According to an article in the Athens Banner-Herald, hundreds of people – of all ages –competed in the competition, which was held at The Classic Center.
“Fans came with binders full of laminated cards, handheld gaming devices and Pokémon fan gear,” the article reads. “On Sunday, one of the few girls at the championship, Kelly Ellis, 20, of Easley, S.C., sat organizing her cards to prepare for a game.”
Ellis told the ABH it seemed like 90 percent of the players were boys and she felt it would be nicer if more girls were involved in the championship.
“She’s been to two other regional championships and is trying to win enough games to amass the amount of points needed to make it to the next level — nationals,” the article reads. “The Pokémon U.S. National Championships will be in Columbus, Ohio, the first weekend of July.”
In the Pokémon Trading Card Game players assume the role of a Pokémon trainer and use their Pokémon to battle their opponents. Players play Pokémon to the field and attack their opponent's face. A Pokémon that has sustained enough damage is knocked out, and the player who knocked it out draws a Prize card.
There are usually six Prize cards, and the primary win condition is to draw all of them. Other ways to win are by knocking out all the Pokémon the opponent has on the field such that the opponent has none left, or if at the beginning of their opponent's turn there are no cards left to draw in the opponent's deck.
Players begin by shuffling their decks and drawing seven cards, then playing one Basic Pokémon onto the battlefield. This Pokémon is known as the Active Pokémon, and is usually the one that attacks and receives damage.
The Classic Center buzzed with talk about prized cards amid rows of players facing each other engrossed in one-on-one matches, according to the ABH article.
“Some players hopped from table to table asking if anyone had cards they would be willing to part with, offering a deal on a trade.”
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