VGC 2018 Europe International Championships Preview

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Battle at the Europe International Championships in London

The biggest event in Europe is coming up, the Europe International Championships is quickly approaching so the goal of this article is to give a rundown of the metagame going into it and all important information that's important to know going into the event, including top players you can expect to see,

Preliminary Metagame Analysis

Going into London, players will have a strong idea of what works and what doesn't. This means that compared to the chaos under the VGC 2017 metagame going into London last year where everyone only had roughly 3 weeks to understand everything they needed to know to have a successful tournament, players will have a strong grasp on the metagame and will know what works and what doesn't which means that teams will be very strong and in tip-top shape. It's also important to look at some cores and strategies you can expect to see.

Peaking in popularity going into the World Championships and still proving how strong it is, Salamence and Metagross have proved to be a force to reckon with. Giving Salamence the Assault Vest item to take special attacking Fairy moves and using Bulldoze to deal a very negligible amount of damage to Metagross to activate its Weakness Policy item has allowed this duo to soar in its popularity due to how difficult it is to stop. In order to combat this strategy, players may have to think outside the box to find an effective answer to either deny the strategy from working or to KO the Metagross before it can make full use of its boosts.

Popularized by Alessio Yuri Boschetto (Yuree) to finish Top 16 at the 2017 World Championships, the idea of this core is by giving Tapu Fini the Choice Scarf, it can use Soak to turn an opposing Pokemon into a Water-type, making them very susceptible to either Kartana's Z-Leaf Blade or Tapu Koko's Thunderbolt which either one will most likely pick up the KO. The strength of this strategy is that even if your opponent is expecting it unless they have a Gastrodon, Tapu Fini can Soak whoever it wants to and the only way to stop Kartana and Tapu Koko from getting off their attack is to run an interesting way to defeat it like a surprising Choice Scarf on something like Garchomp to beat Tapu Koko or an Arcanine to beat Kartana.

Ryota Otsubo (Barudoru) winning the 2017 World Championships using this strategy was when the strategy got onto everyone's radar of what Whimsciott can do. The strength of the strategy relies on Whimsciott being able to use its Z-Crystal and Nature Power, which changes typing depending on the terrain. Tapu Fini can give it Moonblast and Tapu Koko can give it Thunderbolt. Since Nature Power is a status move, it can take advantage of Prankster and combined it with its Z-Crystal for a big hit that will surely knock out a threat if given the chance. In order to defeat it, players will have to look at ways to defeat Whimsciott and stop it from being able to use Nature Power, or changing its move so when it does use its Z-Move, it's the wrong attack.

After the World Championships, Torkoal has seen a lot of success as both Alex Underhill (Lexicon) and Jonas Wiegel (Wiegelinho) have been able to win their respective Regional Championships using it. Although they both used it, the way they supported Torkoal was very different. Alex mainly relied on Trick Room by using Mimikyu to set Trick Room and take advantage of its slow-speed stat as well as pairing it with other slow Pokemon like Hariyama, Mudsdale, and Drampa. Jonas on the other hand used the tried and true Lilligant to take advantage of its Chlorophyll ability and After You to allow Torkoal to move before most Pokemon. To defeat Torkoal, players will need to deny the strategy the Torkoal team is going for by either denying Trick Room or the Lilligant to stop Torkoal in its tracks.

Notable Attendees

The players listed below all have earned a paid trip to the event because of their VGC 2017 season performance. Whether or not they'll actually attend isn't 100% confirmed, but there is a strong chance because of the paid trip. Although Markus has earned a paid trip, he won't be competing, instead of doing commentary. 

US & Canada


Latin America


Nick Navarre

Markus Stadter

Sebastian Escalante

Christopher Kan

Ashton Cox

Baris Akcos

Paul Ruiz

Melvin Keh

Chuppa Cross IV

Ben Kyriakou

Federico Turano

Zoe Lou

Tommy Cooleen

William Tansley

Renzo Navarro

Sam Pandelis

Paul Chua

Nico Davide Cognetta

Federico Andino

Nelson Lim

Conan Thompson

Alex Gomez

Renzo Navarro

Duh Jenn-Chau

Gavin Michaels

Alessio Yuri Boschetto

Javier Valdes

Benjamin Tan

Riley Factura

Nils Dunlop

Rene Alvarenga

Luke Curtale

All 32 players have shown to exhibit strong proficiency in the 2017 season and since the 2018 Europe International Championships will also be in the 2017 season, you can expect them to show the skill they have shown to not only qualify for the 2017 World Championships but also earn the Day 1 bye straight into Day 2. Notable names in this list include Alessio Yuri Boschetto and Nico Davide Cognetta who have already earned their 2018 World Championships invite as well as Rene Alvarenga who finished Top 8, Paul Ruiz who finished Top 4, and Sam Pandelis who finished 2nd Place at the 2017 World Championships.


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