Team CGC Trading Cards Placed Top 8 in the Pokémon Hartford Regional Championships!

Posted on 5/26/2023

Daniel Altavilla took home a 5th place finish in the tournament.

Team CGC Trading Cards had yet another successful tournament finish! The team faced 1,059 Master-level competitors at the Pokémon Hartford Regional Championships on May 19-21, and all four competing members placed within the Top 64.

Representing Team CGC Trading Cards, Daniel Altavilla placed 5th (11/2/3), Azul Garcia Griego placed 15th (10/2/3), Caleb Gedemer placed 17th (10/3/2) and Grant Manley placed 43rd (9/4/2). Kidd Starck was unable to attend the event, but we hope to cheer him on at the Milwaukee Regionals.

The team’s path to success was built on their decision to once again use their Lost Zone Box deck. However, this time they slightly modified their deck from Portland to switch out Beach Court and Boss’s Orders for Energy Recycler and Pokéstop.

When asked for comment, Caleb Gedemer shared their strategy for continuing with Lost Zone Box at Hartford: “Leading up to this event, Daniel and I wanted to play Lugia quite a bit. Its simplicity and continued string of strong finishes were attractive, and most of the team were on board. Grant arrived later, but the guys grinded a handful of games in waiting, frightening themselves off Lugia just a bit. The deck bricked a little too much and the recency bias caused some alarm. Its match-up against the up-and-coming Arceus VSTAR/Duraludon VMAX/Umbreon VMAX deck wasn’t amazing either, and the Mew match-up always felt like a toss-up with Judge and Path to the Peak playing spoiler.

“Up into the early A.M. the team couldn’t decide on a deck, and I went to sleep thinking we’d be running Lugia. Waking up to ‘Here’s the new list, we’re back on Kyogre’ was somewhat of a shock, but also a relief. The meta turned out well for the deck, with virtually no bad matchups. Certain disruptive combos could always be an issue, and there’s the elephant in the room of the mental focus it takes to play the deck at a high level for sometimes 15-plus rounds. Dan was able to get his first Top 8 of the season, and the team is super stoked about that.”

Daniel Altavilla

Two CGC Trading Cards graders also competed at Hartford, with Stephen Richardson placing 92nd (8/6/1) and Kevin Murphy placing 196th (5/3/1).

Team CGC Trading Cards was assembled by Danny Oesterreich in 2022, and is comprised of seasoned players Daniel Altavilla, Azul Garcia Griego, Caleb Gedemer, Kidd Starck and Grant Manley. The team will compete next at the Milwaukee Regional Championships, at the Wisconsin Center, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on June 2-4.

Please join us in wishing the team the best of luck throughout the season and keep an eye out for new updates on the team’s performance by following their Instagram @teamCGCcards and the CGC Trading Cards social channels, @CGCcards. You can also watch the events live on the Pokémon YouTube and Twitch channels to see players do battle.

To learn more about the formation of Team CGC Trading Cards, click here.

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