Wednesday, May 2, 2012

VGC- An Adventure through Victory Road

Two weekends ago, me and my brother finally competed in the Pokémon VGC tournament again! For those of you who don't know, VGC is the Videogame Competition that Pokémon holds every year. Last year, my brother Scott qualified all the way to Worlds in San Diego. This year, we trained harder than we ever trained before in hopes to win it all.

The tournament rules for VGC were different than last years. Instead of single elimination, the tournament was conducted in Swiss Rounds. Instead of being eliminated, players would continue to battle each other. The players with the highest win-streaks would fight each other until only one would have an undefeated record. The juniors played for 6 rounds while the masters played for 8. The juniors had about 48 contestants while the masters had about 148.

We got up pretty early to get to the Hilton on time. The tournament location was about an hour away. I was excited to try on my N costume. My mom's expression when she first saw me was priceless. She said something along the lines of "you're going to change right?" Not likely, because I've been working on the costume for a couple of months now. Besides, N's outfit is the most normal looking in Pokémon, which is really saying something.
See the resemblance? We're like twins!

I wanted a Hydreigon, but hey it's still cool.
We got there around 8 in the morning. My brother promptly registered and went straight to grab some breakfast. While my family was chowing down like a couple of Snorlax, I couldn't eat. Fear was gripping me. What if we forget what moves work best on what Pokémon? What if we run into a threat we didn't predict? What if his DS dies during battle? I clutched my commemorative Shelmet card as we walked in. I could only hope that he would do well.

Scott chatting it up with another competitor. He always has a calm demeanor going into battles.
Unlike me, Scott is pretty calm. You might say he has a high Special Defense! Get it? Because in the game, having a Calm nature boosts your Special Defense and...forget it. Anyways, after a close first match my brother claims victory! I don't remember how the match went, but they took out Scott's main sweeper. Still, he kept a cool head and emerged victorious. His other matches go well and Scott continues to defeat trainers each round. We get into the finals, and this is when things start to heat up.

 Last year at regionals, my brother fought a kid named Kobe (not Bryant, I don't think he even plays Pokémon) and lost. When the announcements for the final pairings came up, you bet I had Butterfrees in my stomach when I saw my brother had to fight Kobe. It was like facing your rival in Red and Blue; the entire Pokémon journey was leading up to that fateful battle. Only one would be declared a champion.

Scott and Kobe before their final match.

Honestly I had no idea how the battle went until my brother was done. One second, my brother was smiling, the next his face was buried in the DS screen. It was a close match, but in the end my brother clenched victory for a perfect 6-0 record! At the end, they were both beaming and shook hands. It was an sincere act of sportsmanship. After the battle, Scott told me that Kobe was a really good friend. It's moments like these that really make me love Pokémon; games like these have the power to bring out the best in people.

My matches weren't as good. Granted, I was using last year's team so my strategy was pretty antiquated. Still, I walked away with a 4-4 record, which isn't too shabby. I always got beat by people who used shiny Pokémon. I guess I couldn't attack pretty looking Pokémon. Darn you shiny Volbeat! I want one! Anyways, here's my last battle of the evening. I got pretty lucky at the end, but it was a great battle nonetheless.   

So what now? Well, since my brother won we'll be going to Nationals this June in Indianapolis. He's already called me up and we've started planning changes to his team. Hopefully when school ends, I'll have time to build my own team. We've met a lot of cool people at regionals and overall had a great time. We've survived the trek through Victory Road. Up next, the Elite Four! They'll be plenty of fierce challenges ahead but I know we'll be ready for them. 
My brother's trophy and hat. Congratulations Scott! You deserve it :)

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