This weekend, some of the best Pokemon trainers from around the globe will compete in the One Nation of Gamers Pokémon Invitational. Whether they’re world champions or major figures in the larger community, the battles are rife with interesting angles. In preparation for all of the excitement, here’s what some of these match-ups may well look like.
Two of the Video Game Championship series’ favorite sons are set to kick off the action in the ONOG Invitational. Park is the 2014 world champion and Zheng once got very close to the title (third place in 2013), so it should be a close set.
The two have also battled once before in a friendly match, so they are familiar with each others’ play-style. Finally, both are excellent team-builders who have demonstrated how comfortable they are with this metagame. Zheng, meanwhile, has top cut both California regionals and won the Melbourne Win-a-Trip-Challenge.
As a result, it may all come down to who has the better team match-up. With their skill levels so close, the slightest advantage could tip the scales of victory one way or the other.
There’s a lot that makes this set exciting. Wolfe Glick is the reigning world champion and always puts on a good show, but he’s also been helping aDrive practice for his first live event — the St. Louis Regional Championships.
That creates a nice teacher versus pupil element that could make for a potential upset. It may be hard to imagine Glick losing, but stranger things have happened. It will be aDrive’s first match of the tournament, so he has the potential to surprise his opponent with an unexpected team.
Plus, even though he hasn’t played much VGC, aDrive has honed his prediction skills in single battles. If he’s able to get inside the champ’s head, he may be able to pull off the ultimate underdog story. However, that’s no easy feat. Glick is well-known for having his own incredible insight.
What happens when a super skilled world champion plays one of the most unpredictable VGC players to ever win a national championship? No one knows. It all depends on how much practice these two have gotten with the current rule-set. Ogloza is known for kicking it on the Battle Spot ladder a fair bit, and it would be foolish to assume Honami isn’t grinding out games there as well.
The other thing is, due to the differences in how Japan’s VGC circuit works, the former world champ hasn’t played in any official 2017 events outside of the European International Championship. Without much best-of-three tournament experience in this format, he might not have that much of an advantage over Ogloza, who hasn’t competed this year either.
Both players will have to draw from their previous experiences and successes as VGC players and rely on their instincts to take the early win. Honami is a strong favorite, but don’t count Ogloza out. This game could go to anyone.
Finally, a first round match-up without a world champion to be the obvious favorite. As a result, it’s hard to say whether Shachar or Stadter will take this game. They’ve both found tremendous success at events in 2017. Stadter notched a win in Leipzig and Shachar made waves by popularizing Tapu Fini while taking second in San Jose.
These two are smart players, but they’re also hungry to demonstrate that they belong among such a stacked field. Stadter will want to prove he can handle a world champion and Shachar is still looking to win his first major event after coming close so many times. With so much on the line, how could it be a bad match?