Youtuber, Dan ‘aDrive’ Clap, recently stunned the competitive Pokemon scene by beating 2016 Pokemon Video Game Championships (VGC) champion, Wolfe Glick on Saturday.
What is the ONOG Pokemon Invitational?
The ONOG Pokemon Invitational is a tournament collaborated by GEICO and OneNationOfGamers (ONOG), where they invited the best players in VGC to compete to celebrate the resurgence of Pokemon. This tournament is one of the few competitions that is not sponsored by the Pokemon Company itself.
Group matches play in a best-of-3 under double-elimination rules and the top 4 final matches would be played in a best-of-5 and under single-elimination rules.
What is Pokemon VGC?
VGC is seen as the competitive version of Pokemon. In VGC, the format is in doubles where players sent out two Pokemon to start with instead of one the general players are used to seeing and play.
Players would select four Pokemon out of six to battle with two starting and two at the back. The winner is the one to KO all four of their opponent’s Pokemon first. Players would qualify for the World Championships by earning enough Championship Points (CP) depending on where the region that they are located.
Who is aDrive and why was he invited despite having almost no VGC competitive experience?
aDrive is a Youtuber known for his love of Bug-type Pokemon, hunting alternate color palettes of Pokemon known as ‘Shiny Pokemon’ and mostly playing under Singles (one-on-one) format leagues organized by other Youtubers.
He is one of the most well-liked Youtubers among Pokemon fans. aDrive recently got into the VGC scene as he will compete in his first ever Regionals (The third biggest tournament behind Nationals/Internationals and Worlds) at his hometown in St. Louis, Missouri.
According to Kotaku, tournament organizer Kevin Dong said aDrive was invited in order to close the gap between the general Pokemon community and the VGC scene. The thinking behind this was that some of aDrive’s fans would see VGC for the first time and hope to get them interested in the competitive scene.
However, there were some in the competitive community questioned aDrive’s invitation considering that the seven other competitors have strong VGC credentials.
How did aDrive defeat the defending world champion?
aDrive first had to go through his good friend and mentor, defending VGC champion Wolfe Glick in his first match of Group A. However, aDrive lost the first round thanks to Wolfe making smart plays that threw aDrive off.
However, aDrive bounced back in the second match, making accurate predictions of what Wolfe was going to do in order to get momentum back by taking out Wolfe’s Exeggutor that he found troublesome to his team.
On the third match, aDrive’s two lead Pokemons put Wolfe in a disadvantage and a lot of switching ensued within the first two turns by both players. aDrive again made a good play by getting both of his Pokemon to attack and KO another one of Wolfe’s bulky Pokemon, Tapu Fini and around two turns later, took out Wolfe’s most offensive threat, Kartana that had left the 2016 champion in a difficult position and proceeded to knock him down to the losers’ bracket.
aDrive’s continuing run
aDrive had to face former US Nationals Champion Aaron ‘Cybertron’ Zheng who himself is also a Youtuber and surely Aaron could do something that Wolfe couldn’t? Well, not exactly. aDrive once again shocked everyone by defeating Cybertron 2-1, outplaying him along with luck on his side as he emerged the Group A winner that had left Pokemon fans in shock.
However, all good things had come to an end when he was eliminated in the top 4 by eventual tournament winner, 2015 VGC Champion Shoma ‘shadeviera’ Honami in the playoffs 0-3.
What is the lesson here? This tweet sums it up.
I'll say it again this is Pokémon and anyone can beat anyone
— Eshivgc (@eshivgc) February 26, 2017