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2023 Pokémon World Championship: Winner Recap

Getting the title of Pokémon Master is no easy achievement but that didn’t stop the thousands of players from competing in a four-day marathon for it.

From August 10th to August 13th the best Pokémon trainers from around the world gathered in Yokohama, Japan, to compete in the 2023 Pokémon World Championship. These four days were filled with exciting matches on all Pokémon games containing an official circuit: Pokémon UNITE, Pokémon GO, TCG, and VGC.

Pokémon UNITE - Winner: Luminosity Gaming

Luminosity Gaming wins Pokemon Unite

The Pokémon mobile MOBA began its group stage on August 10th, one day before all other competitions, and ended one day earlier on August 12th. The grand final showcased a best-of-three between Luminosity Gaming, North America’s brightest team, and previous world champion, and the underdogs from Odd Man Out representing the Phillipines.

Although Luminosity got to the finals through the upper bracket game one didn’t go exactly as they planned but they were able to come back from a relevant point deficit to secure their first step into becoming the only two-time UNITE world champions. In game two the North Americans were able to better impose their pace and locked down the World Champion title.

Pokémon GO - Winner: ItsAXN

A game that once made gamers leave their houses in order to capture and train their Pokémon had a grand final so exciting fans could not look away from their screens.

xXRubixMasterXx fought his way from the loser’s bracket in order to face the final boss, ItsAXN, one of the most decorated players in the game’s history. With a flexible game plan as well as smart switches ItsAXN was able to tap his way into the throne of World Champion, finally securing the only title he had yet to win.

Trading Card Game

Different from the two previous games covered so far TCG is divided into three age brackets: Juniors, Seniors, and Masters.

Juniors - Winner: Shao Tong Yen

The Juniors grand final was conquered in a dominant 2-0 manner by the Taiwanese player Shao Tong Yen with his Comfey-Sableye Lost Zone-focused deck against the 2023 Brazilian regional winner Gabriel Borges Torres.

Seniors - Winner: Gabriel Fernandez

Looking for revenge for his Brazilian comrade, Gabriel utilized a VSTAR Lugia-Archeops to secure his World Champion title against Sydney De Bruijn from the Netherlands. When asked what his favorite moment from the 2023 Pokémon World Championship was he answered quickly: “The moment where I won, I just became the World Champion!”.

Masters - Winner: Vance Kelley

Being the most experienced bracket, the Masters division did not disappoint the community and delivered a nail-biting series featuring Vance Kelley’s VMAX Mew-Genesect deck versus Tord Reklev Gardevoir EX-reliant deck. On game three’s turn number three of time, Vance was crowned the Pokémon World Champion and will now have his deck immortalized in the history of TCG.

Video Game Championship

Just like TCG, VGC competitions are divided into three age brackets: Juniors, Seniors, and Masters.

Juniors - Winner: Sora Ebisawa

In a Japan versus Japan grand final, the Juniors division was a master class by Sora Ebisawa who turn after turn predicted Kohei Ukai’s decisions and was easily able to secure two consecutive victories to lock in his first-place trophy.

Seniors - Winner: Tomoya Ogawa

Tomoyo Ogawa emotional reaction to winning Pokemon VGC

Tomoya brought “quite a weird team”, according to himself, into the Pokémon World Championship and was able to reach the grand final where he faced Robbie Schaaij from the Netherlands. Sometimes luck has little to do with who wins in VGC other times it can completely change the tides of a match - this was the case in this series, in both games one and two Tomoya managed to avoid multiple 90% accuracy moves, proc important paralysis and also land crucial critical hits. This by no means discredits Tomoya’s win, who played amazingly and was able to capitalize on the opportunities given to him.

Masters - Winner: Shohei Kimura

Most likely the most anticipated series in the entirety of the event was the match between Shohei Kimura, a Japanese VGC veteran, against the rookie German who began playing VGC six months ago, Michael Kelsch.

Both players delivered a tremendous show, Shohei managed to sneak the first game in his favor with an extremely clutch 30% flinch with his Icicle Crash. In game two Michael was not able to deal with his opponent’s Amoongus which led to three out of his four Pokémon getting Spored throughout the game and his defeat. Shohei was crowned as the Pokémon World Champion, this victory achieved the incredible feat of having all three divisions winners from a single country.