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Things in Ecuador have blown up. Somehow I managed to get myself involved and I have a very bad taste in my mouth.
This all started when I reached out to Andrés Lerqué mid-2016. He lives in Guayaquil, Ecuador, and he plays Pokemon. He won the Ecuadorian National Championships in 2006 and ten years later he was picking up the game again. I was very curious about the state of Pokemon in Ecuador because my dad was born there and in general I like the idea of traveling to foreign places to play Pokemon.

Andrés and I quickly became friends, trading stories and experiences about the Pokemon trading card game in our respective countries. Andrés traveled to Florida Regionals in 2016, and although I was not able to attend, some of my closest friends from Champaign went and Andrés ended up splitting a hotel with one of my locals.

In the 2017-2018 season, the circuit started getting better in Ecuador. Andrés attended a League Cup in Autumn and sent me round by round updates during the tournamen…
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"Aventura de Andrés"

Hello everyone,

My name is Andrés Lerqué and I am from Ecuador, a small country in South America, which has beautiful landscapes and delicious cuisine.

Here, I will tell you about my trip to Colombia and the adventure of participating in Bogotá's Special Event.
I hope you like it.

On March 31st of 2018, there was a TCG Special Event in Bogotá, an event that gave points equal to a Regionals with the difference being that they were run by independent organizers with the help of a store, and that they didn’t give the same prizes as a Regionals. I participated in said event, and at the request of some people, I decided to write a tournament report about what happened!

Before anything, I would like to thank everyone involved with this adventure: God, my family, any friends that I still have in Ecuador's TCG community and my old and new international friends, from Colombia and the United States. But I should make a special mention to Charles Randall who has been the cornerstone of …

Ecuador Blog

I had the most amazing week last month. On Friday, March 2nd, I flew to Guayaquil, Ecuador to play in their Special Event. On Sunday, March 4th, I flew to Quito and spent seven days with family. I'm going to give a quick tournament report and a rundown of my week.
First of all, when I found out that Ecuador was going to have a Special Event, I really wanted to attend. OP in Ecuador really tapered off after 2007 or so, but it's been rekindled and it's back. This Special Event was Ecuador's first Tier Two TCG event since Ecuadorian Nationals in 2007. I justified making the long and expensive trip by fitting in a week in Quito to spend with family, most of whom I hadn't seen in four years.

Friday was a pretty exhausting day. Since I wasn't sure about the reliability of the event, I booked round trip from Chicago to Quito, and a separate round trip from Quito to Guayaquil. This also allowed me to fly all the way to Quito with my grandma! My flight from Quito to Gua…

TPCi needs to plan better.

This year, every Regional and Special Event were announced for the US & Canada region beforehand. This was very helpful for planning the season ahead of time. This was much appreciated in general. This same courtesy needs to be extended to the Latin America and Oceania regions, as it would solve the "Colombia problem", fix stipend inequalities, and make things generally more convenient and less uncertain for all players.

The Colombia Problem Over Easter weekend, two Americans traveled to an SPE in Colombia. One of them went 0-5, which affected nobody, quite luckily. The other won the whole event though, causing a clamor for both keeping Latin American points in Latin America as well as the fact that this precedent of Americans traveling abroad would make the Day Two race that much more strenuous and expensive.

Pokemon could avoid the "Americans in Colombia" problem by planning the whole season at once, including Latin America's Special Events. This way, the…

SPEs, am I right?

Where is the best place in the country to set yourself up the best way for a Day Two invite? This isn’t a question that many people ask themselves. Few, if any, will decide where to live solely for Pokemon.
The answer, by the way, is Florida. And not why you might think. The fact is that a lot of the people in the top sixteen race are attending every single Regionals. Last year, that was not the case, but that seems to be the norm this year. In addition, players need to dedicate weekends to cups and fly to ICs as well. However, there are some special tournaments that happen throughout the year that can make or break someone’s day two race.
Let me tell a quick story about something that happened in the Day Two race last year. To set the scene, Drew Bennett was fighting for a spot in the T16 in North America. On June 17th, there was a Special Event at the Origins Game Fair in Columbus, Ohio, and at that point in the race, Drew really needed some points. However, if he was looking at fligh…

Greece Blog

My family and I went to Athens this winter between Christmas and New Year's. I wanted to incorporate Pokemon into my trip, so in the three or four months leading up to our trip I did some scouting on the Event Locator. I knew that the Italian SPE was going to be held in December with the date TBA, so I crossed my fingers that it would be held on the one weekend I would be in Greece so that I could fly there. Unfortunately, this was wishful thinking as the dates did not match up. This meant that I wouldn't be leaving Greece for the duration of my trip.
What I discovered from the Event Locator is that there are two main haunts to play Pokemon in Greece: Athens and Thessaloniki. The latter is about a five hour drive away from the former, and we weren't planning to travel there, so any Pokemon I got to play would be limited to the Athens area.

Prereleases do happen in Greece, but no Premier Events occur outside of that at this time. This meant that League Challenges and Cups w…