After our US Nationals fantasy draft, we decided to follow up and do one for the World Championships as well! Although the field is much smaller than US Nationals, Worlds is just as unpredictable when you factor in all of the players from different countries. Lots of areas don’t get much coverage, so we know very little about even National Champions from some places! For example, Igor Costa was a relative unknown when he won the World Championship last year.
Even players in the US can make unexpected runs, such as David Cohen winning in 2011 (although he was a Finalist in Seniors in 2009). To add some spice into things, we could choose any Masters player for this draft, including those who aren’t qualified yet! If you choose a player that goes through the LCQ, you get an extra 10 points. However, it’s a huge risk considering how difficult it is to make it through. With this in mind, what’s the best way to draft for Worlds? We’ll see how everyone chose in a round-by-round breakdown. For reference, the draft order was Pooka, Ben, Drew, Pram, and Crim. Here’s the point breakdown as well.
|Top 32||Top 16||Top 8||Top 4||Finals||Champion|
|10 points||15 points||21 points||28 points||36 points||45 points|
Bonuses will be given for the following:
Undefeated Swiss Record = 10 Points
LCQ Winner = 10 Points
LCQ Winner Top 8 = 5 Points
Primetime Pookas – Sami Sekkoum
Black Ballistas – Ross Cawthon
Nature Boys – Jay Hornung
Pram’s Stackers – Dylan Bryan
Team Crimmilicious – Kyle Sucevich
Whoever got the first pick was going to make the obvious choice in Sami Sekkoum (Primetime Pookas). Over the past 9 years, Sami has made Top 8 or better at over half of the World Championships, which is absurd. There’s never a sure thing in Pokémon, but this is as close as it gets. As you would expect in the first round, everyone is going to be a world class player. Ross Cawthon (Black Ballistas) is a two-time finalist, and Jay Hornung (Nature Boys) has two third place finishes under his belt. All three of the first picks have qualified for every World Championship under the Nintendo era, too.
Then we have Dylan Bryan (Pram’s Stackers), a player who is a rising star in the game. At this point he may just be an established player, but he doesn’t have that big finish yet. In the past two years he has made the Top 16 at Worlds, though. For the last pick of the first round, Team Crimmilicious made a bold move by choosing Kyle “Pooka” Sucevich, a player who may have the worst track record at the event in the history of the game. While he has qualified eight times, Pooka was able to make top cut only once at Worlds – and that was in 2004. Will Crim’s gamble pay off? History tells us no, but we shall see.
Team Crimmilicious – Ryan Sabelhaus
Pram’s Stackers – Mike Diaz
Nature Boys – Dylan Lefavour
Black Ballistas – Harrison Leven
Primetime Pookas – Frank Diaz
After taking Team Crimmilicious to a victory in the US Nationals fantasy draft, Ryan Sabelhaus joins the team again to do the same for Worlds. There’s no arguing that this guy is on a roll right now, but he’s another player with a shaky past at Worlds. Crim certainly decided to ignore past results at Worlds when choosing his team, and we’ll see if it bites him or not. Pram’s Stackers went with Mike Diaz for a second round pick, a solid player who had an incredible Worlds run last year by getting through the LCQ and finishing 4th. Speaking of solid, the Nature Boys went with Dylan Lefavour, perhaps the most underrated player in the world. After winning Worlds in Seniors in 2008, Dylan proved he had no problems aging up with a Top 4 finish at US Nationals and Top 8 at Worlds in 2011. Look out for him to make some noise.
After picking a two-time finalist in the first round, the Black Ballistas went with another runner-up in Harrison Leven. No question that Harrison is on a hot streak right now with his absurd amount of Championship Points. In his first time at the World Championships, he managed a 2nd place finish. Without a doubt, he’ll be dying to avenge that loss and take home the gold this year. For the final pick of round two, the Primetime Pookas went with Frank Diaz, a player with a solid history at the World Championships. In 2010 he went down the same path as his brother Mike did last year, getting in through the LCQ and then making it to the Top 4. While he may not be one of the most celebrated players, Frank has been a consistent threat to win big tournaments over the years.
Primetime Pookas – Jeremy Jallen
Black Ballistas – Tommy Roberts
Nature Boys – Shintaro I.
Pram’s Stackers – Igor Costa
Team Crimmilicious – Diego Cassiraga
To start off the third round, Pooka went with On the Bubble’s Jeremy Jallen. After a Top 8 finish in the 2011 World Championships, Jeremy barely missed qualifying last year after a Top 16 finish at US Nationals in 2012. After a better season this year and another Top 16 at US Nationals, he’s back and ready to take Worlds by storm. Then Ben chose Tommy Roberts, a player from the UK who hasn’t fared too well at Worlds since he aged up to Masters. However, Tommy does very well in the UK every year, so he knows how to play. For the first crazy pick of the draft, Drew decided to draft Shintaro I. from Japan. We actually have no information on this player at all, not even his last name. The Nature Boys feel that Japanese players are incredible, so any of them were a fine addition to his team. We’ll see if it pays off.
Pram’s Stackers went with last year’s champion, Igor Costa. The Portuguese powerhouse is a four-time National Champion, and it will be interesting to see how he does in the follow up year. Historically World Champions have been inconsistent after winning. While most have not done well, Tsuguyoshi Yamato made Top 8 after his 2004 win, and Jeremy Maron took 3rd after his win in 2005. After that, we haven’t seen a champion do well in the next year. Keeping with the international theme, Team Crimmilicious picked Argentina’s Diego Cassiraga, a player who has done consistently well at Worlds. To date his highest finish is a Top 8 in 2007, and we’ll see if he can continue his success in 2013.
Team Crimmilicious – Tsuguyoshi Yamato (LCQ)
Pram’s Stackers – Chan Park
Nature Boys – Hideki S.
Black Ballistas – Jason Klaczynski (LCQ)
Primetime Pookas – Clifton Goh
Time for some wacky picks! Team Crimmilicious was the first to pick an LCQ player, and why not pick a guy who has qualified through it a bunch of times already? Since Japan’s tournament structure is extremely unforgiving when it comes to Worlds invites, Tsuguyoshi Yamato has to play in the LCQ nearly every year. Yet he’s missed only two World Championships! Without a doubt, he is the king of the grinder, and he was one round away from getting through last year as well. For the next pick, Pram’s Stackers chose the only player from South Korea, Chan Park. When asked why, Pram simply said, “His country breeds winners in games.” While it may be some strange logic, perhaps it will pay off. Once again, Drew picked a seemingly random Japanese player in Hideki S. Like Shintaro, we have absolutely no information about him besides he is qualified for the World Championships.
With the fourth pick in the fourth round, the Black Ballistas selected the second LCQ player, none other than two-time World Champion Jason Klaczynski. After a rough season of extremely bad luck, Jason will have to enter the LCQ for the third time in his career. Though he did grind in for the 2010 World Championships, he fell a round short after a controversial loss in 2011. It’s hard to fault Ben for this pick, and Jason is as determined as ever to make it back into the main event. Finally the Primetime Pookas selected Clifton Goh, a player from Singapore who is breaking out in the Pokémon TCG. Last year he was able to make Top 16, and we’ll see if he can improve on that this year. As a whole, players from Singapore have started to do very well at Worlds, and this may be the year that someone gets a big finish.
Primetime Pookas – Ray Cipoletti
Black Ballistas – Dustin Zimmerman
Nature Boys – Chase Moloney
Pram’s Stackers – Sam Chen
Team Crimmilicious – Edmund Kuras
Starting off the fifth round, the Primetime Pookas welcomed back Ray Cipoletti after his Top 32 performance at US Nationals. After a Top 32 finish at Worlds in his rookie year, Ray is back to try to make a deeper run this year. Then Ben went with Dustin Zimmerman, a great player who has struggled a bit at the big events. While nobody would be surprised to see Dustin do well at Worlds, he just hasn’t been able to do it yet. Keeping outside of the US, the Nature Boys went with Canada’s own Chase Moloney, the 2012 Seniors World Champion. With Worlds being in a different country for the first time, maybe the home turf will give Chase an advantage. In his first year in Masters, Chase was able to take 3rd at a Regional Championship, so he’s had no trouble aging up. Will he be the first player to win Worlds in two different divisions?
Pram’s Stackers decided to go with a very solid player, Sam Chen. While he used to play competitively a long time ago, Sam just rejoined the game recently and has qualified for Worlds in both years he’s been back. Will he be able to have his first big performance at Worlds? So far he hasn’t done too great at the big events, but it’s a small sample size. To close out the round, Team Crimmilicious went with the 2013 US National Champion, Edmund Kuras. By now we all know who this guy is, and he’s on the hottest run of his life. Can anyone slow him down? Historically US National Champions have not done well at Worlds in the same year, but the two exceptions are Gino Lombardi (3rd in 2008) and Con Le (Top 16 in 2010). Anything can happen!
Team Crimmilicious – Sam Liggett
Pram’s Stackers – Michael Pramawat
Nature Boys – Junichi K.
Black Ballistas – Rachel Dillon
Primetime Pookas – David Hovland Jensen
For the sixth and final round, we had some interesting picks. With the pick of Sam Liggett, Team Crimmilicious officially drafted the top three finishers at US Nationals. Sam has been a very consistent player in the past, and his big finish at US Nationals was really what he needed to add to his résumé. Can he follow it up with a big Worlds performance? Of course, it wouldn’t be a draft if Pram didn’t pick himself, so the manager of Pram’s Stackers had used the last pick to do so. Unlike Nationals, Pram typically does well at Worlds, having a 2nd place and Top 8 finish under his belt. Over the past three years, he has made Top 32 every time. While the Nature Boys initially picked Esa Juntunen, we learned that he will not be playing in Worlds, so Drew went with his third Japanese player in Junichi K. We wish we could tell you something about him, but yet again we have absolutely no information about Junichi.
For the first time, a female player was chosen in our draft! After qualifying through the last chance tournament at US Nationals, Rachel Dillon from Arizona will be playing in this year’s World Championships (and for the Black Ballistas). Historically the Pokémon TCG has been a male dominated game, but that doesn’t mean things can’t change. Rachel did knock Jason Klaczynski out of the last chance tournament, so she’s a great player who’s on a roll. For the final pick of the draft, the Primetime Pookas chose David Hovland Jensen, the Norwegian National Champion. While he may not be a household name, he has the second most Championship Points in the world (only behind Igor Costa), and he is a veteran player. By winning one of the first National Championships with Plasma Freeze legal, he showed a great understanding of the format with his Gothitelle/Accelgor deck. As we all know, that deck went on to win US Nationals, the last National Championship. Will he remain ahead of the curve and have a big performance at Worlds? We’ll find out!
Here’s a final look at the teams for this year’s World Championship fantasy draft.
|Primetime Pookas||Black Ballistas||Nature Boys||Pram’s Stackers||Team Crimmilicious|
|Sami Sekkoum||Ross Cawthon||Jay Hornung||Dylan Bryan||Kyle Sucevich|
|Frank Diaz||Harrison Leven||Dylan Lefavour||Mike Diaz||Ryan Sabelhaus|
|Jeremy Jallen||Tommy Roberts||Shintaro I.||Igor Costa||Diego Cassiraga|
|Clifton Goh||Jason Klaczynski (LCQ)||Hideki S.||Chan Park||Tsuguyoshi Yamato (LCQ)|
|Ray Cipoletti||Dustin Zimmerman||Chase Moloney||Sam Chen||Edmund Kuras|
|David Hovland Jensen||Rachel Dillon||Junichi K.||Michael Pramawat||Sam Liggett|
Who do you think will win the Worlds draft? Were there any players you would have drafted that didn’t make it onto any of the teams? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments!