As some of you know, this past weekend I went up to Philadelphia to participate in the 2009 Pokémon Video Game Championships. Essentially it’s a big tournament where Pokémon trainers face off against each other in two divisions, junior and senior, with the winners going to the Nationals in St. Louis. It was supposed to be a really fun event, but a new development in this year’s rules made the whole thing pretty disappointing. This year, instead of letting everyone participate, they had entrants sign up and then randomly chose 128 people to participate in each division. This wouldn’t have been so bad if around 256 people had attended, but as it happened NEARLY 600 PEOPLE SHOWED UP FOR THE SENIORS DIVISION ALONE.
Needless to say at this point, I didn’t get in, but that’s not what has me angry. What really ticks me off about this is the fact that people came from as far away as MILWAUKEE and didn’t get in. All in all, this was just a really poor way to handle an event like this. They could have AT LEAST set up some sort of online registration where participants were chosen ahead of time so people wouldn’t have had to waste time and money on travel. And don’t tell me Nintendo can’t afford the expenses associated with a bigger event or planning ahead: they’re making money hand over fist right now. Nintendo, if you want to do a Pokémon tournament, do it right; otherwise contract it out to someone else who will. This is no way to treat the fans of one of your most popular franchises.