#WeWontStop | Fundraiser & Summer Cup Tournament Recap
1 year ago
Usually when Stadium releases a tournament recap, it is to showcase top teams, battlers and moments from the biggest streams in the competitive scene. Today, we'll touch on a bit of that, but it is not the complete reason we are here. Over the last two weeks the landscape of personal bodily autonomy has changed in the United States. On June 24, 2022 the partisan Supreme Court of the United States overturned federal protections of fundamental liberty afforded to women by the landmark case Roe v Wade.
In the wake of this attack on freedom the Pokémon GO Community sprang to action like it has many times over. The incomparable team of NHoff, DphiE250, FinalBossAJ, NeedForSpeedy, MissMystic, and Gabby Snyder banded together with a support staff that included nDunn7, melgood711, debbiepebble, and many more to create #WeWontStop - Battle For Roe a Pokémon GO PVP Fundraiser Tournament and stream.
The donation link launched with an original goal of $10,000 and before the team hit the "Start Stream" button the community alongside ten sponsor organizations had raised over 90% of the funds and the goal was extended and at press time is sitting at a staggering $22,030.90.
Even though the stream has ended, donations are still being accepted. If you would like to contribute to the cause you can do so via Tiltify. If you find this article in the future and would like to continue your support of Planned Parenthood you can donate to them directly.
Before I have the opportunity to interview some of the lovely community members involved and the winner of the tournament I would like to touch briefly on the Pokémon GO aspect of this Pokémon GO Stream and tournament.
#WeWontStop was a Show Six/Pick Three tournament in the Great League in the Summer Cup, an upcoming GO Battle League meta that will be available in game from August 10-17.
The official rules for Summer Cup (both this tournament & in-game) are:
Pokémon must be at or below 1,500 CP to enter.
Only Normal-, Fire-, Water-, Grass-, Electric-, and Bug-type Pokémon will be permitted.
If you would like to learn more about the Summer Cup, check out our friend PVPSteve's video made in preparation for this tournament.
Later in this article we will speak with the winner of #WeWontStop to get a peek at a winning team, but for now let's get back on track. I'd like to bring you a conversation I had the pleasure of speaking with the members of the #WeWontStop fundraising stream.
Hoff we have been friends for roughly three years now and I feel we both know each other decently well, but could you explain who you are in the community to the readers of this recap?
I’m NHoff, known on Twitch as NAHoff or on Twitter as GoddessNHoff (an earned title, mind you!)
I’m a member of and admin for the GirlsThatPVP Discord community, a member of and manager for Stadium Elite, and a writer, meta analyst, and meta developer for GO Stadium.
Most historically, and where I had the pleasure of meeting you Cody, I’m a moderator of Alfindeol’s community.
I’m an avid analyst and caster for livestream tournaments, and like to participate now and then when I feel like flexing the old muscles. Representing women at the highest level of competition has always been a passion of mine, and continues to be a driving force towards my continuous involvement in this wonderful community.
You have always been one of the most socially conscious people in the community. Can you describe the purpose of #WeWontStop for those who maybe don't understand the goal or maybe have a different viewpoint and are willing to listen.
We Won’t Stop is a rebuttal to a force that wants exactly that - to stop, or rather reverse - efforts for equality and equity across the board. While the overturn of Roe v. Wade was the driving force of this, We Won’t Stop is an idea that the needle has to be pushed further - not to where it was, but further. Even since the overturn we’ve seen further reactionary changes to protections by our government. The response, just like this response, cannot be one that stops at where we were - because where we were wasn’t firmly protected for those who needed the protection most.
How did it make you feel seeing the *almost* universal agreement within our community that one's bodily autonomy should be protected?
The overwhelming positive reaction and support offered to this fundraising effort has been truly inspiring. In Columbus during NAIC, a weekend that was supposed to be all about enjoying this game, the mood obviously shifted immediately and harshly for the worse after hearing about the Supreme Court’s decision. The immediate turnaround and support from DPhiE, ndunn7, Gabby, NeedForSpeedy, and MissMystic was a huge driving force behind my continued enjoyment of the weekend. Their support and engagement, and the continued and nearly unanimous support from the community post-announcement, has been indescribable in how welcoming it has made myself and others feel. While the financial support and promotion of this event has been incredible, the support shared through countless DMs and public shoutouts has just been huge and is something that I know others in the community recognize and resonate with.
You have hosted and been a part of multiple fundraiser streams for various causes, this is the first one that I can remember that an original goal of $2,000 was stretched to $10,000 and almost surpassed before the stream began. How did that kind of support alter the stream plans, conversations, etc. And what is the current goal for the community fundraiser?
The discussion between myself, DPhiE, and ndunn in your hotel room feels comical at this point. For those who weren’t present - we were discussing the merits of $2,500 vs $5,000 as initial goals. It was only when I went in to make the Tiltify link on the train on Monday that I went ambitious with a $10,000 goal to give the community something to aim for.
Clearly none of us were ready for this.
The amount of messages of “This community is amazing,” “Holy cow this community,” and “I love this community” that went down in our planning channels is something that I will never forget about this week. We were incredibly lucky to get continuous submissions of giveaway prizes, because our goals kept being stretched to need them! Before the stream on Sunday we discussed the merits of either a $15,000 or $20,000 stretch, as we were nearly at the $10,000 goal already - before a battle was played or a second of stream was broadcast.
We wound up going ambitious again, and having any rational expectations exceeded again.
Our current community goal, beyond anything I would have believed was possible a week ago, is TWENTY FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS for Planned Parenthood. The idea that I am typing up that number is something I am still in disbelief about. I’ve said it multiple places but this is the most proud I’ve been of anything in my life, this is just so remarkable.
DPhiE you are another person in the community I've had the pleasure of working with in the past during my casting days and you were the first woman to cast GO on the official circuit with Play! Pokémon. Can you introduce yourself and talk about that experience casting on the big stages at regionals.
Hello! I’m DPhiE250. I’m a shoutcaster, streamer, podcaster and proud member of the GirlsThatPvP Community. I got involved in shoutcasting battles early on in my streaming career and made appearances on several “grassroots'' streams such as Silph Showdowns, The Indigo League at TeamRocketPvP and other places like Arroh Draft League (ADL) and GO Battle League Arena (GBLA). This year I was invited to shoutcast on the official Play! Pokémon stream at Indianapolis. It was such an honor and privilege to work with fellow shoutcasters Holesome_, SpeediestChief and 2OButters at the first official North American event. To say that I am grateful for the experience is an under-statement.
We were able to meet in person this past weekend in Ohio and were able to discuss many things including the news of the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v Wade. Although we knew this day was coming based on previous leaks and trajectory, it was a dark day nonetheless, what were your immediate impressions once this was finalized?
Honestly, the moment I heard the news I felt numb and I didn’t really allow myself to process what had happened right away. I tried to stay off of Twitter and instead spent the rest of the weekend helping NHoff plan the fundraising stream and put my effort and mental strength into that. I waited until I was safely back home before I allowed the emotions to rush in.
One of the driving forces in this stream and the title sponsor was the GirlsThatPVP discord. Could you explain to us the focus of the discord and how battlers could get involved to support or be part of it.
GirlsThatPvP is so much more than a discord server and a Twitter hashtag. It’s a movement and a space that empowers women of the Pokémon GO Community. Pokémon GO, much like most other games, is a male-dominated space where women are often harassed and belittled. GirlsThatPvP gives women a community that is safe where we can connect and lift each other up. A great way to get involved or be a part of the Discord server is to follow & send a DM to the official Twitter account @GTPvP_Official.
You are a long time member of the general Pokémon community and have recently assimilated -very well might I add- into the Pokémon GO Battlers scene. Your GO Casting debut happened at NAIC, could you walk us through what it was like to be there as a leading female in the Pokémon space.
The North American International Championships is always a good time - this was my third year commentating at this event, though like you said, it was the first year I was asked to do GO! I think a lot of it was business as usual for me in that regard since at the end of the day a show is a show, and you just gotta do your best regardless of the circumstances. When I first started commentating I was nervous about being new in the space and being one of the first women in that position but now I’ve learned to just ignore those feelings and do the best job I could do. Leading up to Day 1 I was definitely nervous about knowing the mechanics and being able to talk about the game at the right level for a competitive stream, but my other casters Caleb, Steven, and Will were all amazing resources in that regard.
Midway through NAIC Weekend is when the #WeWontStop coordination and planning began, was there anything that drew you to want to be part of the stream?
I’ve always been an advocate for causes I believe in, which typically revolve around getting more women, LGBTQIA+, and BIPOC individuals involved in tech-adjacent fields for their careers or esports as a hobby/career. I had wanted to talk to DPhi and NHoff anyways that weekend since they’re both amazing women in the GO community I look up to and they approached me with their idea, and I didn’t hesitate to tell them I was in. I felt like I had to do something - anything - to get involved and this was the perfect mix of a great fundraiser and a fun way to distract people from the seriousness of it all for a bit. While it’s important to keep fighting this decision, I think that if you don’t take care of yourself and take breaks doing stuff you enjoy, you’ll burn out and find it hard to keep going. My gut is telling me that this is something we’re going to be fighting for a while, unfortunately.
Hi AJ, it is nice to speak with you. Usually, when we work on projects you are doing the writing and I'm contributing, so this is a bit different. Can you explain to our readers who you are and how we can find you?
For sure, those on GoStadium will know me for the recaps I've been doing of the Play!Pokémon PoGo tournaments that have been happening in the summer, but I've been a part of the PvP community for almost a year and a half now, streaming on my channel @FinalBossAJ, I've been doing shoutcasting for GymBreakers in addition to the We Won't Stop stream and others, I've got a couple of GoCast appearances now, and I'm on Twitter at A_J_Andrews. The underscores are there because Twitter is dumb.
As a non-American, how did the news of Roe v Wade’s overturning impact you and why did you feel the need to step up and help with this fundraising effort?
Well, Canada is America's hat, so we feel everything happening down there, and this was no different. The erosion of human rights has been a goal of the GOP for the past half decade as the fascist movement within Evangelical Christian circles gained steam, but to see the Supreme Court strike a blow like this and allow states to eliminate millions of people's rights in an instant is very worrying. As a member of the LGBTQ community, we have been sounding the alarm that this was a goal of theirs and Clarence Thomas let the mangy flea-bitten cat out of the bag with his person aims to attack same sex marriage, gender identity rights and the right to birth control. And the more emboldened American persecutors get, Canadian conservatives will start getting ideas. That's why when I was asked to be a part of this effort, there was no doubt in my mind whether or not to accept and I'm so happy I could do that for the cause.
Speedy, it is nice to speak with you again, we had the pleasure of meeting in Ohio while both of us were a bit sleep deprived with the hustle and bustle of the North American International Championships - thank you again for the UL Tapu Fini by the way. Since we’re both in a more awake state, can you introduce yourself to our readers and let us know where to find you?
Hi, my name is NeedForSpeedy. I am a female battler from Ohio that has been involved in PvP almost from the start of Silph. You can find me mostly on twitch/twitter at NeedForSpeedyGo.
As discussed elsewhere in this article, the news from the Supreme Court was handed down while we were all gathered together in Ohio, so we all reacted and hid our emotions simultaneously knowing that this was a problem, but wanting to enjoy the most important date for GO PVP yet. How did that moment hit you when you learned the news?
When I first heard of the news, it was shortly before my pods were about to be called up. I had a slight medical issue before my pod was supposed to start, so I wasn’t super focused on it. I was trying to focus on doing well in my pod and trying to make it up on stage, if not make it to day 2. Seeing my friends' reactions around me made me more upset on the news rather than the news that I couldn’t process at that moment. I don’t like seeing my friends hurt.
HouseStark93 (Tournament Winner)
Congratulations on winning the #WeWontStop - Battle For Roe Tournament, can you introduce yourself and explain where we can find you.
How did you build the team, and do you think some of the cores you built will be viable when the meta is available in the GO Battle League?
I built the team with the help of pvpoke.com in the teambuilder section, which is a fantastic resource that many top battlers use as well. The main core I battled with was Tapu Fini and Vigoroth, as they covered each other’s weaknesses well while also providing both fast move and charge move pressure to my opponents.
What drew you to competing today?
The main thing that drew me to competing in this tournament was the cause behind it. Raising money in order to help fund Planned Parenthood was reason enough to compete and raise awareness to those that aren’t aware or informed. There were so many people that came out to support the cause. It was amazing to see our community come together in such a positive way for a worthy cause.
My final question for all of our guests, Is there anything in closing you'd like to say in regards to the stream or the unfortunate Supreme Court Decision that sparked the stream?
You know I’m one for positive vibes, and I’d like not to end my interview by cursing out politicians, so I’ll focus on the stream and the fundraiser. This year has not been great - you mentioned other fundraisers earlier and I’ll mention that I ran a fundraiser in March for TransLifeLines after other regressive and reactionary changes in certain states.
The community response to these efforts reminds me that there is a future, and that future is forward.
I may be frustrated at the speed of the progress, I may be terrified at the fact that it gets worse before it gets better, but I am confident that things get better over time. Efforts like this, supportive messages, the ambition and enthusiasm from a community that is not inherently politically progressive - this is just a shared love of Pokemon and yet it’s reminding me that we have real progress ahead of us when more and more voices are heard.
If nothing else, I want to end this with a thank you.
I cannot say it enough to all the wonderful people who made this stream a success, and I cannot say it enough to the community. You all should be proud of what was accomplished.
It is a testament to our capabilities - an achievement few other communities could accomplish.
And we all did it in a week.
The fight doesn’t end, but you should all take a second to admire that.
As I did during the fundraising stream, I’d like to quote part of the Dobbs dissent written by Supreme Court Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan:
“After today, young women will come of age with fewer rights than their mothers and grandmothers had. The majority accomplishes that result without so much as considering how women have relied on the right to choose or what it means to take that right away. The majority’s refusal even to consider the life-altering consequences of reversing Roe and Casey is a stunning indictment of its decision.”
The only addition I’d add is that this affects so many more people than just women. This decision affects nonbinary and trans people; anyone with a uterus. And this trend isn’t going to stop at abortion access. We need to stay focused and diligent or we will start seeing threats to birth control in general and LGBTQ+ rights. That’s why we can’t ever stop the fight.
I want to thank everybody who took the time to help organize the stream, compete, spread the word, and donate - the money we raised is really going to make a difference in a lot of people’s lives. I also want to encourage people to donate if they haven’t already - Planned Parenthood is a great organization that provides essential health care services to men, women, and non-binary individuals. It’s important to ensure they and other health care services such as abortion funds keep getting funding so that individuals affected by the recent ruling can still get the care that they need.
I do want to say that no matter the decision and how much I personally disagree with their decision, there will always be very strong and tight-knit group of human beings that will fight for their basic human rights. I’m hopeful that in due time and with enough people’s support, the right changes will be made to correct the mistakes that have impacted many people’s lives in ways I can’t imagine.
I was glad to hear that we were putting something together to at least help some way against the decision. It doesn’t only affect me, but it affects so many friends and family members. I always try to be a part of these types of streams as there is a part of me that enjoys donating my time to causes I care about (even in my personal life, I volunteer weekly at a children's hospital). I think the stream was a large success and showed just another way as to how much this community comes together.
I do want to focus on the positive since I already talked about the negative. Although it was sparked by a horrific decision, I am so happy that so many members of the community came together so quickly to throw their support behind this stream, to give their time, their money, their prizes, it felt so amazing to see that. In the time I have been a part of this community there have been a few razor-thin rays of negativity that akted out, but they are quickly drowned by the might of the wonderful people who have made me proud to stand with them. This massive donation wouldn't have been possible without them and I would eat all the oatmeal without the wet for them any day. o7
As I finish here, I realize that as a Husband, Brother, Son and Friend I will never be directly affected by this change, but the women in my life will. And while this change doesn't affect my personhood, this will not be the final change forced upon us by the power hungry minority in America's broken system. Unfortunately I can't promise change today, but I can promise that I - and it seems this community - will fight for change, and I can pledge that I will not be silent as they come for you, friends.