Pokémon Championships: results and balance sheets from the Frankfurt event

Pokémon Championships: results and balance sheets from the Frankfurt event

Pokémon Championships

Here we are finally back at the Pokémon Europe International Championships, the top continental competitions that see players from all over the world compete against each other, both in the trading card game and in video games. A gargantuan e-sport event that can finally return to welcome thousands of players from different countries, who compete to get Championships Points useful to get closer to having a world pass, and even cash prizes.

This is an important step towards the world finals which, for the first time in history, will not be held in North America, but at the ExCeL in London, from 18 to 21 August 2022. Europe is therefore the center of the great return of these competitions, after the forced stop of 2020 and 2021. The city chosen for the first International in 2022 is Frankfurt am Main, an important financial center in western Germany that offers a curious mix of history and modernity. In fact, its skyscrapers are famous, which have earned it the nickname of Mainhattan, with a play on words between the chaotic district of New York and the name of the river that flows through the German city. After spending four days in close contact with players and professionals, let's try to take stock of the results and the atmosphere at the event.

The winners of the tournament

I finalists of the three categories of the Pokémon VGC in Frankfurt 2022 Let's start with a few numbers. The Frankfurt internationals saw the participation of 1240 players from 40 countries. Competitors challenged each other not only in the traditional Pokémon competition, with the established meta of Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, but also in the Trading Card Game, in Pokkén Tournament and, for the first time in history, also in Pokémon GO. br>
The winners in the different categories were:

Pokémon VG Junior: Alexander M. [DE]; Pokémon VG Senior: Nicholas K. [AU]; Pokémon VG Masters: Eric Rios [ES]; Pokémon TCG Junior: Nathan O. [US]; Pokémon TCG Senior: Caleb R. [US]; Pokémon TCG Masters: Gustavo Wada [BR]; Pokémon GO: Aeeriis.

As for the Italian players of the traditional competition, that of Pokémon Sword and Shield, we had excellent placings, with 6 of our compatriots in the top twenty positions. The best of the lot was Alex Della Pasqua, with seventh place, while our Francesco Pardini (whom you who follow sportsgaming.win know well for his PokéRadar column) closed in nineteenth place, thus ensuring enough Championships Points to participate in the finals next August.

The secrets of the competitive

Some gadgets of the Pokémon International Championships in Frankfurt 2022 Speaking with one of the judges of the tournament, Gianluca Grassi, we have been confirmed that which was evident as soon as they set foot at the event: the Pokémon community needed this return to a normalcy made up of sharing spaces and tournaments in the presence. The years of purgatory with online-only events have not stopped a competitive movement, however active and vital, but have certainly slowed its growth, also in terms of effective generational turnover.

But beyond the discussions on the state of the movement, it is the general mood, the smiles - even after the defeats - and the evenings in the company of old friends from all over the world to testify how necessary it was to return to compete in presence. Because in addition to the rivalry, the beauty of these events is also this.

We talked for a long time with colleagues and players, starting with the aforementioned Francesco Pardini, to understand how this world works behind what we see on the screens during cartel matches. The image that emerges is that of a sport, albeit an eSport, mentally tiring as well as satisfying when results are obtained. That when it comes to Italian players there is never a shortage.

We have already said about the placings of our compatriots, who fared well even against some of the most accredited players in the tournament, such as the US world champion Wolfie Glick. In the course of conversations with some of them we also tried to understand a little how Pokémon works for competitive players. About the teamwork we told you about at the end of the International Championships in Berlin in 2019, useful for doing a real scouting job on the teams of the opponents and on the possible match ups, this time we tried to go deeper than these strategies , trying to figure out how to try to defend against "spies" (a misnomer that we hope you will pass). Having a Pokémon with a particular set of moves or a distribution of statistics, in fact, can be useful for surprising your opponents, but it can also prove counterproductive when everyone becomes aware of these peculiarities. For this reason some players prefer to avoid using certain moves, called "tech", in the first rounds of tournaments, giving away games that are difficult to overturn rather than immediately showing all their cards.

And speaking of cards , we enjoyed playing against other reporters in the Pokémon Trading Card Game with some formats other than the standard 60-card format. In the first we created a 40-card deck from a Build & Battle box, to which we could add cards from a couple of booster packs. The result was encounters with 4 very balanced prize cards, where not only the ability to create a balanced deck was rewarded, but also those of adapting and reacting to unexpected situations (the writer got the better of 3 out of 4 fights. , also defeating one of the "Professors" in a friendly challenge, ed).

The Build & Battle packs used for the "press" tournament of the Pokémon Championships 2022 in Frankfurt The second format is called "Boost Battle", it is reserved for paid "Side Events" for anyone who enters the event, even if only as a spectator, and involves the use of a deck of 20 cards where to insert the contents of a single expansion pack plus a certain amount of energy cards made available by the organizers (their number varies based on how many of the cards in the pack are decide to use in the deck); Matches of this format, quick games with two prize cards, are a lot of fun, even if luck plays a very important role in finding the right cards in the sleeves. The presence of the "Ditto" mechanics, which allows otherwise impossible evolutions, adds spice to the whole, making the encounters absolutely unpredictable. In short, even without a physical deck with us, we had fun exactly like when we played in the national leagues many years ago.

Pokémon GO

Some players of the Pokémon International Championships in Berlin 2022 A few words The competitive Pokémon GO also deserves to be explored. At its debut on the Championships scene, the Niantic title proved to be fun to play and watch, even if there are some doubts about the current configuration of the tournament. We discussed it with Michele Gavelli, a former VGC player who attended the Frankfurt event to compete in Pokémon GO. Michele told us a little about what works and what works less in meetings. If you are a little bit into the GO Battle League you already know what we are talking about, but in case you are not used to this format, let's try to explain quickly how it all works.

Battles in Pokémon GO are battles in real time, where each challenger has three Pokémon at their disposal: each of them can use an unlimited fast attack and two charged attacks, more powerful but which require a certain number of attacks to be launched. The mechanic revolves around the relationship between the duration of the animation of the fast attack and the damage dealt, the energy generated and the use of shields. This is not the place to explain everything in detail, but as you will have understood, a gameplay of this type needs maximum fluidity and an absolutely stable network. As anyone who plays regularly knows, however, this is not obvious in Pokémon GO online matches and even in these events in the presence not everything always works properly.

The use of Samsung A52 devices puts all users on the same level, but it is clear that those who are used to smartphones that use a different operating system or that have higher performance may find themselves displaced. Another element that makes the competitive in presence different from the traditional in-game is represented by the selection of your team: if normally the team of three Pokémon is decided before the match with the opponent, here (as in the Silph circuit tournaments ) players can decide between 6 Pokémon based on the opponent's team. A fundamental strategic element to reduce the incidence of luck in matches, but on which the same competitive players cannot practice during the year except in matches organized outside the Niantic game.

The potential however c 'is and is high, so we hope that The Pokémon Company can take advantage of the feedback obtained in these first tournaments to improve the level of the tournament more and more (where we have already seen substitutions and predictions at the limit of perfection). >
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