Written by: Zzweilous


Welcome, Play! Pokémon enthusiasts, to a new era of Go PvP – and, at the same time, the end of this season’s competitive cycle for all our European battlers. In Turin, Italy, a Special Event will determine the remaining two Worlds participants from the continent.

Around 170 registered battlers will compete for two invites to Yokohama, Japan. But the tools at their disposal differ significantly from those who came before them: The first sizeable move update since the Wing Attack buff will see the meta shift, with staples like Medicham and Lanturn potentially getting even stronger in the wake of a pretty impactful Trevenant nerf.

The Elder Tree Pokémon is looking far less spooky with the energy cost for its Seed Bomb increased from 40 to 45, a change that isn’t fully offset by a slight increase in damage. Trevenant has been uniquely important as a core breaker in the past, but it has also drawn criticism as a polarizing pick that opens a battle up to Rock-Paper-Scissors-like gameplay. How will players respond to this new meta?

Europe’s answer to wdage?

One competitor’s answer is clear already: It would be nothing short of scandalous if Day 2 regular AMindJoke didn’t trust in his signature Pokémon, (Shadow) Alolan Sandslash. The icy hedgehog has been a favorite of the infamously consistent Italian for quite some time.

After a move update that saw A-Slash's lackluster coverage move Bulldoze replaced with the excellent Drill Run, a move that provides the same amount of Ground-type damage for 15 less energy, AMindJoke looks to be in a great position to make another deep tournament run.

He made the Top Cut three times already this season, ending the recent Malmö regional just one place short of Worlds qualification. Now, with a bit of a home field advantage, it might be time for the EU Emperor to follow his teammates Inadequance and Scafo99 to Japan – in an effort not unlike the one of North America’s wdage, who recently went from similar consistency to a tournament win in Hartford, Connecticut.

Mediterranean rivalries

A look at the list of participants reveals two things: Not only are the chronically underrepresented Italian PvP powerhouses showing up to this one. Also, their neighbors to the west are coming for them: The French PvP scene is taking their chances to challenge the Italians on their own turf. Turin is less than a two hour drive away from the French border, after all.

In the highest tier of Silph Factions, Italian giants #EatPastasciutta (ASprescelto, RagingTaz, HElSENBERG24) bested both LesFrenchavaliers (DCVulpix, Sandodou, NoxiiousWS) and Les Mangemorts (EUIC Champion TontonBatteuse, ShowRiseaux, Vigevige) in some very close bouts this season. Both will be looking for revenge, and each team is bringing even more talented battlers to Turin than I had space to mention.

One deadlock broken...

Besides those two, you can look forward to top tier battlers from Poland (SmietiX), Austria (superalki), the Netherlands (Sneeuwman23) or Wales (Maxy1000000P). Another proud PvP nation managed to lift a curse in Malmö, when Zephymastyx secured back-to-back Worlds qualification as the regional champion: Germany had failed to qualify outside of defending world champion DancingRob up until that point.

In JBGWinsenHSV, leandrooo and Stonecollection (who... probably won’t try out the new move Liquidation on his signature Pokémon Samurott), a bunch of talented battlers from the land of Flaschenpfand and Döner Kebab will try to drive that tally up. They just recently teamed up with Italian national Filbeg of GBL leaderboards fame, another household name that will be present at the Special Event.

...another still intact

So what is left to highlight? Maybe a European statistic that is yet to be fixed: While North America had birdpower13 and NHoff flying the flag of #girlsthatpvp with their respective worlds invites, the same can’t be said about Europe just yet. While the lack of quantity in participation will carry over to Turin, there’s no shortage of talent among the women competing: Paulasha97 from Spain has topped the GBL leaderboards in the past, her compatriot Andriss96 will be looking to match her boyfriend jonyoa92’s achievement, who won the Special Event in Utrecht.

Meanwhile, French EUIC shoutcaster NYMUUUUUUU is returning to the battlefield to maybe be the interviewee rather than the interviewer this time around.