BUSINESS

Pokémon European International Championships 2024 report – from London to Hawaii

×

Pokémon European International Championships 2024 report – from London to Hawaii

Share this article


Pokémon European International Championships – Pikachu conquers London once again (Picture: The Pokémon Company)

GameCentral attends the recent Pokémon EUIC video game tournaments in London, in the first steps towards the World Championships.

Cardboard has never been more popular! The last year has seen a massive push from the Disney trading card game Lorcana and, more recently, GameCentral favourite Star Wars Unlimited. Both have enjoyed a surprisingly swift move into competitive play, but last weekend the buzz was focused on London ExCel and the Pokémon European International Championships. This was the first step for competitive Pokémon players aiming for the World Championships, which this year will return to Hawaii for the first time since 2007.

The Pokémon World Championships first began in 2004 and focus primarily on the Pokémon Trading Card Game (TCG), but it has since grown to include dedicated competitions for Pokémon video games such as Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, Pokémon Go, and Pokémon Unite. Every year, as a precursor to what is known to competitors as Worlds, the Pokémon European International Championships draw Pokémon players from all around Europe to battle it out for the chance to earn Championship Points (CP) for both the Trading Card Game and Video Game Championships.

In these highly competitive tournaments, each game has its own format and set of rules, including different divisions for pros, seniors, and juniors. Cash prizes are determined based on the amount of players in each tournament and range from around £400 for smaller player pools to around £8,000 for the larger competitions. In order to qualify for the Pokémon TCG World Championships, a player must earn an invitation by gaining enough Championship Points by the end of the competitive season, through placing high enough or winning official Pokémon tournaments.

See also  Bruno Mars Doesn't Have Millions in Gambling Debt, MGM Says

The Pokémon Trading Card Game competitions took place across all three days, with rounds lasting just under an hour and culminating with the Finals on Sunday afternoon, where five-time Champion Tord Reklev (Norway) defeated Isaiah Bradner (USA) by benching Bibarel and gaining some rare candy from his Pidegot to evolve his Charmander into the ever-popular Charizard ex and giving him a slow and steady path to victory and the European International Championship title.

It was great to see the first appearance of decks built around some of the new cards, with the competitive debut of the most recent Scarlet & Violet – Temporal Forces expansion, including Incineroar with its Blaze Blast and the ability to apply its Burned special status to your opponent’s active pokémon.

I spoke to Jude Walker, aged 10, from Hove about his progress in the Trading Card Game Championships Juniors: ‘I’m trying to earn enough points to go to Worlds, but I’m not sure if I’m going to go to Worlds. I might do if I win this tournament today, but it’s going to be pretty tough because there’s some really good players.

‘I’ve been playing Charizard, and I’ve won one and lost one so far, so I’ve won on. I like playing Pokémon because I get to travel all over England and I might go to a different country to play Pokémon, but Hawaii is really, really far away, so I’m not sure I’m going to be able to go. Mankey is my favourite pokémon, because it’s a pig and a monkey mixed together.’

The most raucous crowd is always those watching the Pokémon Unite Aeos Cup and this year saw an impressive clash of cultures in the EUIC 2024 finals, where Team Fusion (America) won 3-1 against Kabichans (Japan). But this year the drama was definitely mobile based, as the Pokémon Go Battle League final saw MEweedle take down Doonebug97 using Counter with his Vigoroth. Go Apes! There’s always plenty of healthy discourse around the Pokémon Go meta and despite the moaning about imbalances in mechanics and Scald debuffs, it couldn’t put a damper on the Pokémon Go Classic Community Day.

This featured a shiny Bagon for everyone to collect and coincided with the Sunday of the European International Championships. There was also additional EUIC dedicated Field Research, featuring Pokémon Gilgar and Medicham, which were only available with a unique code from watching the event on the Pokémon Twitch channel for 30 minutes.

The video game competition with Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet is split between Junior, Seniors, and the Masters Division- for those born 2000 or earlier. Nils Dunlop took victory over fellow American Tim Edwards in the Masters Division and duly thanked his mum, when maybe he should have reserved his thanks for Flutter Mane.

As usual, there were huge queues for the pop-up Pokémon Center, for those keen to get their hands on some EUCI exclusive merchandise featuring battle bots Ceruledge and Armarouge. They sold out within minutes each day and are right now going for high prices on eBay – it’s well past time that London had its own permanent Pokémon Center in my opinion.

In addition to the Pokémon Center pop-up store, there were big queues for the Play Lab, which allowed fans and visitors to learn the basics of the Pokémon Trading Card Game. There were also lots of retro consoles on display, for anyone who wanted to learn the basics of the Pokémon video games or challenge experienced Pokémon Professors in the Pokémon Scarlet and Violet games.

As the new champions left the stage at ExCel, all eyes are now on the North American International Championship in New Orleans this June, which is the final stop on many players’ competitive calendars before the journey to Hawaii in August. As the meta continues to evolve, new challengers emerge and veterans hone their skills, but one thing remains constant: the spirit of competition and community spirit burns brighter than ever in the world of Pokémon.

Email gamecentral@metro.co.uk, leave a comment below, follow us on Twitter, and sign-up to our newsletter.


MORE : Pokémon’s hardest challenge beaten by Twitch streamer after 1,786 attempts


MORE : Pokémon Legends: Z-A brings back mega evolutions and Lumiose City


MORE : Pokémon and Zelda rides coming to Universal Orlando theme park claims rumour

Follow Metro Gaming on Twitter and email us at gamecentral@metro.co.uk

To submit Inbox letters and Reader’s Features more easily, without the need to send an email, just use our Submit Stuff page here.

For more stories like this, check our Gaming page.





Source Link Website

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *