Top Tier Board Games of Hattiesburg, Miss. hosted a Pokémon League game series Thursday night for newcomers, Trainers and Masters alike. Pokémon players of all ages and skill levels turned out for a fun night of trading their Pokémon Cards and testing their strategies against other players. Some came for the community while others came for the challenges and the hopes to become skilled enough to compete in the Pokémon World Championships.
One of the players, Michael Philapello, competed in the World Championships in 2014. He comes to the league games as often as he can. “I like coming on Saturdays,” he said. “It gives me a chance to teach all the kids that enjoy the game.”
Pokémon has endured over 15 years and is still seeing massive success. Players like Mr. Philapello help keep the fan-base growing by helping younger players become more accustomed to the game. “Look around. Pokémon is for everybody. People like me, older people, kids. Parents get into it when they’re trying to help their kids. We call them ‘Poképarents.’”
While there is not a lot to do in the college town, Top Tier offers people of all ages the opportunity to come and enjoy playing and communing with others.
The local game store has a growing customer base and hosts League matches every Thursday starting at 5 p.m. and Saturday starting at 10 a.m.
Photo by Cornelius Thompson