Welcome to our interview with the first player from Mexico to qualify for this year’s World Championships, Miguel López! Often times Mexico is overshadowed by the US and Canada when it comes to North American qualifiers, so here we get a chance to look at things from a different perspective. Enjoy!
Congratulations on your invite to Worlds! How did you earn so many points?
Thanks Kyle. Despite having attended Worlds in Hawaii last year, I started off the season like the majority with no points. Once I found out I needed 400 CP’s for the invite to Vancouver I did the maths and made short, mid and long term goals. To achieve these goals I used what I thought was the best deck in format at the time according to the metagame in my country (Mexico).
To define what the best option was it was necessary to test various decks for as long as you can. After I tested what I considered the best options, I realized there wasn’t one dominant deck. During the whole season there have been 3 or 4 good options and in the end I choose the deck I feel most comfortable with. You will see how I’ve varied my deck choices a lot in the different events I gained CP’s at.
1st Place Hydreigon/Darkrai: 15CP
3rd Place Hydreigon/Darkrai: 10CP
1st Place Rayeels/Terrakion: 15CP
2nd Place Rayeels/Terrakion: 12CP
1st Place Empoleon/Accelgor: 50CP
1st Place Landorus EX/Tornadus EX/Mewtwo EX/Bouffalant: 50CP
3rd Place Landorus EX/Tornadus EX/Mewtwo EX/Bouffalant: 30CP
1st Place Blastoise/Keldeo EX/Mewtwo EX: 50CP
1st Place Landorus EX/Tornadus EX/Mewtwo EX/Bouffalant/Terrakion: 100CP
6th Place Landorus EX/Tornadus EX/Bouffalant/Terrakion: 50CP
2nd Place Landorus EX/Tornadus EX/Bouffalant/Terrakion: 90CP
For those who may not know you, can you tell us a bit about your history in the game?
I started playing in the year 2000 at 18 years of age. When I started it was only for fun, there wasn’t organized play like there is today, or at least not for me, and little by little I started finding new places who shared the joy of playing the TCG and I know some of my best friends thanks to this hobby.
When I say I played only for fun at the beginning, that doesn’t mean that’s not a reason anymore, but now there is something else that motivates me to keep playing and that is to be able to participate in the World Championship. In 2004 I didn’t have the opportunity to attend. There was no National Championship in Mexico back then, the only way to get an invite was through the now extinct Gym Challenge. Only the champion of that tournament would get the only invite to Worlds and on that occasion I lost in Top 4 to Pablo Meza who ended up winning the event. Once I found out all the things I missed out on, I gave it my best effort to earn an invite for the following years and so far I have participated in Worlds 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012. My best performance was in Hawaii 2007 where I got 18th place. My goal this year is to surpass that.
I started playing at 18. I am now 30. I really enjoy the game, hanging out with friends, traveling and meeting new people so I don’t plan on leaving this hobby as long as organized play still exists.
What has been your favorite deck to use this season? What have you been using currently?
My favorite deck this season is Hydreigon/Darkrai; it’s more my style. I like playing a versatile deck with many outs. Currently I’m using Landorus EX/Tornadus EX/Bouffalant/Terrakion but I will change it up for the final States here in Mexico by playing Blastoise/Keldeo EX/Black Kyurem.
What do you attribute your success to this season?
Practice makes perfect and I play at every opportunity I have. I like playing unexpected cards by the majority, for example Rayeels with Terrakion. I think the surprise factor is very important. I don’t adhere to one idea. I’m always looking for the best option.
How do you feel about the current state of the game?
I feel the luck factor is important, a game really depends on who goes first and how good is your starting hand. I think your strategy has to be focused on speed since every deck uses 4 Pokémon Catcher. You can hardly plan out a strategy for the longer game. I don’t like the current state of the game but I can’t do anything but adapt and figure out what is the best option.
What are your plans now that you have your invite?
Now that I have the CP’s necessary for an invite, my short term goal is to start applying for a Canadian visa and arrange everything related to the trip to Vancouver. Mid term goal is to be prepared as best as I can for Mexico Nationals in order to try and win the paid trip, and long term goal is to have a succesful run at the World Championships.
Do you have any hobbies besides Pokémon?
I draw from time to time and I play soccer with 7 a side with some of my best friends. I’ve met them all through the TCG.
Is there anything else you’d like to say to our viewers?
The World Championships is the most exciting even of the year. I play every tournament with the only goal to give it my best in order to be closer to an invite. But there is something more exciting than participating in Worlds, and that is meeting people from all over the world that share a common interest, and most of all see those whom I only have the option to see once a year. I really hope to see all of them in Vancouver.
Thanks for the interview Kyle.
Thank you, Miguel! That was a great interview with very thoughtful answers. Hopefully this year you can find success at the World Championships. Good luck!