Greetings friends. Travis Nunlist back with a Pre-Regionals piece just in time for the upcoming Vancouver Regional Championships. I’m especially excited for this event for multiple reasons. First and foremost it will be my first Regional Championship of the season! My life has been rather busy since the season began and I haven’t been able to keep my event attendance as high as I would like, but that means I’ll just have to ensure I’m that much more prepared for each big event I am able to attend.
Another reason I’m incredibly hyped for the event is that I’ve actually never traveled outside of the US for a Pokémon tournament before! I missed all four of the IC tournaments in the previous season and have never made it to Canada or Mexico for the handful of Regional/Special events they get each year, so having to bring my passport to go to a Pokémon event is a brand new experience for me! Canada is a country I’ve never been to, and I have heard nothing but great things about the Vancouver area so I’m incredibly excited to travel to a new place.
Unfortunately I don’t have anymore recent League Cups to report in on. Event space has been incredibly competitive around SoCal, with half the battle being getting into the events at all. To date I’ve now missed out on three (3!) different League Cups because the event capped before registration even began. This is something I never would have dreamed would be an issue even a year ago, but such is the current climate of the Pokémon TCG. Showing up to registration 10 minutes before it closes with 3/4 of a deck is now a thing of the past.
I’m not sure if there is a good way to solve this, especially when most (but not all) of the events aren’t offering pre-registration and instead have chosen to operate on a first come first serve basis. I’ve heard stories of local players lining up for events up to 2 hours before registration even begins to ensure they get a spot. Maybe my own hubris is in impatience, but I simply do not have the attention span or desire to sit outside of a venue for hours before an event even begins to ensure I am able to participate.
A solution I would love to see implemented is more consistent access to Pre-Registration at these events. Some common issues I’ve heard about with this implementation are pre-reg players no showing preventing an event from filling up that very easily could or should have, and online pre-reg discouraging new/local players from attending events at their local shops due to an event filling up before they even knew it existed.
I think a reasonable solution would be to offer up something like 50-75% of the spots available for online registration before the event, closing it off sometime between a couple days before to the morning of the event, and leaving the rest open on a first come first serve basis. This will ensure the more serious competitors are able to secure a spot without a significant time investment, and allow enough space for last minute decision makers to ensure they have the opportunity to compete. Granted, this is just the opinion of one competitive player, and I’m certain there are a lot more factors taken into consideration than I’m giving the situation credit for, but I do believe there are some adjustments needed for the swelling popularity of the Pokémon TCG.
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