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Top 10 Players to Watch at 2023 Pokémon VGC World Championships

Who will emerge victorious from the biggest Pokémon competition of 2023? We break down the chances for the biggest names in Pokémon VGC

The Pokémon World Championship 2023 starts soon so to get you up to speed we have listed 10 players that will surely be turning necks when the competition starts

Trainers have battled through 2023 around the globe through Locals, Regionals, and International Competitions (ICs) to perfect their craft as well as earn the necessary Championship Points (CP) to get an invite for the Pokémon VGC World Championships being held in Yokohama, Japan.

With hundreds of competitors, it would be an impossible task to cover all of the elite players in contention for the title of Pokémon Master but we tried to highlight 10 who grabbed our attention this season:

Top 10 Players to Look Out For at the 2023 Pokémon VGC World Championships

10. Raghav Malaviya

At the age of 21, Raghav is coming hot into the World Championship with a second-place finish in the last North American International (NAIC) with an 11-3 score during Swiss. During NAIC they utilized a team composed of Flutter Mane, Amoongus, Paladin, Arcanine, Iron Hands, and Pelipper.

Raghav's first major achievement in VGC was in 2017 when he got top 4 in the Anaheim Regional Championships. In Yokohama, he’ll try to beat his 2022 World Championship

09. marcofieroVGC

Marco comes into this list being the European player with the most championship points (1156) as well as the only European within the top 10 Global rankings. During the 2023 season, Marco managed to top cut 3 Regionals, NAIC and also made top 32 on Oceania’s IC.

In 2018 they already tasted what it felt like to play in a World Championship, this time however they still played in the Senior division (exclusive for players ages 13 to 15).

08. Gabriel Agati

Another special name on the list is Gabriel Agati, the only player from Latin America within the top 20 Global rankings. Throughout 2023 Agati maintained the same exact core which only proves how consistently he is able to play among the elite.

With Regulation D’s massive changes, one can expect Agati to cook another meta-defining team but only time will tell how he’ll adapt to this regulation’s hyper-offensive meta.

07. Zack Thornberg

While Zach has not played as long as some names on the list his impact within the scene is visible. With a combination of consistent plays and innovative teams such as their Scream Tail Control and Perish Dondozo, they were able to secure their Day 2 invite to Yokohama.

06. Alberto Lara

With performances dating back to 2014, Alberto has certainly what it takes to retrieve his VGC veteran card. He was able to achieve his first Regional title during the 2018 Pokémon Hartford Regional Championships and has always kept up exceptional performances.

During this season he was able to achieve considerable success with some interesting teams up his sleeve, he was able to guarantee his World Championship invite with Pokémon such as Klefki, Corviknight, and Garchomp. Let’s just say Regulation D is not ready for Alberto's kitchen.

05. Gavin Michaels

Gavin, or as we like to call him, Pelipper’s Strongest Warrior has played VGC ever since 2011 when he was still a Senior during the Pokémon United States National Championships.

With only the World Championship title missing from his trophy cabinet, we can expect to see solid performances from Gavin in Yokohama. The only question is: will he pair his famous Pelipper with the meta-dominant Urshifu Rapid-Strike?

04. James Evans

The HungryBox of VGC, the King of Pop-offs, James Evans is a name known by any VGC veteran. In 2017 he conquered his first International Championship followed by the World Championship title in 2018 - mind you, this is only from his time as a Senior.

His emotional reactions which can be heard across the venue and consistent top performances make James one of the most exciting players to watch and we are certain he will not disappoint in this edition of the World Championship.

03. Paul Chua

When he isn’t completing his shiny dex, or watching anime Paul Chua is dominating VGC. In the current season, Paul got to the top four in two Regionals alongside a European International Championship title which got him 1280 CP total and a comfortable spot at the Day 2 table in Yokohama.

With experience in multiple seasons, Paul Chua is definitely a threat in Regulation D, and if you do end up competing against him you better hope he doesn’t bring his A game otherwise a win is unlikely.

02. Chuppa Cross IV

With one CP ahead of Paul, Chuppa finished second in the Global rankings and was one of the players responsible for putting the Dondozo-Tatsugiri duo into the competitive spotlight.

To understand how consistent Chuppa’s recent performances have been he has only missed one Day 2 cut and made at least top 8 at half the major tournaments he participated in.

01. Joseph Ugarte

Joe started making his mark in VGC during the 2019 season, achieving four top 8 placements in Regionals, a title, and a second place. In the current season, his performance has also been exceptional to say the least, if we had to list every single top performance from him we’d have to write two additional paragraphs.

His team building as well as precise in-game predictions makes him one of the biggest contenders for the title of Pokémon Master this year. With the introduction of Regulation D, we will most likely not see his famous Jumpluff Sun team but maybe, just maybe he will grace us one last time.