2015 Pokémon World Championships
|Swiss rounds, knock-out finals|
|Venue||Hynes Convention Center|
|Purse||$500,000 in scholarships|
|Champions|| Shoma Honami (Masters)
Mark McQuillan (Seniors)
Kotone Yasue (Juniors)
|Runner-up|| Hideyuki Taida (Masters)
Koki Honda (Seniors)
Ryan Jaehyun Park (Juniors)
The 2015 Pokémon World Championships was the seventh annual e-Sport invite-only tournament held by Play! Pokémon, a division of The Pokémon Company that unites the top Pokémon video game players from around the world. The event was held alongside the Pokémon Trading Card Game World Championships at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, Massachusetts.
The tournament was transmitted with live streaming from the official Pokémon Twitch channel. The defending Video Game champions for the year were Se Jun Park from South Korea (Masters Division), Nikolai Zielinsky from the United States (Senior Division) and Kota Yamamoto from Japan (Junior Division).
Players could only gain an invitation to play in the Video Game World Championships by either being the 2014 Pokémon World Champions, or by obtaining enough Championship Points in their respective geographic zone designated by Play! Pokémon. However, the only exception to this rule are for players from Japan and South Korea, as their tournaments are not overseen by Play! Pokémon and their invites are governed through a different system of qualification.
Since 2014, players were able to earn Championship Points from various tournaments within their geographical region. The tournaments vary in scale, ranging from local Premier Challenges to state-level Regional Championships and finally the large-scale National Championships. The amount of points awarded varies with scale, and players who earn these points are ranked and divided into zones such as North America, Europe and South Africa. This year, two new zones (Latin America and Asia-Pacific) were introduced.
The 2015 Pokémon Video Game World Championship was intended to be played under 2 Swiss tournaments and 1 single-elimination tournament which would then determine the 2015 World Champions. As such, there are two types of invites:
- a regular 'Day One' invite, and
- a 'Day Two' invite, which allows players to receive a bye for the Swiss tournament on the first day.
As an example, the invitations for the Masters Division were distributed as follows:-:
- 'Day One' invitation (by Championship Points):
- 'Day Two' invitation (i.e. 'Day One' bye)
- 2014 World Champion
- Top 8 players from North America by Championship Points.
- Top 16 players from Europe by Championship Points.
- Top 2 players from Latin America by Championship Points.
- Top 2 players from Asia-Pacific by Championship Points.
- Top 2 players from South Africa by Championship Points.
- Top 4 players of the South Korea Video Game National Championships.
- Top 8 players of the Japan Video Game National Championships.
On Friday (Day 1), all players who earned an invitation without a Day 1 bye were entered into a Swiss tournament, where players with two or fewer losses would advance onto the next round. The second Swiss tournament was then played on Saturday (Day 2), where players who advanced from Day 1 were joined by players who received an invitation with a Day 1 bye.
At the end of the Day 2 Swiss tournament, the top eight players played in single elimination rounds until the last two remain. The finals took place on Sunday (Day 3).
Final standings (Video Game Championships)
|Place||Junior Division||Senior Division||Masters Division|
|1st||Kotone Yasue||Mark Mcquillan||Shoma Honami|
|2nd||Ryan Jaehyun Park||Koki Honda||Hideyuki Taida|
|3rd||Shu Harsaki||Max Marjanovic||Yosuke Isagi|
|4th||Shuhei Tsukano||Kylie Chua||Naohito Mizobuchi|
Two Trading Card Game competitors from Iowa (Kevin Norton, 18, and James Stumbo, 27) brought weapons in their vehicle, which were recovered by the police. The two posted status updates and images of their weaponry on social media, which were noticed by various Pokémon fans who treated them as supposed threats against the tournament. The updates were reported to the Boston Regional Intelligence Center (BRIC), who promptly seized their automobile and then stopped them at the door and barred them from entering the Hynes Convention Center on Thursday evening. Police executed a search warrant on Friday and Norton and Stumbo were arrested at their Red Roof Inn room in Saugus just after midnight on Saturday, August 22, 2015. The two were arrested on charges of unlicensed possession of firearms and ammunition, and were initially held without bail. The weapons recovered were a recently purchased Remington shotgun, an AR-15, a hunting knife and several hundred rounds of ammunition. They plead not guilty at their arraignment on November 10, 2015, and their bail was set at $150,000. On December 2, 2015, their trial was set for May 9, 2016, however, in early April 2016, their trail was postponed to November 2016. Following the release of Pokémon Go in July 2016, Stumbo's attorney indicated that the case would be resolved soon. Norton and Stumbo were later sentenced to two years in prison with an additional two years probation once their prison term ends.
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