VGC 2010 (FMasamune): A Time I Will Not Forget Soon
This is my story of this past weekend from when I departed from Yorba Linda, CA to Indianapolis, IN on 6/25/10 to when I came back home on 6/28/10. Unfortunately the only good part of this trip was actually being at the VGC, and had some bad experiences during my travels. However I learned some lessons from this trip, and I still had a great time :)
Monday 6/21-Thursday 6/24
I thought I would do what I did for the San Mateo Qualifier and procrastinated a team during these four days and only was able to do some minor testing with it. I will post the team later, but as I learned when I started actually battling was that it could not compete with the metagame. This was one of my bigggest downfalls and I will definately not make this mistake again.
We leave the house at about 5:15 AM to depart to the airport since our flight leaves at 6:45 AM to reach our transfer point Phoenix, AZ. We reach the airport, and go through the typical security checks. Once in the clear we eat at the McDonalds in the airport and I purchase a Deluxe Big Breakfast, but I have to scarf it down within about 10 minutes before we must board the plane. Apparently they overbooked this flight, and there was lack of baggage space. So the luggage we thought we would put overhead went with the standard baggage. We asked the lady where we would get our luggage and she told us at the baggage claim in Phoenix. We went on a smooth flight and I talked to the person next to me a bit, and learned he was going to race for Infiniti in Phoenix. Once we left the plane we saw we only had about 20 minutes and the baggage claim was far away so we literally ran there with about 15 more minutes until boarding. Remember the lady told us to go to the baggage claim. We waited for our luggage for 10 minutes until we realized it was not coming. We asked somebody there and they said that the luggage was going straight to Indianapolis. So we ran back and once we got there the lady said that the flight had stopped boarding and basically said we needed to book a new flight. So we went to customer service and found out the only flight was in 10 hours. It was 8:30 AM a the time and the flight left at 6:35 PM. The first thing that came into my mind was FML. So basically we sat there for two hours then went outside into the 110 degree weather, and rode a light rail. After finding no interesting place to stop, we rode back. This passed only 2 hours unfortunately. We got back and I took a long nap, and then went on my laptop to go on IRC for a bit. Then I ate a crappy chili cheese dog and it was time to go. On the plane I started a new file of Chrono Trigger DS, and stopped playing right after I saw Frog carve the path to Magus' lair with the Masamune.
Once we finally reached Indianapolis it was about 1 AM in Indy time, which was 3 hours ahead of Phoenix. We have to go to a special U.S. Airways baggage area, and pick up our luggage which arrived about 7 hours earlier. But the lady wasn't there and we had to wait about 20 minutes for her to finally show up. Then we went to get our rental car from the Budget desk, and no one was there either. So we waited and then we asked another desk and they offered to help us. So we got our car finally and was on our way to our inn. The Ramada Inn. We asked the parking guy how to get to the right freeway, but he spoke really fast and we didn't pick up what he said. So we drove aimlessly for about 30 minutes until we parked and decided to call the inn to ask on how to get there. The person we talked to had no idea, and asked us to ask a random inn nearby on how to get to our inn...We decided not to go with this idea and drove for about another 15 minutes and found our inn which was really about 2 minutes from the place when we called. Finally we were able to check into our hotel and I went to bed about 3 AM, we were originally supposed to get to the in at 3:30 PM the day earlier. I knew I was going to be mentally screwed the next day, because I would wake up in 4 hours.
Once we woke up we ate a free continental breakfast very quickly. We got into our car and it took us about 15 minutes to reach the convention center. We reached the convention center at 8:27 AM, and my friend realized he forgot to make his team sheet. So he completed it very quickly and the battles started. I thought the whole time Nationals would be played best of 3 the whole time, and I had no idea what Swiss was. Later I find out that only the top 16 played in the best of 3 style. Before each round there was a list put up telling you your opponent's name, and which booth you were playing at.
This is a small summary of my 7 battles:
Battle 1 vs Guy wearing Charizard shirt
He led with Groudon and Charizard. I played extremely well even though I knew I would've won if I played terribly. The only damage I took was from Life Orb.
Battle 2 vs. Duy
When I saw the list grim fear ran through my veins and my blood ran cold. Well maybe it wasn't that scary but I knew this would be an extremely tough battle. Before the battle Duy talked to me for a bit, and I explained some of my traveling troubles. Duy is like to coolest guy ever by the way, and I'm really glad I got to see him again. Dtrain was next to me and he recognized me from San Mateo pictures, and he introduced himself. He seemed like a cool guy. :) Then the battle ensued. I'm not going to talk about his team, because I'm not sure if I'm allowed to. However he played really well, and defeated me.
Battle 3 vs. Fish
When he walked over I saw he was a Duck, and that meant this would be a tough battle also. Once the battle started I saw his name "Fish". I asked if he played at Seattle and he replied with a yes. Fish was an extremely cool guy, and during the battle we talked about how much hax sucks and stuff. This was an epic battle and I'm not quite sure I deserved this win. The game came down to his full HP Palkia and my full HP Kyogre. I knew I needed good damage calcs to take it down in two shots since I was running Timid otherwise he would kill Kyogre. My first Thunder does a tiny bit less than half, and unfortunately the second one does about the same amount. I knew that it was gg and I lost the battle, however Fish was like "Here comes the paralyze" and boom he gets paralyzed. Then he said something like "Just watch" and the game said, "Palkia is paralyzed it can't move". So that costed him the match and I told him I felt bad about the win. To be honest I actually thought about running before the final turn because I knew he deserved it. It was nice meeting Fish and he is an awesome guy. Afterward Marriland did the hack check which scared me because I was using a hacked team. He stopped on my Kyogre and saw that it was level 50 and had no experience points, but he let it slide fortunately. After this I asked him for a picture since I forgot to get one with him in San Mateo.
Battle 4 vs TR_Jessie
When I looked at the board I thought I was playing Godudette, so when Briana came over I said "Hey Godudette" and I soon realized it wasn't her. Rory was next to me and I asked how he did and he said he was 3-0 which was pretty awesome. Once the battle started I saw Absol, and I knew she was the one who was the talk of the internet the day before and competed in the LCQ. She won two speed ties with our Infernapes and she was able to set up Swords Dance with Absol. Afterwards she quickly won after Sucker Punch OHKOd my Kyogre, Top, Palkia. She destroyed me, at least afterward she pretended like it was a good match lol.
Battle 5 vs Tangrowth guy
This guy led with Tangrowth and Groudon, and I believe I won this game with only taking Life Orb damage.
Battle 6 vs Cranky Old Man
This guy was at least fifty years old and when I said good luck and offered a hand shake he ignored me. TR_Jessie, and Bluecookies were next to me so I talked to them for a bit. Once the battle started I saw he was using Z-Wing's team. Every single turn he called a judge over because he thought I was taking a long time even though I wasn't at all. I believe this is what costed me, and I really should have told the judge that he is pressuring me to make my moves quickly and not letting me think. It is still a close battle, but I made some mistakes because of lack of thinking time. Afterwards he yells at a judge, and tells the judge he is lazy or something of that sort.
Battle 7 vs Ryan Young
I recognized this guy from San Mateo, but had never played him before. He told me that I knocked out his brother in the Round of 32 in San Mateo. This was a great battle but one very, very important turn costed me the match. I thought his Azelf was going to explode the second turn so I double protected, while he set up light screen
After the day was done for VGC we went to Steak n Shake to eat. Then we went to Gameworks the arcade inside of the City Center Mall where we played on a custom Street Fighter IV cabby for a long time.
I decided to wake up and go watch the Top 16 matches. When I arrived I saw the end of the Round of 16, and started talking to PokemonBattleBrain, Bluecookies. These are two cool guys by the way. Eventually I meet up with Sixonesix who I have played many times, and know of his extreme skill. Unfortunately someone tells me he lost from hax at the LCQ. I really feel this year was unfair for Sixonesix, because he didn't qualify for Nationals twice from hax. We watched BadIntent's match, and he played really well. But in his second game Wesley got three crits, and an accuracy drop. BadIntent still almost won this match despite all the hax. I stayed until the finals, and after the exciting junior finals we watched the senior finals. It was Alakapimp vs Wesley. The first game Wesley took some very risky yet rewarding risks, and I truly saw how skilled he was. The second game was much closer but Wesley was able to pull it off.
I head out to the airport at around 5 AM. In the gate for the plane I find Deagle, and Metabou are taking the same plane. They just happend to sit in row 16 also. So on the plane I battled Deagle a couple of times, until we reached Salt Lake City which was the transfer. Then I went on IRC for a bit until it was time to board, and got a flight to Orange County. I got home around noon.
After everything was said and done I realized how great my trip was even though I didn't qualify. I knew I still had time to prepare for the Hawaii LCQ, and I learned you can't procrastinate once you get to a certain level. I really wish I talked to more people from Smogon, but I really am bad at starting conversations. If anyone is going to Hawaii please come up to me, because I would love to meet you!