Despite months of playing Pokemon TCG Online religiously, I was unaware of its leaderboards until long after. In my defense, they live on the Pokemon website and not within the game, making it very easy to miss
Though I’m annoyed that I can’t check the leaderboards while I’m playing, it does have one particularly neat feature. By scrolling all the way to the back of each leaderboard, you can see how many players are playing within each format.
For the purposes of this post, I went to each leaderboard and scrolled to the very back of the previous full season. I then wrote down what the last place number was to determine how many players were listed in each leaderboard. The results of that research caught me by surprise.
Fighting game online leaderboards are not the be-all-end-all measure of a player’s success. For one, there are cheaters out there who will scam their way to the top just to see their names in lights. Also, sitting at the top of any leaderboard doesn’t entitle you to anything when it’s really time to prove your worth at a tournament.
That being said, leaderboard performance matters to me. I use it as a means of not only measuring where I stand against the rest of the world, but measuring my own growth as a player. Furthermore, it acts as motivation to get better, as you can see what lies ahead.
A few months ago, there was a change in my approach to Street Fighter IV. While I’ve taken the game seriously for awhile now, there was a very different motivation driving my play. At first, it started out as a focus on getting better. But as that improvement happened, I noticed that I was within reach of some lofty milestones. When I realized that being the #1 ranked Rose and Cammy player in Canada was within my reach, I made the conscious decision to put all of my gaming energy towards meeting those goals. For better or worse, mission accomplished.