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Old 05-25-2016, 03:19 PM   #1
Talon87
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Pokémon World Championships Cash Prizes

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For the first time, in the history of the Video Game Championships, it has now been confirmed that rather than winning scholarships at the Pokémon World Championships, you can, if you are over 18, instead get cash prizes rather than the scholarships previously. If you are in the Top 8, you can choose between cash or scholarship while if you're in the top finishers but 9th or lower, you can only get cash. If you're under 18, you have a choice between scholarship or a travel certificate if in the Top 8, or just a travel certificate in 9th or lower. The scheme is as follows:

VGC - World Championships
1st place $10,000
2nd place $7,500
3rd-4th place $5,000
5th-8th place $3,000
9th-16th place $1,500

VGC - National Championships
1st place $5,000
2nd place $2,500
3rd-4th place $1,500
5th-8th place $750
9th-16th place $500

TCG - World Championships
1st place $25,000
2nd place $15,000
3rd-4th place $7,500
5th-8th place $5,000
9th-16th place $2,500
17th-32nd place $1,500

TCG - National Championships
1st place $10,000
2nd place $5,000
3rd-4th place $2,500
5th-8th place $1,500
9th-16th place $1,000
17th-32nd place $750
33rd-64th place $500
Source: Serebii.net

This is pretty huge news for many of us in this community. Some are college graduates who have no need nor use for scholarship money. Others are non-college bound young adults who already have careers and don't plan to go to college any time soon if ever. For both groups, it's better to have a tangible cash prize instead of a piece of paper that you can't do anything with. Well not only are we getting a cash prize now, but the amount is considerable -- $5,000 for getting 1st place at Nationals and $10,000 for getting 1st place at Worlds!

Will the new cash prizes make Pokémon even more competitive than ever? Will friends turn into enemies as people claw over one another to reach the lucrative cash prize?

Even getting 64th place at Nationals (TCG only) is now something worth striving for if you can attend -- $500 cash money. Easily pays for gasoline, food, and hotel costs for anyone in the Midwest. This year's nationals will be held in Columbus, Ohio. So take me, for example. Driving from Lafayette, that's roughly 240 miles of travel. I get roughly 220 miles between fill-ups, and at current prices it costs me around $30. So that's $60 in gasoline. Now let's say I eat lunch and dinner in town (bringing my own snacks) and it's $10 per meal, so another $40. Alright, $100 total so far. Now we factor in a 2-night stay at a hotel at a rate of roughly $100 per night and that's still only $300 in total for the trip. So take the $500 ... and I'd have $200 play money left over and have got to have fun with my fellow Pokémon fans over the weekend.

Now of course I don't play the TCG. And even were this VGC, I personally can only dream about making the top 64 at Nationals. But you can bet that every able-bodied TCG player with transportation in the Midwest is going to be eyeing this tournament a lot more seriously now. $500 for 64th place, but $1,000 for 16th place ... not only do you get the e-cred of making 16th at Nationals, but you've got ~$700 in leftover play money. Just for playing some Pokemans over the weekend.

And it's not like VGC players are left entirely out in the cold either. While most of the money is going to the TCG instead of the VGC *grumble grumble*, there's still the fact that making Top 16 at Nationals will secure you that $500 I spoke of earlier. That's sure to give Midwestern VGC players a greater incentive to attend -- the virtual promise of an all-expenses-paid trip so long as they can make it into the Top 16.

I suppose there is the question of taxes, though, and how much of this prize money you would have to give up to the IRS. Probably depends on a multitude of factors. But even if we assume that adult Americans can only take home half of the cash on offer, that's still a de facto prize of $2,500 for 1st place at Nationals and $5,000 for 1st place at Worlds. Not bad for a game that up until this very season was only offering playing cards, unused video game consoles, and worthless (to some) scholarships as its prizes.
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