This coming Sunday, June 5th, will see Australia’s month-long Regional Championship season wrap up in Perth. 2015 saw Perth visited by a few friends from around the APAC region, including one in the top 4. While we don’t know how many international competitors there will be this year, Perth’s distance from the other capital cities doesn’t dilute the quality of the field. Expect another tightly fought competition, especially as players vie for a coveted paid trip to the National Championships available to the finalists.
When: Sunday June 5
Expected finish time: 6pm
Registration form available here or at the venue
Where: Perth Town Hall, Perth (Map)
Coverage: None planned; stay tuned on Facebook and Twitter for updates.
2015 Winner: Mustafaa Olomi (@mustytkd)
Trainers to Watch
Alex Poole (@thatalexkid5) – After engineering a top 4 finish on his fly in fly out visit to Melbourne last weekend, Alex will be keen to go a step further at his local Regionals in Perth. Alex has capped his CP from Premier Challenges, dominating the local scene this year. A strong finish here will put Alex in a fantastic position to claim a Day 2 World Championship invitation, and close the gap back to CP leaders Nihal Noor, Martin Larumbe and Sam Pandelis.
Lionel Pryce (@CatGonkVGC) – A Pokéclectic community veteran has won two Regional Championships here in the past. Although his duties as a parent keep him from being as active on the Pokémon scene as in previous years, Lionel is an accomplished player that can threaten to win a third title if he has a good day.
Gabriel Voon (@_VicTiNY) – Last year’s runner up hasn’t been able to get to many PCs this year, and has been largely off the radar as a result, but locals suggest that his 2015 performance was no flash in the pan, and that he is one to look out for again this year.
Honourable Mentions: Cory Thomas, Kevin Pal-Ing, Karl Aquino
Sam Pandelis (@ZeldaVGC) – 1st Place, Adelaide Regional Championships 2016. 1st Place Melbourne Regional Championships 2013, 2014. Sam started the season brightly, and being Australia’s only three-time Regional Champion shows that he is never far off from being a contender, even if he will be disappointed at his performance in his local Melbourne Regional. We believe Sam will be one of just a small few from the East Coast flying across here if he comes across as planned.
Martin Larumbe (@Basein2) – Rumour has it that Martin is planning a surprise visit to Perth. With a first, second and top four finish already to his name, Martin will need to make the finals here to add more CP here thanks to the best finish limit, if he is indeed participating.
Mustafa Olomi (@Mustytkd) – Mustafa hasn’t played too much in 2016, although he was seen in Brisbane, finishing 5-3. We’re not 100% certain if he will defend his title this year, but if he does, we hear that Mustafa has been warming up to the format, which would be good timing for a title defence.
We were pleasantly surprised last week to see three Yveltal teams make the top cut in Melbourne last week, after the Legendary Pokémon had otherwise failed to make a splash during the Australian Regional Championship season. This usage may not transfer over to Perth, but is something to look out for come Nationals. Yveltal is a Pokémon that many will have to consider more seriously now when building their teams.
The dominant team archetype in Melbourne as it has been all season been the Xerneas/Groudon archetype, and this is something we definitely expect will continue in Perth. Recently these teams have seen an increase in Thundurus-Incarnate joining them. Thundurus cannot generally touch the common Groudon, but the disruption it offers through Prankster has been a winner in previous seasons, and seems set to make it a strong choice again this year. Its presence gives the ‘Big 6’ archetype new life and flexibility in dealing with ‘counter teams’ and near mirror matches. Perth local Alex Poole showcased Thundurus his top 4 finish in Melbourne, as did Nihal Noor in winning the championship. Using Alex as a window in to the Perth metagame, it would be easy to see Thundurus’ usage in VGC 2016 continue to be on the up in Perth top cut teams.
Kangaskhan, Talonflame, Salamence and Smeargle are all also members of the so-called ‘Big 6’, and because they are unrestricted, we often see them on non-‘Big 6’ teams too. Their usage spiked in Melbourne, even with each of these Pokémon variously finding themselves phased out for Thundurus-I on top cut teams. It is difficult to see usage of these Pokémon even more concentrated in Perth than in Melbourne, but it will be curious to see if teams settle on which one of these Pokémon is the best to drop to make way for Thundurus during teambuilding for a ‘Thundurus+Big 6’ type team, or whether it remains a flavour choice of each trainer.
It would be unreasonable to expect Kyogre to miss top cut two weeks in a row, but it seems unlikely to displace Groudon as the top Primal by usage given Groudon’s established position in the format. If Kyogre does top cut, its likely partners will be Rayquaza, Dialga or Groudon, teams that we have seen feature a few times in top cuts of Regionals outside of Melbourne.
Upcoming National Championship Date
With all Regionals done and dusted, we now look forward to Nationals. Nationals will occur on Saturday and Sunday the 2nd and 3rd of June, at the Melbourne Park Function Centre in Melbourne.
Visit Nintendo Australia’s VGC season website.
Good luck to all those competing this weekend.