Over 300 Pokemon trainers including 266 Masters competitors, descended on Melbourne over the Federal Election weekend of July 2nd-3rd to compete in the 2016 Australian Pokemon Video Game Championships. There were 9 Best-of-Three Swiss rounds, with 7 held on the first day and the remaining 2 held on the second before a top cut of 16.
You can catch up on all the commentated action from 2015 National Champion Matthew Roe and Jesse Wilsone by watching the stream replay at NewGamesPlusTV. Thank you to Nintendo Australia and to NewGamesPlusTV for their huge role in helping a stream happen.
Our last report came at the end of Day 1 – now it is time to see how the championship concluded.
How Day 2 unfolded:
The Junior division title was won by Corey from Singapore, defeating Nick Kan in commanding fashion. In the Seniors, Luca defeated Harrison Owen to take out the championship.
In the Masters division we saw many veterans successfully get through the last two rounds of Swiss to make top cut. In one side of the bracket, Sam Pandelis and Alex Poole did enough to earn their paid invitations to the World Championships before facing each other in the top 4. On the other side, Josh Matos upsets Nihal Noor in top 16 match, followed destroying Nicholas Bingham’s Magikarp in top 8 to finally face Phil Nguyen in top 4. Both of this pair knew that only a tournament win would give either a slim hope of earning a paid invitation to the World Championships. Phil and Alex prevailed, setting up a Queensland vs Western Australia final. The final went right down to the wire, with community veteran Phil taking game 3 with just his Amoonguss remaining.
Hence, Phil is your 2016 Australian Pokemon VGC champion! Congratulations Phil!
Paid Invitation Watch:
Phil, Alex and Sam’s performances were enough to see them finish the event in paid invitation positions, being in the top 4 in APAC Region Championship Points. However the Hong Kong National Championships were held on Sunday, and the results there saw National Champion Phil Nguyen drop out of the paid invitation position as he was overtaken in CP. Fortunately, we will still see Phil in action for Australia at Day 1 of the World Championships, and hopefully Day 2 as well.
Now that the dust has settled on the 2016 season, Australia has two representatives at Day 2 of the World Championships. Congratulations to Alex Poole who finished with 1025 CP, and Sam Pandelis who finished with 951 CP. We’re sure both of them will do us proud.
Masters Top 16 Teams
1. Phil Nguyen (@Boomguy_Pokemon)
2. Alex Poole (@Triceratops5X)
3. Sam Pandelis (@Zeldavgc)
4. Josh Matos
5. Luke C (@Dawgpkmn)
6. Nicholas Bingham (@LudicoloPatrol)
7. Damon Murdoch (@SirScrubbington)
8. Daniel Pol (@ChironVGC)
9. Matthew Jiwa (@JiwaVGC)
10. Nihal Noor (@Uchihax96)
11. Bailey Owen (@BargensVGC)
12. Michael Abdelmessih (@GreatTornadoVGC)
13. Corey Munro
14. James Katsaros
15. Matthew Bockman (@MatthewBockman)
16. Arkie Owen
Top Cut Usage Data and Analysis
14 – Groudon
12 – Xerneas, Smeargle
10 – Salamence
9 – Thundurus-I
8 – Kangaskhan
6 – Amoonguss
3 – Kyogre, Mawile, Crobat, Talonflame
2 – Rayquaza
1 – Dialga, Yveltal, Magikarp, Tangela, Ditto, Cresselia, Gourgeist, Whimsicott, Zapdos, Scrafty, Bronzong, Landorus-T
The “Big” core of Groudon/Xerneas which has been strong all season in Australia reasserted its dominance in the Masters Top Cut, featuring on the vast majority of teams. It has evolved since the beginning of the season however. The most interesting trends to note are the decrease in Kangaskhan usage and the increase in Amoonguss usage, with Amoonguss even taking out the championship. Amoonguss’ performance despite the prevalence of Salamence and Groudon says a lot about the utility of the Pokemon when used well.
Talonflame’s usage has continued its downward trend, while Thundurus-I’s solid usage from later in the regionals season remained steady.
Aside from Nicholas Bingham ensuring that Magikarp of all things featured in the top 8, many top cut teams featured at least one special tech Pokemon. For example, National Champion Phil Nguyen’s team used Scrafty to replace Kangaskhan as a Fake Out user that could also use Intimidate and offer good support without taking up a Mega slot.
Not only were there some interesting tech picks in terms of Pokemon, there were also some interesting move and item choices made. Several Groudon chose to improve their Salamence matchup by running Hidden Power Ice specifically for Salamence. Hidden Power Water also made an appearance on some Kyogre teams from Zapdos and Thundurus, in order to improve their matchups against Groudon. Most interesting was the item choice on many of the Amoonguss. The Red Card Amoonguss featuring on National Champion Phil Nguyen’s team served as a useful way to disrupt opposing Xerneas who had set up Geomancy, since it ejected them from the field while Amoonguss could take Xerneas’ fairy moves with ease. Phil’s Amoonguss also ran the move Clear Smog, which again was useful against opposing Xerneas.
This concludes Australia’s domestic season for 2016. We hope you all enjoyed the event, whether you were at the venue competing or watching the coverage from afar. Good luck to all players going on to represent Australia at the World Championships. We hope that you do well and enjoy the experience.
Image Credit: Gabriel Voon (@WoomyVGC)