Jump to content

* * * * *

KiltedTrainer and Wolveram's Adventure to the US Winter 2013 Pokemon Regionals in St. Charles, Missouri.


Also titled, Emily and Eric do dorky things in a different state.

Wolveram and I decided to go spectate, browse, shop, and take in the 2013 Winter Regionals this year and this is what we found. We did not compete but we did finally get a taste of organized play!

Also, If you don't wish to read through everything, there are pictures in the spoiler below. Maybe even one of us? ^_^
Our alarm woke us at 5 AM on the morning of Sunday, January 20th. By this time, the US Pokemon Regionals had already been well underway with events for the TCG starting Friday night and the actual TCG tournament had begun on Saturday.  We were looking forward to the drive ahead, even if it meant driving for nearly 5 hours to get there and then spending another 5 hours on the road to get home. Emily had never been to a Pokemon event before, and the last time I had gone to one was in 2001 for a Wizards of the Coast Pokemon TCG tournament. This was all really foreign to us.

We left the apartment by 6 AM to get on the long, flat highways of Iowa and Illinois. In the early morning hours, the roads are nice, though, and the last remnants of night began to give way to the sunrise as we drove. Tired or not, we were on our way (cue road to Viridian City music).
To occupy ourselves on the drive, we accompanied ourselves with some Assemblage 23, and a Pokemon remix album (shoutout to GlitchxCity on Youtube). We took a few breaks here and there, pulling off to stretch and such, but finally we got down to Hannibal, MO, which was our halfway point in the drive. Hannibal is famous for being a major influence in Mark Twain’s writings, so it was neat to see all kinds of Mark Twain fandom there.

Skip ahead about 2 more hours of driving down rolling Missouri highways, and here we are! We made it: we’re in St. Charles! We found the convention center easily, but the issue at hand was we didn’t know where in the convention center the tournament was being held. We wandered into the main front doors to be greeted by… a golfing convention? It turned out the Pokemon event was upstairs, and in another wing of the building. The location of Regionals wasn’t advertised well, but we did find it, after following a rogue band of teenage boys.

We had gotten there at around 11 AM, and until noon we did our shopping/trading while watching how people were getting ready for their rounds in the VGC tournament. While we were there, we talked to a few people, observed the way the tournaments were run, traded cards, bought some fun stuff (see our swag in the photos), and simply enjoyed getting to see what these things are like. Emily and I were hoping that there would be more vendors selling cards, games, Pokemon merchandise, dolls, shirts, etc., but there was only one vendor at this event, Yeti Gaming (they were, of course, also one of the major sponsors who helped put together the Midwest Regional meet-up, and you can check them out here: http://www.yetigaming.com/3057.html). We managed to trade off a few of our more valuable cards we never use/don’t care for like other people who are competitive players do in favor of getting Emily one of her major wants: a Full Art Cheren card, an excellent addition to the collection. I purchased a few boosters, but then I dropped a bit of money on deck sleeves for my Darkrai deck (which is already in a Darkrai deck box), and so now all of those cards can be sheathed in these glorious Darkrai sleeves.

At this point, we began to meander around the ballroom and take pictures. Emily observed some interesting consistencies in peoples’ teams, as many of the participants went with Sandstorm or Rain teams (though one guy tried to use a Heatwave/Tailwind Zapdos, which didn’t work out too well for him against a sandstorm team in the first round). Latias, Latios, Bouffalant, Washer Rotom, Tyranitar, Excadrill, and Ludicolo appeared to be some of the most popular choices in teams. Emily was a little surprised at the lack of shiny Pokemon in participants’ teams.

At noon, the distribution of the Regionals Event Pokemon Wondercards for Abram’s Cloyster began.  Obviously, being the collecting oriented people we are, we had all of our game carts ready to download it.  It took awhile to get it right since they didn’t provide good instructions regarding the download method for it, but we finally managed to obtain four of our own.  That was very exciting for us to get our own non-Wifi event Pokemon. During the distribution, we heard children yelling things like “I’m going to EV train this right now!”, or “Awesome, I needed a Cloyster for my team!” Training a rare event made the event collectors in Emily and I cringe a little bit, but the excitement on the younger trainers’ faces was priceless.

That’s another thing that we found to be fascinating.  When you are a participant in Pokemon as much as we, and others on this and any other online forum are, the notion of someone’s age seems to dissipate and doesn't matter. Everyone is equal online, since we speak and work in a digital space.  When we arrived at this tournament, Emily and I weren't sure if we were going to be awkwardly older than the majority of people, or if everyone would be our age. Well, we were both: we’re both almost 23 and the divisions for ages would place us in the highest category for tournament participation. There were many older players, more than we had anticipated. It was great to see how everyone here between ages 8 and (what appeared like) 45, could participate and get together to have a good time. Some people took the losses more difficultly than others, but overall, there wasn't much drama, just fun and camaraderie.

Once 1:30 PM rolled around, we started to get a bit bored. It was a fun trip, but when you haven’t discussed meeting up with anyone from a forum, or if you’re not actively battling in the tournaments, being a spectator is relatively uneventful. I’d say if another event like this comes around within driving distance for us again, we’ll be participating with our own RNGs. It was a great experience, and totally worth it to get some stuff we wanted and to be able to share it with you all here on Plus.
Since we left relatively early in the day, we decided that we’d drive through St. Louis since it was so close, so we’ll close with some pictures as we left the event, drove through St. Louis, and headed home (through a random snowstorm) for some much needed sleep.


Pictures
Spoiler



11 Comments

That was a nice article. Thanks for sharing that KT and Wolveram :)

I've never been to these events either, but I miss those movie events like the first movie where I got my first Mew :D

And wow, I wouldn't have expected that many people :o I probably would have felt too claustrophobic to concentrate on my battles there xD But some people look like they really live for these type of events.
  • Quote
Awesome! Thanks for sharing your experience! Conventions are sort I like that, boring in some aspects. As for the players, I'm surprised so many youngsters were into Pokemon battles. I certainly didn't know about events back then. As for adults, wow! It's great to see Pokemon has been reaching a large range of ages and people.
  • Quote
Looks like you both had a fun advernture. Also the fact that you are actually wearing a kilt is awesome.
  • Quote
Thanks for such an amazing description of your trip! The event looks pretty similar to the tournament rooms at the bigger cons where I live. I wish there was one where we could do a PPnet meetup but alas we are all so spread out. You are rocking that kilt by the way ;) I'd pull mine out of the closet if I wasn't so worried about the elements damaging it.
  • Quote

View Postnoelinthegarden, on 15 February 2013 - 11:31 AM, said:

Thanks for such an amazing description of your trip! The event looks pretty similar to the tournament rooms at the bigger cons where I live. I wish there was one where we could do a PPnet meetup but alas we are all so spread out. You are rocking that kilt by the way ;) I'd pull mine out of the closet if I wasn't so worried about the elements damaging it.

Once the forum grows some more, that would be an excellent idea to have a meetup. I'd love to do that, too, one way or another... someday. This is a great community so if any forum was able to do so, it's this one I feel. Small or not.
  • Quote
Wow, I'm amazed at how crowded everything looked. I've always wanted to go to an event like this, I've never had the time, money ability, etc. to go to one... Maybe someday...
  • Quote
I always want to go to a event like that, oddly enough here in new york we do have something like that but its really small scale and no real prizes once a week just battle people, meet up and challenge the staff of the nintendo world store, I dont even think they bother hack checking either >_>

Looks so much fun, I'm jelly ^^
  • Quote

View PostKiltedTrainer, on 16 February 2013 - 03:27 PM, said:

Once the forum grows some more, that would be an excellent idea to have a meetup. I'd love to do that, too, one way or another... someday. This is a great community so if any forum was able to do so, it's this one I feel. Small or not.
I think the only way this could happen is if we had one giant webchat on Skype or something. Like what noel said, we're too far apart and some of us (including me) are too young or too busy to travel long distances over long periods of time except in the summer. So a good idea, but it'll need a crapton of planning.
  • Quote

View PostGSP, on 28 February 2013 - 07:50 AM, said:

I think the only way this could happen is if we had one giant webchat on Skype or something. Like what noel said, we're too far apart and some of us (including me) are too young or too busy to travel long distances over long periods of time except in the summer. So a good idea, but it'll need a crapton of planning.

Indeed it is not really possible, but the idea of a giant skype session is also a really neat idea.

Also, thank you everyone for your kind words about the trip. It was a different experience for sure, even if we did not participate in the events.
  • Quote
Oh my gah! You really do wear a kilt...bueno.

Thanks for covering the event! I always wondered what went on in them tournaments and shindiggys. Next time you guys go you should participate!
  • Quote
Must you really necro this Hooligan? Closing topic now.
  • Quote
or Sign In

© Pokemon Plus 2011 - 2013. All rights reserved. Pokemon is © of Nintendo/Creatures Inc./GAME FREAK inc. 1995 - 2013.
Community Software by IP. Board.