ROY — To say that Daniel Sargent grew up playing Pokemon would be an understatement. His family was playing and winning the game before he was even born 11 years ago.
But now, Daniel is showing his family how it’s done — he will be competing for the world championship of Pokemon in August in Hawaii.
Daniel recently took third place nationally in his age division to qualify for an all-expenses-paid trip to Hawaii.
“I am thrilled beyond belief at how well he has done,” said his mom, Andrea.
All three of Andrea’s children have been heavily involved in Pokemon and the national tournaments. His oldest sister, now 22, got the family hooked on the game.
“My daughter started back in the day when it was huge,” Andrea said. Her daughter was competing so much that Andrea started working for the company at game tournaments while pregnant with Daniel.
“It’s been a big part of his life,” Andrea said. It has worked well for them because she was always allowed to take Daniel with her to work the tournaments. And Daniel, watching the game so much, quickly caught on how to play.
Daniel has a love of the game for several reasons, but one of the biggest for him is the friendships he has formed with kids from all over the globe. He has also learned how to be a better reader and even sharpened his math skills.
“I have to strategize,” Daniel said. He admits he gets pointers from his older brother and sister, who are great players as well. His sister also played in national competitions and often serves as his guardian at tournaments because his mom is busy working.
How does he feel about competing on a world championship level?
“I am just ecstatic,” Daniel said.
He has competed on a world level before, but it was as what Andrea refers to as “a last-chance qualifier.” Now, he has earned his place in the competition.
Daniel also is earning money for college with his victories. With his national placement a couple of weeks ago, he earned scholarship money, and much more will be awarded to him with a first- through fourth-place finish next month.
Hundreds of kids compete in each division from all over the world and the kids make immediate friendships, Andrea said. The common bond of Pokemon helps them to get along and they enjoy hanging out between rounds.
Andrea has enjoyed watching her family bond and have fun while playing the game. Traveling the world to play has been a huge benefit as well. She said:
“It’s what we do together.”