Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Deck Out goes global: Poland


Skyscrapers in Warsaw
Hey all The Deck Out followers!

Today is a time for another goes global entry. I’m pretty sure you that most of you didn’t even know that this country even had Pokémon players since they don’t play in the World Championships and aren’t too loud about themselves in the international forums. The country is Poland, a country that I knew almost nothing before I started to research things. When I started to edit this entry, I felt like, I didn’t want to write everything I received but I wanted to do any censorship so this entry is a realistic Polish players’ point of view to the game.

So, let’s see what Poland has to offer for The Deck Out – goes global.


POLAND

Population: 38,1 million
The most famous living person: Roman Polanski (Director)
The most famous company: PKN Orlen (Oil refiner and petrol retailer)
Currency:  Zloty
Fun fact: Poland has 17 Nobel prize winners (4 peace prize winners)


Local Player Profile

The source from this entry is 14-years old Pokémon TCG player. He has been playing since Majestic Dawn was released. He was playing casual and it was really boring in his opinion. Later his friend showed him a forum about PTCG in Poland. He went to one of the tournaments in Poland, and while he got a really bad record (0-X), he still enjoyed it. Since then his skills have been getting better (at least he hopes so) and his tournament records are getting better and better. He doesn’t have a POP ID but in Poland it’s more than common to have a POP ID because there isn’t an official Pokémon Organized Play.


Non-competitive playing and leagues

Poland differs a lot from the other Pokémon TCG countries. They don't have an Organised Play. All tournaments are organized by them - players. In my source’s opinion this is great because they don’t have to stress themselves about CP Points or anything else. They can just play once in a while in the local tournaments with the decks they want to.

Mainly they play in "leagues". Once a week they play in restaurant/cafe etc. As earlier mentioned, most of the players don't even have POP IDs. Only those, who have played in Prague Cup have one.

There is a lot of differences when we compare Poland’s TCG scene to other countries’ TCG scene – for example most of the country (excluding capital, Warsaw) play in DP-on... They think, that since they don't have OP they could play in older formats, which with new cards (Catcher) is really crazy.

Poland also has a fair amount of Pokémon TCG collectors, which is a good thing for the Pokémon TCG community. That way collectors can get the cards they want (Full Arts etc.) and players can get the most played cards. Collectors and players relationship is always symbiotic and that’s the reason why a healthy Pokémon TCG community needs both of them.

Well, I don't know, if our players are that good to play in Worlds. While they are really good,  it's not that good level. If more than 1 person take high place at events like European Cup, maybe we could win :D



Atmosphere

Atmosphere in Poland’s tournaments is really cool. People are polite, nobody is rude or anything. Also their metagame is good. They have some good decks (ZPST, Reshiram, Gothitelle) and some rogue (like Magmortar/Emboar, Ambipom/Weavile). So it's really exciting to play against different decks.

It seems like all people could loan their cards if someone asked. Sometimes even staples! Also thet help each other with their deck building. That’s something, which is rare for a Pokémon TCG community.  

When it comes to the attitude towards from the non-Pokémon players, I think many of you know what most of the people think about Pokémon. Pokemon isn't really popular in Poland because of the anime. It's the usual "Pokemon?! LOL, it's for kids" Maybe if Pokemon could be more serious, their player base could grow – my source thinks.

Also, good amount of Poland’s players don’t like American players. In their eyes they are rude, copy deck ideas and decklists itself and don't respect players other than Masters/Americans. Poland’s players often joke about them, that they're fat from hamburgers and cola. Of course my source thinks that there are many players in America, who are really cool, but often the Americans who my source talks to are rude and condescending and that’s why he feels that way.

I personally think that my source is partly correct when it comes to the attitudes of American players (by which he means the U.S. players). I have bumped into the same kind of attitudes in the internet whenever I state my opinion about anything. And that’s just because I’m from Finland. There was a time when someone said to my in the Pokegym “you know nothing about the game, you’re from Europe” or something similar to that. In the same person’s signature were “2nd at the local Cities”. I didn’t know what I should have felt at that moment, I – who had won 4 National Championships and top cutted multiple time in the Worlds, received that kind of comment just because I wasn’t from the U.S. I wasn’t offended but it was a wake-up call for me – something had to be done to this attitude, we’re living in the 21st century.

One of the missions of this blog was to gain more respect towards other country’s TCG players than the U.S. I’m also very surprised that people usually treat Seniors terribly in the forums like Pokegym. Even if the Senior players is from the U.S. the usual comment to anything that Senior says is “ahh, he’s a Senior, no point of discussing with him”. What I think is the most alarming thing about this is that there wasn’t such a phenomenon 3 years ago. The more players go into Masters Division, the less respect Seniors players get. This game is going to die if the Seniors players (the future Masters) will be treated like they are at the moment since who wants to play a game, which doesn’t welcome every age group? The young players are the future of this game and if they don’t feel like they are welcome, there won’t be enough new players to keep Pokémon going. Pokémon TCG isn’t MTG. There is some food for thought for a lot of people.




Competitive playing and tournament organizing

The main source for Poland’s players are the same as everyone. Sixprizes, Pokebeach, Pokegym, OnehitKO and The Deck Out. Poland also has their own forum but it isn’t as pro as these sites and isn’t completely for Pokémon TCG only. http://isa.pl/forum/

My source thinks that players in Poland aren't creative. Nearly 50% are Reshiram decks. He personally hates people who must play the best deck and play for prizes, not fun. He thinks that if there were more creative decks, the game would more fun to play. The game is all about having fun for him.

Usually they  organize tournaments every week. However, not everyone comes to every tounrament. Sometimes the tournaments that are organized, are very big and even half of the Poland’s players come to them.  Once a year there's tournament called OTP (short of Ogólnopolski Turniej Pokemon - something like Nationals). He has been to 2 OTPs and it was a really great time, since so many players are there.

The Polish local distributor is TMToys, but they are no use to players because when HGSS was released in other parts of the worlds, TMToys started to sell Diamond & Pearl. The local distributor is late in the releases so most people order the cards online. D&P was sold in Poland’s own language but no one bought them since they were so late so in the end the LD gave up on Pokémon TCG.

Usually our the organizing of the smaller tournament goes like this in Poland.
- So, are we organizing something this week?
- I can come only in Saturday"
- I can come both Saturday and Sunday
- Me too - both days
- So Saturday. Can someone write announcement?


Player base

The average Polish tournament has 5-15 players. It’s a very small community and their “Nationals” had only 46 players. I think that’s pretty decent number when you think about that there isn’t an OP in the whole country but everything works thanks to players communication. Also, my source thinks that Pokémon isn’t that popular in their country that the game could grow a lot.

The age groups are divided like this:
15+ 50%
11-15 40%
Rest of them: Under 10%


My source thinks that their player base has been getting smaller. In past Pokemon was cool and often players who were young when Pokémon started, still play. But at the moment Pokemon is "childish" so getting new players is very difficult.

He thinks the most respect player at the moment is Marcin Kurek (aka Rexio) who was in Top 8 of Prague Cup. Other than that there are plenty of cool people who are good players. However, he thinks that the players from Poland aren’t good enough yet to do well in the World Championships. He believes that someday it will be possible for them to be good enough to compete Worlds but not yet.  



Metagame

The most played deck is definitely Reshiram(just like in Worlds 2011). It's the cheapest (and the lamest, in his opinion) deck and it's really easy to play. Other than that there are mainly rogue. Some ZPST, some Gothitelle, some Stage 1. However there's only

3-4 players that have Yanmega Prime (I'm lucky to buy 4 in last season when they were for 7-8$). Magnezone/Yanmega is deck that probably wasn't used even once.

Other decks include rogue deck likes: KyuremGatr, Cincinno/Zoroark, ZPST, Eelektrik decks, and other. My source’s favorite deck is Chandelure, which he has tested a lot and is pretty confident with the list.  


Conclusion

Poland is a small non-competitive Pokémon TCG country, which has their own opinions about things and game. I think it’s pretty incredible that they have a Pokémon TCG scene even though the things in the country are as they are (no real LD, attitude towards Pokémon etc.). I hope you enjoyed this entry and didn’t get too offended by my source’s honest opinions.

A note in the end: The things written in this article don’t necessarily present the official opinion of The Deck Out.  

Feel free to leave any comments and feedback about this entry! Let’s keep the discussion constructive.












12 comments:

  1. Greetins from Poland :D

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  2. Didn't know people from Poland Play PK, I think is very nice to have a community like that. This series will be very interesting.

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  3. Nice job Esa. I'm Polish as well and I thank you for introducing us to "the world" via TheDeckOut. Your information are quite accurate. The Prague Cup was the first competitive event for most of us. About the format: more regions are slowly switching to Modified. Looking forward to articles about other countries as well :) .

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  4. I totally agree about atmosphere, specifically about the Seniors. I was reading a sixprizes article and someone said, "you're a senior? Oh, then I don't care what you say."It's really quite annoying, being a senior myself.

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  5. I remember meeting a Polish player in Grinders once, so they DO go to Worlds once in a while. I don't know how he did, I don't think he made it (I didn't).

    DP-ND is actually a very interesting format, and one of the most playable I have ever seen. You wouldn't believe the effect Spiritomb AR has on the Mewtwo and Catcher dominated design of BW block. The higher HP and power of the newer block pokemon gives them an edge, but decks like GG, Palkia-Lostgar, SPs, Magnerock, Gyarados, and even Mew Prime Reanimator can do a lot. Just imagine Lake Boundary in play and an Eviolite on a Rhyperior Lv. X and you'll know what I mean. Eviolite does a LOT for SP as well.

    It's a beautifully complex format with at least 15 possible tier 1 decks, and probably my favourite format right now. I really wish P!P would sanction some alternate format events, as they can stand up in quality to Modified quite easily (on in the case of this season be FAR more interesting). >_>

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  6. The thing about Americans is that most of them are stupid enough to think they rule the world.

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    1. i'd like to point out that it's not most americans. it's more SOME americans. it's true that a lot of us are arrogant. that's one thing i've never liked about our country compared to others.

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    2. Yeah, we're not all bad.

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  7. thanks for mentioning how much crap seniors take. i recently went off on several people about a month ago for belittling seniors in general. some of us are good, but we get no appriciation at all. just look at a senior named ty wheeler. he's probably going to worlds if he keeps playing like he has been. look at 6p. there's a senior on there (vablakes or zeusisme) who is a fpc and gets a bunch of crap everytime someone finds out he's a senior. he probably could beat the living crap out of anyone he wants to (judging on his results), but he still gets people disregarding everything he says just because he is a senior.

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  8. "Other than that there are mainly rogue. Some ZPST, some Gothitelle, some Stage 1. However there's only

    3-4 players that have Yanmega Prime (I'm lucky to buy 4 in last season when they were for 7-8$). Magnezone/Yanmega is deck that probably wasn't used even once."

    Umm, how old is this?

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  9. Nice job, I enjoyed this article and I think, it would be cool if you make an article about a country, which is similar to poland, about austria.
    We have worlds players every year, one who did the top16 cut in 2011 and a lot more things.
    It would be cool because I think, that austria is a very unkown country in the international pokemon tcg scene...thanks! (:

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