Lex was so excited to be back in Columbus. He was doing a little dance on the elevator in the airport after we landed, and singing a little song about being in his hometown.
Nationals was held in the Columbus Convention Center this year.
There were more than 1,100 Masters (teen and adults) playing. I never did catch how many Seniors there were. Seniors are roughly the middle school age group.
Connor and Lex are still playing in the Juniors group. There were 168 Junior players at Nationals this year.
Grandpa and Nana came to watch them play. So did Papa Kirk and Grandma Ella and Uncle Kris.
Pokemon as a spectator sport is mostly just a lot of waiting around while they are playing, and then hanging out with them between rounds. They are still too young to be left completely alone, and they are very quick to find us between rounds to bum snacks and such.
They played 8 rounds each. Each round is the best two out of three matches, and there is a time limit of 50 minutes, plus three turns. Several of Connor's rounds were called by time. This means that they played a lot of Pokemon. Like all day. Like 12 hours.
The Mega Blaziken that Lex got at States this year was happy to tag along for Nationals.
We stopped by to see the trophies that the champions would take home.
The boys were very happy to finally get Pokemon lanyards. They had been collecting Pokemon pins for a while now, and they didn't have anything to do with them, really. So when I told them that they would be getting official Pokemon National Championship lanyards this year, they were sure to pack their pins so that they would be ready to put them on as soon as they got the lanyards.
I think this is the only photo I got of both of them at the same time during the entire time we were there. And Lex was still busy playing Pokemon on his Nintendo DS.
They also got new Nationals playmats with the same design as the lanyards on them.
I was super excited that my best friend Julie was able to meet us at the convention center for a little while. I hadn't seen her in ages!
Logan was very excited to see Connor and Lex, again, too. The boys were happy as well, but for some reason, Lex decided that he would not smile for this photo.
In fact, they have gotten silly about photos. They will smile sometimes, make funny faces other times, and frown on purpose for other photos. Connor also refused to take any photos with Pikachu.
Lex, however, was willing to pose with Pikachu for a couple of photos!
I tried to capture the enormity of the competition, but I'm not sure that even this panoramic photo does it justice. (You can click on it to make it bigger. The photo, not the competition. That was huge enough already.)
Lex, Pikachu and Nana!
This is the promo card that all the players at Nationals received this year.