The World Championships are soon upon us, and I’ve taken the Magnet Train from Goldenrod to Saffron to bring you the 10 games from European competitions that I believe you should watch before the World Championships. Admittedly, there’s some bias towards the games I personally commentated.
Dublin Regionals Top 4 – William Tansley (@StarKO90) vs David Mizrahi (@PlatypusVGC)
Groan all you want, but I’m including a Big 6 mirror. To fully appreciate the inner workings of the team, we come to the Semi-Final of the Dublin Regionals. Known Big 6 expert William Tansley took on David Mizrahi’s own Big 6 team, with a twist. Game 3 is an especially exhilarating one, after some clever tech-hiding from David.
UK Nationals Round 6 – Eric Rios (@riopaser) vs Pietro Chiri (@KirroVGC)
When Wolfe Glick won Florida Regionals with Dialga earlier on this season, it was touted as being the ultimate counter to RayOgre cores. Eric Rios, a potential Day 2 candidate at the time, was running RayOgre at UK Nationals. Come Round 6 and he’s facing Pietro Chiri who was running a Dialga himself. There’s much more than meets the eye to this match-up, as a certain item makes this set a very interesting watch.
UK Nationals FINAL – Alex Gomez (@PokeAlex_) vs Ethan Hall (@jhonethanc) @21:45
Alex was already a Regional Champion and semi-finalist by the time VGC 2016 started, and he shone at the start of the format by bringing Dual Primal Bronzing to the spotlight with his phenomenal performance at the Wakefield Regionals. I also have to admit that, besides being incredible at the game, his sets are all must-watch. Let’s watch the set that made Alex the favourite to win the World Championships. After being undefeated in 13 Rounds of best-of-three, his final challenge came in the form of Ethan Hall. Ethan wasn’t known much outside of the UK scene but certainly impressed with the only stand-out performance of a Groudon Xerneas team this tournament. With trump cards like Latios and Gengar, this game is absolutely mouth-watering.
Germany Nationals – Round 1 Lajos Woltersdorf (@Lajovgc) vs Bianca W. @21:30
The first couple of turns were cut off due to the stream only just dropping into the game after another game ended early. Taking a leaf from 2015 Worlds Top 16 finisher Koki Sakurai’s book, the team Lajos’ brought with him to the German National Championships was the coolest team I’ve seen all season. The reason it’s so cool? Heal Pulse. That is all.
Italy Nationals – Top 32 Thomas Herglotz vs Alessio Yuri Boschetto (@YureeVGC)
Alessio Yuri Bronzongetto was a name that occupied the Top 16 of the championship point ladder all season because of his strong 2015 Regional performances. Despite that, he really came into the spotlight when he became the first player to win a major tournament with Yveltal. Italy Nationals was his last chance to potentially qualify for Day 2, and bringing Sceptile to the tournament certainly raised some eyebrows. The curtain raised on the stage and Yuri came face to face against Thomas Herglotz. Sometimes in VGC, turns and RNG can go against your favour, and this game shows off how it isn’t always the end of the world.
Germany Nationals FINAL – Arash Ommati (@Mean_vgc) vs Till Böhmer (@Dark_Psiana)
There’s no way I couldn’t include the game that allowed Arash Ommati to wear the crown for best European player of all time. After a decent performance at UK Nationals which was hindered by a grumpy Kangaskhan, Arash took no prisoners at Germany Nationals with the normally adorable Jumpluff opening up the gates of hell to reveal a dangerous Groudon and Yveltal.
Italy Nationals FINAL – Javier Señorena (@FhProman) vs Yeray Núñez (@yerayarrivi2000)
Italy Nationals was certainly an odd competition the longer it went on. The Top 4 is also certainly the most colourful Top 4 in any National Championship in terms of team compositions. The final of the Italian National Championship saw the use of a new and unique restricted duo, and an interesting cast of support Pokemon like Hitmontop, Togekiss and Mienshao.
Germany Nationals Top 32 – Alexander Kuhn (@hibikivgc) vs Luis Conti (@luismconti) @ 6:30
Hibiki is someone who suffers a little bit from not being rated by the community, based on the fact that his Regional performances were average when compared to players like Joseph Richardson or Alex Gomez. Admittedly when I saw that he was to face Luis Conti, someone I believed would go far in the tournament, if not win it, I was sceptical of how he would fare in this mirror match up. The result? Worth watching!
Wakefield Regionals FINAL – Jamie Boyt (@JamieBoytVGC) vs Alex Gomez (@PokeAlex_)
This match is exciting for a whole range of reasons. Alex Gomez was just coming off a string of strong 2015 Regional finishes with 3rd and 1st place from both Madrid and Lyon and seemed to have adapted snugly into the 2016 format with his strong performance at the tournament so far. You could safely also credit him for the popularity of Dual Primal Bronzong. Jamie Boyt had made the Top Cut in 2 of the 3 Regionals he went to in 2015. Already we have two very strong players facing each other and that shows in these games. Game 2 boasts delightfully intense final few turns. If there’s one game to watch before Worlds, it’s this one!
And there we have it. My list of European games to watch before the World Championships this weekend. It’s been one heck of a season, and these games proved to be both educational and entertaining. Now wait for the World Championships which will have the best games of the season, with an excellent cast of commentators to compliment the Worlds best players duking it out.