VGC 2018 European International Championships Preview

, , No Comments
Battle at the Europe International Championships in London

The biggest event in Europe is coming up, the European 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. Without further ado, let's begin!

Official event page: here

Twitch Stream link: here

VGC Commentators: European commentators Jay Blake, Labhaoisa Cromie, Lee Provost, and Markus Stadter will be joined by the wonderful American commentator Adam Dorricott in what will sure be an entertaining stream to watch from Round 1 on Friday until Finals on Sunday.

Streaming Schedule: Listed in GMT, you can see when the stream will begin throughout the weekend. Friday will be Day 1 Swiss. Players who finish Friday with at most 2 losses will move onto Saturday and players who advance to the single elimination bracket play on Saturday until Top 4 where the play on Sunday.

  • Friday, November 17 | 9:00 am - Pre-show coverage
  • Friday, November 17 | 9:30 am - VGC match coverage
  • Saturday, November 18 | 9:30 am - VGC match coverage
  • Sunday, November 19 | 9 am - VGC Top 4 and Finals match coverage

Preliminary Metagame Analysis

Going into the London, players will have a strong idea of what works and what doesn't. This means that compared to the chaos of under the VGC 2017 metagame going into London last year where everyone only had roughly 3 weeks to understand everything they needed to know in order 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. Its also important to look at some cores and strategies you can expect to see.

1) - Salamence + Metagross (salamence.png metagross.png)
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.

2) - Soak Choice Scarfed Tapu Fini + Kartana and Tapu Koko (tapu-fini.png+tapu-koko.pngkartana.png)
Popularized by Alessio Yuri Boschetto 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 a Garchomp to beat Tapu Koko or an Arcanine to beat Kartana.

3) - Normalium Z Whimsciott + Tapu Koko and Tapu Fini ( +tapu-fini.pngtapu-koko.png)
Ryota Otsubo 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 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 to so when it does use its Z-Move, it's the wrong attack.

4) - Torkoal + Support (torkoal.png+lilligant.pngmimikyu.png)
After the World Championships, Torkoal has seen a lot of success as both Alex Underhill and Jonas Wiegel 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 through 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.

Players to Watch Out For

These 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 the paid trip, him doing commentary as shown in the article above means he won't be competing. 

U.S. & Canada
Latin America
Christopher Kan
Renzo Narro
Duh Jenn-Chau
Benjamin Tan

All 32 players have shown to exhibit strong proficiency in the 2017 season and since the 2018 London 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 then. Notable names in this list includes 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.

This list of people are a strong group of players. This list includes people like 3 time World Champion Ray Rizzo who recently finished Top 16 at both Hartford and Vancouver Regionals, 2016 World Champion Wolfe Glick, 2013 World Champion Arash Ommati who has earned his 2018 Worlds invite. Justin Carris has won the online European International win-a-trip online event to earn enough money to compete at the event. Miguel Marti de la Torre returns to attempt to defend his title as the winner of the event from last year. Jonas Wiegel and Piotr Kedziora have won a Regional-level event this season and have proven to be strong contenders as well. Players like Michele Gavelli, Simone Sanvito, and Matthias Suchodolski have all finished Top 16 in Championship Points during the 2017 season which means that they'll be threats. Roel van de Heijden is a name you should know about because of his recent performance in the European Internationals win-a-trip online event where he finished in Top 4. He was talked about by notable players to be a good player, but this event shows he's could be a strong player like how Rob Akershoek proved to be a dominant player in the 2017 season where Akershoek was able to make Day 2 of the World Championships. The final 4 notable names are Ben Goff, Jana Brahimi, Mattie Morgan, and Joseph Richardson. Ben, Jana and Mattie are first year Masters who were had phenomenal 2017 seasons and all have earned travel awards to attend the event. Joseph was a very strong player from the 2016 season where he won 3 Regionals in that season and will be a threat going into the event due to the skill he showed that season as a player. All names listed even though they weren't covered have proven to be strong players and will be interesting to see how well they perform.

I hoped you enjoyed this article. This is going to be a huge event as the results of the 2018 European Internationals will set the stage for the rest of the season as players who do well here will have a better chance of earning travel awards to the 2018 Oceanic Internationals as the cutoff date for earning Championship Points is November 30, 2017. Get hyped for this event and check back to the Nimbasa City Post for more VGC articles and event coverage as well.


Post a Comment