Written by Nicholas Borghi
(3 Viable Water Types out of 5)
This Regional is going to be extremely strong, but very small compared to other Regionals we’ve seen this season. With a player cap of 128 (recently it was slightly expanded, but we don’t know by how much as of yet), it will be a very hard task to make Top Cut. This Regional, however, does have a lot of foreign invaders. The usual crop of Americans will be invading, trying to nab some later points. However, we do have a very unusual participant in attendance, more on him later.
Players Vying for an Invite
In addition to the Regional, there are 3 Midseason Showdown’s happening this weekend. All of these players will be looking to do well at these 4 events in order to try and clinch their invite to the 2018 World Championships.
|Placing Needed||Player Name||Current CP|
|Top 32||Nathan Wright||365|
|Top 32||Nick Sefranek||364|
|Top 32||Patrick Donegan||363|
|Top 16||Fiona Szymkiewicz||331|
|Top 16||Alexandre Lebel||323|
|Top 16||Alexander Williams||323|
|Top 8||Sebastian Biage||314|
|Top 8||James Baek||310|
|Top 8||Jake Skurchak||302|
|Top 8||Justin Wan||300|
|Top 8||Tyler Miller||300|
|Top 4||Ben Omnes-Norton||297|
|Top 4||William Marks||295|
|Top 4||Nick Jorgensen||291|
|Top 4||Mitchell Beyer||275|
|Top 4||Vincent Montalvo||274|
|Top 4||Abe Brath||272|
|Needs Finals||Kevin Swastek||267|
|Needs Finals||Brendan Zheng||265|
|Needs Finals||Nathaniel Christmas||259|
|Needs Finals||Diana Bros||255|
|Needs Finals||Sean Bannen||253|
|Needs Finals||Kimo Nishimura||252|
|Needs a Win||Martin Gajdosz||239|
|Needs a Win||Rajan Bal||233|
|Needs a Win||Justin Frys||213|
|Needs a Win||Corey Esmeier||207|
To update you on Cox, we last saw of him on Trainer Tower was in the Sao Paulo International Championships Preview. At that Tournament, we saw Ashton ended with a 5-3 Record for a top 32 finish. He used a slightly updated version of the same team he used at Sydney, Charlotte, and Collinsville, but this time with a cool new twist. Conkeldurr is not a Pokémon we have seen much from this season, but Ashton decided to put it to the test. After starting 5-0, and defeating Alessio Yuri Boschetto on live stream, he had a series of unfortunate luck, losing to Jean Paul Lopez Buiza (who finished in the top 8), Eric Rios (who finished in the top 4), and Dorian Andre Quinones Vallejos (who finished with a 6-2 record). Ashton was very disappointed with this finish, so he will be trying to rebound from it with a strong placing this weekend.
Bros has shown to be a bit of an underdog when it comes to doing well at events. She has two Regional top cuts to her name, the first of which was a total victory back in Madison 2016. Since then she has made top cut at Georgia Regionals in 2017, where she had a 7-0 to 7-2 swiss run. Since then, she had a 6-2 finish at the Collinsville Regional where she was having a bit of fun using Darmanitan. Sitting at 255 CP, she still has a very real possibility of earning her first ever Worlds Invite, despite what seems like a rather relaxed pace from her this year. She’s feeling pretty confident going into this Regional, and it would be a surprise in my honest opinion to not see her finish at least with a 6-2 record this weekend.
Lorcy is a fun player to talk about on here. He’s taken a pretty long hiatus from Pokémon, with the last tournament he tried seriously in being Hartford back in September, where he finished in the Top 8. Josh has been working very hard as of late and will be attending the NYPD Academy some point in the future. He recently attended Jen Badamo’s last ever event, where he had a strong finish of 1-2 Drop. However, he used his work connections and was able to get free pizza for the entirety of the tournament for lunch, which shows Josh’s generosity and amazingly friendly attitude, even to people and players who he doesn’t know too well.
As said earlier, Joshua Lorcy’s most recent accomplishment was the top 8 finish back in September’s Hartford Regional. He also has many other accomplishments, such as a 2016 Day 2 Worlds Invitation, Day 2 Nationals appearance back in 2016, and a top 4 finish at the 2016 Philadelphia Regional. He really first stepped out into the limelight however with his breakout performance at the 2015 New York New Jersey Invitational, where he got eliminated by a good deal of luck from yours truly in the top 4. For a bit more recent information, I would like to point out how Josh had a 7-0 Swiss finish at this Regional last year, where he beat me in round 6 on live stream. This culminated in a 2nd place finish, before losing to the next player on our list.
Gajdosz is an interesting competitor to say the least. He currently is just shy of his invite to the World Championships in August, however he has no CP from Regional Championships akin to the newly earned invitee of Paul Chua. This does show a rather strange workaround of the system from what we expected. One of the big things people were talking about was how there was no BFL on Regionals, so people expected most of the CP to come from there. Martin has broken this trend as of late, having earned 172 of his 239 CP from Midseason Showdowns.
It would be wrong however to say that Gajdosz has no regional-level experience. As of the time this piece is being written, he is the reigning Champion of Toronto Regionals. He surprised everyone with a rather under-the-radar victory last year. He will be looking to increase his regional top cuts this weekend, and maybe even earn his first Worlds Invite if he can secure an overall win of the Regional again.
Wright was a startup player last season, having just aged out of the Seniors division and looking to make a name for himself. He’s most notable for being the only Canadian player to earn a Worlds invite back in 2017. He’s also quite the social little butterfly, living near the venue in his hometown of Toronto, Nathan will be housing many players who could be considered in contention for top cut.
Nathan Wright is one of the younger competitors on this list. Having only aged up to Masters 2 years ago, he is still looking for a big breakout performance. He has had a few notable finishes, in 2016, he finished top 16 at the Philadelphia Regionals. As previously mentioned, he was Canada’s only representative at the 2017 World Championships in Masters. Recently, however, he has gotten top 4 at the Charlotte Regionals, losing to the eventual Champion, Wolfe Glick.
Hebert is another strange player to talk about. At 22 years old and living in Quebec, he has both the time and means to attend many local Midseason Showdowns and Premier Challenges. Though, 268 of his current 409 CP comes from his local PC’s and MSS’. While he’s not playing Pokémon, Jean-Marc is a Computer Science major at the Université du Québec en Outaouais, and will be finishing up his higher education after his next semester.
Jean-Marc has had some success at Regionals this season, so it’s not a shock that he will be representing Canada at the World Championships this year. Currently, he has pretty average placings at Regionals with only a top 16 and top 32 respectively. He did, however, finish in the top 8 of the 2017 Collinsville Regional, which is where he really stepped out onto the scene. Many of his friends and locals also are saying that he may be the favorite to win this Regional, so time will tell how well-founded their confidence is.
Alessio Yuri Boschetto
Last time we talked about Boschetto, we gave you a pretty detailed introduction of him. This time we’ll update you on how he did at the Latin American International Championships. Alessio Yuri finished 6-2 with a top 16 placement, which nabbed him an extra 200 CP. This has now placed Boschetto just under 500 CP more than second place in Europe, and only 10 more than the United States’ own Alberto Lara. We saw him on stream playing against Ashton Cox when they were at 4-0, and Ashton claimed victory in that set. Will we see another strong showing from Boschetto, the King of Konsistency himself?
As our final update of this preview, we’re going to recap Navarre’s run at Sao Paulo as well. Currently sitting in 9th place in the CP standings, and 8th going into the event, it was important for Nick to do his best and take out at least some CP from this event. That, uh…… didn’t happen…. to say the least. After a 0-2 start, Navarre was in quite a hole. He did however play his way back out to 5-2 in the last round, only to then lose once again and finish as one of the lowest 5-3’s of the tournament. Due to this, he dropped down to 9th place in the US CP standings, missing the cutoff for a stipend to Columbus later this year. Nick will be looking to flip the script with a deep run at Toronto this weekend.
Bal has shown to be a very consistent player in these last few years. He has made quite a name for himself due to his very innovative teams, however he leads a very stark double life. When he is not playing Pokémon, Rajan is a Law-Teacher. Still in Law School, he will be learning more about the inner workings of the United States legal system.
Rajan Bal has some very strong accomplishments in his relatively new VGC career. His breakout performance was a top 12 at the 2016 United States National Championships. While Rajan hasn’t performed very well on the new International Championships stage since then, he has made Day 2 of the World Championships twice, and has 2 Regional top 8’s to compliment them. His most recent achievement was a top 4 finish at the 2017 Memphis Regionals back in December. He also recently had a rough 6-2 finish at the Charlotte Regionals, starting off pretty poorly.
Rajan will be looking to improve upon his 1-2 Drop finish at this Regional last year, and has been feeling extremely confident going into this Regional. His usual training and practice partners, Nick Navarre and Alvin Hidayat have both already won a Regional each. It’s about time that Rajan steps up to the block to meet his friends success. I’m well aware that I may lose my position of Driver in the VGC Room for my decision here today, but I only do it because I have full faith in Rajan to go far.