Brokenvase Games has been removed from Pokémon TCG’s online Team Challenge Season 3. This decision has been made by the Tournament Center Team at Pokémon from the UK. We were informed of this removal only after the decision has been made without any recourse for appeal, repeat attempts to engage with them has failed, and we were not officially told exactly why this decision was made initially. We are sorry for this unfortunate news. All Team Challenge Qualifier events has been removed from our events calendar.
It is with great sadness and disappointment that I have to write this announcement to the community. It was indeed devastating and truly disappointing blow to the spirit of our team that Pokémon TCG’s organisers acted and decided the way they did. From our perspective, their actions were no way in line with the spirit of what Pokémon stands for. Namely justice, compassion, and inclusion. I believe we owe it to the community to explain what happened as we believe that we have lived by our company values, and I see no fault in my team. Here is an account, from our perspective, the sequence of events:
- In January we announced that we will be organising the Season 3 Team Challenge. At this stage we were told we could run “hybrid” events. This means physical play or online play was permitted.
- On the 29th of January, days before we were going to run our first Qualify, we received an email stating that Play! Pokémon events has been closed for our region. We were instructed to only run online events.
- The BVG team had overlooked switching the event status online from “Hybrid” to “online”.
- Qualifier 1 ran as usual with no issues.
- Qualifier 2, initially planned for 12th of February, did not proceed because the numbers were low. We decided to postpone the event to the 17th of February.
- Professor Frank could not run the Qualifier 2 on the 12th, so the role was delegated to Professor Merv.
- Since the Qualifier has moved to the 17th, Frank sent an email to the Tournamenet Center Team on the 16th of February notifying them of this change so he can gain access to run the event again. This email received no response.
- Assuming all is fine, we ran Qualifier 2 with Professor Merv as a participant himself. Merv finished winning the Qualifier.
- 18th February, one day, after the event, we received an email from the Tournament Center that we are removed from the event with no reason given.
- We immediately requested for the reason and an appeal.
- On the 22nd of February, the Tournament Center team finally responded with stating that we ran a Hybrid event that was against the rules.
- We responded with a statement explaining that we ran the entire event online even though the status in the system was “Hybrid”. We also added that we are a retail store and if customers choose to come in to purchase product and sit in-store using their device, we will not ask them to leave.
- From this point onward, we sent 3 more emails asking for a review including the last 2 emails requesting an escalation and submitting a formal complaint to how this case was handled. We have yet to hear from Pokémon or their Tournament Center team on any of these correspondences.
I would like to re-iterate that BVG has complied with all local government law of social distancing and Pokémon TCG’s rules as far as we can see and understand. My team acted above reproach and lived up to our company values of kindness, trustworthiness, integrity, and human connection. I am proud of them and how they have jumped in to handle this situation professionally, proactively, and with vigilance.
It is truly disappointing and heartbreaking for Kat and myself to have created a business entirely themed around Pokémon, only to have the company or their appointed representatives handle this situation with such unprofessionalism and unresponsiveness to come to the table for a discussion. However, we are resilient, and we press on. We still have the GYMSiRL program to roll out and our New Set Gym Challenge Season 3 is underway as well. Our sponsored trainers are working hard towards the Brisbane Regions which is a physical organised Play! Pokémon event here in Brisbane – physically.
We are still open to any discussion from Pokémon or their representatives whenever they are ready to do so.
- Professor Merv
*p.s. I have instructed the team to award all registered players with booster packs from our own inventory regardless of what Pokemon has decided. It is not your fault this happened.
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About Brokenvase Games
Started by a serial entrepreneur who loved the competitiveness of Trading Card Games, Brokenvase Games started out as an online Pokémon Card trading and retail business. Now it is the world's first IRL (In Real Life) Pokémon Cards Battle Gym and Pokémon Cafe.
The founders at Brokenvase Games believe in connecting people through playing a fun and competitive card game. They believe in encouraging parents to put down their phones and take away the iPads and Switches, sit down with their children and have fun together. It's about community and fun. It's about a better human experience and connection. Brokenvase Games is also a one-stop-shop for all things Pokémon Trading Card Game - collecting and playing.