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Ultimate Frontier Brain Battle Competitors
Chris Darling, the winner
The Pokémon Emerald Ultimate Frontier Brain Battle was a competition for the launch of Pokémon Emerald, the final portion of which was held in Seattle, Washington at the top of the Space Needle.
Contestants were divided depending on their frontier region; for example, southeastern states like Georgia and Florida were part of the "Brave Region". Two competitors from each region were admitted to the final round. For making it to the final round, each contestant received a copy of Pokémon Box Ruby & Sapphire, Pokémon Emerald (before it was released in stores), a limited edition Pikachu Game Boy Advance SP, and an expenses-paid trip to Seattle for the competition. The winner was Chris Darling, who also won a trip to PokéPark in Nagoya, Japan.
The first round was an online quiz to identify the name and type of 30 Pokémon randomly selected of the Hoenn Pokémon. The eight entrants from each region who identified the most Pokémon in the fastest time moved on to the next round.
The second round was where the participants were presented with the image of a Pokémon. They must select a Pokémon type to counter that Pokémon. The four entrants from each region who provided the most correct responses in the fastest time moved on to the next round.
This online round was in the same format as the second round. The top two winners from each region who provided the most correct responses in the least amount of time won a trip to Seattle to compete in the final round.
The 14 finalists competed at Seattle's Space Needle. The champion won a trip for two to PokéPark in Nagoya, Japan. The rules for this portion of the tournament were relatively simple. Anyone deemed to have use a cheating device was instantly disqualified. All matches were held on Pokémon Colosseum, and only the Mythical Pokémon (Mew, Celebi, Jirachi, and Deoxys) were banned from usage. The battles were Single Battle Format with each Trainer entering with 6 Pokémon and then choosing 3 at the start of each battle.
There was no level cap, and the sleep, Freeze, self KO, and species clauses were in effect. Additionally, each round had a 30-minute time limit, with a 20-second move selection time limit, and no held items were allowed. This disrupted many contestant teams, with many resorting to replace Pokémon now underpowered by the lack of items. Chris Darling, the winner of the tournament, used a team consisting of Mewtwo, Groudon and Rayquaza.
- All Pokémon, for the most part, were level 100 at the time of competition. Chris Darling was the only competitor to have a Pokémon not at level 100, a Gengar, which he did not use during any match of the tournament.
- An interview with one of the top-placing contestants, Christa Salvatore, appeared in Beckett Pokémon Unofficial Collector in the September 2007 issue.
- Notable Trainers who made their first Nationals appearance in the Frontier Brain Battle Finals include Stephen Parrish, Travis Standiford, Mike Papagianis, Chalkey Horenstein, Stephen Marioka, and Matthew Gibson, all of whom except Travis Standiford and Matthew Gibson (who now primarily hosts VGC events) have made at least one Nationals appearance since then. Stephen Parrish qualified for Nationals in VGC 2010, Chalkey Horenstein qualified for Nationals in JAA 2006 (Cincinnati) and VGC 2010 (Newark), Mike Papagianis qualified for Nationals in JAA 2006 (Chicago) and VGC 2010 (Indianapolis), and Stephen Marioka qualified for Nationals in VGC 2010 (Atlanta).
- Only one Shiny Pokémon was used in the tournament, under the possession of Matthew Gibson; it was a Shiny female Wobbuffet nicknamed Wobbette. Wobbette has become somewhat of a signature Pokémon of Matthew's, as he also used it at the 2010 Atlanta Video Game Championship.