Hey all, Marcus here giving you a wrap up of what was, by far, one of the most amazing Pokémon weekends I have had in a long time! It all started Friday evening; many players packed into Good Games Melbourne, frantically deck testing for the big event. That’s when it dawned on me that this would be an event of such size that Australia has not seen since Pokémon was at it’s peak in 2000!
Sure enough, Saturday morning, we get to the venue, and it is PACKED. The venue itself is absolutely amazing – The Stamford Hotel in Collins Street. From marble staircases to glass elevators (I was scared to use them!), this venue would always be memorable. I sat down in the main room, wrote out my deck list, and then got caught up in the frenzy that was registration – so many people eager to get started. While waiting for the event to start, I went around and said my hellos to people. Some old faces I had not met since 2004 were here… this increased excitement so much more. Then something amazing happened – we broke another record… 128 players in the Masters division! This was the biggest Nationals EVER held in Australia since we started having them in 2004.
The swiss rounds came and went. The excitement was teeming through the room – meeting new and old rivals is one of the best things about Pokémon. I met three new people from Perth! I had never met anyone from Perth so this year was made all the more special. The swiss rounds finished as quick as they started, and the top thirty-two players who were good enough to make the finals were decided! I sadly did not make it with a 4-3 record. I did this to myself though, and my main goal was to test for the World Championships in August! For Juniors and Seniors, it was top two and top four respectively.
On the Sunday, there were a number of things happening. The finalists were all playing off to see who would become the National Champion. We had the Metronome side event where a random rule was implemented each round. There was a Video Game Side event where players would bring their DS and play off for some awesome prizes, and finally, a Professor Cup Rules tournament, that ran a 30 card format and had some special rules.
The day moved on – the side events room was loud and excited while the finalist’s room was silent and focused. The final ladder for Masters, as well as decks used can be found here. A big congratulations to Kerwin Lee, Kaiwen Kuan and Lewis S for being Champions of all your divisions and joining the players who are representing Australia at the World Championships in August, at Vancouver!
A big thank you to Banter Toys and Collectibles, Good Games Melbourne, the Pokémon Company International, and our Premier Tournament Organizer, Edmund Shum, for hosting the event. Pokémon would not have grown as much as it has without them, and I look forward to seeing what new surprises come our way during the next ‘Play! Pokémon’ Season!
Check out our Nationals Gallery, with all the photos we took at the event. Stay tuned for more Nationals Coverage from Pokémon Australia – including the VGC side event! Check out Banter’s Coverage of the Event.