Reported attendance number for upcoming February Pokemon VGC events are concernedly low. In a little less than three weeks, the next North American Regional Championship is taking place in Collinsville, Illinois, however this tournament currently only has 37 Masters registered and 51 players overall.
That was the community’s main worry up until today, where it was reported by Brazilian VGC player, Gabriel Agati, that the Special Event taking place in São Paulo only had 13 Masters playing in the event. Special Events are basically equivalent to Regional Championships in terms of prize payouts, so having this few players at an event of this caliber is not a good look for the circuit.
13 masters in Brazil SPE. Latam circuit is fair and balanced 👍🏻
— Gabriel Agati (@AgatiGa) February 2, 2019
What’s even more problematic is that Latin America has four more Special Events this month, and the projected attendance for this events is currently unknown.
Major #PlayPokemon events scheduled for February
2/16 – 🇦🇺 Oceania
2/23 – 🇺🇸 Collinsville, IL
2/2 – 🇧🇷 São Paulo
2/3 – 🇲🇽 CDMX
2/9 – 🇵🇪 Lima
2/10 – 🇨🇷 San José
2/10 – 🇵🇾 Asunción
2/23 – 🇫🇷 Cannes
Full calendar ⏬https://t.co/JCiBpMdIEH
— Victory Road (@VGCVictoryRoad) February 2, 2019
There is still some hope for Collinsville though, as we’ve still got almost three weeks to go before the event. With players sharing this information across various platforms, word will get out, and that will hopefully lead to more players registering. Even though registration prices will increase in the days closer to the event (price is currently at $50), there will likely be a lot of last-minute sign-ups. But even considering all of that, Collinsville is looking like its going to be small event.
There are a ton of reasons to speculate on why attendance is so low for these events, and some of these reasons have been echoed tirelessly in the community. Location, finances, etc. are typical culprits in discussion for low tournament attendance, but some would argue that its the current competitive format’s fault.
2016 was the last time restricted legendary Pokemon were allowed in VGC, and players noticed a significant drop in attendance at major events that year. In 2019, that problem likely still persists, but it seems as though players have not been taking a liking to the introduction of Z Moves in VGC 2019’s Moon Series.
Regardless of current opinions on the scene/format, it’s definitely an overreaction to say that Pokemon VGC is “dying” and that this is a sign of that. However, these attendance numbers remain a cause for concern.
Images from Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, Ken Sugimori and The Pokemon Company International
Featured Image from Pokemon.com