Catching every Pokemon isn’t the only goal for the Ohio State Pokemon GO Association.
The club will be hosting The Ohio State University Timeless Cup Tussle, its first official 1v1 Pokemon GO tournament, at the Ohio Union Sunday. The tournament will have a Swiss-system bracket, by which players with a similar running score face off against each other.
Prizes include a Pokeball waffle maker for first place and Pokemon trading cards for second and third.
Pokemon GO is an augmented reality game that utilizes the GPS and camera on a player’s smartphone. As players walk around, they encounter catchable Pokemon, with real-world landmarks acting as interactive stops and gyms. The game featured the original 150 Pokemon at launch, but has since expanded to more than 500. Recent updates have made player vs. player gameplay available.
The addition of PvP has made the event possible for the club, which normally meets to challenge gyms or fight rare Pokemon that appear in events called raids, Arick Smith, a second-year in city and regional planning and the club’s president, said. He said the event was inspired by past unofficial tournaments before his club presidency.
Cables connecting players’ phones to a computer screen-display software will allow the matches to be projected, Tom Kregenow, a second-year in aerospace engineering and the club’s vice president, said.
“One of the main goals of this tournament was to give more students the exposure to these kinds of tournaments — to show that there’s more than just raids and gym battles and stuff,” Kregenow said. “This entire PvP thing is an entirely other sphere of the game you can spend so much time in.”
Allison Dang, a second-year in biomedical science and club member, said she only plays Pokemon GO occasionally, but she plans on going to the event. She said she heard about the club through its online Discord server, a gaming-focused chat app. She doesn’t plan on competing, but she hopes to meet others who will.
“Pokemon GO has always seemed like a casual and cooperative game,” Dang said. “I’m excited to go and learn more about the strategies behind PvP Pokemon GO.”
While Smith will be running the event and unable to play, he said he participates in the game’s monthly community days, in which certain Pokemon appear more often and sometimes come with exclusive moves. The club also meets every Wednesday for “Raid Hour,” when powerful and legendary Pokemon can appear for players to fight and capture as a group.
“I’m constantly meeting new and amazing people who I am honored to represent here on campus,” Smith said. “Without the community, this game would not be the same, and each year, there are new faces to meet and old and familiar ones to remember.”
For those who want to be the very best on campus, like no one ever was, The Ohio State University Timeless Cup Tussle tournament will begin at 5 p.m. Sunday in the Ohio Union Interfaith Prayer and Reflection Room. Check-in will begin at 4:30 p.m. and continue until the tournament starts. Players can register at silph.gg/t/6fnm.