Friday, October 2, 2015

Guide to Preparations for a Real Life Pokemon Tournament


What's up everyone! With the first 2 Regionals for the fall season, the one in Houston, Texas and the one in Phoenix, Arizona coming up,  I thought that it would be a good idea to share with you guys, my suggestions on how to get the best out of your training to go to a real life tournament, whether it be a Premier Challenge, Regional, National, or even the big World Championships in the summer. This guide will cover like I'd said above, my best tips on training for the event, what to do at the event, and how to stay in tip-top for shape the big day.

PREPARING A TEAM

This is in my opinion, the most important part of preparation because without a team, you can't play. What I've seen is that many players will struggle the day before the event trying to come up with a team to use. My advice which is the way I like to do is to start building a team at least 2 weeks before the event. This way, if you find out the team isn't working out the week before the event, you still have a week to build another team you fill comfortable with. Now that the team part is taken care of, we can move on to training the team. This is in my opinion, the fun part as your checking to see how certain things function on the team. Whether it be a new move, different Pokemon, or a new nature/ EV Spread. When doing so, I recommend making a chart of a sheet of some kind to see how the change is actually helping the overall team. When I was building my Mega Blastoise team, I spent a good week seeing whether I should use Thundurus or Zapdos another week testing Heatran or Arcanine as the fire and electric type on the team. I ended up with Zapdos because I realized that the 

speed control and extra bulk I got from Tailwind Zapdos and the extra way to threaten fairy types with Flash Cannon from Heatran was more important than  the Taunt support and Intimidate/ Snarl disruption from Arcanine. Also, the EV Spread and nature is one of the only things that separate 2 Landorus-Therian. One trained to survive Ice Beam from something as uncommon as Exploud and one trained to survive the same move, but from Suicune will perform differently since the trainer behind them has prioritized that Ice Beam is a move to watch out for, but the Pokémon to survive it from is very different. Overall, while it's good to have a team for the event, it's also good to make sure the team is strong enough to handle all sorts of situations it may come up against. Also, its also good to have a training schedule for your training. Saying for example that you'll practice 5 hours a day will help you get the most out of your practice.


GOING TO THE EVENT

Now that we have the team we want to bring and is for the most part, and is ready to be brought to the event, you have to go to the event. When going to the event, you want to have a game plan for going there. If you have a hotel room where you'll be staying for the duration of the event, you should know where it is, how long it takes to drive from the hotel to the convention center, and how long the hotel is from the airport if you took a plane to get there. By knowing this, you'll not only feel better, but you'll be better 0ff as a whole. Once you know this, it's also good to know where the places to eat in the city you'll be in. Since 2016 Worlds is in San Francisco, California, you want to know where the convention center is, the hotel is, how far the hotel room is, and where are all places are you might want to eat at. This will help you so you can get to the event is so you can have a ton of fun with your friends, and get the most out of your time.


AT THE EVENT & DURING THE TOURNAMENT

Now that you've successfully made it to the convention hall and now know all the information you need to know, I have some tips I want to share about how to stay mentally hydrated there. My first tip is the on the day of the event, its best to eat a healthy breakfast before you go there. This will allow your brain to properly think. Things like McDonalds are a bad idea since you'll put yourself on at a mental disadvantage and can negatively effect you decision making during the actual match. A good meal to eat before the event is something like a bowl of cereal or a plate of pancakes. It'll keep you full and keep your brain running smoothly so you can make the best move possible each turn. During the actual tournament, I advise to get a bottle of water and eat something healthy like granola bars and fruit throughout the day so you don't get mentally exhausted and run out of energy throughout the day. If you run out of energy between Round 4 & 5 in a 8-10 Round event, you'll get exhausted and not be able to make the best plays, which could jeopardize your performance.


DURING THE MATCH
 

The most important part of the event is the actual battle. The most important thing to remember is that no matter what happens before the time you sit down at your table in your seat to face your opponent is to put whatever happened before that time out of your mind. If your thinking about what your going to do for the rest of the day, you'll put yourself at a mental disadvantage and you can possibly lose the match as a result. Also, even if your next opponent is your best friend, or a very famous player like Aaron Zheng or 2015 US National Champion Toler Webb, there still human. Since Pokémon is a game where anyone can beat anyone at anytime, you still have a 50/50 chance of winning. Your both trying to knock out the opponent's 4 Pokémon in front of him while keeping at least 1 Pokémon alive in the process. Something I remembered reading in Raphael Bagara's 2nd Place 2015 US Nationals report is "There are no friends once the round starts." What this means is that once the judge says you can sync up you systems to start, the connection you made with your opponent before doesn't matter until an overall winner has been declared. Something that many players will do that is kind of fun and a show of respect to their opponent is a handshake followed by the saying "Good Luck". It shows that no matter what happens you're still going to put the match behind you and thank your opponent for a good battle, no matter what happens.

AFTER THE MATCH
 

Once the match ends, it's best to shake hands and talk about the match you just had. Even if there was a lot of added effects thanks to the use of Thunder Wave and Swagger, it's still to put it behind you and realize that your opponent was only did it to increase the likelihood of you not being able to harm them so they have a better chance of winning. I've made some good friends after matches that I still talk to. While I was at 2015 Madison Regionals, my Round 6 opponent came up and told me that the TPCi recorded the match saying that I lost the match even though I actually won. He could've left it alone and went on about his day, but instead helped me out.

I hope this helps you become a better player. I'd enjoyed making this and plan on doing more articles on helping you in certain aspects of Pokémon VGC life from team strategies, individual Pokémon analysis, to even becoming a better player. I'll see you next time. Peace!

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