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Pokemon World Championships 2017 End With Weird Teams And Big Comebacks

Smart plays and a bit of luck.


This year's Pokemon World Championships have come to a close, which means a new set of champions has been crowned. The final battles in both the trading card game (TCG) and in Sun and Moon (VGC) were notable for offbeat strategies, weird teams, and very smart comebacks.

Players are separated into divisions--Juniors, Seniors, and Masters--based on age, so there are three champions in both the TCG and the VGC. They are, in division order:

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In the VGC, Junior Nicholas Kan faced a very unconventional team. His opponent Tomas Serrano's team included Hariyama, Oranguru, and Gigalith, all incredibly uncommon Pokemon in the 2017 competitive scene. Gigalith used the move Rock Slide, which has a chance to cause flinching (and therefore missing a turn), but Nicholas managed to get through both of their games without losing any turns to Rock Slide. That good luck along with careful preservation of his Snorlax won him the championship.

In the Seniors division, Japan's Yuki Wata went up against South Korea's Hong Juyoung. Both players used more conventional Pokemon, and early on Yuki seemed to be two steps ahead of Hong at all times. But after a loss in the first game, Hong hit back hard and countered Yuki's team with the knowledge he gained in game one--even letting his Porygon 2 faint in order to set himself up with the better duo of Mudsdale and Arcanine.

The TCG had what was probably the most memorable game of the weekend. Everyone thought Seniors player Michael Long was set to lose game two of his match against Zachary Bokhari. Zachary was one KO away from winning, but he was running out of cards, and you lose automatically if you can't draw. Michael only had a Froakie with the move Bubble, and in a stunning comeback, he was able to stall and survive long enough to win. Although Zachary ended up winning the title, it was still an impressive to see a player who knew exactly what he had to do to win: Bubble.

You can watch all the finals matches on Pokemon's official Twitch channel. For more on Pokemon, check out our guide to understanding and watching competitive Sun and Moon.

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