Hey all! So, I know this might be a trivial thing for many, but it’s about attending a Regional event in general for the first time. I’m hoping to attend the upcoming Regional in Peoria, IL as a spectator, and although I know the basics of what a Regional is in terms of competition for the TCG, I’ve never gone to one and have that general anxiety around attending events especially if I’m not too familiar with them. Like, I’ve heard there’s vendors and things of that nature if I’m not mistaken – as well as the occasional rare signings of course thanks to E4 haha. I’ve also heard there’s side events people can register and participate in, and that all sounds really awesome! I’ve always watched Regionals and Worlds and see how much fun people seem to be having… I want to have fun too and even get to know others in the hobby, but a lot of anxiety has held me back for a long time. So I think I’d just love to hear from people who have gone to them, from a spectator perspective or even a competitive perspective. I want to one day participate, but starting small. Still, I think it’d just be really encouraging to hear positive experiences people might have had from attending any Pokemon events in general honestly. I’d appreciate it!
As a spectator you’ve covered a good chunk of what to expect! You can view matches between players, and check out what vendors have for sale. There are also side events you can sign up for, not sure on how points/prizes for those work though.
If there is a signing event (they occured last year at regionals run by Overload events), there will be a lot of people gathering and hanging out around the artist area as well. Peoria is not run by Overload, so very unlikely there will be any artist appearence.
I started playing the TCG last year, and I decided to hit up a lot of regionals, as well as NAIC.
I went to the regionals in the following cities (hosts in parenthesis): Baltimore (Overload), Peoria (Day2), Arlington (Day2), Orlando (Overload), Fort Wayne (Day2), and Hartford (Overload). At each of the Overload regionals, I met fellow E4 members, and had a blast. I was playing, so I couldn’t hang out the whole time with them, but I got to spend a good bit of time nonetheless and made some great friends. It was awesome seeing several of them at the various regionals, as well as at NAIC, which was held in Columbus. These events were such a highlight in the past year that I plan on attending some again this year (though not as many, as that was a lot of traveling for me).
I am so glad I decided to go to all of these events, and I would do it all over again if I could; it was so much fun! As far as competing goes, I was pretty nervous at first, but after a whole bunch of events, you get less nervous. Going as a spectator should help familiarize yourself with how the events take place, so if you want to compete in the future, you shouldn’t be as nervous. And if you want to play in any side events, there should be sign-ups right at the event for a lot of different games. Some side events require a standard format deck, whereas others don’t require anything at all (except the fee, which varies depending on what you do).
In case you are going all three days, it’s good to get to the vendors on Friday to see the largest variety of items. There can be some decently rare cards for sale depending on the vendor.
There is no competition on Friday, just side events, vendors, and signing in. If you want to spend time watching competitors, there are stages set up for each of the different competitions being hosted (e.g. TCG, POGO, VGC). The competition starts on Saturday, but games don’t start streaming immediately; I am not sure which round they usually start. Sunday has less competitors (only those who make it to the second day by going at least 6-2-1), but there are still several rounds before top cut. All in all, you don’t have to be there all three days, but for events where friends are at, you might as well.
Hopefully this helps some! Feel free to ask away if you’ve got any questions in particular; I’m sure we can get them answered!
@Will Thanks so much for the response, and the extra information! I appreciate it!
@Throwingknifekiller That’s awesome to hear about, I’m so happy you had so much fun going to events and making those memories! I appreciate hearing about them too, and all the information. Thanks so much for sharing your insight as a competitor! I hope you keep competing and wish you luck in future events.
I think a regional can be one of the best experiences the hobby has to offer. On one condition though. You need to know people who are there. Going to one alone is not the same experience. If you’re playing it’s not as much of a big deal to be alone. If you’re not playing, there is really not much to do outside of hang out with people. So if you go to one, I recommend having a few friends committed to going or at least a few people from like e4 who can commit to meet up with you.
Regionals from a players perspective is a pretty jam packed day. You’re often playing from 8:30am to 8:00pm on Saturday while trying to qualify for Sunday.
It’s a lot of fun if you enjoy the game though and a really different experience from playing online or in locals.
As people mentionned it’s worth going even if you don’t play as long as you know some people going.
Internationals usually have a bit more to do in terms of side events and fun stuff (especially NAIC), but the regionals are still fun to hang out with people and check out vendors. Overload events with artists are also an experience in themselves.