In 2002, I started by providing small Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh trading card and video game events locally. I would go to their locations to organize the events.
In 2003, myself and a few others became league leaders based out of the Lorain Public Library, South Branch. We ran the South Lorain Card Players Association (SLCPA), an officially sanctioned trading card league for both Pokemon via Pokemon USA and Yu-Gi-Oh via Upper Deck Entertainment. The SLCPA was the second Pokemon and the first non-Toys R’ Us Yu-Gi-Oh league in Ohio.
In 2005, the SLCPA expanded to another location, Lorain County Community College. Then, Pokemon added their video games as part of the league activities. In addition, we began hosting premier/paid events for a number of games. However, the Pokemon Trading Card Game proved to be the largest of those events with well over 100 players on some occasions. It was during this year that I became an officially sanctioned tournament organizer with Pokemon.
In 2005 and 2006, I was given the opportunity to be an operations staff member for an anime convention based out of Lorain County Community College named HaruCon. In 2007 and 2008, I was promoted to running operations for HaruCon’s successor convention, ShinbokuCon. These were also the first local conventions where the SLCPA began organizing small gaming events.
In 2006, the SLCPA expanded to a new location after leaving the library. It was a local hobby shop known as The Dungeon.
From 2009 to 2010, the SLCPA had lost both of its locations. The Dungeon went out of business and Lorain County Community College’s student union was under construction. There was a hiatus in our operations, but our staff did assist others with their events.
From 2009 to 2012, I organized an annual science fiction convention based out of San Francisco, CA that was a benefit for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life known as the Second Life Science Fiction Convention. Those conventions saw thousands of attendees and raised tens of thousands of dollars for the charity year after year. Beginning in 2013, members of my staff took over the management of the convention. The estimated combined total of the fundraising conducted as part of the convention since its inception is approximately one million U.S. dollars.
Beginning in 2010, the SLCPA began to organize large gaming events for a number of regional conventions. Our combination trading card and video gaming events at ColossalCon 2012 seated nearly 250 people.
In 2011, Games – Ohio (GO) was created to encompass all of the services previously provided as part of the SLCPA. In turn, the SLCPA was returned to its initial status as simply a gaming league. We also became affiliated with the Entertainment Consumers Association of Ohio and the North Coast Gamers of Cleveland.
From the summer of 2011 to the end of 2013, GO set up operations at a local hobby shop known as Ctrl Alt Elite Gaming (CAEG). The SLCPA and smaller premier events would be hosted by the store, quite often taking up every seat at the location. It was during this time period that we began sanctioning events for BushiRoad, Konami and Wizards under CAEG and The Hero Zone. In January 2014, CAEG went out of business and later reopened under new management.
Beginning in 2013, GO organized joint events with local GameStops and hobby shops as well as continued to provide events for conventions. In addition, The Pokemon Company International (TPCi) granted us the ability to organize our own premier Pokemon events and the rights to host officially sanctioned video game tournaments online.
In 2014, GO began an initiative to create game-based teams to join together in both casual and competitive arenas known as Team Games – Ohio. GO also absorbed Minor League Gaming (mLG), after two years of inactivity, in hopes to create the arena needed for Team GO. In addition, GO became a Konami Independent Event Organizer, makers of the Yu-Gi-Oh Trading Card Game.
In 2015, GO ran collectible miniatures and trading card gaming at the first Wizard World Cleveland Comic Con. All 100 seats were filled for much of the weekend. GO also began its second year of organizing a tri-annual video gaming event. During the fall, GO restarted the South Lorain Card Players Association gaming league at its original location and became a Tournament Organizer with BushiRoad, makers of the Cardfight: Vanguard Trading Card Game.
- Anthony Haslage