Yesterday, I finally got the chance to attend a Pokémon Video Game National Championships, something I've been dreaming of ever since the series started in 2009! The event was held in Victoria, Australia, at the Melbourne Showgrounds.
I had been working until late the night before to get my team ready. However, one of my Pokémon was below level 50, and when I arrived at the tournament, I discovered that all Pokémon below level 50 would NOT get scaled up like every other Pokémon! So I ended up spending a frantic half-hour levelling it up before I could register!
At last, I entered: just another one out of a total of 180 entrants, the equal biggest tournament I've entered!
My first round was displayed on the big screen, which was an honour. Using the same rain wind team I've been using for a while (albeit modified and improved), I was able to take out my opponent 4-0. My opponent ended up making quite a few rookie mistakes, such as using Will-o-Wisp to burn my Politoed when my physical-attacking Toxicroak was also in play, and then using Hydro Pump on Toxicroak, healing it because of Dry Skin!
My second round match went almost as well --- another 4-0 victory. I forget most details of that match, but I do remember my opponent at one point tried a Waterfall attack, which was absorbed by my Gastrodon's Storm Drain, adding to the power it was already receiving from Politoed's Surf. After my unbeaten run thus far, I was proud of at least getting past round 2, a round I have a bad habit of losing. But I tried not to get cocky: last time I went to round 3 without loss, I lost my 3rd round match.
My third round match came before too long. Again I forgot most of what happened, but I do remember I finally lost one of my Pokémon (I can't even remember which it was). In the end it was a convincing 3-0 win.
In round 4, I was once again on the big screen. I faced what looked to be a hail room team. Deciding on my team proved difficult: I ended up changing my team at the last second. I led with Politoed and Toxicroak, while my opponent led with Abomasnow and Eelektross. During the first turn, Toxicroak Faked Out Abomasnow, while Eelektross used a surprisingly underpowered Discharge, which, even with a critical hit (softened by a Wacan Berry though), did less than 50% damage. Surf in turn did less, leading me to believe it was bulky. Next turn, Toxicroak KO'd Abomasnow with Drain Punch, and was then KO'd by Eelektross' Acrobatics. Next turn, I sent out Scizor, and the opponent sent out Amoongus. Panicking (I hate fighting Amoongus), I took the risk of double-attacking it. Scizor was able to OHKO it with Acrobatics, and Politoed's Ice Beam finished off Eelektross, leaving me on the right side of a 3-1 advantage. With a little difficulty and the loss of my Politoed I ended up winning once again. By now I was VERY proud of how I was going!
Immediately after the match, I was called aside for an interview by representatives from Nintendo Australia! I agreed, but was very nervous, having never been interviewed before. I explained my mindset going into the tournament, and how I had been going, as well as what I knew about how others battle. The interview should be on Nintendo Australia's website within a week, hopefully.
At last, the top 8 round began. I decided not to use Politoed in this match… a decision I regretted. Without Politoed's rain (or that of my opponent, who also had Politoed but didn't use it), my Tornadus' Hurricane never hit the opposing Breloom when I wanted it to, and paralysis from Liepard's Thunder Wave only made things worse. In the end I was defeated 2-0. The guy who beat me went on to become one of our two representatives at the World Championships in Vancouver!
Despite my defeat, and my falling agonisingly short of battling for a spot in Worlds (I'm still haunted by the thought of what would've happened had I used Politoed in that match), I still had a great day, and learned a lot about my team (like how much it depends on Politoed to work). Hopefully I'll be inspired enough to take my knowledge and skills into the next generation next year! Best of luck and fortune to our representatives in Vancouver this August!