Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A real World Cup of Pokemon

On the list of things that I would ever do if I ever got in Bill Gates's will/got some stock in Berkshire Hathaway - right after get a CFL team in Halifax and get ringside seats for Wrestlemania 26 - would be to hold a World Cup of Pokemon.

Clearly this isn't a new idea - in fact, I got prompted to write this entry after seeing one in progress at GameFAQs - but this wouldn't be an online thing. So we're looking at taking the Video Game Championships and blowing it out into a major event, with cues taken from the World Cup, World Hockey Championships and the Little League World Series.

At which point you're probably thinking "Wait... what?"

See if you can follow me for a minute, though.

My ideal setup would be 32 people from 17 countries. Looking at the events page at Project Pokemon gives us 10 European countries (UK, France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Belgium, Netherlands, Sweden, Finland) - apologies to any countries I've forgotten. North America would have the US and Canada, Australia brings more PAL love, Japan and South Korea are practically mandatory, Brazil and South Africa to hit the missing continents.

The key is that while 16 countries are playing down, the host country is having their national championships at the same time with 16 regional qualifiers. This keeps the interest in the host country high as the host country is guaranteed a berth in the finals. (LLWS influence - US v. the World).

The core format would be a 3-day, double round-robin tournament. All battles are 6v6 singles. Ideally, GameFreak would have brought the auto-L100 function to local wireless play, but if not we'll have to make due with PBR. Sleep Clause would be on, Freeze Clause would be in play if it can be automated. Known ubers and Wobbuffet are banhammered (but alternate Rotom forms are in play), and the matches have a 30-minute time limit to discourage DT use. Also, anyone invoking the Platinum weather glitch or any other glitch will be drug into the street and beaten about the head and neck with a large trout, then thrown out.

Day 1: 32 players divided into 8 pools of four. In order to guarantee everyone 6 matches, this round would be a best 2 of 3 matches. Top two in each pool advance to Day 2. After Day 1, the players can change their team but it is locked in after that.

Tiebreakers are: head to head record, then Pokemon differential, then a one-game tiebreaker if needed. This would only be invoked if it made the difference between qualifying or not. (Also, I just guaranteed that this tournament's going to get slammed to high hell on Pardon the Interruption. Woo hoo!)

Day 2: 2nd round robin. Survivors of day 1 are thrown into a single 8-player bracket and everyone plays each other once. Top four in each bracket advance. Same tiebreaker rules apply, but they will be invoked in the event of a tie for placing as well. This is because...

Day 3: Quarterfinals, semi-finals, and the championship matches. The winner of the two brackets plays the 4th place finisher, and 2nd plays 3rd in the quarterfinals. The championship match is another 2 of 3 match pitting the home country champion against the interrnational champion.

Aside from the all-expenses-paid trip to the site of the tournament, quarterfinalists receive $2500 cash and whatever Nintendo console is out at the time with a good-sized game collection. Semifinalists receive $5k, finalists get $10k with $25k going to the winner. (All dollar amounts in US funds, adjusted for currency).

And for those who want to follow the tournament, we'd have a couple of livebloggers updating the tournament site with up to the minute results. The Day 3 action would be set up for live streaming with a system similar to the one used by Leo Laporte for the This Week in Tech network, with the right combination of intelligence and snarkiness provided by having yours truly calling the play with Smogon's Jumpman16 on color commentary.

This would take a lot of planning and I'd have to find an appropriate site for the first one, but if it works well it could be an annual or biannual event.

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