The Competitive Reboot

On the Auspicious Arrival of Our New, Virtual Face of the Pokémon Trading Card Game
“If no restrictions were placed on the Poké-colonies, they would flourish…”

The Pokémon Trading Card Game has entered its era of salutary neglect.

For those of you who haven’t spent the last three years going through Advanced Placement (AP) history classes, let me give you a bit of a refresher. The period of salutary neglect is the time after Britain had established the American colonies in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, but had virtually no policy for ruling them. The British kept their hands off the new colonies, and watched as colonial legislatures, legislative institutions, and international trade flourished across the Atlantic Ocean. A society they had created evolved into something new.

Now, it feels like The Pokémon Company International (TPCi) has done the same with our community. Sure, they’ve held the Players Cup, but aside from that, a small PTCGO update, and a new podcast, TPCi has been mostly silent. We have no real idea of what the future of competitive play looks like past the next press release, except that there will eventually be tournaments in some capacity.

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There’s now the opportunity to compete in a tournament every single day. (!)

But, just like the American colonies, instead of falling into chaos, the community has risen to the challenge. Sure, it’s not Regional Championships in new places with our friends all around us, but the community has created something even more impressive and never seen before: a series of tournaments that can be played in every single day of the week. Fellow author Pablo Meza created an image that illustrates this circuit perfectly, and more organizers sprout up every day, including the Atlas Collectibles Series and Hyperluxe Events. Frankly, there’s so many events that it’s impossible to compete in all of them. Every single day, these organizers run large-scale events for little to no cost, simply because they want to keep the game we all love so much alive. It is a truly noble and impressive feat to watch and experience, and one that I am truly grateful for.

Today, I’ll be writing about the new, virtual face of the Pokémon Trading Card Game: how it has changed my mentality toward playing, how the experience of being a competitive player has changed, and what the future of the digital game looks like.


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