Hello 6P! This past weekend was quite interesting, as we had two simultaneous Regionals with the brand new Ultra Prism set! Malmö in Sweden and Collinsville in the US had a lot of eyes peeled to the stream (including mine when I wasn’t playing at Cups) in order to see how well the new cards did.
The verdict? The new set overall is…underwhelming. For some reason, either small representation or simply not good enough, we didn’t see any ‘new’ archetype push through to the Top 8 of either tournament. Whilst Zoroark-GX / Weavile is itself a new combination with a newly release card, the solid base of 50ish cards for any good Zoroark deck was present—it simply included a new Stage 1 line. The biggest change this weekend was Cynthia, to no one’s surprise. It seems 3 Cynthia generally became a staple inclusion after this weekend, and decks are now closer to running 10+ Supporters for consistency reasons.
Before I delve deeper into what happened this weekend, I want to say that, whilst I wasn’t one to mind having to juggle League Cups and Regionals, I was directly affected by poor organization this weekend. Now, I’m not saying League Cups should cater to those in contention of Travel Awards or stipends, but I’m now of the idea that Cups should be irrelevant to said ranking and in determining Day 2 invites.
I had to cancel all plans for Collinsville last minute, as during the week, 2 League Cups were scheduled for this past weekend. Now, living in Mexico City means I usually get 4 or sometimes 5 Cups per quarter, and with the race for Top 4 in LATAM being so close, it is incredibly important for me to attend these to keep up with the competition. In order to achieve the potentially same amount of points that I achieved this weekend by playing around 15 games total (for the record, I got 3rd and 1st for a total of 82 CP), I would’ve needed to get Top 16 or better at an 1,000 person Regional.
I think the decision was easy to make, and especially because I knew there would be more conflicts in March. There is a huge pressure to not only attend but also perform at these League Cups, that when looking at the broader picture, maybe these would actually benefit from the most cut-throat competitive players not attending them, by making them not count towards the ranking, only for a potential invite.
Overall, I saw my friends, I played Pokémon, I did well and I had fun. Still, having to forego Collinsville was not ideal, as I love competing at the highest level, but it was a necessary evil. I’m glad I got those finishes out of the way though, and I will have a chance next weekend to get those missing 18 points at another Cup, but I won’t be sweating if I stick with 82/100 for this quarter. Why they would choose this weekend, or any in March, when there are literally zero events in April besides LATAM IC is beyond me, but thankfully it won’t be an issue this time around.
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