Pokémaniacs prepare for battle of epic proportions

When it comes to epic battles of fantastical creatures, UW Pokémaniacs
know the ropes. With their recent winning streak against universities from across North America and around the world, the Feds club proves that Pokémon is much more than a simple online video game.

Pokemon battleFrom TV shows to card games to online video games, Pokémon has become one of the most successful and famous fantasy worlds. In a standard battle, a trainer captures wild Pokémon and trains them to compete in tournaments against other trainers. As Pokémaniacs member, Brandon Munshaw, explains: 

The world of Pokémon is shared by humans, and 720+ species of creatures called 'Pokémon'. Players take the role of "trainers" whose two main goals are to collect all species of Pokémon and train a team of Pokémon to compete against other trainers.

The 20 members of UW Pokémaniacs do exactly that. Gathering together weekly to discuss strategy, club members compete with other university teams, taking part in online Pokémon battles on a biweekly basis. These competitions are part of the International Collegiate Pokémon Association, an online forum connecting post-secondary students united by their love for the online Pokémon video game. 

Five of our players are paired up with players from another institution and each pair plays a match as a best of three, using standard video game competition rules. Whichever institution has the most winning players is victorious.

Pokemon training in SLC UWaterloo has triumphed in seven out of ten 2015-16 competitions that occurred in the fall and winter terms. Munshaw, a fourth year Computer Science and Math student, has been basking in the glow of the club’s recent success. Yet the team has always maintained an ethos of inclusion and welcome to new members. Indeed, true glory for Pokémaniacs is challenging friends to experience the thrill of the game:

It was more important to let everyone play than to win, so we had a lot of new players try to play. Despite that, we've been doing surprisingly well.

Logo of the International Collegiate Pokemon Association.This summer, the club will power up their devices, crack their knuckles 
and set to work, pairing strategy with adrenaline as they compete in the playoffs. The 16 universities in the championship come from all over the world, from the USA to Australia, to Mexico and the UK. The winning university will receive an engraved plaque and various cash rewards will be distributed to the top teams.  

Congratulations on your 2015-16 success, Pokémaniacs and good luck as you do battle in international playoffs! 

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