Tag Team Pokemon TCG Podcast
Tag Team Pokemon TCG Podcast

Season 2, Episode 4 · 1 year ago

2-3.a. BONUS: Stipends And How To Fix Them


The boys tackle the issue of stipends and the Top 16 race in the USA. What should be changed? What can improve? How should Tpci think of the stipend system in accordance with the values of Pokemon? All these topics and more in a special bonus Leap Day episode!

All right, everybody welcome back totag team, Pokemon Trading Card Games, PEMEOR podcasting duo. My name is RyleyHulbert and I'm joined by my good friend, JW Cree, all for a specialleafday bonus episode, Jw how you doing. I am doing very well happy leap day,Riley. I know what are you going to do with your extra day in the year man?This is wet Yo. I know tonight I am going to a daddy daughter, dance of agirl at my church, so she is adopted and by a single mother and so going togo, hang out with her tonight and do some dancing th. The only thing I knowabout the daddy donor dance is that there's going to be candy? Well, that'sGod. The only thing she's told me. So I mean that's really cute man, that's soexciting. To honestly, I'm sure your honord to be like chosen for somethinglike that. I am very honored. Of course you know you have. You know, there'smany people that Hou could choose from. So it's cool you W it'd, be fun andhope. I give her. You know a night that is just special and that she feels likeshe's loved. You know. That's that's really the whole thing so yeah, that'sreally awesome man. I love that. I love giving back to the community, not justFok, my connuty of hit like the POK, the communities that you build around.You Ek, human community, yeah, the community of life, man that we all targo. That's really Gret gain, so we decided.We would gather here today on this blessed leaveday to talk about thestyping system. It's been a huge topic of discussion in the Pokmon communityif you've been involved in like the online forums. The past couple days, especially like in the post, Australia,world stor, for those of who are out of theloop in the Pookmont traiding card game, there are x, number of players and xdepends on the region that you play in so in North America. It's sixteen inEurope, it's twenty two in Latamerica, it's eight ETCA, etc. Those players get stip ens to theinternational championships, so atour Hel every quarter, yeah itsinternational championship in Europe. You have an international championship:Australia, America, etce etce yeah, and every year they kind of adjust a littlebit how this system works kind of in Jun, in conjunction with adjusting howthe world's invite system works, and so, if you are in the top, sixteenyou get about a thousand dollars to go to the nextic and if you're in the topfour, you get basically a full paid trip to go to the IC. So it kind of encourages you to play tothe best your avilability place at the top of your region and continue to dowell and at the end of the year it culminates. Whoever finishes in thattop X for the entire year gets an automatic day to invite to worlds whichthat is, it can't be emphatizedind not like howbig of a deal that can potentially be. It's really easy just to drown an day,one a world, even if you have the best deck in the format. There are plenty ofjust this past year. There are plenty of ability, chars ars, who drowned IndDay, one of worlds, but meanwhile toar brought it te top for f. The WorldChampionships Sane goes from Youto. There are lots of Mutus an Dawanaworlds and youte ended up wining their all championship, but I guarantee andnot every mutub made it out af date on a world sosolute. Absolutely so gettingAutaticdat to you know puts you right at the driver, seat of having controlover your world championship, tournament, yeah and just veryprestigious yeah and there's obviously like prestigie. That comes with itnotoriety. You know if you're INTOA cloud andbeing recognized as a top level player. This could be a potential avenue forpursuing that. So this year the system has changed up a little bit. Instead oftalling the points total for the year, every quarter, they do a quarterbyquarter. So the points I got between worlds and Latin America accounted forAustralia and the points between Lati American Australia, Acount forEurope, etc, etc.

The major difference, though, I thinkthat people didn't expect is that the best finished limit for every quarters,stipend is the same as the entire year. So you can finish an eight lea cups andchallenges for every quarter of POKEMON. So, every three months, if you want tostay on top of your grind, you have to play in sixteen local tournamentsminimum and place in all of them. So that's a monumental task and asdefinitely led to some debate and discussion, I the community JW. Whatare your initial thoughts on the way that the stipent is handled right thismoment in time I mean, I think we looked at at t the beginning of theseason and kind of foresaw, Youh Kno, maybe a bit of an issue like a maybejust an oversight on the people who and not not like in any wrong way. I thinkthe system is updated to be better, so I'm not trying to like throw shade onthe on whoever created the new system, not at all. Instead, I'm trying tooffer you know this, this advice or kind of what we're seeing as players,but with the new system. It just is encouraging players to be extremely invested. That I would argueto the point of obsession which I don't think jives with the the values of pokemon. I don't knowjust pokemine as a company, as a brand generally tries to deemphasizecompetition right and so having the stiping system. The way that itcurrently is with, like you said, being able to have sixteen finishes. Sixteentournament local finishes per quarter doesn't really doesn't really. You know, coaless withtheir brand overall of being a little bit non competitive, more for fun rightand it's been an interesting process like watching this unfod. I rememberwhen I first noticed that eight was the best finish limit per quarter. Ithought maybe it was a glither or something with them, implementing likethe Eighpe or the whole year, and they were going to reduce it down to morereasonable to for a quarter trum low behold. That was not the case. It wasnot a glitch, it was fully intentional and you know here we are two quartersin and it's still obviously the system they're going with. So you talked about like to the point ofobsession and, to a certain degree I kind of agree with you. I think theintent of poken line was to get people who play a lot locally to be able toget opportunities to get those high level. You know presigious titles andyou now travel out to international tournaments. They might not normally beable to go to. I think the attention was there and in the right place, yeahabsolute. The problem is: We've reached this point where you know if you stay ahead early, evenif it's just off a couple local finishes you get kind of stuck in thisrabbit hole or you have to keep going and going and going and playing so muchFokemon, and I just like you know, obsession is probably a good word forit. I don't there might be a little bit better of one, but it gets to the point where it's justconsuming like your entire life. At that point, you know, especially ifyou're in college, it's one thing or high school, but if you're like workingand then also trying to manage doing this, that's basically taking all ofyour time that isn't Pokemon and diverting it to pokem on. So it's just it's a little crazy to me. Itseems unsustainable and to me I've noticed as well. My friends who are youknow deeply involved in getting these prestigious like travel awards andStipeens, have really gotten burnt out by the system and are no longer isinterested in pursuing like the quarter. Te Cart of stipen. I Think Hee as Zolla saying on stream this week that he doesn't go for the quarterly sypend atall anymore and he just wants the end of the year. You Know Day to world yeah,and so I think that goes to show there's like definitely a problem goingon here when the people who love the... n the most the most invested incompeting for these things or have completely lost interest in it. Well IT-and that's goes back to the point earlier, where we're saying well:POKEMON probably likely was thinking. Yes, we want to get our best players onthe biggest stages as often as possible. You know, because if you're going tohost an international tournament in Australia, their player base reallyisn't the biggest. You know O C Mare to America compared to Europe. If we'regoing to host these huge tournaments with all this money, we want to makesure that you know we at least give the opportunity for the best players fromthe other regions to make it out there and, like you said, if you're haveng players,the best players that are getting burnt out and kind of resenting the game, that's antitheticalto what you're trying to do out. So we talked a little bit aboutways we might want to adjust it. I'm sure the community has loss of ideas aswell personally GW. What would you do toadjust the system and make it fit the needs of the both the you know, thelocal warrior, as well as the top level player who's going to go to every largeevent sure. Well, we talked a little bit about region, locking the finishes.So there are things that, if you don't know they have these certain specialevent tournaments, and there was one in, I think, Puerto Rico. Most recently Icould Ostarica Costarica and they're. Basically, the idea behind those whichis a really t again, a really great intent that maybe has gone a little arywhere they have these tournaments generally in the low CP areas kind ofthose danger zones. I would call them where you know they don't have a a hugelocal base or a lot of tournaments in that area, and so they host thesespecial events. Where you know, ideally, the locals can get a few more pointsfor worlds and what we end up seeing is that a lot of players will come over from other regions tothose events and just kind of wipe the board from the local players of all theall the CP. You know theyl kind of suck it up in pursuit of this stipen back intheir home country. So I think we were talking a little bit about region,locking those finishes, and that might be a potential solution right. I think I definitely think there are certainmerits to that. I know to some degree the local players inthese regions kind of like having these big names, come to their events andbeing able to see them and play with them, but on the other hand, it has like two major effects on theyou know: seat in America or Europe or Euon Australia. Any region where thisis like occurring and players are traveling long distances. These specialevents, the first thing is it kind of gates the the tifense behind. Excuse mebehind like a money location barrier, so the most obvious example is: If youlive in Florida, it's much easier to get to these South American specialevents. Then, if you live literally anywhere else in the United States,it's much cheaper flights are shorter. It's just an overall, simplerexperience, whereas if I would try to fly, I COSARICA, that's a you know, multiple hundreds of dollars expense closer to probably a thousand dollars.If I were to do it more on a whim, so it's not really there's no Roi there.You know if you live in, if you don't live close enough to these things. Thesecond effect, though, is it both inflates, the CP that you need for thestype in in America, as well as deflates, the total CP available inthese lower CP regions. So as cool as... is to have like this availability oftop players and other regions, I think the net effect is not exactly the onehat I think pokmom is intending to have. I don't think they were intending tohave top players fly out to all these special events, despite the fact thatthey haven't changed it. It doesn't seem to me like that's, aligning withthe actual goal of special events. It feels to me like. If they wanted, youknow top talent to travel toththese, they would offer them cash prie. Youknow right the fact that they're only offering like oftentimes just boosterboxes at the local language, that's doesn't seem like an actual incentiveto try and pull top talent to the area. Absolutely absolutely so, with regonlock finishes, we kind of talked. Maybe that wouldn't be quite the quite theanswer. The catchall answer there's another thought than maybe youcould award travel awards based solely on tournaments. So if you won Oregionalor got top Ford, Oregional or top aid or whatever the number is, you wouldget x amount of dollars towards the next international championship. Wouldthat be something that pokmon should maybe consider if they're looking to?That would be a very drastic shift in the way the be on it for the lastcouple of years, but would that be something that the Pogema Companishould consider doing? I think there are a few reasons that it would be goodh. The main reason that comes to my mind would be that it rewards theplayers for performing the best and not for performing them most rlike. What wenow is that there's just players going to everything and you have to go toeverything and the players that can are just you know, obviously are way morelikely to get the stipeen than the players that can't. But if you performreally well at the one regional that you can go to in the year and youhappen to get you know top for Wi, you know you havein the win orsomething like that and you're able to get some money to go to an IC. I mean:Aren't you one of the best players? If you win a regional, I think there is some some thought that you might be atleast for that year. You might be one of the better players. So give me yourthoughts on on maybe a regional finish, awarding cash towards traveling to another country for aninternational championship. I think, personally, that would be a reallysolid idea, especially I think when you get towards, like the actual WorldChampionships Day to qualifiers, I think you know having Thatbe, regionaland icy champions would be a very reasonable ask, because those are theplayers who have performed in such a way that you could be convinced theydeserved day to over the world chhampionship. You know that being said, I think thereis, likea pro pros and cons little bit to having exclusively regional basefinishes. I think the pro is that you know within a quarter. You definitelyhave the people who performed the best at the highest level in that quarter.If you just gather that group of people- and I think that's a really solidargument and of itself the downside, I could potentially seethat something people MiG argue against it. Is it kind of like awards more than you're already gettingfor winning or doing well Oregional. So, like you know, for example, if youWentn to reginall you'R already getting fiveosandollars offer it, but now all of the Sudn you're gettinglike a travel award to go to icy and potentially win more money into this,and that you know personally, I don't really mind that, but I could see how people could beupset that, like you know you just wi so much yeah, it's like the rich getricher, but I feel like the scurren system, is kind of already like that,but justid like a less direct way where, like you know, if you go to aton of events, you're ind performing like okay at all of them, you'regetting you know, Xay aount of money, and then you get the stipen. You go toAustralia or you know Europe or Brazil, and you get x, more abound dollars, andthen that keeps coming and Cunong and coming so it's just like.

Instead of trying to piterpater that abunch of Crossa finishes, you reward just the the best of the best finishesthat you can GE sure. So Gwyou have any like alternativechates that you might implement. That's one that I personally been a huge fanof. Is there anything that's like another idea for Padi like limit thecups a little further down for quarterright right? That would thatwould be a pretty. I think I think obvious one like you said at thebeginning of the cast. Just we all thought it was a mistake on pokemonth'spart to say eight per quarter, for you know the callenges and cups, but maybebring that back to to is a little bit more reasonable or even you know, ifyou really don't want to go that low, and you really do want to reward thelocal players, I do feel like four might be the sweet spot for that kindof thing where it it wards the local players for like performing well andwinning those cups, and it's just kind of that thing. You know that all theplayers have to do if you want to be in the race for the STIPEN, but isn'tunattainable to you know, get top for win for cups, like that seems veryreasonable and doable for locals and pros, and all that stuff. You know ifyou want to encourage the pro players and also just your your local guy, thatwould be kind of where I'm looking at for that and then maybe there is some type ofhybrid that you could implement between regionals finishers, high finishers andjust general point getters general finishers, and I don't know quite whatthat number is, but to say, like the winner of the regional gets this thing,but also the other players that have enough CP. Also get you know the travelaward or whatever it is. I maybe there's like a hybrid version that youcould come up with yeah. I think for actually is a pretty like good amount.You know, I think, that's probably more acchavable more cups for Cup FinishesYeah Yeah. Exactly another thing I think is worthmentioning that we haven't brought up yet is there are people who justphysically cannot get to ait locals per quorter right, but talking specificallyabout people in just areas that don't get a lot of tournaments? I think two Tofour is much morereasonable for that type of player, as opposed to eight is physicallyimpossible for a lot of people, sure sure yeah if they're, not in a in atournament, dense area that yeah you're just eliminating and that's fine, Imean, by by sheer existence, it's going to limit peopleright the sheer existence of this race, it's going to limit people out of it,but I think again, if we look at the brand of Pokemona what they try tocultivate, I think it's trying to be as it wants to be as inclusive as aspossible, while still encouraging the best of the best to play in these majortournaments. So you know, maybe splitting that difference is is good.Would there be any pitfalls that you see with kind of reducing this, this race, you know kind of taking thetaking all those you know. The eight finishes eight League Challengees Cupfinishes off the table. Maybe bring you back to two or four: Do you think thatthat would make enough of an impact, or would it still just be as cutthroat andmaybe draining on a player? I think it would make a pretty significant impact. You know. Obviously you still have to go to regionals to dofor these things and there's a certain amount of burnout that comes from that,but me personally any week that I traveled with originally that's like ayou know, it's a whole fun experience for me, whereas doing two cups everyweekend for months on end is just miserable. To be honest, it's and it'snot because I don't like playing and mocals outright and it's not like. Idon't like my local player base, but it's just like I like to Yo otherthings ays. Well, you know I like to...

...see my friends. You don't play pokomine,for example, I know it's the crazy unfahomable idea, but but there are other things out therethat are worth doing, and I think Pokamont should also just be willing toacknowledge that in the first place right like they shouldn't want you tobe, you know one kind of single focuse kind of person and Ithink pokabon hat some extent, kind of values that they like value. Havingpeople who are like you know, put together and recognizable and like havethings going on in their lives that aren't just pokem on at least that'skind of that's kind of like the VI that I get personally, so it seems like thecurrent system kind of doesn't really dive with that right right. One oesthing I think I might be worth mentioning. This is something that ivepersonally said, would potentially be good. It's just to remove localfinishes, still have a PCP fased, but only the CP that you get at highertiered events. What are the possible like pros or cons that you would seewit SA system like that, so yeah, just to flesh that idea out a little bitmore. What basically were would be proposing would be removing the CP fromthe local finishes, Cups and challenges to you know only count for the world'sinvitation, whereas the higher level events would count towards the stypenaward that that's kind of why YEP 'm out here.So you know so something like a regionals and internationals would justcount towards the next. You know e international event, so Ithink that would be kind of cool again we're talking about how it would limitsome players where they're not able to get that CP locally. I think that hurtsplayers that do have a very strong you know local presence, but maybe can'tget out to the regionals across the country. I think most notably, who thatwould affect, would be anyone on the west coast where they have a decentnumber of tournaments to my knowledge, but have to travel so far for regionalsyeah n W. just you know we 're kind of talking about that issue with having like special events in SouthAmerican, a obviously it's a little bit easier to get out to. You know that hemisphere out of Florida-and so you know same kind of idea when you're going west to east, when thelarge majority of American regionals are in the middlwest or on the eastcoast, it's a hard payers. You know in the West to get out, so I mean anylittle change that you look at you're, obviously going to effect some playerlike somebody's going to be affected, just because right, negatively andpositively right, right, negatively and positively, but I will say if Fokeman does want to go after thebest. Have the best players attend the international championships. I think itwould be good for them to remove the local cup finishes for CP towards thatyou know, travel award, yeah. I personally, I think, that's the system.I would like the best for usiewords Yep. You know it doesn't force you to be asrigorous as having to win one, but it rewards consistency at thehighest level of play, which I think, ultimately that's what Isreflective of of being the best player. You knowsomeone who can get top sixteen or top aited. Every regional is going to be myopinion better than the player, who wins one regional and is never seenagain despite attending all of them, yeah sabcup cool. I think we've reacheda pretty interesting set of thoughts. What do you guys think be sure to letus know and DMS on twitter? What do you think of the STIPING system? It do anyof these systems. Jive with you and tell Uf your personal story, you know,have you been impacted by the STIPIN system in any way positively ornegatively and kind of? What are your thoughts on issues like geography,money, local finishes? You know these...

...kinds of things that we'd be curious toknow yeah, and that goes beyond just the SIPENG system, but the world'ssystem as a whole. How is it affected you? How could it be tailored to bettermeet the player race as a whole? I'm curious what you all think so dw. Ihave one last question, though, before we sign off for the day- and it is, issixteen North American players enough there's a lot of Greay players rightnow, man and there's a lot of great players in Europe, so I feel like wecan't. Even you know, say this is only towardAmerica. I know they have what twenty four in Europe twenty two. So twentytwo I mean in Europe, so I don't know where they got that number from wellyeah. I don't know maybe it has to do. I don't think it is enough. I wish thatthey would have more. That's hardly coming from a selfish point of view,but I do wish that they would have more just because America is like the hotbed of the POKEMON trading card game outside of Japan, and I just would love to see more localplayer, local players more American players represented, but obviously I'mgoing to be local in the sense of the entire cop country. NEEDTO go up. Oyeahi totally agree, Itotally gree, but I was curious what you might say- and you put it in a veryeloquent way- tha great so yeah be sure Tho ds, DMS ontwitter or Tomeet at us, with some of the thoughts that you have and be sureto check us out next week, Wednesday, that's always will be back and untilthen we'll see you round enjoy your leavd to everyone. Peace.

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