Hawaii-Blog #1 - Who's Going To Worlds?
Only two weeks left until the start of the most important tournament of the Pokémon Trading Card Game! 2012 World Championships will take place in Kona, Hawaii. Six members of the Card Leaders are going to participate and they want to share their experiences via this blog. If you continue reading this blog over the next four weeks, you will find a lot of information, photos, videos, interviews etc. from Hawaii and the World Championships!
This first entry is going to introduce the six players. When did they start playing the Pokémon Trading Card Game? What have been their greatest achievements? What do they expect at this year's Worlds?
Out of Berlin's Pokémon TCG players, Karl has had the most success over the last five years. The founder of the team Card Leaders became second at National Championships 2007 in Senior Division, where he lost the Final against MetaNite with his Flariados deck. The following year - his first season in Masters Division - he became third at Nationals and won Worlds invite and flight the second time in a row. 2008 World Championships was one of his best tournaments - he finished 8th after Swiss rounds after he beat some of the World's best players including John Kettler and Jason Klaczynski. Unfortunately he lost the first round of Top Cut.
Karl built the decks for the German Junior and Senior National Champions of 2010. This year he collected 70 Championship Points and earned an invite for 2012 World Championships. His Mew/Accelgor deck wasn't the best choice for National Championships because he didn't reach the Top Cut, but he wants to do better in Hawaii.
Favorite Pokémon: Psyduck
2012 National Championships deck: Mew/Accelgor
Interesting Fact: Karl built Nationals winning decks, but he hasn't won one yet
Dennis has been playing the Pokémon TCG for 12 years. He is the only member of Card Leaders who doesn't participate in the Pokémon League Berlin - that's because he is from Hanover. Dennis is the most experienced player of all Card Leaders. He is going to his fifth World Championships, four of them as a player. Back in 2006, he won German National Championships in Senior Division with BLS (Blastoise ex / Lugia ex / Steelix ex). In 2012 he almost repeated that success, but he lost the Final against Steven's CMT with his Terrakion / Mewtwo deck, called Karl's Trick named after it's inventor.
Dennis and Ole work much for the Card Leaders website. They organize Featured Matches and interviews, write articles and run Card Leaders' Pichu on Facebook. There will be a lot of coverage from Worlds this year!
Favorite Pokémon: Piplup
2012 National Championships deck: Mewtwo/Terrakion
Interesting Fact: Dennis' mom and sister also play the Pokémon TCG
When the Base Set of Pokémon Trading Card Game was released in Germany in 1999, six-year-old Ole got his first Pokémon cards and played at school. He stopped playing and started again in 2003 - competitive since 2005. He hasn't had much success in the beginning - 1st place at State Championships Hanover in 2008 was his first tournament victory. After that he improved every year. Ole has won 10 Battle Roads, two City Championships and one State Championships so far. He also won two Arena Cups - those special tournaments can be compared to City Championships.
This year he overcame his lack of success at great tournaments and reached Top Cut at European Cup Prague and German Nationals. Most of his 55 Championship Points have been collected by Trainer Lock decks like Chandelure, The Truth and Mew/Accelgor. He managed to get his very first Worlds invite and wants to do as good as possible at 2012 World Championships.
Favorite Pokémon: Politoed
2012 National Championships deck: Mew/Accelgor
Interesting Fact: Ole's second name is Karl
Karl, Dennis and Ole were already playing the Pokémon Trading Card Game when Thoralf was born. He will turn 9 just a few days before Worlds. The youngest member of Card Leaders started playing over a year ago. His favorite Pokémon is Reshiram - he played Reshiram / Typhlosion at many tournaments.
At this year's National Championships he made an incredible run with Hammertime and became the undefeated National Champion in Junior Division. Hawaii will be a great experience for him. Hopefully Thoralf is strong enough to reach Top Cut this year! A lot of work and practice has to be done before.
Favorite Pokémon: Reshiram
2012 National Championships deck: Hammertime
Interesting Fact: Thoralf won all games at Nationals - all of his matches ended 2-0
Jan is Thoralf's father and he will accompany his son to Hawaii. He is a competitive player, too. Like Marcel he will try to qualify via the Last Chance Qualifier. While Jan and Thoralf attended a lot of tournaments this season, Jan didn't get an invite via ranking or National Championships.
Interesting fact: He managed to beat Karl twice this year, one time at National Championships where he played a similar Accelgor/Sunflora deck. Compared to another Berlin player: Ole only won one match against Karl...
Favorite Pokémon: Shaymin
2012 National Championships deck: Accelgor/Sunflora
Interesting Fact: Jan is a former Chess National Youth Champion
Marcel also started playing long time ago. He has had a lot of good tournaments, but he hasn't won a great one so far. He reached Top Cut at Nationals in 2010 and 2011. Without having many Championship Points he decided to join Karl, Dennis and Ole and booked the flight to Hawaii last December. Marcel doesn't have an invite this year and has to qualify via the Last Chance Qualifier one day before Worlds.
The Last Chance Qualifier will be an important tournament because the winning decks will influence Worlds players' deck choices. There were some players in the past who played a great LCQ and continued playing a great World Championship. LCQ is also a possibility to try out other competitors' decks the day before Worlds.
Favorite Pokémon: Arcanine
2012 National Championships deck: Terrakion