Players to Watch at the 2019 World Championships

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With the 2019 World Championships coming up, players from across the globe will be traveling to Washington DC to compete for a chance to be crowned the final World Champion from the Nintendo 3DS era. This article will look at the notable players competing that you should probably be on the lookout for. This article can also help you learn about this season's top players.

US and Canada

Ashton Cox – 2445 CP
This is Ashton's 3rd day 2 Worlds invite and as the American leaderboard, his season consists of wins at Memphis Regional, Latin American Internationals, and Santa Clara Regional. He did recently finish top 8 at the North American International which helps show his consistency this season. After finishing top 16 in 2014, making top cut in 2017, and being one win away in 2018, Ashton will be looking to return to the top cut and improve on his run from 2017.

James Baek – 2187 CP
With this being James' first-ever day 2 Worlds invite and as the 2nd ranked player on the American CP leaderboard, his 2019 season consists of wins at Roanoke and Daytona Beach Regionals, a 2nd place finish at Latin American Internationals, top 8 at Oceania Internationals, and top 16 at North American Internationals. So far, James has never made the top cut at Worlds and was 1 game away in 2016 but if his season says anything, this could be his year.

Jeremy Rodrigues – 1705 CP
Jeremy was the 2018 American CP leader after winning the North American Internationals, his season consisted of 2nd at Memphis, top 4 at Latin American Internationals, and Santa Clara Regionals. The strength of Jeremy is that his strongest teams these past 2 seasons have all been built alongside Ashton which means if for Worlds they build their team together, they could be a duo to reckon with.

Wolfe Glick – 1538 CP
You can't talk about the World Championships without mentioning Wolfe, the 2016 World Champion who won in a format very similar to 2019. After an early season not up to his standards, he picked things up dramatically with top 4 at the European International, top 4 at Madison, and winning the North American International to earn a long-sought Day 2 invite. With Worlds being close to home, Wolfe will be looking to win his 2nd title, and doing it in his hometown would make things better.

Stephen Mea – 1502 CP
As his 2nd day 2 invite, Stephen's 2019 season consists of top 16 finishes at both the Latin American and Oceania International followed by winning Toronto Regionals. The strength of Stephen as a player is his ability to use the same team at multiple events for an extended time and succeed as he did in 2018 with a Mega Gardevoir team that cut multiple regionals and earned a day 2 invite or is 2019 TornOgre team but he could easily switch things up.

Nick Navarre – 1475 CP
With this being Nick's 2nd day 2 Worlds invite, Nick had a relatively strong season. Winning Dallas Regionals, finishing top 16 in Latin America, and top 32 at both the Oceania and European Internationals. Despite not having a stellar Ultra Series, just finishing 34th at the North American International, any player who can earn multiple day 2 invites is not someone to be taken lightly.

Justin Burns – 1301 CP
As his first day 2 invite, Justin started off his season winning the Philadelphia Regional which he followed shortly with top 4 at the Oceania International. His time in Ultra Series hasn't been as strong with the best finish being top 4 at Santa Clara Regionals, but his strong early season kept him in the clear for a day 2 invite. Only time will tell if Justin will be able to bring out the type of performance he showed early on in the 2019 season.

Kyle Livinghouse – 1246 CP
Kyle's first season ending with a day 2 invite shows how strong of a player he is. top 8 at Philadelphia and Greensboro, top 4 at Roanoke, and 2nd at Hartford kept Kyle in the race for a day 2 invite, which he locked up with top 8 at the North American International. Because this is Kyle's first time competing at Worlds, his season shows that even if he doesn't make the top cut, he's going to be a wild card threat and a player to not take lightly.


Alessio Yuri Boschetto – 1944 CP
The 2018-19 European CP leader, Yuree has had a very strong season. Winning the Bolzano Special Event and having 2 finalist appearances at Regionals has shown skill. While his International finishes in Ultra haven't been strong, making top 16 at Worlds in both 2017 and 2018 shows that Yuree knows how to make top cut and could make the return or even improve on his past finishes.

Eduardo Cunha – 1355 CP
As talked about in his player profile, Eduardo's looking to do well at Worlds this year and although his last event finish was top 32 at European Internationals, Eduardo is the type of player that can very easily adapt, as shown by his Oceania Internationals win and top 4 finish at the 2016 World Championships. Being 1 win away in both 2017 and 2018 from making top cut, except Eduardo to fight to return to top cut.

Flavio Del Pidio – 1280 CP
Flavio in Ultra Series has been a very strong player, winning European Internationals and finishing top 8 at the North American International. With a 4-3 finish last year, Flavio has proven he has the skills to do well at Worlds and his talent for picking the right team in Ultra Series has helped him in the past and maybe it will help again.

Ethan French – 1181 CP
As a first-year Master, Ethan started off his season very strong with top 8 at the Latin American International followed by top 32 in Oceania. First-year Masters at Worlds have historically done well with Aaron Zheng's top 4 in 2013, Sebastián Escalante's top 16 in 2016, Nils Dunlop's top 8 in 2017 and a day 2 invite means Ethan could be the next one in that list.

Davide Carrer – 1180 CP
As said in this tweet, his transition between Moon and Ultra was a very strong one. Finishing 2nd at European Internationals and top 32 North American Internationals using a similar team shows that Davide can use a similar team and still succeed. Davide has always been a player who can pull out impressive finishes where he finished top 8 at the European International last year so it's very much possible he could do it once again.

Ismael Aarab Umpierrez – 1074 CP
Ismael's season started off strong, winning the Lille Regional which he followed up with top 32 at the Oceania International. As this is his first time ever earning a day 2 Worlds invite, Ismael will be a wild card because we won't know what to expect from him, but anyone on day 2 is not to be underestimated.

Alex Gómez – 1010 CP
Having played in day 2 of Worlds since 2015, Alex has established himself as one of Spain's best players but hasn't been able to make the top cut since 2014 in Seniors. Finishing top 16 at the European International after making finals last year, Alex has been close to making the top cut every year since 2015 and will be focused on finally crossing the hurdle to make top cut.

Jamie Boyt – 1007 CP
Jamie's a player known for innovation, winning Regionals with Cottonee and Togetic. His season didn't really pick up until he finished top 4 in Cannes and top 8 in Bolzano. Making day 2 at the European International and top 64 in Columbus shows Jamie understands the format and his top 16 finish at Worlds in 2016 and was 1 win away in 2017 from making top cut shows Jamie can do it again.

David Koutesh – 917 CP
Like Jamie, David hasn't shied away from innovation in his teams this season. Using Blaziken/Bisharp at Worlds last year where he lost his win-and-in match and Jumpluff to finish 2nd at Jönköping Regionals. Being one win away from top cut last year, David will be fighting for a big win, and with a day 2 invite, expect to see him very hungry to return to the top cut like he did in his 2015 Seniors top 8 finish.

Latin America

René Alvarenga – 1912 CP
René has proven to be one of Latin America's best player in the modern era. With 2 Special Event wins, top 4 at Santa Clara Regionals, and top 16 at the North American International, René has proven he's in a strong position to keep the World Championships title in Latin America and improve on his top 8 finish from 2017.

Jean Paul López Buiza – 1564 CP
Jean Paul has always been a dark horse player in Latin America who although he's seen event success, hasn't been a big name. Top 8 at the 2018 Latin American International and winning 2019 Perú Special Event got his name out but top 4 at the 2019 North American International in June, his most recent finish, put his name out there and shows that he could be someone that surprises many again.

Dorian Quiñones – 1510 CP
Dorian came basically out of nowhere in 2017 with his top 8 Worlds finish and then kept moving up in success, earning a day 2 invite ever since. This season with 2 Special Event wins, both in Ultra Series shows that Dorian is succeeding and understanding this format and has the potential to return to the Top 8. 

Gabriel Agati – 1309 CP
Gabriel jumped onto the scene with a top 4 finish at the 2017 Latin American International. He then finished top 32 at the same event in 2018, but his strong 2019 season which consisted of 9th at the 2019 Latin American International and top 8 in Oceania locked up a day 2. Having this be his first day 2 invite, we won't know what to expect but this season shows he could have a strong showing.

Javier Valdés – 1281 CP
Javier has always been a player known for his creativity. After making top cut at the 2018 World Championships with Rhydon, Javier will be looking to return and improve on his previous finish, which his top 16 finishes at both the European and North American International shows is possible. After using Seismitoad, Mandibuzz, and Gastrodon, what surprises does he have up his sleeve?

Paul Ruiz – 1267 CP
As the 2018 World Champion, Paul will return with a day 2 invite. Very early in the season, he started with a top 4 finish at his home International then later finished top 16 in Oceania followed by winning the Ecuador Special Event. With a top 4 finish at Worlds in 2017 and winning in 2018, you can never count him out at Worlds.

Juan Naar – 1217 CP
Juan has qualified for day 2 of the World Championships every year since 2015 but has never had a strong showing despite this, but he has been steadily improving in his finishes. With a Special Event win early in the season, a top 32 finish at the Oceania International, and a total of 5 top cut appearances at Special Events, this could finally be Juan's year.

Andrés Samayoa – 1207 CP
His first day 2 Worlds invite, Andrés earned it by making the top cut at 7 Special Events, including making finals at his home Special Event in Guatemala which was in Ultra Series. Because this will be his first time on day 2, it's hard to know what to expect from Andrés but there have always been players who have surprising runs so you never know.


Melvin Keh – 2028 CP
Melvin has had a phenomenal season, making the top cut at 3 Internationals this year. Add to that 7 Special Event top cut appearances, top 16 at Worlds last year after making top cut at 2 Internationals that year and you have a player who is a strong contender for the title. After achieving so much success with Shedinja, it remains to be seen if Melvin will carry his trusty bug to the top or try something new.

Graham Amedee – 1364 CP
Graham exploded on the scene in 2018 where he surprised everyone at the Oceania Internationals using Drampa and Blacephalon. His playstyle as always been very aggressive which showed this season again in Oceania using Greninja and again at the North American International using Medicham which helped lock up his day 2 invite. Time will tell if this style can succeed in DC, but I would personally bet on it.

Christopher Kan – 1079 CP
Interestingly, Chris is a former World Champion, winning in the 2011 Seniors Divison playing the TCG so he'll be looking to become the first player to win Worlds in more than one game. Winning the North American International in 2017 is where a lot of VGC players first heard of him, and earning a Day 2 Worlds invite every year since has helped his name. Chris does have a Regional win in this format which helps promote his name.

James Katsaros – 1061 CP
Finishing top 4 at Oceania Internationals as well as winning Brisbane Regional in Sun Series, James had a very strong early season. Despite not having a strong performance in Ultra Series, Finishing top 16 at Sydney Regional and top 128 at the European International at least shows skill.

Matthias Loong – 1041 CP
A first-year Master, Matthias earning a day 2 Worlds invite in his first year adds to the strength of the pool of very talented Seniors who made the transition to Masters. Making the top cut at the Oceania International and day 2 at the European International shows that it wasn't a rough transition and Worlds will show whether he can become the next player to succeed at their first Masters Worlds.

Japan and Korea

Hirofumi Kimura
The 2018 and 2019 Japan National Champion, Hirofumi has been able to successfully answer the format twice to win both times with Nidoqueen in 2018 and Solgaleo in 2019. While his Worlds run didn't turn out to be very successful, winning Nationals again only makes him a stronger threat and someone who could finally make top cut.

Shoma Honami
The 2015 World Champion, Shoma's returning to the World Championships and is going to be a player to watch with a day 1 invite. Often regarded as one of Japan's best, it won't be surprising if he returns to day 2 and the top cut as well. Shoma is a very smart and tactical player which in formats with restricted Pokémon is going to be a very strong asset.

Hyungwoo Shin
The Korean National Champion, Hyungwoo was able to win using Ho-Oh, a Pokémon that only saw minor success this season towards the end of Moon Series. Korean players are always unpredictable going into Worlds since their circuit is largely detached from the rest of the world, but their National Champion is always a threat.

Sejun Park
After finishing top 8 at Korean Nationals, Sejun was able to qualify for Worlds and will be returning to the same location he was able to win back in 2014. Despite only having a day 1 invite, It most certainly won't be surprising if Sejun can make day 2 and even return to the top cut. It will be interesting to see what ideas he's able to come up to possibly earn his 2nd Worlds win.

Other Notable Players

These are other players to watch out for but weren't written about due to time or lack of enough knowledge to properly talk about them. Players in bold have earned Day 2 invites.

  • Aaron Traylor
  • Alexandre Lissardy
  • Barry Anderson
  • Cesar Reyes
  • Diana Bros
  • Eric Rios
  • Fevzi Özkan
  • Ismat Myron Beg
  • Jonathan Evans
  • Juan Ortiz
  • Kimo Nishimura
  • Malcolm Mackellar
  • Markus Stadter
  • Michael Lanzano
  • Nicole Saeed
  • Oliver Eskolin
  • Paul Chua
  • Renzo Navarro
  • Roberto Porretti
  • Simon Konsti
  • Yihui Xu
  • Alex Underhill
  • Arash Ommati
  • Ben Kyriakou
  • Davide Cauteruccio
  • Emiliano Reyes
  • Estephan Valdebenito
  • Henry Rich
  • James Evans
  • Jonathan Marston
  • Kevin Ngim
  • Louis Milich
  • Marco Silva
  • Meaghan Rattle
  • Michele Gavelli
  • Nils Dunlop
  • Patrick Donegan
  • Raghav Malaviya
  • Riccardo Appamea
  • Sam Pandelis
  • Tommy Cooleen
  • Yusei Matsuno


Tune into the 2019 World Championships on Pokémon's Twitch channel from Friday to Sunday to find out if a player mentioned in this article will be crowned World Champion! Check out this tweet about the stream schedule and information and follow us on Twitter @NimbasaCityPost for up-to-date coverage as the World Championships take place. As the final World Championships before moving from the dual-screen system of the 3DS to the single screen of the Switch, this is an event you won't want to miss.


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