Hello again everyone! I hope everyone has had a wonderful holiday or winter season so far. Despite my initial intentions to attend Memphis Regionals, I was unable to swing things at the last minute. I received a difficult project to complete right around that same weekend and did not end up being able to make it work.
I am not too disappointed that Memphis had to be one of the events I ended up missing, as it would have been an incredibly daunting undertaking. Some huge congratulations to everyone who performed well there with most notable mentions going out to our very own Pablo Meza and there current reigning and undisputed “Best in the World” Michael Pramawat. It goes without saying that both players have had tremendous seasons so far and their efforts (and the efforts of many others) continue to raise the bar higher and higher.
Something that I have come to realize over the past year two as my involvement in the game has continued to grow sparse is that there is an absolute separation between the players who attend almost every regionals and those who can only make it to a few. That is, I think that it is almost impossible to compare players (in terms of skill) if they are not on a similar path.
Historically, it was much easier to analyze someone’s merit as a player because there were much fewer events one could attend. When I first started, there was only one Regional that you could possibly go to and so after City and State Championships, there was basically nothing. With less and less time to playtest and an astronomical increase in events, it seems to me that the players at the very top succeed because they are not awarded the luxury to stop playing or stop thinking about the game.
PokeGymSpeaking on a personal level, I have recently struggled a lot with my own merit or worth within the game. Am I still good? Or perhaps more accurately and egotistically, does the community still think I am any good? The answer to both these questions is somewhere between a no and a maybe and that’s absolutely okay with me! It has taken me a minute to get to this point and I feel much better now that I have somewhat accepted that I really have no reasons or means to compare myself to players anymore until I start playing again.
Using running as an analogy has always done wonders for me when trying to think of anything “skill-based” and thus to put Pokémon into these terms, it ought to go without saying that you cannot run a marathon without preparing. Runners who have run many marathons are going to be better and more experienced than someone who has not run a marathon in years. It might be true that someone used to be one of the fastest but without proper training and conditioning, any amount of experience and skill goes away eventually. I have not ran in almost a year so why do I think that I can keep up with someone who is running every weekend?
A lot of this thought is mostly personal musings on my own part and trying to accept my current place in the game (and motivate me to continue to put in work before expecting results) but I have also seen a lot of argumentation and disgruntled players continually engaged in verbal combat over which players are the very best. Regardless of how you end up siding on these arguments, I think it is important to put an emphasis on yourself rather than get heated about someone else. Where do you want to be in the game? What do you want to achieve? What do need to do to see these kinds of results?
These questions allow you to use the results of others to weave your own narrative rather than just seeing the success of others and immediately want to jump to bold conclusions like “well they’re obviously cheating” or “X is actually a top 5 player and Y is not even in the top 10, you fool.”
I know that I am far too guilty of diminishing someone’s accomplishments with any sort of negative qualifier, and I guess what I am trying to say here is that I am tired of it. I am tired of using the successes and triumphs of uses to fuel my own negative instincts and impulses.
By seeing fellow players as being beyond my own capacity, I am motivated to turn their successes into something that I can use and manipulate to help me reach a new and even better place in the game. What do you want to work on or improve for yourself within the game for the following year?
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