By Maddy PUMILA
A Paradise Canyon Elementary student placed sixth in the 2011 Pokémon Trading Card Game World Championship.
The competition was held in San Diego from Aug. 13 to 14. Twenty-seven different countries were represented with more than 400 players attending this year’s world championship. Players played 10 rounds, totaling more than 16 hours of playtime overall.
Ethan Christopher, 11, from La Cañada participated in a “grinder,” or a last chance qualifier, on Aug. 12 to play in the world championship, playing against four competitors. Ethan’s brothers, 15-year-old Cameron and 13-year-old Charles, also competed in the last chance qualifier but did not make it to the world championship. Other players won their way in by competing at a city, regional, state and national level.
“The event was very fun and special,” said Lydia Christopher, Ethan’s mom. “The whole family had such a great time.”
Around 120 people competed in Ethan’s level. Seven rounds decided the top 16 competitors. Everyone played in all seven rounds. After that, players were eliminated round by round. Ethan won six out of seven rounds to make it to the top 16 before being eliminated after the top eight.
“I lost the first round,” Ethan said. “I was like I had no chance … then the next round I won and I won.”
Ethan beat the runner-up in the U.S. national competition, which was held from July 8 to July 10 at the Indiana Convention Center. He barely lost to the second place winner from Japan.
“It was kind of sad, but I had fun,” said Ethan. He added, “I thought there were a lot of good competitors. I don’t think there were any bad [players].”
For making it to the top eight, Ethan received $1,500 in scholarship money as well as $2,000 worth of Pokémon prizes including a 3DS and cards. He plans to try again next year in Hawaii.
In his spare time, Ethan plays baseball and is in the band The Christopher Brothers. He plays bass. The band has been the closing act for the Fourth of July at Legoland and has played in the Orange County and San Diego County fairs and have been compared to the Jonas Brothers. Their website is thechristopherbrothers.com.