Battle Report: Supanova Perth Pokemon Meetup Results
This past weekend, Nintendo Australia held a Pokémon Meet-up at Perth Supanova Pop Culture Expo, essentially a state qualifier for the recently confirmed Pokémon Video Game Australian National Championships, to be held later at PAX Australia in Melbourne.
The top two winners of each age division at the National Championships will earn free flights to Vancouver, Canada to compete in the 2013 Pokémon Video Game World Championship – where the best Pokémon Masters across the globe will compete.
This is big news for competitive video game fans, who can finally compete in a National Championship against Australia’s best as well as the worlds best in the World Championships. Previously only the trading card game received this treatment.
My day at the qualifier began at 5:30 in the morning, too worried I wouldn’t get a entry ticket to the Supanova expo in time for the qualifier registration cut-off time of 11:00 am. Surprisingly I arrived with plenty of time, the tickets booths not even being open yet and thus I was one the first people to arrive inside at the Nintendo booth area.
After talking to Jamie, the Nintendo representative for Nintendo Australia and host of the tournament, I signed up for the tournament as entrant #4. I sat down at the battle area and waited as I witnessed a mass of people pouring in to register. The area quickly filled up by the tournament start time, with people crowding outside of the area to witness what was going on.
After a late start of about 20 minutes, Jamie finally announced the start of tournament, briefly going over the rules:
- Random Number pairing, with two Age brackets (Juniors and Seniors)
- Double Elimination – Each participant has “two lives”
- Double Battles, using 4 Pokémon each at Level 50(automatically rounded down)
In what was the upset of the entire day, it was announced battles were to take place via infra-red connection, which means that participants were only allowed to pick and use 4 Pokémon, in contrast to the official video game championship 2013 rules of choosing 6 Pokémon but only using 4.
In addition, only the four same Pokémon can be used for the entire tournament, no substations.
This ruled out Team Preview. A feature that is displayed before the battle is started, showing exactly what Pokémon you and your opponent have in your party. Team Preview is often praised by competitive players, it can either net you an advantage or disadvantage. Showing you opponent your team of 6, you only pick 4, which in turn allows you to counter or set a strategy according to what Pokémon you see your opponent has.
In retrospect, I realize this was done because using the Union Room (which allows Team Preview) would be a mess and a nightmare for the tournament, which was running on a number pairing system. Trainers paired together were encouraged to sit down opposite one another but as the day progressed and people spilled into the area, paired participants found themselves standing up and battling as spectators and knocked out participants took seats.
Being entrant #4, I was one of the first called to battle. I felt pretty bad against my first opponent, who didn’t really have competitive viable Pokémon such as Sawsbuck. I ended up winning without losing a single Pokémon. For those interested, my Pokémon for the day were Latios, Hitmontop, Gastrodon and Metagross.
After my first round battle, I rushed around the Supanova expo to find a drink and by the time I came back, I still had to wait about 15 minutes for Round 2. My Round 2 match was almost the same as Round 1, nothing really viable. After winning my match I felt bad for getting so lucky with opponents.
After Round 2 finished, Jamie stopped the vast bulk of Senior battles for the Junior semi-finals and finals. Funnily enough, a kid named Daniel ended winning! With all the junior battles finished, the senior matches went full steam with Round 3.
Now this is where it got rough for me! I had to face not only one of my best friends, but the person I was most scared of getting paired against. It was a very close battle, with my trusty Metagross surviving on red health and winning with a Bullet Punch. I also got my first “freeze” with Icebeam from Gastrodon. The first of what was to be many for the day.
Round 4 was another close match. I was in the mindset mid match that I was going to lose because my opponent managed to put 3 of my Pokémon to sleep with Spore. Luckily, his Pokémon didn’t have any real type advantages against my team and I ended up freezing his Pokémon, not once but twice. I felt bad for my insane luck (as Freeze only has a 10% chance of occurring), but with a cheap tactic of spamming Spore, my remorse was short lived.
Immediately after Round 4, I was paired against the eventual winner of the day. We were both the only ones left with a perfect record of 4 wins, 0 losses and this battle determined who was to be in the finals. I have to say, I was slaughtered.
His team was the same team that cost me a spot in the top 8 back in the Connection Tour ’07 – FlinchKiss. I want to go over this a bit because in a way it’s a genius strategy but also very annoying for the opponent.
The way this strategy works is by using Togekiss and Machamp. Togekiss would paralyze the targeted Pokémon, halving the speed of my Pokémon reduced by 25% and only being able to attack a quarter of the time. Now Togekiss and Machamp are in theory, faster. Machamp targets the same Pokémon with Dynamic Punch, dealing damage and at the same time confusing my Pokémon. Now and I’m paralyzed and confused, which do stack together.
Now Togekiss attacks with Air Slash, a move that has a 30% chance of making the Pokémon flinch, paired with Togekiss’s ability Serene Grace, it doubles that chance to 60%. For my Pokémon to be able to attack, it now has to attack out of paralysis, confusion and a flinch.
Being un-prepared for this, I didn’t stand a chance and lost. I was now in the loser bracket, which means I had to battle for my life against other participants who’ve lost once. This was the desperation bracket, trainers fidgeting, taking their time on every move. I had to beat three players from the loser bracket to get into the finals, it was a tough road.
My first match up was against a Pokéclectic member, who has recently been beating me at the Pokémon leagues we attend. Remembering the main Pokémon he uses to beat me – Sword Dance Escavalier, I bit the bullet and started the battle. I saved my heavy hitter – Latios, to take down his Escavalier, after which my confidence picked up and I won. The next battle was against a new friend I made at the day. I was shaking, my nerves almost getting the better of me. I was in control of the match the entire match though, so I made it through.
Now I was up to the final loser bracket match. If I won this, I would make it into the finals. This was a very tough match and in the end it came down to both of our own Gastrodons. Funnily enough he was using the Gastrodon I traded to him before the tournament.
We both had Recover, which means we could keep healing and we both had the ability “Storm Drain”, which means water attacks directed at my Gastrodon would be absorbed and increase my Special Attack. So we both couldn’t use our main damaging move. It came down to use Earth Power, Ice Beam and Recover.
Our Gastrodon match went on for a while, but it became evident to both of us the only way to win would to get a freeze. So we both started using Ice Beam on one another, it took about 3 turns before I luckily got the freeze on him, which awarded me the match with repeated Earth Powers and Ice Beams.
It took me a while to realise I had made it to the finals. I never thought I would have made it this far as I tend to choke during tournaments. I was so happy. Jamie asked everyone to clear the area so me and the other finalist, Jeremy, who had beaten me before a few matches ago, could comfortably sit down opposite one another.
Everyone gathered around us on both sides as Jamie introduced us both to the crowd, repeated what we were playing for and made us be aware that because Jeremy still had two lives, I had to beat him twice to win the tournament.
I didn’t like the odds of beating him twice, the trainer who had previously slaughtered me. I tried to stay confident through my shaking, I mean anything is possible right? We began our match, this time aware of his team and strategy. I must say, I did play very well in this match, and I did almost beat him this time. But in the end, he won.
I personally think it’s because my team just couldn’t beat his, not matter how well I played. Either way, he bettered me. He deserved the win, I stood up, shook his hand and congratulated him. I was happy I had made it this far, being in the finals out of 50-sh participants was something to be happy and proud of.
The tournament now over, Jamie snapped pictures of Jeremy and I together and everyone disbanded. It was a great day, I had loads of fun, battled a lot of tough trainers and I’m happy with the result.
The only thing that was a disappointment was the that official video game championship rules weren’t adhered to properly, as I mentioned before about the lack of Team Preview and only being able to use 4 Pokémon for the entire day.
Hopefully, they are adhered to for the National Championships next month.
With the Perth qualifier over, it’s now up to the following states to show Australia and the world the talent that Australia has:
- Melbourne (Deakin Edge – Federation Square) Saturday 6th July
- Brisbane (Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre) Sunday 7th July
- Adelaide (AVCon Anime and Video Game Convention) Saturday 13th July
- Sydney (Luna Park) Sunday 14th July
I would like to give a big thank you to Nintendo Australia for finally running a National Championships for the VG, it gives a lot of hope to the competitive players throughout Australia. Big thanks also to Jamie for hosting the tournament too!