MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- The Pokémon Regional Championships kicked off Saturday at Monona Terrace in downtown Madison.
Players of all ages from around the country compete in different divisions based on their age. They can compete in card games or video games.
Gwen Cox, a 16-year-old competitor from Ohio, said these competitions are a community.
"My favorite part is that some of my best friends I made were all here from Pokémon," she said. "I have more friends from Pokémon than I have from hanging out at school."
Cox grew up playing Pokemon. Her mother, brother and sister all play, and she has traveled to several competitions with her brother. She said she loves the camaraderie.
"No matter how bad you’re doing, everyone still wants to be talking to you about their teams and everything they’ve been strategizing about, how well your team was, what you could possibly change, everyone is so kind," Cox said.
The tournament will wrap up on Sunday. Some competitors will qualify for the World Championships, which will be held this year in August in Washington, D.C.