What it takes to be a Pokémon Professor

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Kyle Bremer is a Pokemon professor. One of the few professors of this kind in the country, he dedicates most weekends to the trading card game.

“As a Professor, it is my responsibility to organize and facilitate events. I judge, make sure people are abiding by the rules and basically become a pillar for the local Pokémon community,” explains Bremer.

One of his biggest responsibilities is to impart knowledge. The Pokémon universe is vast with close to a hundred card sets released in English to date. For Bremer, the game has been part of his life since childhood. “Becoming a professor is voluntary, but there are criteria – you have to be eighteen years or older, you need to write an exam and moving up to the next level requires you to host a set number of events.”

“Professors are either a judge or an organizer, I am both. I’m not allowed to play at my own league, so I go to other leagues to play. Cape Town has the biggest league base in the country with seven leagues, Gauteng has three, Durban has two and Port Elizabeth has one,” says Bremer.

In South Africa, casual play events happen on weekends, and it is during these events that players try out new strategies and use fun decks. A league challenge is run monthly, and this is more serious and competitive. A player in South Africa needs to accumulate 200 points to attend the World Championships, and this is accomplished by attending leagues. About fifteen South Africans qualify each year but only a handful attend. 

For those who want to get into playing Pokémon trading card games, Bremer suggests grabbing an ex battle deck as this is considered a starter deck that is easy to learn. “Another fun way to get into the game is to attend a pre-release day at a local hobby store. Such an event is designed purely for fun and puts all players, new and old, on an even field,” Bremer explains.

To find a Pokémon league or event near you, go to: www.unplugyourself.co.za