Samantha Norrie, a grade 8 French Immersion student at Journey middle school, recently qualified for the upcoming 2014 World Pokémon Championships in Washington D.C. She’s been playing the strategic trading card game for almost two years and has numerous accomplishments, including top finishes in B.C. and Texas as well as a first place finish at the Alberta Provincial Championship a few weeks ago in her respective age division.
Despite Pokémon being considered a kids game, many teenagers and adults play it around the world and compete in tournaments to try and earn enough Championship Points to earn a coveted Worlds invitation. Samantha was the first Canadian in her division to qualify for the World Championship, which attracts hundreds of competitors from over 25 countries.
“I love the competitiveness of it as well as making friends from around the world.” said Norrie. “I played chess when I was younger and the Pokémon card game requires similar strategic thinking, plus you need to think of different mathematical combinations given the various cards and think of how to win under pressure. In my opinion, competitive card games and video games alike should be considered as sports or ‘E sports’ because they require training, endurance, and competitiveness just like physical sports, only intellectually instead.”
Norrie has also been able to start her early career as a writer by writing multiple successful articles for Pokémon websites online.
Before the World Championship in August, she will also be competing in the Canadian National and Washington Regional tournaments later this spring.