In the world of playing Pokémon competitively there are two main camps: the Video Game Championship (VGC) and the Trading Card Game (TCG). Both of these are officially supported by The Pokémon Company complete with competitive tournament structures, but a fan tournament called Union Cup is looking to bring them together.
The premise of the Union Cup is this: 16 VGC players will compete in a tournament but, instead of playing the videogame they’re so adept with, they will be playing the card game instead. While these players will be out of their element they won’t be alone as each VGC player will be coached by a TCG pro.
Both the VGC players and their TCG coaches are big names in the community. On the VGC side of things, for example, we have two world champions in the form of Wolfe Glick and Paul Ruiz. Coaching these two are Tord Reklev and Kevin Clemente respectively, both of which have had multiple strong showings and wins at international Pokémon events.
At this point some people outside of these communities – and even some inside of them – may be confused at the point of this tournament, aside from some fun. Despite both being based on Pokémon the VGC and TCG are relatively separate beasts with limited overlap. If you’re going to play one to a relatively high competitive degree you need to dedicate a lot of time to the matter, so you don’t often find people who compete in both regularly. An event like the Union Cup is a great opportunity to get these two sides to mingle.
On top of this the TCG usually lags behind when it comes to representation numbers online. Bringing in VGC pros to play the card game will hopefully expose more VGC players to the competitive side of the TCG.
The Union Cup is being organised by the Victory Road platform and competitive player Pedro Torres. You can find a trailer for the event embedded below, and the full roster of players and coaches announced by Torres here. More details about the tournament will be released by the pair in the near future.
For those who care more about officially sanctioned play for both these communities the Players Cup III will be starting later this month.