In the early years of the Pokémon TCG, tournaments were all locally run events, and nothing really official—let alone international—existed. Worlds? Nationals? Regionals?? Forget it. At this point in time, the only thing that was anything CLOSE to being an “international tournament” was the Pokémon Tropical Mega Battle hosted in Hawai’i in 1999. But Wizards of the Coast—then current licensee of the Pokémon TCG—wasn’t gonna let this game blow up in popularity without making sure players can get something out of it, right? Afterall they knew first hand how much player support is key to keeping a game alive, and organized tournaments are the best way to keep that going. And what better company to run it than the one that run gaming’s BIGGEST card game tournament: Magic the Gathering‘s ProTour and World Championships?
Thus enter the Super Trainer Showdown, the first official series of Pokémon TCG tournaments outside of Japan (and even then!). This was a series of four tournaments which would now be considered “Regionals” which were hosted in the United States between 2000 and 2001:
- West Coast Super Trainer Showdown 2000 — on the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA; July 22, 2000
- East Coast Super Trainer Showdown 2000 — The Meadowlands in Secaucus, NJ; November 18, 2000
- East Coast Super Trainer Showdown 2001 — The Meadowlands in Secaucus, NJ; June 23-24, 2001
- West Coast Super Trainer Showdown 2001 — San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA; December 1-2, 2001
The Super Trainer Showdown was such a success that it paved the way for the very first Pokémon Worlds event in Seattle, WA in 2002, based on the Magic the Gathering World Championships event that they also held… though Worlds 2002 would be the only one that Wizards would host before losing their license in 2003.
With all the long forgotten history hidden behind the scenes, there’s so much to be shared and a lot to remember about Pokémon’s first real organized tournament event. Everything that is part of the modern day Pokémon TCG tournament scene—even it’s very name!—wouldn’t be what it is today if it wasn’t for it standing on the shoulders of the Super Trainer Showdown. This page therefore aims to remind everyone what that is!
Below are a bunch of scans I’ve made of various bits and bobs from the Tour stop and my invite package. Check ’em out! (BTW, you can click on the thumbnail picture in order to get a high quality scan of that item; front and back views of the same item are kept together. However, personal info, phone numbers and other contact info have been removed.)
That’s all I have to share right now, but that isn’t everything to share! Keep an eye on this page for more info!