2018 Worlds Preview – North America Edition

North America is arguably the most successful region to have played VGC. With four Worlds wins, Ray Rizzo’s Three-Peat between 2010-2012 and Wolfe Glick in 2016, the US is not unfamiliar to winning. In the Internationals era, they won three and more importantly, won the last two. Jeremy Rodrigues and Carson Confer’s victories in North America and Latin America respectively reaffirmed the US as a powerhouse after struggling to reach the finals of the last few International events. As for Canada, they had a good year. They cut multiple Regionals and day 2’d the NAIC while watching their prodigy dominate juniors. Like Japan, the NA invite list is filled with prestigious players including World Champions and auras of consistency. Let’s meet the players that hope to carry North America to another strong year at WCS.

1st: Jeremy Rodrigues [US] @SerapisVGC
CP: 1782

  • 181st European International Championships
  • 46th Oceania International Championships
  • 28th Latin American International Championships
  • 1st North American International Championships
  • 1st Daytona Beach Regionals
  • 3rd Ft. Wayne Regionals

2nd: Carson Confer [US] @carson_confer
CP: 1750

  • 3rd European International Championships
  • 23rd Oceania International Championships
  • 1st Latin American International Championships
  • 135th North American International Championships
  • 3rd Dallas Regionals
  • 6th Madison Regionals

3rd: Alberto Lara [US] @Alberto310
CP: 1704

  • 36th European International Championships
  • 5th Oceania International Championships
  • 2nd Latin American International Championships
  • dnf North American International Championships
  • 1st Hartford Regionals
  • 2nd Daytona Beach Regionals

4th: Ashton Cox [US] @linkyoshimario
CP: 1670

  • 53rd European International Championships
  • 4th Oceania International Championships
  • 26th Latin American International Championships
  • 126th North American International Championships
  • 2nd Collinsville Regionals
  • 2nd Charlotte Regionals

5th: Stephen Mea [US] @GramgusVGC
CP: 1343

  • 173rd European International Championships
  • 25th Oceania International Championships
  • 9th Latin American International Championships
  • 104th North American International Championships
  • 4th Hartford Regionals
  • 6th Toronto Regionals

6th: Justin Crubaugh [US] @iMagikarpVGC
CP: 1260

  • European International Championships
  • Oceania International Championships
  • 12th Latin American International Championships
  • 20th North American International Championships
  • 2nd Memphis Regionals
  • 21st Madison Regionals

7th: Brady Smith [US] @B_Smiffy
CP: 1158

  • European International Championships
  • Oceania International Championships
  • 14th Latin American International Championships
  • 125th North American International Championships
  • 1st Memphis Regionals
  • 2nd Hartford Regionals

8th: Paul Chua [US] @Paul_Chua_1
CP: 1061

  • 72nd European International Championships
  • Oceania International Championships
  • Latin American International Championships
  • 3rd North American International Championships
  • 1st Madison Regionals
  • 21st Roanoke Regionals

Highlights

Carson Confer [US] @carson_confer
CP: 1750

Carson has been a staple of American VGC for the past few years. He is the 2016 World Champion, which prepared himself for masters. Many seniors world champions opt to not attend many more events and no one knew what to expect from Carson. Despite having day 1 locked, he would have a solid 2017 season by placing Top 16 cut at St. Louis Regionals and Top 16 at the Latin American Internationals. In his deciding season he exploded. Starting the season off with a Top 4 at the European International Championships he would snowball his season. He won the Latin American International Championships with a unique rain team featuring the unconventional Mega Scizor. He touts multiple Regionals cuts this season from Dallas, Daytona Beach, and Madison. Carson has the potential to make another big worlds statement at Nashville this year and all eyes will be seeing if he can pull off a second victory.

Ashton Cox [US] @linkyoshimario
CP: 1670

Ashton is one of US’ most consistent players who finds himself with another dominant CP season. He has a known reputation for using unconventional Pokémon. In 2014, he Top16’d US Nationals with a Gigalith (before sand stream). In 2015 and 2016, he qualified for Worlds again, with consistent Regional performances all three years with numerous Top Cuts and a Finals appearance at Massachusetts 2015. In 2017, he would attend all of the Internationals and finish Top 16 at Oceania and win the Latin American International Championships. He would also Top Cut Worlds that year. In 2018 he Top Cut the Oceania Internationals and Top Cut more Regionals. Seeing Ashton in day 2 of Worlds again will be exciting for all.

Brady Smith [US] @B_Smiffy
CP: 1158

Brady has had a great season that has lasted all year despite joining the “snowball” later than most. He made the finals of the Hartford Regionals and once again, established himself as a good player. He would cement a title of a top player after winning the last 2017 Regional in Memphis with a stellar Top Cut run. In 2018, he has established the finishes he needed to finish Top 8 in CP with Top 16s at; Charlotte Regionals, Roanoke Regionals, and the Latin American Internationals.  In 2015, his first full year playing was his last year in seniors, where he won a Regional and made day 2 of Worlds. In the 2016 format, he top finished Top 8 at two Regionals in Georgia and Philadelphia. After dominating his local scene all year expect a big finish Brady in his return to Worlds Day 2.

Paul Chua [US] @Paul_Chua_1
CP: 1061

Paul is one of the most decorated players of all time, looking for a big worlds finish. In seniors, he finished Top 8 at Worlds in 2013 and won US Nationals that year as well. His seniors resume of many Regional wins and Nationals Top Cuts is long enough one would think you were fabricating a player of clear domination. Not much changed when he moved up to masters in 2015. He would bubble Top Cut of his first National at 10th in 2015, and make day 2 or Worlds through day 1. He won his first masters Regional at Virginia in 2016 and directly followed that directly up with another win in Massachusetts. He continued his dominance through 2017 and won the ridiculously large Athens Regionals. When the North American National event returned back to Indianapolis, so did Paul. He placed 2nd and was the highest placing American at the event and secured his first auto-day 2 invite to the World Championships. Paul seemed to step back in 2018 as he lacked Regionals CP for a majority of the season and missed day 2 at his only International in London. Paul went on to prove all of his doubters wrong by putting on a masterful month-long performance which included his fourth Regional win in Madison as well another NAIC Top Cut, this time reaching Top 4 and making day 2 worlds in a circuit with no Regionals best finish limit. To put it frankly, Paul is very good. To see him in day 2 Worlds again will be exciting this year as he is one of the game’s most popular players with a knack for winning.

James Baek [US] @Jamesspeed1
CP: 840

Baek is a decorated New York player who’s success over the last 4 years have established him as a top player. After winning the senior’s worlds last chance qualifier in 2014, he has played in every Worlds since. In his first year in masters in 2015, he placed second at Madison Regionals and made day 2 of the US Nationals. Before the start of the 2018 format, he continued to cut more Regionals and stay a consistent threat. In the 2018 season, he Top Cut Daytona Regionals and won his first Regional in Toronto, which sealed his 5th Worlds invite. Even after locking Worlds he made the semifinals of Roanoke Regionals. Baek is also known for his extremely active YouTube channel and twitch streams, becoming one of the biggest in VGC. Baek’s history of success along his run at the end of the 2018 season will make him a premier threat in Nashville.

Brian Youm [US] @_ERROR707
CP: 827

Brian is a Virginia player who exploded near the end of the 2018 season. Before 2018, he had varied accomplishments including some seniors Regionals Cuts and a Top 16 Cut finish at Athens 2017. At Charlotte 2018, he went 8-0 in Swiss and finished 5th piloting a Snorlax-Centric team right after the release of intimidate Incineroar. After the sudden rise of Kangaskhan centered teams in May, Brian would be a leader of the archetype and pilot a similar team to back to back semi-finals appearances. His first Top 4 in Roanoke, he beat the eventual International champion Jeremy Rodrigues in Top 8, and finished undefeated in Swiss again at Madison. Brian’s ability to kick his play into overdrive and dominate his competition should scare anyone that tries to stand in his way of becoming the World Champion.

Matthew Greaves [US] @PickleswordMG
CP: 710

Greaves is an accomplished Utah player that won his first Regional in 2018. In May, he defended his region and won Salt Lake City Regionals with an unconventional Kommo-o + Tyranitar team. Throughout his career he has cut multiple Regionals on the west coast, including a Top 4 at San Jose Regionals in the fall. In his off time he seems to dominate his local scene, boating multiple PC and MSS wins and consistently staying in the Top 16 of the CP standings for North America. Expect Greaves’ unconventional team choices continue to lead to more success in Nashville.

Kevin Swastek [US] @kswas17
CP: 537

Swastek is a Michigan based player who has had above average Regional finishes this season. He started out the season insanely strong with Top 8 finishes at Ft. Wayne and Hartford Regionals. With few locals in his area, the strong start he built began to turn into a need for CP as Worlds approached. He would reach the semi-finals of Toronto Regionals piloting an innovative Mega Charizard Y + Braviary team and secured his Worlds invite. Swastek’s Regional success this season in two formats should be promising for a deep run at Worlds.

Patrick Smith [US] @SalaMenaceVGC
CP: 531

Smith is one of California’s best players and will be returning to Worlds in Nashville. He has scarily consistent Regional performances from his time in the game. He has a finalist trophy from Anaheim 2016 and three Top 4 finishes from Phoenix 2016, Utah 2017, and Socal 2018. He also made the second day of the 2017 North American Internationals and Top Cut the 2016 World Championships. Smith will be one of the scariest players in the day 1 field and will be after his second Top Cut on Saturday.

Nathan Wright [CA] @MechanicsPKMN
CP: 477

Many will regard Nate as the best Canadian player of Gen 7 Pokémon. He was the only Canadian to qualify for Worlds in 2017 and was one of the first to do so in 2018. Throughout his career he has not attended many major events but always seems to find good finishes for himself. He won the Madison Regionals in 2015 in seniors and Cut his first masters Regional in Philadelphia in 2016. His most impressive run came in 2018 when he piloted a unique Mega Gardevoir team to the semifinals of the Charlotte Regionals. Nate is eager to add a high Worlds finish to his resume especially after an X-3 finish in Day 1 of 2017’s tournament.

Wolfe Glick [US] @WolfeyGlick
CP: 455

It is hard to discuss the World Championships without mentioning Wolfe. Since 2011, Wolfe has missed Top 16 at the World Championships once. To simply list his Worlds finishes they go: 6th at Worlds 2011, 2nd at Worlds 2012, 9th at Worlds 2014, 12th at Worlds 2015, 1st at Worlds 2016, and 15th at Worlds 2017. Wolfe is not only a Worlds monster. He boasts two US Nationals wins in 2011 and 2012 as well as a Top 8 from 2015. On the Regional level, he is the only American 6 time Regional Champion and won his 6th in the 2018 format at Charlotte. Wolfe has proven he can do it all, and all eyes will be on him to see if he can pull another deep run from day 1 as he did in 2016.

Adrian Sigler [US] @SaagAlooVGC
CP: 437

Despite having a relatively short VGC career, Sigler has made the most of it. In 2016 he Top Cut Florida Regionals and opted to attend few events at that time. In 2018, he Top Cut his home Regional in Dallas and decided to venture to another Regional. That would end up being a great decision as he would win Portland Regionals and mark the most significant placement for Mega Gardevoir at the time. After securing his invite from locals and a Top 16 at Utah Regionals he focused on Worlds prep. Seeing Sigler’s Worlds debut will be exciting as he has proven to everyone he can finish a big tournament on top.

Collin Heier [US] @BattleRoom
CP: 427

Collin is one of the US’ elite and will be returning to Worlds for the fifth year in a row. He had his breakout in 2014 when he placed third at the World Championships. He is also a two-time winner of Madison Regionals, taking the gold in 2014 and 2015. Nationally he made day 2 of the 2015 and 2017 American National events. Colin’s ability to perform on the big stage of the World Championships and presence as a veteran of the game will give him an edge in Nashville.

Patrick Donegan [US] @Pd0nZ
CP: 422

Donegan is a well known New York player that qualified for his second World Championships in 2018. After a consistent runs at local events and collecting some Regionals CP, he would travel to Europe. After a masterful 7-0 Swiss run he would finish 5th at the Prague Special Event. After sealing his invite he toned back on major events and focused his efforts on helping others reach their goals of earning invites to the World Championships. He was also a co-manager of the North American CP Sheet in 2018, the fastest and most accurate resource for CP standings and details of any region in the World. With his deep knowledge of the activity of many players and International experience, expect a big showing from Donegan in Nashville.

Cedric Bernier [US] @TalonVGC
CP: 420

Cedric is an experienced player who made Worlds this season with another solid Nationals run. In 2016, he reached the Top Cut of US Nationals and finished 5th after a great day 2 run. In 2018, he took a step back from locals but made his three major events count. In January he won Dallas Regionals, the biggest Regional in the United States this season by a wide margin. On a study abroad program he would attend Sheffield Regionals and turn a 0-2 start into needed CP by finishing 6-2. At North American Internationals, unforeseen factors allowed him to sneak into Top 32 at 32nd and Cedric had qualified for the World Championships. Cedric will make the most of this opportunity and perhaps add a Worlds trophy to his already impressive collection of awards.

Case Bongirne [US] @CasedVGCtory
CP: 404

Case is a relatively newer player to the VGC scene. Despite limited access to local events, he was able to earn his invite in his first full season through consistent Regional performances. He cut the Fort Wayne Regionals in September using an aggressive Life Orb Arcanine team that he used to narrowly defeat Sam Pandelis of Australia in the World Cup of VGC the night before. With three Top 32 finishes (Memphis, Dallas, Charlotte) and taking advantage of his few locals, he was able to barely able to pass the 400 CP bar and decided to not attend North American Internationals. Expect Case to take worlds by storm after his break to let the world know his name.

Day 1 Players: CP

  • Nick Navarre [US] – 1002
  • Alex Underhill [US] – 960
  • James Baek [US] – 840
  • Brian Youm [US] – 827
  • Leonard Craft III [US] – 818
  • Matt Tidd [CA] – 799
  • Justin Burns [US] – 712
  • Matthew Greaves [US] – 710
  • Dylan Salvanera [US] – 681
  • Jake Muller [US] – 622
  • Fiona Szymkiewicz [CA] – 600
  • Zheyuan Huang [US] – 580
  • Brendan Zheng [US] – 579
  • Tommy Cooleen [US] – 575
  • Daniel Thorpe [US] – 571
  • Joseph Selmer [US] – 564
  • Jackson Finch [US] – 551
  • Ben Grissmer [US] – 549
  • Kevin Swastek [US] – 537
  • Patrick Smith [US] – 531
  • Corey Esmeier [US] – 522
  • Kamaal Harris [US] – 504
  • Jean-Marc Hébert [CA] – 503
  • Bridger Snow [US] – 496
  • Don Czech [US] – 489
  • Mark Elson [US] – 487
  • Brandon Meckley [US] – 484
  • Ethan Simpson [US] – 479
  • Nathan Wright [CA] – 477
  • Giovanni Costa [US] – 477
  • River Davis [US] – 472
  • Jake Smith [US] – 472
  • Ben Omnes-Norton [US] – 467
  • William Marks [US] – 459
  • Demitrios Kaguras – 457
  • Greg Rowson [US] – 457
  • Wolfe Glick [US] – 455
  • Adam Nguyen [CA] – 455
  • Justin Frys [US] – 452
  • Daravone Souphommanychanh [CA] – 449
  • Gary Qian [US] – 445
  • Chuppa Cross IV [US] – 442
  • Adrian Sigler [US] – 437
  • Raghav Malaviya [US] – 437
  • Jake Skurchak [US] – 437
  • Nicholas Borghi [US] – 434
  • Emilio Estrada  [US] – 433
  • Martin Gajdosz [CA] – 431
  • Nate Innocenti [US] – 430
  • Collin Heier [US] – 427
  • Hugo Cortez [US] – 426
  • Alvin Hidayat [US] – 425
  • Diana Bros [US] – 425
  • Patrick Donegan [US] – 422
  • Cedric Bernier [US] – 420
  • Rajan Bal [US] – 418
  • Kyle Houston [US] – 418
  • Sandy Martinez [US] – 417
  • Emilio Forbes [US] – 416
  • Jeremy Odena [US] – 415
  • Alexandre Lebel [CA] – 415
  • Allan Martinez [US] – 415
  • Emily Golub [US] – 414
  • Nick Sefranek [US] – 414
  • Logan Mazur [US] – 414
  • Jeremy Shacket [US] – 413
  • William Hall [US] – 412
  • James Eakes [US] – 410
  • Sébastien Biagé [CA] – 409
  • Jonathan Evans [US] – 408
  • Riley Factura [US] – 407
  • Karim Dabliz [US] – 407
  • Mihrab Samad [US] – 406
  • Alex Collins [US] – 405
  • Andrew Nowak [US] – 404
  • Case Bongirne [US] – 404
  • Alex Williams [US] – 403
  • Nate Munroe [US] – 401
  • Tyler Miller [US] – 401

Special Cases

William Sepesi [US]

  • 3rd World Championships 2017 (Seniors)

Beau Berg [US]

  • 4th World Championships 2017 (Seniors)

NA Smart Money

Alberto Lara [US]

While the US has had some consistent 2018 players, none have shown the same level of success as Alberto. Before this season he earned multiple Worlds invites and won two Regionals. His rise to the top began in 2017, his post-Worlds 2017 season was incredible. He made finals of three Regionals (Anaheim Open, Hartford, and Daytona Beach) and won Hartford. The fact that sets him apart from the rest of the NA competition is his Internationals finishes. He made day 2 of every International. He placed Top 8 in Oceania and made the finals of Latin America. He was also on the way to a semi-finals appearance at the North American Internationals until the revelation of an unfortunate rule violation lead to his disqualification. If Alberto can keep a clean sheet and maintain his level of consistency he becomes the US’ clear favorite for their fifth World Championships.

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