Learn about the incredible players you can watch battle on August 13–15 on Twitch.tv/Pokemon.
Game 25th Invitational is a who's who of the best Pokémon video game
players in the world. Former World Champions are facing off against Pokémon Players
Cup Champions in what are sure to be outstanding battles. Be sure to visit Twitch.tv/Pokemon on August 13–15, 2021,
to watch all the action. But before you do, learn more about the talented
Trainers who will be competing!
Players Cup I Champion
Aspiring Champions faced a lot of uncertainty preparing for
the first Pokémon Players Cup, which was both the most important official
online tournament ever and the first official Pokémon video game event to
feature the double-elimination format instead of the usual Swiss. No Trainer
rose to this challenge better than Santino. Not only did he win the tournament,
but he did so without dropping a single set in both the Region Finals and the
Santino is now closely associated with Gigantamax Coalossal,
the now-ubiquitous Pokémon he helped put on the map with his victorious Pokémon
Players Cup I team. Even outside of his breakout win, Santino is known as
an influential team builder, and that skill will be crucial in a field of some
of the biggest names—and brightest minds—in Pokémon VGC history.
2016 World Champion,
Players Cup II Champion
Wolfe has been tremendously successfully since his first
season competing, winning both his first Regional Championship and the National
Championship in 2011 on his way to a Top-8 finish at the 2011 World
Championships. He won the US National Championship again in 2012 and made it
all the way to the World Championships finals. He took his biggest win at the 2016
World Championships using a clever team focused on Mega Gengar, Primal
Kyogre, and Mega Rayquaza, while incorporating many creative ways for his
supporting Pokémon to get in and out of battle.
No video game competitor has seen as many World Championships
top cuts as Wolfe, nor has anyone seen success at as many different levels. His
recent Pokémon Players Cup II victory joined a list of accolades that includes
2019 North America International Champion and six-time Regional Champion. Wolfe
seems to be in the mix at the end of every tournament he competes in, so he'll
certainly be a competitor to watch.
Players Cup IV Champion
The most recent Pokémon Players Cup Champion earned his
biggest win just a few weeks ago, but he'd built toward that victory for years.
Renzo had previously represented Peru in Day 2 of both the 2017 and 2018
Pokémon World Championships, and has won several Regional Championships across
Latin America. His winning
team from Pokémon Players Cup IV was a well-rounded rotation that could effectively
handle many different types of opponents.
While it might be easy to overlook him in a list of famous
competitors, Renzo comes in with an advantage after proving he's in
championship form with his recent Pokémon Players Cup IV win. Even with the
format shifting, Renzo has shown himself to be among the very best players of Pokémon
Sword and Pokémon Shield, which could be his leg up on the
competitors who haven't had as much recent success.
2013 World Champion
Arash shocked the field when he became the first European
Video Game World Champion in 2013 using a team built around a clever
combination that seemed to have an advantage against every team on the field: Mamoswine
and Tornadus with the Defiant Ability. Since his big win, Arash has remained
one of Europe's top players, finishing in second place at the 2015 UK National
Championships, winning the 2016
German National Championships and making it
to the quarterfinals of the 2018
Pokémon World Championships.
In addition to being one of the most successful players in Pokémon
Video Game Championships history, Arash has also been one of the most creative.
While he's best known for his incredible solution to the 2013 metagame, many of
his other teams have included unique Pokémon and strategies. He was the only
player to make the Top-8 in the 2018 World Championships with Persian or Volcarona
on his team, and he was the first player to make it to the top cut of any 2016
National Championship with Jumpluff or Yveltal.
2014 World Champion
After a decade of impressive accomplishments, Sejun Park has
become synonymous with Pokémon in South Korea. Starting his run as the Senior
Division runner-up of the 2011 Pokémon World Championships after winning South
Korea's first National Championship, he effortlessly moved up to the Masters
Division with a Top-8 finish at the World Championships in 2012 and 2013. The
next season, he won the 2014 Pokémon World Championships with the help of his
trademark Pachirisu in perhaps
the most famous Pokémon Video Game Championships match of all time.
While Sejun is best known for his Pachirisu, he's come up
with several devastating teams using other uncommon Pokémon, including another
unexpected Pokémon that knew Follow Me in his 2013 Pokémon World Championships
run—Magmar. He's perhaps also the most versatile Pokémon Trainer on the planet—not
only did he qualify for the Pokémon TCG event in the 2016 Pokémon World
Championships, but he's also an expert player at seemingly every Pokémon video game
you can imagine, attaining Legend rank in Pokémon GO's GO Battle League and
Master rank in the recently released Pokémon
2017 World Champion
One of the game's most enthusiastic team builders, Ryota saw
great success in the middle years of the Pokémon Video Game World
Championships. He's best known for winning both the 2017 Japan National
Championships as well as the 2017 Pokémon
World Championships, but he also qualified for both the 2014 and 2015 Pokémon
World Championships, where he made the Top-32 both years. To qualify for these
events, he finished as the runner-up in the 2014 Japanese National
Championships and became a semifinalist in 2015—an equally impressive feat at
what most players consider to be the most difficult annual tournament outside
of Worlds itself.
Ryota is sure to be a strong opponent due to his incredible variety
of strategies. His winning Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon team in
2017 featured an almost unheard-of Krookodile and the wonky combination of a
Whimsicott knowing the move Nature Power and holding a Normalium Z—perhaps
fitting for a player known for playing whimsical teams.
2018 World Champion
Paul won the hearts of many with his impassioned interviews
after realizing his long-held dream of becoming Latin America's first World
Champion in 2018. After qualifying for his first World Championships back in
2016, Paul made it all the way to the semifinals in 2017. He followed that
finish up with a 2018 victory, making for the best consecutive performances
since Ray Rizzo's back-to-back World Championships wins.
Paul is probably best remembered for his unexpected
Gastrodon in 2018, but he used three of the same Pokémon in both 2017 and
2018—Snorlax, Salamence, and Tapu Koko—showing what he can do with experience and
a clever combination of Pokémon. It's been a while since Ecuador's most famous
Trainer has battled on a large stage, so it's sure to be exciting to see what
Pokémon he selects this time.
2019 World Champion
Naoto has quietly been one of the more impactful Japanese
players at the Pokémon Video Game World Championships over the years. He made
his first World Championship appearance way back in 2010, which many consider
to be the first true Pokémon Video Game World Championships. After finishing
Top-8 in the Japan National Championships, he returned for the 2015
World Championships and finished in fourth place. Naoto continued his World
Championships journey with a win at the most recent 2019
Pokémon World Championships.
Naoto has found success in over a decade of tournaments, so
his breadth of experience is sure to be an advantage when preparing for this
unique event. Two of the three Pokémon World Championships Naoto competed in allowed
the use of powerful Legendary Pokémon—including his most recent win in 2019 using
Groudon and Lunala—which could prove to be valuable experience as competitors
look to figure out this new format that allows only one such Pokémon.
Watch the Video Game 25th Invitational on August 13–15 on Twitch.tv/Pokemon!