Hey there Hat Lovers,
Pokemon.com just put up the 2016 Worlds information! I wrote about the new Play! Pokemon format and what we might expect a Worlds CP bar to be set at back when the new Championship Points structure was announced. Well, we now know that bar, and holy moly is it low. Way lower than I expected, even granting the possibility that they’d lower it significantly. The 2016 World Championships CP bar for the Masters division is 350 CP. Given how accessible CP are now, with the introduction of Midseason Showdowns, and an increase in the CP payout, it’s incredible that they’ve lowered the bar this much. I’ll be talking about the US and Canada for the rest of the article, but the details for other regions can be found in that Pokemon.com link.
What does this mean for the players?
As it was last year, the Top 8 from the US and Canada advance directly to Day 2. But yeeshk, back when folks were estimating how many CP would be required to qualify for the World Championships, estimates ranged from 450-500. People (including myself) felt that TPCi would be quite generous to lower the bar to 400, and their intent would be to greatly increase the size of the World Championships. We’ve got a bar that’s 50 points lower than that. How big is Worlds going to be?
Back when the CP structure was announced, here is what I projected based on example seasons of varying success:
“If the CP bar ends up around 480, I think that reflects a desire to have a static cutoff, rather than a dynamic one. The intention would be to keep the number of Worlds invitations about the same. If the CP bar ends up much lower than 480, (e.g. 425), then TPCi might be intending to facilitate invites, and increase the size of Day 1 Worlds. If it’s set at 400, then TPCi is really opening up the gates for a Worlds invite, though players will still need to do well throughout the year.”
A CP bar of 350 is great news as far as giving players a chance to play, but might be a bit too generous in my opinion. I am not an elite player, and last year, while I had a good season, I was distinctly below a reasonable CP count to qualify for Worlds; last year I finished with 318 CP after a couple meh finishes at Utah Regionals and Nationals. That was with the old points payout, and no Midseason Showdowns. That means last year would’ve been a Worlds-qualifying season for me with this new system. Again, FYI, I finished something like 69th in USA and Canada?
I don’t think of 69th in the USA and Canada as Worlds caliber. That was my best season yet, and I’m proud of my one good Regionals and consistent play in a tough Premier Challenge area, but Worlds caliber? Nah… Yet that’s what Worlds is now I suppose. There are two days of tournament prior to the finals, so opening up Worlds certainly doesn’t reduce the capacity to move the best players on to the main day. But while I was expecting a step in the lenient direction, I didn’t expect a 100-meter sprint!
For now, just know that this year a World Championships invitation not only has a CP bar, but is the most attainable such an invitation has ever been.