Eagan boy named statewide Pokemon champ
12-year-old heads to national tournament
For one Eagan 12-year-old, Pokemon is more than a trading card game, it’s a competitive sport in which he excels.
Matthew Pappas earned first place at the 2012 Minnesota Pokemon State Championship in Burnsville, which secured his spot this June in the Pokemon U.S. National Championship in Indianapolis.
“I’m really excited to go to nationals,” he said.
As the winner of the Minnesota competition, Pappas received a $300 travel voucher to attend the national event.
If he places among the top players, Pappas can advance in August to the World Championship in Hawaii. U.S. competitors advancing to the World Championships will compete against elite players from more than 25 countries, including Japan, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany and Spain.
Pappas first learned how to play the Japanese trading card game five years ago while living in California.
“It’s a really fun game, and I always loved strategy games,” Pappas said. Creating a strategy, he said, is also the most challenging aspect of the game.
Since then, he has competed in tournaments in the Golden State and Minnesota.
The best part of the tournament, Pappas said, is the opportunity to make new friends.
This will be his first time advancing to the national Pokemon tournament.
Pappas previously placed fourth in the state in 2009.