Pokémon VGC European qualifier dates announced
After a few months of uncertainty from European competitive Pokémon players, The Pokémon Company International has revealed the dates for the European Play! Pokémon events. For the first year ever, the events will incorporate the TCG events as well as the VGC and will be split over two days instead of one, with the TCG events on the Saturday and the VGC events on the Sunday. The Video Game Championships portion of the events will also be held using the Swiss system instead of Single Elimination, then when the event is reduced to the Top 16, they will battle in Single Elimination format. The Top 16 players in each age division, as determined by Championship Points obtained by competing in real life or Wi-Fi tournaments, will be eligible to receive a "bye" and pass through Round 1 automatically. The Top 4 ranking players in each age division (and Top 8 for the Junior Division) will receive invites and travel awards to the 2013 World Championships in Vancouver, Canada, as well as other prizes.
Unlike previous years, there will be no French or Spanish qualifiers this time around. The dates and locations are as follows:
May 11-12: Mediolanum Forum, Milan, Italy
May 25-26: RuhrCongress Bochum, Bochum, Germany
June 1-2: National Exhibition Centre (NEC), Birmingham, United Kingdom
While the Video Game portions of the events are open to participants of any nationality provided they have a European copy of Pokémon Black Version 2 or Pokémon White Version 2, the Trading Card Game portions of the event will be limited to Italian, German and British players (respectively). The reason for this is most likely that the video games are designed to be able to communicate with international versions, whereas with trading cards, as they are printed media there is no auto-translate feature.