时时彩预测:Technology News

Melbourne Pokemon master seizes victory at North American International Championships

广东时时彩投注 www.dej6f.com.cn Updated July 17, 2018 07:39:52

When the legendary American baseball player Babe Ruth "called shot" in 1932, he pointed towards the bleachers at Wrigley Field in Chicago, declaring the direction of his home run.

But despite a developing love for all things thespian, Alfredo Chang-Gonzalez settled on a much subtler statement.

He simply told his father, within a year of picking up the game, that he would be Melbourne's next Pokemon video game champion.

It was the start of an understatement.

This year the boy from Balwyn, in Melbourne's eastern suburbs, has become not only the best Pokemon player in Oceania, but also North America.

It's the second year in a row that the 14-year-old has achieved such a feat.

"I just had this drive," said Alfredo, who goes to Wesley College in St Kilda.

"When I see something that I really like, I go for it. I don't just hold back, I go full throttle and try and go for the gold.

"It's been like my lifelong dream, since I started playing this, to become world champion."

'This is a very big deal'

The Pokemon franchise would be familiar to many Australians, and their parents, who grew up in the 90s.

Pokemon started as a video game but today spans a cartoon series, games, toys and movies. It centres around a fictional species that players catch and battle.

Alfredo was one of 15 players to make the journey to Ohio to compete at the Pokemon North America International Championships the weekend before last.

"This is a very big deal," said Tim Crockford, an Australian Pokemon judge and administrator, who has known Alfredo since he began playing.

"It literally is the biggest tournament of the year for the video game.

"People winning these things more than once is very rare."

Alfredo defeated about 100 competitors to take out his age bracket, winning a trip to Nashville next month to battle it out at the world championships.

"I think he's got a very good chance," Mr Crockford said.

"He is very good at reading other people.

"He's very good at predicting what his opponent is going to do.

"It very much is essentially a battle of wits between two people."

He said Alfredo's achievement should be recognised.

"We tend to celebrate physical activity but we don't really do the same for mental ones. There is still a lot of work that goes into these games," he said.

Gaming 'culturally enriching'

But Alfredo's path to Pokemon glory came almost without parental blessing.

"To be honest I almost tried to discourage him from playing," said his father, who's also called Alfredo.

He and his wife Wendy eventually relented and they haven't regretted their decision.

"We are so proud of him," said his father.

"He's done it all by himself, with no help."

According to Mr Chang-Jimenez, his son's natural ability at problem-solving and decision-making has been an integral factor in his success.

"He's a brilliant mathematician and his memory is just unbelievable. He can remember so much. He can do calculations on the fly that I need a calculator to do," Mr Chang-Jimenez said.

But playing the game has also given something to young Alfredo.

"The game is giving him that ability to … [process] information," said his father.

"By nature he used to be a bit anxious when he was little," said his mother.

"Now he's really relaxed."

The game has already taken Alfredo, who aspires to be a neurosurgeon, to the United Kingdom, Brazil and North America.

He said playing Pokemon has been "culturally enriching" and something that extended beyond language barriers.

"I've been able to learn about so many different cultures of people all over the world, just because of one game," he said.

But while it may have started as a trophy-collecting exercise, these days Alfredo is more interested in the people he's met.

"At tournaments, like most of the time isn't actually spent playing the game, I'm … talking to my friends."

Topics: game-boy, game-boy-advance, games---other, games-industry-professional-gaming, games, board-and-card-games, kids-games-and-links, melbourne-3000, balwyn-3103, united-states

First posted July 17, 2018 04:54:52

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