Just over a month ago, Full Grip Games hosted the first ever Gym Leader Challenge 1K prize event to celebrate the release of Evolving Skies. Over 40 players attended the event, including some of the best Pokemon TCG players in the world. The event was a dream come true for me. Not only was it the first major event to be held using the Gym Leader Challenge ruleset, it was also the first live competition I had broadcasted in over a year and a half due to COVID-19! I knew that I had missed paper tournaments, but I don’t think I realized how badly I missed them until now. The whole experience was emotional! It was amazing getting to see so many people that I haven’t seen in over a year. Many friends made the trip out from all over the country, which was incredibly humbling.
This event was also run by some of the best judging staff in the world, who, lucky for us, also happen to live in Northeast Ohio! World Championship Finals judge and Northeast Ohio tournament organizer, AJ Schumacher, was the head judge of the tournament and worked alongside Mike Collins, Patrick Brett and Jimmy Gurney to run a smooth and energetic event. I cannot thank the judges enough for doing an exceptional job!
I intended to do a big write up on the outcome of the event, and I got about halfway done but, SURPRISE, I got really busy and never finished. Tre McCarden ended up winning the whole thing with Psychic in a NAIL BITER finale against JW Kriewall with Lightning. Posted below are the Top-8 decks from the event. The metagame was very diverse, with 6 different types being represented in Top-8! If you’d like to watch the tournament in its entirety, you can find it posted to YouTube here. If you are interested in attending a Gym Leader Challenge event, you’re in luck! Full Grip Games is hosting another 1K double header to celebrate the release of Fusion Strike November 13th and 14th. Signups are available here! If you can’t make it out, make sure to check out all the action live on Twitch!