How Things Work: Summer Battle Arena Edition

One thing that really impressed us about the Summer Battle Arena was the ease at which the tournament was conducted.

The Trading Card Game (TCG) competitors played 6 Swiss rounds, while the Video Game (VG) players duked it out in 7 Swiss rounds. In layman terms, this simply means a round of battles – and in the VG case, Doubles matches with 4 Pokemons each.

A Swiss round for the TCG lasted 30 minutes, while a Swiss round for the video game tournament lasted 15 minutes.

Participants were matched according to their strength in battle. “The system uses the number of wins as a judge of ability,” explained tournament organiser Soon. A player with 5 wins would be matched against another player with 5 wins, as opposed to being matched with a player with only 2 wins. Once the tournament hit its final rounds, it proceeded by way of single eliminations.

What impressed us most was how all participants were very disciplined, especially when it came to sitting down for the next round of battles.

Even though the players waiting for their turns were chatting, they caused little more than a low buzz. The atmosphere was mostly serious, and became especially so during matches. We stood behind a TCG player to spectate, and he asked us to be quiet as he was trying to concentrate.

A friend who accompanied us remarked that this was the same sort of discipline showed by Street Fighter tournament players in Japan. Kudos!

We even observed players letting the organisers know when they decided to drop out, or when they had to leave. In most tournaments we’ve spectated, participants wanting to leave simply take off without informing the organisers – and in turn, causes time wastage.

With such impressive discipline and civic mindedness from players, one can only expect the competitive Pokemon scene to continue growing into a mature community.

Check out our coverage of the Summer Battle Arena, and read about a family who plays the TCG together.