Where and when will Nationals take place?
The 2012 US VGC National Championships will take place in the Indianapolis Convention Center on June 30th and July 1st. However, preregistration will take place on June 29th, so it is recommended that you arrive then to ensure that you get to compete.
Where is everyone staying?
The Regional winners will be staying at the Indianapolis Crowne Plaza
this year. Find out where everyone else is staying in the thread!
Do you need to be invited to Nationals this year?
No, Nationals is open to anyone who lives in the US this year. You do not need an invitation for Nationals to compete. This is the first year Pokemon has done this for VGC.
Is there a limit to how many people can attend Nationals this year?
Pokemon posted that there will be a soft cap of 540 for the Masters division, and 270 for the Juniors and Seniors division. This does not necessarily mean that that is the limit for the tournament. It only means that you are guaranteed a spot if you are in the first 540 or 270. If we happen to break the cap, then Pokemon will determine whether you are allowed to compete or not based off space.
Do I need Player Points to play in Nationals? How about Championship Points?
You do not need either to attend this year's Nationals. Player Points are only for TCG players, and Championship Points are useless to VGC players this year.
How will Nationals work this year? Is it single elimination?
Nationals will be run with swiss rounds and a top cut this year. This means that everyone will play a certain amount of rounds. These rounds are just 1 game, not a best 2 of 3. The number of rounds we play is based off the number of people that attend. You should expect to play between 7 to 10 swiss rounds. During swiss, you are paired with someone with your record every round. (If it's Round 1, I could play anyone. In Round 2, if I won in Round 1, I play someone who also won, etc.)
After swiss is over, the Top X players are taken from each division. We are expecting a Top 32 for Juniors and Seniors, and a Top 64/128 for Masters. The place you finish after you finish is your seed going into top cut, and brackets are created. (Highest seed plays the lowest seed, 2nd plays the 2nd lowest, etc.)
Top cut matches are a best 2 of 3 single elimination, meaning you'll play a best 2 of 3 against each of your opponents. If you win, you advance on, but if you lose, you're out of the tournament.
How many games do I have to win to get into the top cut?
For each division, you can afford to lose up to 3 swiss matches at most and still make it into the top cut. However, only a few, if any, who lose 3 matches will make it into the top cut. In order to make it in for sure, you can only afford to lose once or twice.
What does it mean when people say "x-0, 7-1, 4-4, etc.?"
The first number is the number of games won while the second is the number of games lost. If someone says they are "x-0," that means they have currently won all their games and are undefeated. If they are "7-1," they have won 7 and lost 1. If they are "4-4," they have won 4 and lost 4. Pretty simple, right?
How are the final rankings determined?
The final rankings are determined first off your record, then a series of tiebreakers. For example, if you win all your games, you will finish higher than someone who lost 1 game. If you lose 1 game, you will finish higher than someone who lost 2 games, etc. Read the next question to understand how tiebreakers work.
But what if I lose just as many games as someone else? Is there a tiebreaker to determine who finishes higher?
The 1st tiebreaker to determine the final standings between people with the same record is your opponent's win %. This is how many games all your opponents win out of all the games they played. It's a bit complicated, but I'll try to explain it as simply as I can. Say that we have 8 rounds for the tournament. This means that you will play 8 people, and each of these 8 people will have played 8 people at the end of the tournament for a total of 64 games. After the 8 rounds are over, Pokemon takes the number of games these 8 people won and divides them by the total number of games played. If all my opponents finished with a 5-3 record, then it would be 40/64 for a tiebreaker of 62.5%.
What is this "resistance" I often hear about?
Resistance is a term Pokemon players use to describe the initial tiebreaker.
What is a "bye?"
A bye is when you do not have an opponent for the round and win your match automatically. There are two types of byes. The first is when there is an odd number of people in the tournament. This means that every round, there will be 1 person without an opponent. This person will get an automatic win for the round. Byes are always given to people with losing records. (In round 2, it will be given to a 0-1, in round 3, to a 0-2, etc.) These byes will not affect your tiebreaker or resistance. (Meaning if there are 8 rounds and you have 1 bye, your final percentage will be calculated out of 56 matches rather than 64) You will never get more than 1 of these byes in a tournament.
The second type of bye is the one Regional finalists have won. Each Regional finalist has been awarded 2 byes, meaning they will automatically win the first two games. However, rather than not affecting their final resistance at all, they actually benefit it. The Regional byes count as opponents who win every single one of their games. This means that if there are 8 rounds, and you have 2 Regional byes, your final percentage will be calculated out of 64 matches. Out of these 64, there is an automatic 16 wins that is added from the byes. The rest is determined off how your opponents do.
I'm still a bit confused, can you use an example to explain byes and resistance?
OK. Like before, let's assume we have 8 swiss rounds at Nationals. There will be 8 swiss rounds, meaning everyone will play 8 games before the top cut is determined. Here's how things will work.
If you don't have a single bye in the entire tournament and play all 8 games, and all your opponents play their 8 games, then your final record will be out of 8 games. This means you can finish 8-0, 7-1, 6-2, 5-3, 4-4, 3-5, 2-6, 1-7, 0-8. If there is a top 32 cut, you are guaranteed to make it in if your record is either 8-0 or 7-1, and most likely 6-2. Only a few 5-3s will make it in, and this is where the tiebreaker comes in. Since all 8 of my opponents completed all their games, my resistance will be out of 64. Let's say I play the people who finish with the following records: 8-0, 6-2, 5-3, 5-3, 4-4, 3-5, 3-5, 2-6. After some quick adding, we see that my opponents won a total number of 36 games. Since they played 64, that means that your resistance would be 36/64, or exactly 56.25%.
Let's say you have a bye round 1. Like the last scenario, everything remains the same other than your resistance. Let's say my opponents finish with the following records: 8-0, 6-2, 5-3, 5-3, 4-4, 3-5, 3-5. There is only 7 people because you did not play round 1. Then, my resistance would be out of 56 matches. Adding all those up, we see that my opponents won a total of 34 games. They played a total of 56, for a resistance of 34/56 or 60.71%.
Finally, let's say you have two Regional byes. Now you only play 6 rounds, since you automatically won rounds 1 and 2. Let's say my opponents finish with the following records: 8-0, 6-2, 5-3, 5-3, 4-4, 3-5. See? Only 6 final records. However, my total resistance will still be calculated out of 64. My opponents won a total of 31 games out of the 48 they played. Let's calculate my resistance. We have the 16 that come automatically from the Regional byes. (Think about it this way: I played 2 8-0s with my byes.) So, we have 16 plus the 31 my opponents won. That's 47, and there were still a total of 64 games. 47/64 would be a resistance of 73.44%, which is quite incredible. You can see that out of all these scenarios, I end up with the highest resistance in this case. This is why Regional byes are so beneficial.
If any X-3s make it into the top cut in any division, I can almost guarantee you it will be someone with regional byes.