Francesco is commentator of the official World Cup for Nintendo Italy. «A great success, it’s a game not only for children …». Here is his story
LIVORNO. When we talk about Pokémon, we immediately think of a brand, a cultural phenomenon, only for children. But that’s not quite the case. The Pokémon universe, which is divided into cards, anime, manga, collecting and video games, is not only followed by very young people, but above all by many over thirty-year-olds, with proposals specifically for a teenage-university audience. In fact, there is a universe of official Pokémon competitions for young and old, divided into 3 age categories Junior, Senior and Master, to allow fans to compete either with the collectible card game or with the video game. Francesco Pardini, from Livorno, has always been passionate about Pokémon, like many in the 90s, he discovers the world of pocket monsters during their first phase of explosion as a global phenomenon. He thus enters the competitive world with a straight leg, managing to become Italian national champion in 2011 and 2015, and participating in 3 world championship events, San Diego, Boston and Nashville, also obtaining a prestigious seventh place in the world. Since 2016 he is a professional streamer and commentator of the streams of the official Pokémon World Cup for Nintendo Italy. “In truth – Pardini tells us – as I always love to say during my streaming, Pokémon is also a game for children”.
How can you explain, in simple terms, the Pokémon competition?
«It’s a kind of colorful game of chess, with a mix of preparation upstream before the competition. Psychology to predict opponents’ moves and luck, which never hurts. It is very important to build your team of 6 Pokémon well in order to prepare it to face any opponent ».
On Youtube and Twitch you can learn to play competitively, or follow tournaments on the official and non-official circuit, approaching the world of the Pokémon video game. But how does Livorno fit into all this?
“With the pandemic, many things had to be revised, and also new ways to play tournaments had to be reinvented, since they have been suspended since April 2019. Wanting to always get involved, I made my way on Twitch – a gaming-oriented streaming platform, very popular and owned by Amazon – with a channel that through watching my games could offer the viewer a way to learn how to play competitive Pokémon on video game. We have, with my faithful friends and collaborators Antonio Amendolea, from Livorno like me, and Pietro Xella from Imola, set up a real studio in Livorno, with sound engineer, director and commentators to “give” to fans of the competitive Pokémon, players and Twitch audience, a “PTC- Pokémon Team Championship” competition. A real 3-hour show staged every Tuesday at 6pm. A championship of 8 teams, with NBA-style Pokémon and logos, each consisting of 1 captain and 7 other players (for a total of 8 per team), from choose and compete through an auction with a limited budget in fantasy football style, and stream it on Twitch in collaboration with Multiplayer, a magazine and also a digital publication of reference in the gaming video world. The tournament also has sponsors who are increasingly interested in advertising themselves during these broadcasts. In short, a sort of small NBA made in Livorno ».
And are the numbers proving you right?
“After the first episodes, we are sailing with exceptional numbers with about 30,000 unique spectators for each live and an average of simultaneous spectators that goes around 1600”.
But how can you interact? “By connecting with the Twitch channel at the address francescopardinivgc, or Francesco Pardini on the YouTube channel where it is explained how to approach the world of the competitive Pokemon”.
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