VGC 2017 International Championships Australia Preview

, , No Comments

With the next International Championship coming up, I thought it would be a good time to talk about the event, as well as the the players attending that are most likely in contention to win the event. This event will take place in Melbourne, Australia on March 10-12, 2017 at the Melbourne Park Function Centre. As the biggest event for the APAC area, this will be many players best shot at earning an invitation to the World Championships, so they'll be training hard to make sure they can do well and still be in contention to accomplish this. Different to this year, only 500 players in the Masters Division will be allowed to compete, meaning that prize money will only extend into the Top 8. Hope you enjoy and let's start.


Recently, PokeBank was released. While this does allow all 800+ Pokemon to be used in Pokemon Sun and Moon, this does also allow previously unavailable moves & abilities to be used by all Pokemon in the 2017 metagame. Some of the more notable ones include Fake Out on Salazzle, Electroweb on Vikavolt, and Unnerve on Aerodactyl, this will mean that during this event, players will have to watch out for these as they can come as a surprise if answers for them are gone. I'll link an article that goes into all the notable ones here.

Notable Players

Now its time to go into some players that have confirmed their attendance that will be threats throughout the event. It is difficult to predict the winner, but some have asserted themselves as someone to watch out for. (If you want me to remove your

Sam Pandelis -- @zeldavgc
It's hard to talk about threatening players at this event without mentioning Sam.  He has had an impressive 2016 season, coming off 3rd Place at the Australian Nationals and Top 16 at the World Championships and he's a 3 time Regional Champion. His strengths come in his ability to make fantastic reads each turn based on his overall board position at the time. While he does have a risky game-plan at times, he's able to consistently make smart calls to win games. Overall, he's probably one of Australia's best shot to have a native player win the event.

Aaron Zheng -- @CybertronVGC
A 4 time Regional Champion, 2 time National Champion, and 3rd at the 2013 World Championships with qualifying for the World Championships 7 times in a row, Aaron is a player that is consistently able to play at a high level. Recently, Sam Pandelis hosted the Melbourne Win-A-Trip event where the winner would earn enough money to attend this International Championship. Aaron was the one able to win the entire event and will most certainly be attending in Melbourne. In Europe, he finished with a 6-3 record, knocking him out of a Day 2, but with a better understanding on the meta, he might  be able to improve and make Day 2 this time.

Tommy Cooleen -- @TmanVGC
Tommy currently has the most Championship Points in North America and a 2017 Day 1 Worlds invite, which is mostly due to this Top 8 finish at the European International. With multiple Regionals Top Cut appearances, Tommy will be looking to use this event as a chance to stay in contention for a Day 2 Invite to the World Championships, but if he plays like in London, this shouldn't be much of an issue.

Baris Ackos -- @BillaVGC
Baris is a remarkable player with many accomplishments, most notably a Top 8 finish at the 2016 World Championships, as well as 2nd place at the 2016 South African Nationals. He recently finished 3rd a the Leipzig (Dreamhack) Regional so it's already safe to say that Baris understands this format. He already has his Worlds Invite so like Tommy, he'll be looking to upgrade his Day 1 invite into a Day 2 invite to improve on his Top 8 finish at the last World Championships. He's currently 2nd in CP behind Germany's Tobias Koschitzki.

Tobias Koschitzki -- @TobySxE
With a 2nd and 3rd place finish at the 2015 and 2016 German National Championships respectively, and a Top 16 finish at the 2015 World Championships, Tobias has been very close multiple times to achieving success but hasn't. Recently, he's finished 22nd in the Melbourne Challenge hosted by Sam Pandelis and more notably, Top 8 at the London International so he's shown that he can do well in this format and with his Day 1 Worlds Invite, he'll be looking to lock up a Day 2 invite.

Sebastian Escalante -- @SebasVGC
Sebastian is probably one of Latin America's best players as recently, he's done very well. Top 4 at the 2016 Argentina Nationals, 9th at the 2016 World Championships, and 30th at the London International shows that he's on his way to earning a Day 1 Worlds Invite. He's a very strong player very recently so if he gets his Worlds Invite, he should be able to make Day 2.

Wolfe Glick -- @WolfeyGlick
Wolfe is a player that needs no introduction. The current World Champion, a 4 time World Championship qualifier, 5 time Regional Champion and a 2 time National Champion, Wolfe is a player that can rise to the challenge and prove why he's strong player. Wolfe already has his Worlds Invite through becoming the World Champion so he's looking to lock up his Worlds Invite and if his Top 16 finish in London has anything to say about it, this should be a strong event.

Markus Stadter -- @13Yoshi37
Markus is a very accomplished player. A 3 time Regional champion, 2 time National Champion, and finishing 3rd at the 2016 World Championships shows that Markus is one of Europe's best players. Markus has already qualified through finishing Top 4 at the World Championships last season but since it's only a Day 1 Invite, he'll be looking to lock up a Day 2 Invite.

Paul Chua -- @_Blue_Spider_
Paul established himself as a strong player in Seniors with a finals appearance at the 2012 US Nationals, losing to Aaron Zheng in Senior finals, then winning US Nationals the very next year in Seniors, followed by a Top 8 finish at the World Championships the very same season. Going into Masters in 2015, a 10th place finish at US Nationals, followed by making Day 2 at the World Championships showed that no matter what division, Paul can prove his worth. He's won 3 Regionals as Masters and alongside his sister Kylie, who has won multiple Regionals in Seniors and finished Top 4 at the World Championships in 2015, the Chua siblings have shown why there both strong players and definitely someone who you need to keep an eye on.

William Tansley -- @StarKO90
One of Europe's newer superstars, William Tansley has in 1 season, shown why he's a player to watch out for. With a Top 4 finish at UK Nationals and a win at the Dublin Regional last season, he's shown that he's a strong player. He also finished 28th at the World Championships last season and with a Top 8 finish at the London International, Tansley has truly shown he understands this meta and will be a threat in London.

Speed Round

(This article is starting to get long so let's finish it up)

Michele Gaveli -- @LordGioppiVGC
First year Master, but won both a Regional and Nationals last season as a Senior. Got 3rd at the London International. Don't sleep on him or you'll regret it.

Ken Hyuang -- @KenVGC
Won Philadelphia Regionals and finished Top 8 at Ft. Wayne Regionals. Currently 5th in CP in North America and is on track to earn his Worlds Invite and a strong finish in Melbourne will accomplish that.

Chuppa Cross IV. -- @ChuppaVGC
3rd in CP in North America. Less than 20 points from his Worlds Invite. Multiple Regionals Top Cut appearances and 35th at the London International shows that Chuppa can compete at a high level.

Riley Factura -- @GENGARboi_ 
8th in CP in North America. 3 time Regional Champion. Top 32 at the World Championships in 2015 shows that Riley is a strong player and has a strong chance to do well.

Nick Navarre -- @NailsOU
Top 4 at multiple Regionals and is 4th in CP in North America from a newer player to the scene shows that Nick is coming to show he's a strong player and has a strong chance to go far.

Ian McLaughlin -- @raikoovgc
Won Florida Regionals and got 3rd at Georgia Regionals. 2nd in CP in North America and has his Worlds Invite.

Miguel Marti De La Torre -- @SekiamPKM
Won London International and got Top 8 at the World Championships in 2014. 4th in CP in Europe.

Nico Davide Cognetta -- @DesuVGC
Got 2nd at the London International and currently has his Worlds Invite. 3rd in CP in Europe.

Alex Poole -- @Triceratops5X
Strong Australian player who got 2nd at the 2016 Australian National Champion and was a Day 2 player at the 2016 Pokemon World Championships Has the potential to do well at this event, but if you sleep on him, you might just regret it.

Phil Nguyen -- @Boomguy_Pokemon
The 2016 Australian National Champion and will essentially be defending his title as Nationals are converted into Internationals. Also got 21st at the 2015 at the 2015 Worlds Championships. Strong and consistent player.

I hoped you enjoyed this. The Melbourne International has a chance to really change the dynamic of players in contention for their Day 1 or Day 2 Worlds Invite depending on their placement so we'll see who ends up taking the event. Check out my older content and I'll see you guys next time. Bye!


Post a Comment