Two weeks after the European International Championship kicked off the competitive season of Pokémon GO, North America got its turn in the spotlight, and it made sense to kick things into high gear in a spot known for pedal-to-the-medal action: Indianapolis. As the Brickyard loomed in the distance, 89 battlers converged on the Indiana Convention Center to trade paint and charge moves and narrow the field down to one final champion. We have eight battlers still standing after Day 1, but let's take a look at some of the highlights from today’s action:


Spice of the Day

Apologies to the Frankfurt winner of this award, Clawlesslion, but today’s spice pick made more than a brief appearance on the screen in today’s action. DijontheDjinn was a known fan of Cradily entering the tournament and the Twitch streamer backed up his words by bringing the Hoenn fossil and deploying it multiple times to take on opposing Water types. Dijon fell just shy of advancing to Day 2 action, being eliminated in the sixth round of Group B play by Reis2Occasion, but it was a wonderful display of a non-meta Pokémon making a big impact.


Also shout out to MFSwanky, who backed up the Bewear plushie by bringing the new Pokémon into battle. Too bad the Normal/Fighting type is so squish.


GTPVP of the Day

Before we get into the battlers, special mention has to be given to the first woman to make it onto the broadcast crew for the tournament. The casting has been exceptional during the first two events, with Caleb Peng, 20Butters, SpeediestChief and Zyonik doing a great job in Frankfurt, and it made sense to bring Butters and Speediest back for the first regional tournament on North American soil. Joining this time around were a pair of veteran announcers in Holesome_ and DPhiE250, and to see DPhiE on that stage, a stage she has earned given her tireless efforts perfecting her craft and rising to be one of the most popular choices to shoutcast tournaments, was a welcome sight for those in the GTPVP community. It’s no stretch to say I don’t get into Pokémon GO media endeavors without the example that she set, and while she may have been a little nervous at first, she quickly settled in and delivered an excellent performance alongside Jim Lastname. It should be mentioned that all four casters did an excellent job, working around a lengthy early break to deliver great content for the duration of the stream.


(The writer of this article is also DPhiE’s factions captain, but don’t let that cloud any of the previous praise.)

Now to the battlers. Similar to Frankfurt, a pair of GTPVP made it onto the stage for action and I feel for heyitskrissymay, who drew one of the toughest battlers in the world, Reis2Occasion in the first round and in the first match. Krissy ran a team that was very anti-meta, with Shadow Walrein the only familiar face supporting Machamp, a shiny Sylveon, Gengar, Gligar and Sunny Cherrim. It was not Reis’ team, as the casters initially thought, but it couldn’t do much against Reis’ meta team, and Reis was victorious.


After Krissy’s appearance, we had to wait until the last streamed match of the day to get our second GTPVP battler as Metabou26 faced CaptCuad in the Group D loser’s bracket. Metabou looked to be in a strong position for the first half of the matchup, making some excellent catches on the day, but Cuad made a couple of very nice catches, won a Lock-On down in the pivotal Game 2, and forced Butters to page Nurse Joy with a Zap Cannon for Metabou’s Walrein in Game 3 to eliminate the Californian battler from the tournament.

Also shoutout to NeedforSpeedy, CarissaV123 and Mxchmp who represented the community well in Indianapolis. It’s unfortunate they didn’t get the chance to shine on the stage.


Group of Death of the Day

Dear sweet Arceus, the carnage in Group B.


I don’t know how seeding was determined but there were so many names in Group B it would make your head spin. Reis2Occasion, Abinhav7998, iiiPranaviii, Doonebug97, PartyMarty18, KevinSaludares, DijonTheDjinn, rott3np3anut, and kiengiv all were put in the same bracket. And only two of them would be able to make it to Day 2. It made for some great viewing though.


And let’s not delay in letting you know which eight battlers will be squaring off on Day 2:


1. Iomero0 (MEX) - Medicham / Walrein / Sableye / Trevenant / Azumarill / Registeel

The first participant to book his spot in the final eight is also the only Mexican left in the field as 7-Eleven Gaming’s Iomero0 is carrying his country’s flag into the quarterfinals. Iomero avenged his compatriot Sonoroman by taking down GandalftheYxllw in the Group A finals with the help of a Medicham that just wouldn’t bow in the face of a firebird and an Azumarill that did anything but play nice. The Guadalajara native has experience with many of the meta picks and is looking to leverage that knowledge to take the first official tournament on North American soil for El Tri.



2. KiengIV (CAN) - Azumarill / Registeel / Medicham / Sableye / Shadow Walrein / Trevenant

Arguably the most well-known battler left in the tournament, Kieng is a legend amongst the Pokémon GO community and he showed why in his time on stream. He took a meta team, with the spicy Shadow Walrein variant and was dominant, with his energy management on point as he emerged from a stacked Group B as the victor, neutralizing PartyMarty18’s Charm Ninetales with ease in the final. The scary thing? Kieng admitted he was rusty…



Trainers heading to Vancouver have to be breathing a sigh of relief that Kieng is going to be a referee at that event and not a competitor. He may just punch his ticket to London before that anyway.


3. CrimsonK19 (USA) - Shadow Walrein / Registeel / Alolan Ninetales / Shadow Swampert / Mandibuzz / Defense Deoxys

The man with possibly the largest following in the Twitch chat today, CrimsonK19 backed up the hype with a clean run through Group C, although his Winners final match against EJCC87 proved to be incredibly sweaty, with the Indiana native needing to win a tight fast move race and sacrifice his Swampert in Game 2 to pull it off in the face of a scary Trevenant. Crimson has a very spammy team and a couple of popular niche picks in the Mandibuzz that was so vital for Aeeriis in Germany, and a Defense Deoxys that is seeing more work as these tournaments move on. Can the Twitch streamer keep riding the wave and defend the Hoosier State in the final matches?


4. TrentSZCZ (USA) - Alolan Ninetales / Umbreon / Swampert / Medicham / Galarian Stunfisk / Trevenant

Representing the Motor City, Trent made his way down from Detroit and took no prisoners in Group D action. Of course when you make aggressive calls as we saw, it’s tough for anyone to stand in your way.


Pour one out for the Expos. Trent’s Umbreon continued to be a force in these high-level battles, taking out almost two Pokémon by itself in the Winners final against ItsAXN, and neutralized Lickitung in the deciding Game 3. Trent will look to capture a rare title for Detroit on Day 2.


5. PartyMarty18 (USA) - Defense Deoxys / Alolan Ninetales / Sableye / Skarmory / Shadow Swampert / Umbreon

The other trainer to emerge from the absolute demolition derby that made up Group B, Party Marty did not take the easy route. Marty started with a marathon match against fellow Boston local Doonebug97, besting him before moving on to take out DanTheMan2587 and Pranav before falling to Kieng after his Alolan Ninetales was unable to maneuver around Registeel. The Beantown battler bounced back by eliminating one of the tournament favorites in Reis2Occasion to book a spot into the Day 2 bracket, and all you can say is game recognizes game.



Marty’s won a couple big tournaments before, and although he’s coming from the loser’s bracket, he’ll look to do it again.


6. GandalftheYxllw (USA) - Sirfetch’d / Talonflame / Shadow Swampert / Cresselia / Galarian Stunfisk

The man with the name that lent itself to all the Lord of the Rings puns on stream brought the spice to the show, not only running the only Talonflame remaining, but the star of the show Sirfetch’d. The Galarian duck was up to the challenge whenever Gandalf brought it in, only falling to Iomero0 in the A final before dispatching Munchlax2000 to advance. Many people have been noting Gandalf’s run without the popular picks of Walrein, Trevenant, Registeel and Medicham, and while his competitors will not be caught off-guard by the spice, he will look to make sure they do not pass through him. Yes, I can make the bad joke, too.


7. Balk88 (USA) - Walrein / Galarian Stunfisk / Medicham / Lickitung / Alolan Ninetales / Sableye

The unknown quantity amongst the final eight battlers for the audience, if only because he was the only one who did not make it onto the stage during the stream. Balk’s been busy given his role with the Chicago Stars, but was gracious enough to provide his team to us. The Windy City native was upset in the Winner’s bracket semifinals by EJCC87, but held tough and knocked out MagicMayson and got revenge on EJCC to make it into the final eight. Balk will get his time in the spotlight on Day 2, and he’ll certainly make opponents feel like they are trying to battle him on rural cell phone internet while parked on a highway off-ramp with the pressure he can put on with this team. This writer can confirm this from experience, and other opponents agree.



8. ItsAXN (USA) - Medicham / Shadow Nidoqueen / Sableye / Lickitung / Shadow Walrein / Diggersby

Looking to replicate PokeSquark’s run during the European championships, ItsAXN is another battler with a lot of GBL success that is branching into show six, pick three for the first time. Making the trek from Utah, AXN was pretty jazzed up and scored a pair of big victories over AlphaFeeb in the Group D Winner’s semifinal, and then Stadium Elite member JEngels21 in the Loser’s bracket final to reach the final eight. ItsAXN has the second spiciest team in the final eight, being the only battler to bring Shadow Nidoqueen and Diggersby into Day 2, but the Shadow Walrein has been putting in a lot of work for AXN and it looks to continue moving forward.



Get ready, fans. We have another 10 series of battles at least to determine who will walk out of Indianapolis with a ticket to London in hand. After what we saw from Day 1, they are sure to be tight right to the checkered flag.