The Pokémon card game is experiencing a bit of a renaissance in the last year or so due to celebrities getting involved in the game and a new wave of people taking the hobby up during the various lockdowns. The Pokémon Company International has taken note of this and wants to convert collectors into competitive players with the newly announced Top Deck Academy.
“f you’ve ever wanted to get better at the Pokémon Trading Card Game, a new weekly series is here to help you learn and improve your game. Top Deck Academy debuts February 4, 2021, at 2 p.m. PST on Twitch and YouTube, featuring prominent members within the Pokémon TCG community. The series will introduce new decks, teach viewers how to create their own custom decks, offer tips to develop solid strategies, and much more,” the announcement reads.
Pokémon is surprisingly active on these video-based sites, using it for all manner of things such as officially streaming the anime and providing live events for competitive tournaments.
For those involved in the TCG scene the Top Deck Academy makes sense as the majority of people actually buying cards are doing so with the intent to collect them and not play. The Pokémon TCG had a vibrant competitive tournament structure before COVID-19 changed the world but it has continued in various ways as physical gatherings are still too dangerous. While the biggest tournament of 2020 – the World Championships – was cancelled, other smaller events such as the Players Cup was created to allow people to play from home.
Outside of official online events many individuals and organisations in the community have stepped up to set up their own tournaments for people to keep playing through the official online client for the card game.
“While Pokémon TCG players of all experience levels can enjoy Top Deck Academy, the series offers beginning and intermediate players an excellent opportunity to dive into the nuances of strategy and deck building. New episodes stream every Thursday at 2 p.m. and feature Pokémon TCG experts who have been playing and commenting on matches for years,” the announcement adds.
If you’re interested in the TCG and always wondered about playing it tune in on 4th February to catch the first episode of this endeavour.