Become a Pokemon Master at CWU

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Pokemon Club Member Boewen Piotrowsk puts cards into protective sleeves before an in-house game.

Pokemon Club Member Boewen Piotrowsk puts cards into protective sleeves before an in-house game.

Jacob Gerken

Jacob Gerken

Pokemon Club Member Boewen Piotrowsk puts cards into protective sleeves before an in-house game.

Bryce Jungquist, Staff Reporter

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What started out with 151 soon turned into 251, which later snowballed into 386. Now we have over 800 different Pokémon, and only one club on campus is dedicated to catching them all.

Central Pokémon League is a club for anyone who enjoys Pokémon. They meet in SURC 301 every Thursday at 8 p.m. The league is looking for new trainers to join.

Bowen Piotrowski is a junior majoring in communication studies and a member of Central Pokémon League.

According to Piotrowski, anyone can comfortably play video games, card games and everything else to do with the  franchise at the club. Students playing their Nintendo 3DS’ during meetings is a common sight.

“I managed to pick up a card game and [it] was a pretty good time,” Piotrowski said. “The nature of the card game is that it usually lasts quite a while, I only got a couple games in before the time was up.”

Nathan Butschli is a senior majoring in computer science and president of Central Pokémon League. He said the club is made up of CWU students who want to “catch ‘em all.”

Butschli said community members and alumni are welcome to join the league if they enjoy Pokémon.

Five years ago during his freshman year at CWU, a student named Charles Harding had the idea to found a community of people who enjoyed the popular Japanese franchise.

Although Butschli wasn’t part of the inaugural meetings, he soon became involved with the club started by Harding.

“He contacted some of his friends, they contacted their friends and eventually, this chain of telephone got to me in my dorm. [I] showed up here in the SURC and we hung out and talked about Pokémon for an hour,” Butschli said.  

This happened more as time went on. Butschli said the group wasn’t official until last year and before that, it was just a gathering of friends who would meet up and talk about pocket monsters.

In 2017, the club finally had an adequate amount of people that were able to hold office areas positions and got an advisor.

Recently, Central Pokémon League has decreased in members because of the steady number of students graduating each year. The club currently has six members.

Serah Manning, a fifth-year student majoring in early childhood education, said she’s been a part of the club since fall 2017. Manning said she wishes for the club to survive.

Manning said one cool thing she’s been able to do in the club is take part in a Pokémon trading card game tournament they hosted when she had just begun playing.  

“At Nerdcore, they hold tournaments on Saturdays, but I have to work so I never get to go,” Manning said.  “[At the club] I was able to test my new decks against other people and see how they fared in the real world instead of just theory.”

The club’s primary mission should be familiar to anyone who’s played the game, which is “to be the best like no one ever was.”

What the club mainly wants to do, but currently can’t due to lack of members, is have a league identical to the television shows.

In theory, the club would have eight “gym bosses” and several “Elite Four” members. Other members would be able to challenge them to become the next champion.

“We don’t exactly have 12 members anymore, so this isn’t feasible,” Butschli said. “But this is something we’d like to begin doing again once our membership has increased.”

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Become a Pokemon Master at CWU