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Professor’s Corner – The 2013-2014 Play! Season Updates 08/22/2013

Posted by raznprince in Ask a Professor, League News, Pokemon News, Pokemon TCG, Pokemon Video Games, Uncategorized.
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DISCLAIMER: The following article is a discussion regarding the information conveyed by TPCI regarding the 2013-2014 Play! Pokémon cycle. All opinions on the subject matters discussed here solely reflect my personal views and understandings and in no way reflect those of the WRAPL as a whole. ~Professor Raz

For those of you who haven’t already read the latest news about this year’s Play! Pokémon tournament cycle, you are highly encouraged to review the article by clicking here before reading any further. For now, I will simply brush up on the highlights of the article and convey my understanding of what this means to us as players, Professors, etc.

Battle Roads
This year, Battle Roads will be incorporated into what will now be referred to as League Challenge (LC) tournaments. Such tournaments will be held year-round at the end of each League Season.
-You can think of LC tournaments as having up to eight (8) Battle Roads tournaments a year.
LC tournaments are considered Premier Events, meaning that players will have the opportunity to earn Championship Points (CP) towards qualifying for an invitation to the 2014 World Championships.
LC tournaments will be Swiss-only rounds.
-The Best Finish Limit (BFL) for LC tournaments will be the same as that as Battle Roads from the previous year – 6. This means that if you played in all eight (8) LC tournaments this cycle, the CP associated with your best six (6) tournament rankings will count towards your invitation to 2014 Worlds.
-You may participate in multiple LCs from the same League Season from other Leagues provided thy are scheduled during the end-of-season window. Please bear in mind that those leagues may have attendance restrictions based on venue size and may prioritize their League Players entry into their LCs first.
-The distribution of CP for the top finishers is not known at this time.
-A Tournament Organizer (TO) on staff with an active League (example: yours truly) may have the opportunity to run LCs.
-The TO has the option to run single game or best-of-three Swiss rounds.
-It is not known at this time how or when TOs will be determined or designated to run LCs.
-There will not be a LC for the Humilau season. They will begin with the new League Cycle in October 2014.

Tournament Format Changes
Tournaments above the City Championships level will feature best-of-three Swiss rounds with a 50-minute “Plus 3” time format. Single elimination (Top Cut) matches at all levels will be determined to a maximum of Top 8. Some events spanning multiple days will take players the top records to be allowed to play into the second day before the Top 8 round. Ties will be re-introduced into this format.
-No time format has been announced for the Top Cut, so it will be assumed to be at the TO’s discretion.
-The multiple-day “rule” allows players with very good records to continue on with the tournament without fear of their player resistance being adversely affected in determining player standings for Top 8. I would infer that players not having a good tournament record will be dropped by the end of the first day.

Fall Regional Championships will be the final tournament that will require the use of Black 2/White 2 versions to compete. Winter Regional Championships will be the first tournament to require competition using the X/Y versions.

Tournament Entry Fees
Master Division TCG players will now be required to pay entry fees in order to compete in Premier Events. Such fees will be determined by the TO. Junior and Senior Division TCG players will continue to enter Premier Events for free. ALL players will still be required to pay the entry fee in order to participate in Pre-Releases. ALL VGC players will continue to enter VGC Premier Events for free.
-Charging the Masters Division TCG players an entry fee into Premier events will benefit towards giving Masters increased tournament prize support in larger events as I’ll discuss below.

Prize Support
While on the subject, Master Division TCG players will benefit from the fees+increased prize support in the following way:
-More booster packs will be awarded and the opportunities for those placing lower in the standings can earn booster packs at the Cities level and above.
-Masters now placing in the Top 8 at the 2014 U.S. National Championships will receive Travel Awards to 2014 Worlds. In Nationals past, it used to be Top 4.

TOs have the option to award additional prizes to the other age divisions as well.

The U.S. National Championships Travel Awards/Stipends will be awarded based on the CP rankings at the end of Spring Regional Championships. Players who earned CPs at 2013 Worlds will only have their CPs applied in determining invitations to 2014 Worlds. VGC players ranked in the Top 4 of their division in CP will receive a Travel Award to 2014 Worlds. Also, all VGC Regional Champions will win a Nintendo 3DS. See article for detailed list of prize distribution.

Player Rewards
Player Rewards will be discontinued for this cycle, but will be distributed for the 2012-2013 cycle to all eligible players later on this year.

ALL TOs, LOs, and Judges will be granted membership into the program. I cannot say for certain LLs, but I will assume for the purpose of discussion that all League staff will fall under this program as well.
-Professor rank will be determined on the basis of tenure, level/frequency of staff involvement, and specialty (Exams: TO/League/Judge).
-Professor rank will determine Professor Rewards awarded (i.e. points or shopping privileges for certain items in the Professor Store, eligibility to compete in the Professor Cup, etc.), opportunity to staff at larger events (i.e. States/Regionals/Nationals/Worlds), and (for TOs) the amount of prize support available by TPCI to provide to help run events.
-It is not known at this time if current tenured Professors will be grandfathered into the ranking system based on their past activities with Play! Pokémon.
-It is not known at this time if current TOs on League staff will be required to take the TO and League exams in order to run LC tournaments.

I understand that this is a lot of information to absorb, but please let me know if you have any questions. I welcome a healthy discussion on this matter, and I would like to try and help make your transition into the 2013-2014 Play! Cycle as smooth as possible any way I can with the knowledge that I have of P!P thus far.

Professor Raz

Professor Knowledge Difficulty: N/A

League News and Reminders (8/19/13) 08/19/2013

Posted by raznprince in League News, Pokemon News, Pokemon TCG, Pokemon Video Games.
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Hey, Trainers!

Congratulations to our 2013 World Champions!
Junior – Ondrej Kujal (Czech Republic)
Senior – Kaiwen Cabbabe (Australia)
Master – Jason Klaczynski (USA)

Junior – Brendan Zheng (USA)
Senior – Hayden McTavish (USA)
Master – Arash Ommati (Italy)

Worlds 2014 will be held in Washington D.C.!
This is a great opportunity for you to experience the World Championships on the East Coast next year. If you want to play for an invite or see what it’s like or take in the sights and sounds of the area, this news is your first step to plan!

Plasma Blast set is now Modified, Tournament-Legal!
As of last Wednesday, you can now use PLB cards in your decks for tournament play.

Thanks for coming out to the PLB Booster Draft last Saturday!
Congratulations to Calvin V., Seth E., and Kira M. for taking divisional top honors!

The 2013-2014 Modified-Constructed format is NXD-on effective August 28, 2013.
All LO/LL challenges and Premier Events will require you to use this format. However, you are encouraged to keep your cards from BLW-NVI in preparation for the 2014-2015 format.

WRAPL is on Facebook!
If you have a Facebook account, and would like to join the group and get League news and updates that way, click here. We’ll gladly accept new members to this group, even if you’re not or no longer from the area!

B2W2 VG Pokémon Distributions:
Shiny Dialga – Now thru September 8, 2013 at GameStop
Shiny Palkia – September 9 thru 29, 2013 at GameStop
Shiny Giratina – September 30 thru October 20, 2013 at GameStop

Pokémon X and Y versions release on October 12, 2013!
Pre-order your game through your favorite store if available. Oh, and make sure you own a Nintendo 3DS/3DSXL in order to play this game!

Consider playing in Fall Battle Roads! Schedule of events to be posted whenever they are made available.
For some of the new players, it’s a great way to get your feet wet in the competitive scene. For you seasoned players, it’s a chance to brush up on your skills, earn Championship Points, and build your way up for an invitation to the 2014 World Championships! Click on the Tournaments tab above for dates and locations. I will update with more events as they become available.

Regionals schedules are in the works.
If you are looking to travel to any Regional Championships events this year, I have posted information made available by the PTOs hosting them. Please check out the Tournaments tab for info.

League kits are in.
Unfortunately, we didn’t receive the supplies for Opelucid season, but we did receive supplies for Humilau season. I am currently working with the U.S. Pokémon community to negotiate trades for Opelucid supplies, so please be patient!

Let me know if you have any questions!

Professor Raz