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2014 Pokémon Video Game Australian National Championships Recap

Last Sunday 13 July, the 2014 Pokémon Video Game National Championships were held at the Melbourne Town Hall in an event bigger than even Nintendo themselves expected. Trainers lined up to register well before the 8am opening time and continued long after the expected 10am cut-off until past midday. The final registration numbers were 442 Masters (born 1998 or earlier), 126 Seniors (born between 1999 and 2002) and 96 Juniors (born 2003 or later) which puts us I believe as the second largest VGC Nationals Championship of all countries participating (to the United States, of course).

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Trainers fought battles using the Video Game Championship (VGC) ruleset and a quick rundown of the rules is as follows:

  • You must have 6 Pokémon in your Battle Box that will be locked and unable to be altered during the competition.
  • Each of your 6 Pokémon must be in the Kalos Pokédex (excluding Xerneas, Yveltal, Zygarde and Mewtwo) and be caught or hatched in the Kalos region.
  • No two Pokémon can be of the same species or hold the same item.
  • You will get a Team Preview of your opponent’s 6 Pokémon, then from your 6 Pokémon, choose 4 to participate in a Double Battle, having 2 Pokémon out at a time.
  • Battle until either trainer has no more eligible Pokémon to fight or until the 15 minute battle timer runs out.

What brings so many Pokémon trainers including myself out to Melbourne on a cold winter’s day? The top two of each age division would win an all-expenses paid invite to the 2014 Pokémon VGC World Championships in Washington D.C. next month. Third and fourth place would also receive an invite but not the flights and accommodation. Also, all of the top eight trainers would receive a winking Pikachu plush toy.

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All competitions still used the best-of-1 Swiss format despite the delayed start meaning the Juniors and Seniors divisions would have 7 rounds to determine a top cut of 8 and Masters would have 9 rounds for a top cut of 32. Although we “knew” there would be 9 rounds for Masters, Nintendo didn’t do anything to suggest all 9 rounds would happen as we were all itching for the next round to begin after it took a backseat in the middle rounds so that the younger competitors wouldn’t finish too late.

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In the end though, all planned rounds were played out with the final match for Masters ending at 10:30pm after the Juniors and Seniors wrapped up just after 7pm and 8pm respectively. I finished with a record of 6 wins and 3 losses – good for 68th place which I’m fairly happy with despite not making top cut. After an incredibly draining day, 12 players came out on top and our Australian representatives are as follows:

[box_light]Masters
Champion: Dayne O’Meara
Runner-Up: Michael Wawryzcki
3rd Place: Tony C Nguyen
4th Place: Andrew Brophy[/box_light]

[box_dark]Seniors
Champion: Brent Tonisson
Runner-Up: Angus Johnson
3rd Place: Callum Witt
4th Place: Adam Scicluna[/box_dark]

[box_light]Juniors
Champion: Nick K.
Runner-Up: Rashdan M.
3rd Place: Peter D.
4th Place: Lucas L.[/box_light]

Congratulations to all the winners and of course, it wasn’t all about the battling. EB Games set up a stall selling lots of Pokémon merchandise including all of the Eeveelution plush toys and distributing Arash Omnati’s 2013 Worlds winning shiny Mamoswine.

700 competitors battle it out at the Melbourne Town Hall

There was a cosplay competition won by a girl dressed as Bianca from the Black and White games (which I’ve heard people are somewhat salty about because the younger cosplayers had already left) and there were separate free-play areas for other Pokémon games including the TCG.Unfortunately, a few people were a bit careless with their belongings as a few phones and 3DS consoles went missing throughout the day, with power-points being at a premium. Stealing is bad, kids!

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If Nintendo learned a lot last year about how to run a VGC competition, make it double for this year. Next year will be even bigger, better and most likely with more outreach with a live stream reportedly in the works. Huge thanks to Nintendo Australia for making this whole thing happen and support the competitive playing community, and to PokéMelbourne and Pokémon Australia for helping me out with the live streaming of matches which you can check out on my Twitch channel.

Written by Gabriel Voon (@_VicTiNY) – Photos provided by Nintendo Australia – Thanks to both!

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When more than one of the Vooks team writes something together we use this account to publish it. No mere single account can hold us all.

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