Changes to the Play! Pokemon System Detailed for the Upcoming Season

The official Pokemon website has posted a news article detailing the changes to the Play! Pokemon system for the upcoming season, some of which we have already covered recently. The full article is re-posted below.

The Pokémon Organized Play team has several exciting announcements regarding the upcoming 2013 Play! Pokémon tournament season.

Championship Points

We’ll be making some changes to the way that Championship Points work this season. First off, to add both precision and flexibility to the system, we’ll be increasing the point system by a factor of 10. Therefore, if you earned 1 point for a specific placement last season, you’ll earn 10 points this season.

Next up, the 2013 season won’t be using a “Top X” system for World Championships invitations this season. Because we have a solid baseline of data from a full season of play, the Organized Play team feels comfortable setting the invitation levels for Worlds at a fixed value. This means that you’ll have a clear target number to shoot for, and when you get there, there is no risk that someone else can bump you out. The points necessary will vary by rating zone, and will be listed in the Pokemon TCG Championship Points Award Structure.

Because this season will be using fixed value Championship Points invitations, we will also be eliminating the invitation prizes from National Championships. Instead, National Championships will now award the minimum number of points necessary to earn an invitation to Worlds to a predetermined number of top finishers (Top 8, 4, 2, or 1, depending on rating zone). We feel that Nationals should always be a key path to the World Championships, and it will remain so under this system.

These are the major changes to the Championship Points system for the 2013 season. There will be several other smaller changes to point award levels and best finish limits at some event series. The details will all be covered at Pokemon TCG Championship Points Award Structure.

Be sure to link your Play! Pokémon Player ID with your Pokémon Trainer Club account so you can track your Championship Points online, as well as become eligible to receive cool rewards!

Regional Championships

For the 2013 season, we’re further expanding the Regional Championship event series by splitting the series across three dates. You can now attend an Autumn Regional, Winter Regional, and Spring Regional Championship. Each season we’ll have 5 events running across the U.S. and Canada, giving Video and Trading Card Game players additional opportunities to earn some big prizes!

Dates for these events have been set for the following weekends:

Autumn: October 13 & 14
January 19 & 20
April 13 & 14

Details regarding exact times and locations will be posted shortly at Play! Pokémon.

Play! Points

The Play! Points program was a huge success in the 2012 season! More players played in more events, and in more matches, than any other season in the history of Pokémon Organized Play! For the 2013 season, players will still earn Play! Points based on the rates found at the Play! Points FAQ.

Play! Point entry requirements for U.S. Nationals for 2013 will be increased for the Masters division and slightly decreased for the Junior and Senior divisions. For other National event requirements, check with the event organizer.

Want to know if you have enough points to play at Nationals? Just use the event locator while you’re logged in. When you reach the tournament summary page, you’ll see a block that will indicate whether you’ve qualified for the event or not.

Changes to Top Cuts

To make some of the lower tier events less time consuming, we’re making changes to the top cuts at Battle Road events.

Battle Road events will no longer feature a top cut, and these events will be played as straight Swiss. Battle Roads will also feature a deeper Championship Points payout structure as a part of this change, awarding points to more of those participating.

Season Start Date

While this has already been mentioned in the 2012 Modified Format update, we’re providing a bit more detail here to explain why the start date has moved forward and what that means for you.

With the season now starting in early July, all July events will count towards the Championship Point or Play! Point requirements for events in that season. That is, events in July 2012 will award points for the 2013 Nationals or Worlds, respectively.

This means that future events will include some exciting new things, both domestically and internationally. Even this year, several international partners are running Premier Events in July that award Championship Points towards the 2013 World Championships!

Also, the World Championships will take place in the 2014 season, but they will keep the age division dates from the 2013 season. This means that finishers at Worlds will be awarded Championship Points that will apply to qualification for the following year.

The top four finishers at Worlds 2013 will receive points equal to, or in excess of, the points required to qualify for Worlds 2014. Players below the top four will receive an amount less than the amount required to qualify, but they will still have a good jump start towards qualification.