WOW, I was AMAZED yesterday at the number of people who came to compete in the Pokemon Championships. Tate plays Pokemon, although not seriously, so I knew it was still pretty popular but I had no idea just how popular! And the Championships…what fun. Yes, it is an intense event that everyone attends in the hopes to win but Pokemon does it right. There are 2 divisions, Junior (born before 1997) and Senior (born after 1997). There were over 300 competitors in the Junior division and over 650 competitors lined up through the room and winding up and down hallways all through the arena waiting for the Senior division to start.
(this doesn’t even show a quarter of the crowd waiting)
The coordinators would get them all psyched up by doing waves, getting out into the crowds speaking to different people..finding out who they are, where they are from, etc. There were some amazing stories from some of the attendees and competitors, there is no way that I can tell them all, but here are a few…
Meet Zion. Zion’s Mom read about the Pokemon Championships in a magazine on Friday. Friday evening at 6 PM she and Zion went out and bought the specific game required for the tournament and then showed up on Saturday to give it a go. Zion placed in the top 8 at the Championships and has an invitation to attend Nationals. That is pretty amazing!
Young Grace and her family are HUGE Pokemon fans. They drove all the way from Chicago to attend the tournament in Atlanta. Grace, her two brothers and her Dad all compete and spend time as a family attending Pokemon events all over the country. Linda (mom) gets to do the driving while the rest of the family battle their way down the road. This moment shows the big pay-off for Grace and just how proud a Pokemon Mom Linda is:
Luke was the hometown favorite…hailing from Marietta GA. It was fun watching him start with hundreds of kids, moving his way up through the ranks and seeing him finish 2nd! Way to go Luke…I can’t wait to see how you do at Nationals!! That last match between Luke and Grace was intense, it went back and forth several times as we all watched with baited breath to see who the winner would be…
In the end, Grace came out victorious over everyone in the Junior Division.
AND, in the Senior Division…
Father and son Glenn and David Arnold from Chicago (Grace’s Dad and brother) ended up squaring off against one another in the Senior Division Finals out of more than 650 competitors. David ended up victorious over his father to claim the trophy but both will advance to the National Championships competition held at the end of the month.
Tate and CJ having a fun moment at the tournament.
As I said, it was a fabulously fun day. And was a free event for anyone who wanted to attend or compete. The last of the Regional Championships will be held on Saturday, June 12, 2010 in Newark, NJ if you and your family are interested in attending.
Then the Nationals will be June 25-27, 2010 in Indianapolis, IN
I wish the best of luck to all of the wonderful competitors Pokemon Trainers that I met who will be competing in Nationals!