Ecuador Blog

I had the most amazing week last month. On Friday, March 2nd, I flew to Guayaquil, Ecuador to play in their Special Event. On Sunday, March 4th, I flew to Quito and spent seven days with family. I'm going to give a quick tournament report and a rundown of my week.
First of all, when I found out that Ecuador was going to have a Special Event, I really wanted to attend. OP in Ecuador really tapered off after 2007 or so, but it's been rekindled and it's back. This Special Event was Ecuador's first Tier Two TCG event since Ecuadorian Nationals in 2007. I justified making the long and expensive trip by fitting in a week in Quito to spend with family, most of whom I hadn't seen in four years.

Friday was a pretty exhausting day. Since I wasn't sure about the reliability of the event, I booked round trip from Chicago to Quito, and a separate round trip from Quito to Guayaquil. This also allowed me to fly all the way to Quito with my grandma! My flight from Quito to Guayaquil was my first time flying alone internationally, so that was pretty exciting.

In terms of safety in Guayaquil, most of my family expressed concern. I was told it's not a place that you want to go alone. However, I was comfortable making the decision to go because of my good friend Andrés. Andrés single handedly made this adventure possible by hosting me and showing me around the city. I would not have had the confidence to make this trip without him.

He picked me up from the airport, but it was almost 10 pm so we decided on our decks and went
straight to bed.

The next morning, we got breakfast and arrived at the venue a little after ten. The registration period was pretty long (more than two hours) so that as many people as possible could play. Decklists were required, and that seemed to cause a lot of confusion. A blank decklist cost me $0.10. I filled it out normally, and I then heard a judge say to another player that set and set number were required for trainers too, so I added those for my trainers and energy. There were 31 Masters total, meaning that this tournament was the size of many U.S. cups I attend.

The Tournament

I don't want to dwell too much on the list I played, but I played Weavile in St Louis. I think that the card is really strong, but a good enough player can simply play around it and win.

However, I still wanted to play it. So I justified fitting it into Ian Robb's winning Golisopod/Zoroark list, replacing the Lurantis promo line. I changed the Grass Energy to Rainbow Energy and changed the Zoruas to those that confused with Moonlight Madness.

R1 vs Vikabulu

In theory, I'm scared of Bulu because they can trade prizes optimally against both Zoroark or Golisopod if they have Choice Band attached. However, my opponent dead drew in both games, leading to an easy series.



R2 vs Golisopod/Zoroark

This round I played against the owner of the store. This was somewhat relevant because more than once someone interrupted our match to ask the price of a pack of sleeves or some sort of product However, because of the timing of our match, it did not have an effect.

My opponent was firmly in the driver's seat at first during game one. With six prizes left, I used a Weavile to take my first knockout of the game on a GX. Here, my opponent misplayed and played Guzma to knock out a damaged GX (immediately after the Guzma, he said "oh, the Choice Band" referring to the Choice Band on Weavile). I was thus able to use Weavile to take two more prizes before he finally knocked it out. I had good board control at this point but gave it up by benching Lele as my fifth benched Pokemon to grab Cynthia to dig for game. At this point, he was able to use double Puzzle and make a Choice Band + Stand In Zoroark play to take his final prizes.

After such a long, back-and-forth game, I took the second game pretty handily before time was called, but we did not have time for a 3rd.



R3 vs Greninja

Golisopod hits Greninja for weakness, but that doesn't mean this matchup is an autowin. This is especially true because I run Rainbow instead of Grass and my opponent ran Enhanced Hammer. However, my opponent insisted it was a bad matchup for him and complained throughout games one and three.

In game one, he whiffed Frogadier and I benched him out.

In game two, I played Brigette turn three and he ran me over. I scooped after he had taken four prizes.

Game three was like game one where I benched him out before he could get out a Frogadier.



There were five rounds total, which meant that at this point I only needed to win one more match to be guaranteed top eight (and 100 CP).

R4 vs Zoroark/Lycanroc

Both games went very similarly. My opponent played down an early Parallel City, limiting my bench space. This meant that I had limited threats like Golisopod or Weavile that I could set up to deal with Lycanroc. My opponent was able to use Bloodthirsty Eyes to knockout Wimpods and Sneasels and I couldn't establish anything that could stop a Lycanroc from running over my board.



R5 vs Zoroark/Golisopod

My opponent went first. On his second turn, he had three Zoroark GX and two Golisopod GX in play and I had a very weak board, so I scooped very early in hopes of having enough time to win two full games.

Game two led to a stalemate where we took turns trading attacks and Acerolas, and since my opponent was up on prizes he could play more aggressively and win.



So that's the story of how I lost two win-and-ins in Ecuador. If I had won either of my last two matches, I would have been guaranteed 100 CP, as we had a clean cut with all 3-1-1s making it.

Here is a condensed report:

R1 vs Vikabulu 2-0 W

R2 vs Golisopod/Zoroark 1-1 T

R3 vs Greninja 2-1 W

R4 vs Zoroark/Lycanroc 0-2 L

R5 vs Golisopod/Zoroark 0-2 L

Like I did with my Greece blog, I'm going to give a short run down on the days that followed as well.

Sunday - Andres took me to go get seafood in the morning for a late breakfast/early lunch, and then
dropped me off at the airport so that I had plenty of time to spare! I flew from Guayaquil to Quito. My cousins picked me up from the airport and brought me to my great-aunt's house, where over thirty people were gathered. Then I went to their house, where I would stay the whole week.

Monday - On Monday I slept in and rested. We went to the artisanal market in the afternoon to get some souvenirs, but that was pretty much it!

Tuesday - We went to the central historic part of Quito. We visited a church, a museum, and went out for sandwiches. We wrapped up our day by going to La Capilla de Hombre.

Wednesday - We woke up early and seven of us packed in an SUV and drove three hours south to Lake Quilotoa, where we hiked down a pretty steep crater and spent a cold night by the lake.

Thursday: We made the difficult climb back up the crater, and I was definitely the weak link. I was exhausted and hurt my foot a little bit, so after we got back to Quito I took a full four-hour nap. Even
with that, I was able to sleep seven hours that night, so needless to say I was exhausted!

Friday - On Friday, I had lunch with my grandpa's side of the family on the opposite side of Quito. I spent five or six hours there, so that was my full day!

Saturday - Saturday was my cousin's birthday party, so a lot of the family came to where I was staying and we had a celebration! Afterwards 13 of us went to the "discoteca", and that was the beginning of the end

Sunday - I left.

That was my experience! Playing Pokemon someone new is always very fun and cool, and I was very happy to practice my Spanish. I definitely recommend playing Pokemon in new and foreign places!


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