Though it's been listed on the side ticker for months, I wanted to make sure I reminded all of you (in North America) that the 2012 Spring Regional Championships are taking place across North America next Saturday - Sunday. This is part two of the Regional Championship series, the first of which took place back in November (and was regrettably rather short notice).
On April 14th - April 15th, the Trading Card Game portion of the Regional Championships will take place. In most places, the normal rounds (called the "Swiss Rounds", as no one is eliminated) takes place on the first day, with the top finishers participating in a best-2-of-3 single elimination bracket the second day.
On April 15th, the Video Game Championship portion of the Regional Championships takes place, with players bringing their own Nintendo DS/DSi/3DS system as well as their copy of Pokemon Black or Pokemon White and will battle it out in a Swiss Round tournament style, where everyone plays every round and you don't lose if you are eliminated (a reversal from the 2011 and earlier events), with the highest scoring players receiving prizes.
You can find out more on the official website! The official website lists the precise locations and details of all of the eight events that weekend, but I'll go ahead and post the general locations below:
Pleasanton, California, USA
Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA
Athens, Georgia, USA
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Houston, Texas, USA
Madison, Wisconsin, USA (I'll be at this one!)
Surrey, British Columbia, Canada
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
What should you do if you want to play in the Video Game Championships? This is really important, because you can save the staff and yourself a lot of time if you take these steps ahead of time. Things you'll want to have ready for the Video Game Championships...
Your own Nintendo DS/DSi/3DS system and Pokemon Black or Pokemon White version. You cannot share DS systems or game cards with friends or siblings, so make sure you have your own.
A fully charged DS system. Please, charge your DS system the night before you leave and try to keep gameplay to a minimum until the event starts! Bring your own charger, too, because the staff at the events will not have chargers for you.
A Player ID. If you've ever played at a Pokemon TCG event (or some of the VGC ones), you should have this number; if not, and if you have a Trainer Club Account on Pokemon.com, you can get your own Player ID by upgrading your account using this process while logged in. Write down your Player ID number (or store it in your phone or something) and bring it with you. (Please note that I cannot offer support with this if there are problems.)
Put the team you are using in the Battle Box on your Black or White version.You do NOT battle with the Pokemon in your party! Before getting in line (preferably do this the night before!), you need to go to Amanita's PC and then select the Battle Box option. Then, you can place 4 - 6 Pokemon from your boxes (deposit any party Pokemon you want to use first) into the Battle Box. It works just like any other box. Save your game after moving Pokemon there, and then the team you're using will be registered in the Battle Box.
Make sure your team follows the rules of the VGC! You can find the rules here (VGC stuff is at page 26) and the tournament format (legal Pokemon and stuff) here (start at page 11). In a nutshell, the restrictions on your team are:
Pokemon #001-#646 are legal, except for the following: Mewtwo, Mew, Lugia, Ho-oh, Celebi, Kyogre, Groudon, Rayquaza, Jirachi, Deoxys, Dialga, Palkia, Giratina, Phione, Manaphy, Darkrai, Shaymin, Arceus, Victini, Reshiram, Zekrom, Kyurem
Two or more of your Pokemon cannot hold the same Held Item.
Your Pokemon cannot know the moves Sky Drop or Dark Void.
All Pokemon above level 50 are auto-leveled down to 50 for each battle. Their stats will be recalculated accordingly, don't worry. (Pokemon lower than level 50 will NOT be raised to level 50.)
Only Hidden Abilities that have been officially released, such as those found in Black/White naturally (Zen Mode, etc.), the Pokemon Global Link, or via an official event or promotion, are allowed.
Cheated or hacked Pokemon on your team will result in a disqualification, so please, no shenanigans! IMPORTANT: If you're planning on using Pokemon you obtained on the GTS or in a trade with a friend, you are responsible if the Pokemon is actually cheated or hacked! The best way to make sure your Pokemon are legit is to train them from scratch yourself.
On that note, if you suspect your opponent is using cheated or hacked Pokemon, please, raise your hand and call over a judge. Politely explain that you would like your opponent's game checked after the match. Waiting until after the match is over to call a judge is the wrong time to do it.
Even if you don't plan on playing or participating in the event, these Regional Championships can be a lot of fun to watch! You get to meet Pokemon fans from all around the area, making it essentially a huge Pokemon convention. There are also usually plenty of fun side events, too, depending on the location.