How to Become Pokémon World Champion

Illustration for article titled How to Become Pokémon World Champion
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Se Jun Park won the Pokémon Video Game World Champion Master’s Division last year. You’d think preparing for a tournament that has the words “world” and “champion” in it would require months of dedicated prep beforehand. You’d think.

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“Actually, I spent less time playing Pokémon in 2014 than I ever have ever since I really got into Pokémon battle.” Park admitted in an interview with Weekly Famitsu. “I had college entrance exam studying to do and the national tournament to select the Korean representative last year was fairly late, so I only had a few days to prepare for the Pokémon World Champions.” Park noted that he prepared the Gothitelle in his deck only a few days before traveling to the US to compete in the tournament.

Illustration for article titled How to Become Pokémon World Champion
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One of Park’s winning tactics was the use of the Pokémon, Pachirisu, a pokemon that was a fan favorite mostly for its cute appearance, but that Park managed to find a tactical advantage to. “I had a Gyarados in my deck, so I figured I needed someone to act as a support character for him.” Park explained. “At first, I was thinking of Amoonguss, but at the time, Ludicolo and Zapdos with Safety Goggles were popular and I thought I might be at a disadvantage. When I was looking for another candidate, I noted the ability, “Follow Me” and it was one of the abilities that Pachirisu can use. Pachirisu has “Nuzzle” and “Super Fang” so I thought he would be good for countering Ludicolo and Zapdos.”

[photo: pokemon.com]

While Park admittedly likes the cuter Pokémon, he was not expecting the crowd response when he brought out Pachirisu. (Check out around 13:47 in the video below for the massive cheer)

In the end, Park equates his victory partly to luck but also to his understanding of the battle environment and the trends among trainers. Park is already set for entry to the next national Korean tournament and is currently in preparation to hopefully win the Korean representative seat in the next world championship.

Said Park in closing “People often ask me for tips, but I believe, rather than aim to win a tournament right from the start, if you don’t give up even if you lose, and understand why you lost and what methods there are to become stronger, and are able to find you own way, you can eventually become a champion.”

For some reason, I’m kind of expecting an elderly woman in a kitchen baking cookies to show up explaining what “temet nosce” means right about now.

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Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

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To contact the author of this post, write to cogitoergonihilATgmail.com or find him on Twitter @tnakamura8.

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DISCUSSION

In the end, Park equates his victory partly to luck but also to his understanding of the battle environment and the trends among trainers.

And this right here is what so many people didn’t get when the Pachirisu victory was first announced. So many people were taking it as proof that the concept of a Pokémon metagame was flawed, or that the people who analyze the game are putting too much thought into a game they see as random. This actually proves the opposite- Park won precisely because he studied the metagame, and discovered a weird little quirk- Pachirisu could be used as a sacrificial lamb to give Gyarados at least one free turn to set up. Yet a lot of people seem to think he just tossed Pachirisu on his team and won with little forethought.