Power outage disrupts 2024 Pokémon NAIC day one

The 2024 Pokémon North America International Championship (NAIC) kicked off today, and the event already ran into a huge tech issue.

In the middle of the Pokémon VGC Swiss round three match between Eric Rios and Jean Paul López Buiza, the power cut out for a brief moment and the stream was paused. Everything resumed shortly after, with casters Rosemary Kelley and Jake Muller confirming it was a power outage.

While this short outage might not have been an issue for TCG folks, Scarlet and Violet players were not so lucky. Since the stream match disconnected in the middle of the second game, judges were called in to review the match and determine the next steps. Ultimately, they made Rios and Buiza replay that second game from the beginning. Rios won the match 2-0 to extend his winning streak on day one.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen technical difficulties at recent major Pokémon events. Just two weeks ago, competitors experienced hours of delay on day one of the Los Angeles Regionals due to internet issues. The delay was so long that they had to reschedule the last few Swiss rounds to the following day.

Even worse was the outage experienced at last year’s World Championship in Yokohama, Japan. That outage affected multiple VGC games during top cut, where the stakes were much higher than the Swiss rounds. Competitive Pokémon veteran Emilio Forbes was among the players affected by the tech issues and ended up suffering a devastating loss despite feeling like he was in a winning position before the outage. In response to how the situation was handled, Forbes said he’d never play the game again.

On the bright side, NAIC’s power outage happened in the earlier stage of the competition before the intense single-elimination matches in top cut. Many Pokémon fans likely hope this means we got all the tech issues and bad luck out of the way so the rest of the event can run smoothly. We need to see which Pokémon and players come out on top without any more interruptions. So far, top Pokémon like Incineroar and Urshifu are seeing plenty of usage alongside a wide variety of restricted Legendaries.

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