The second Full Grip Games Gym Leader Challenge $1,000 tournament has concluded, and Grass was able to capture the title at the hands of Mike Gibbs! Mike attended the double header with the intention to compete in Saturday’s Standard event. After missing top cut on Saturday, Mike picked up his first GLC deck Saturday night and then proceeded to topple two of the best players in the US, Grant Manley and Azul Garcia-Griego with their head-spinning Colorless control decks, to secure the win in a pool of over 40 players! You can find more about Mike’s tournament experience in his Twitter thread here. The tournament was an absolute joy to produce, and I’m incredibly thankful to everyone who made the trip out and participated! There was top-notch deck construction and decision making on display throughout the event, which affirmed my conviction that Gym Leader Challenge is the best way to play Pokémon Cards!
I’d also like to give a major thanks to the judging staff, AJ Schumacher, Mike Collins, and Patrick Brett, who have embraced Gym Leader Challenge format and ensured that the event ran as smooth as possible. After talking with AJ Schumacher, who is slated to host the Indianapolis Regional Championships this year, it sounds like he is interested in running a Gym Leader Challenge event the Friday before his Regional, which would be an incredible step forward for the format!
Finally, I would like to give my deepest thanks to Chip “Trainer Chip” Richey, who co-hosted the event with me. Commentating with Chip was a true pleasure, and I hope that everyone enjoyed our banter throughout the production!
Below I have posted the metagame breakdown as well as the Top 8 deck lists from the event. After watching the format evolve over the course of the last year and after listening to feedback from the community, I believe that some updates are in order for Gym Leader Challenge! I’ll be posting about the updates soon, so stay tuned!