to ask around and figure out which organizers have a history of running effective events, and which ones don’t. I intend to attend only invites run by proven organizers, and I invite the rest of the community to perform similarly. There is nothing vindictive or wrong about informing the community about the unsuccessful aspects of an event, and in fact the opposite is true: the community has a RIGHT to know if certain organizers or events are habitually unsuccessful, just as they have a right to know if certain organizers or events are habitually well-run!
      Similarly, I encourage TOs to engage with community members and transparently discuss challenges / mishaps during the event. If something went wrong, letting us know exactly what happened! To err is human but we want to know exactly what went wrong so that we don’t assume the worst. Waiting around for an hour in between rounds can feel like simple TO laziness / incompetence to a hungry, nervous, impatient tournament attendee, but is oftentimes something simple, like a computer malfunction or a match slip mishap. Mutual communication benefits both parties: it lets TOs explain different choices they made on event day, and it lets players speak to experiencing those choices. It empowers both groups and I want to see it happen more!
      -Tethered tournaments. Untethered tournaments make certain tournament rules completely unenforceable. I cannot be asked to trust my opponent to not cheat, and I also cannot be asked to monitor / referee my opponent and make sure they’re not cheating. It is hard enough to merely play without worrying about my opponent: it should be the responsibility of the staff to enforce rules. Even if I obviously catch my opponent cheating, all I can do is call over a judge. It is far better to let the people who can actually enforce the rules watch out for potential rulebreakers, then I, who is simply a competitor. In an untethered tournament setting, players can change EV spreads mid tournament, or other values such as Pokemon happiness. In an untethered setting, players can also enter tournament with a mid-happiness Kangaskhan, and then level up its happiness in the middle of the tournament, which will affect the amount of damage its moves Frustration or Return do. This is not and should not be possible in a tethered tournament. Similarly, I have no way of knowing that my opponent is taking 45 seconds or less to make all of his moves. The game will not make his moves for him past the 45 second mark, which can affect the outcomes of entire games. It is also impossible to determine tiebreakers in tied Pokemon settings in an untethered tournament, short of quickly crunching numbers before the 99 seconds run out. This is unprofessional and not satisfactory: VGC players are used to the game telling them who won, not a judge. Only tethered tournaments provide a setting where 100% of the rulebook is actually enforceable.
      I want other players from every skill level to discuss factors significant to them. If you agree with other people, make that agreement known! If you disagree, also make that disagreement known (constructively, politely)! Our goal is to achieve something resembling community consensus around some key issues, which makes all of our voices more powerful in shaping the tournament landscape in the 2017 season and far onwards.
      Before you begin: please, please, please keep your posts rational, reasoned and respectful. This thread is NOT about airing personal grievances and being vindictive towards individuals who you feel may have wronged you.  Citing specific examples is definitely encouraged, but we should use these examples only insofar as they contribute to coherent, respectful dialogue. “Constructive” criticism makes empathetic, practical criticism. Try to voice your comments in ways which can be easily understood and acted upon. I think if this is done by everybody who posts, this thread can be a success. Thank you and happy posting!
  • Blog Entries