My 2017-2018 Season Statement

The game has changed, and for the better.

I spent some of today and yesterday reading over old Sixprizes articles from 2011 and 2012. I am completely blown away by all the differences between the circuit of five years ago and the circuit of today.

For one, in 2011 you could "go to all the tournaments" easily. One simply had to attend their local Battle Roads and Cities, two weekends of States, Regionals, and Nationals. If one played in all the tournaments, they would only be attending four Tier Two tournaments, five if you include Worlds. Only one of these tournaments rivals today's tournaments in size, and that would be Nationals.

Today, within four hours from my house, I can go to four tournaments with over 500 Masters each. There are a plethora of tournaments to access. Cash prizes mean that one can spend to travel to tournaments with the possibility of making the money spent on a flight back. For the first time, last year multiple players made their living from prize money from Pokemon. This is crazy. We're living in a dream. Pokemon is growing at an incredible rate.

I traveled to eight Regionals in the season before cash prizes were instituted. The most I could have earned (besides Championship Points) from winning a single one of those tournaments would be six boxes. It makes me so incredibly happy if that type of travel can now be rewarded so heavily.

This past season, because I didn't travel to any Regionals during the school year, I only was able to attend four of them total. However, I traveled further to attend these tournaments, and I was only able to do that due to cash prizing.

This past summer I traveled to Mexico City Regionals and it was the best tournament experience I have had in my entire life. It was amazing. Not only did I have my best Day One finish of my career (7-2), I also had a blast getting to use my Spanish, meet new people, and build stronger bonds with the people I already knew that had also traveled to the tournament. My goal for this year is not necessarily to go for an invite, although I am working towards that. I also want to recreate the experience I had in Mexico by attending Tier Two events in Spanish-speaking countries. You will see me in Mexico for any and all Special Events. If their tournament gets approved by Pokemon, you will see me in Ecuador. If they get an SPE, you will see me in Puerto Rico. Paraguay, Argentina, Chile, and Spain are probably out of my price range barring error fares, but in the long-term I want to get there. I will get there.

In general, I don't love the game itself 100% of the time. From 2009-2011, I loved Pokemon with the energy of a teenager and the wonder of a child. I lived and breathed Pokemon. I was always wanting to play it with anyone, anywhere, anytime. That isn't necessarily true anymore. Sometimes the game is stale. Sometimes, like in the current Standard format, I literally cannot win over half of my games. But I still have passion, if not for the game then for the circuit. The most fun part of attending a tournament is sometimes the excitement of planning the logistics of a trip and realizing it's feasible, especially if it's in an exotic or faraway place like Canada felt the first time I planned a trip there. I check the Event Locator constantly. I not only check for League Cups locally, but also for Tier Two events worldwide. I search for events in Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Ecuador. I recently found out how to manually look at every event created each month, and I've been checking all of those too. I love watching streamed events. Even if I can't attend every event, the fact that there are large global high-stakes tournaments is so exciting! It's like following a pro sport but also getting to play with the star players you see on TV.

I love the circuit. I have passion for the circuit.

There are still problems. TPCi is not perfect at communicating with us by any means. Often, they make decisions that we don't agree with. We still need to work on opening avenues of communication in that regard. But also TPCi is incredible. Quite a few tournaments across multiple continents have an official stream by TPCi. They are pouring money into the game by providing massive cash payouts for Regionals, spending on expensive streaming and commentating, flying players to ICs, and putting on the NAIC or its equivalent every year. Those are not cheap actions. TPCi is supporting the game in a huge way. I am very happy with the direction everything is going. I want to see this growth continue. I want to give TPCi credit where credit is due. I love Pokemon. Let's keep growing Pokemon.


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