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VGCS '13 North American Winter Regionals Results

blog-vamasterscut.pngThe 2013 season of the Pokémon Video Game Championship Series continued this weekend with events in Sandston, VA; St. Louis, MO; Salem, OR; Long Beach, CA; and Lake Buena Vista, FL. Pokémon trainers from across North America (including Hawaii!) competed in six to eight rounds of best of one Swiss, followed by the top eight players from each Regional competing in best of three elimination rounds until five Regional Champions were crowned.

The Sandston, VA Regional continued to prove why the Northeast is considered one of the strongest regions for competitive Pokemon in the world. With no closer Regional, many top tier players from New York and New Jersey made their way down south to compete in a stacked field against players like three-time World Champion Ray Rizzo (Ray), two-time Masters and Seniors National Champions Wolfe Glick (Wolfey) and Aaron Zheng (Cybertron). In the end, the Masters division was conquered by Ben Rothman (Nightblade7000) who managed to maintain the momentum he gained from his recent Apex championship and defeat former Regional champion Michael Lanzano (JiveTime) after an incredibly difficult schedule. In Seniors, US Nationals Runner-Up Jonathan Hiller (MrFox) managed to defeat Paul C. (pwnypersonvgc) in a close match. Lastly from Virginia, the Juniors phenom Brendan Zheng (Babbytron) continued his streak as the winningest Regional Champion in Pokemon history, with a fifth consecutive Regional victory. Can anyone #stopbabby?

The Midwest had a bit of a curious Regional this time around with many top tier players either choosing to attend a Regional further away or unable to attend. Still, the competition in St. Louis, MO, was fierce enough to live up to its reputation as a former US Nationals location. After a long and storied history that includes a Worlds appearance and numerous trips to Nationals, the most consistent man in VGC to never win a Championship Kamaal Harris (FonicFrog) finally managed to secure that top placing that had previously always been just out of his reach with a victory over Nico Villalobos (Calm Lava) in the finals. The Seniors competition proved just as fierce with Aaron Grubbs (LPFan) managing a victory over another competitive field.

With no Canadian Regional to attend, the Salem, OR, Regional became ground zero for a Canadian invasion of their own after top players from America invaded Toronto, ON, in the fall. Fresh off his Nugget Bridge Major victory, Canadian superstar Randy Kwa (R Inanimate), despite the best efforts of winter traffic, continued his impressive streak of not dropping any major tournament matches after a victory over Alex Stempe in the finals. Perhaps the harsh tundra of Canada prepared him for the comparatively milder Oregon winter? Seniors competition was filled with big names who dropped just short with the Championship ultimately going to Jake Hwang-Twigg who successfully made it past players like Henry M. (Snake) and San Jose Champion April H. (Phenac) in a tight top cut.

The Long Beach, CA, Regional was held on the historic Queen Mary, prompting many of the competitors to yell out, "I'm on a boat!" a few years too late. In the Masters division we saw a ringer fly in from beautiful Hawaii in William Hall (Biosci) hoping to add "Regional Champion" to his resume which already includes a victory in the 2012 VGCS Winter Battle only to fall to Jacob Burrows (Noobly9730), the older brother of Juniors World Champ Abram Burrows (makiri) School for Pokemon Excellence. Her career will certainly be exciting to watch as she carries her washed up older brother on her back to Nationals and possibly Worlds.

The last Regional of the day was also the first to finish, perhaps because down in Lake Buena Vista, FL, it was still beach weather despite being a Winter Regional. Foiling the Nugget Bridge staff's predictions, Harrison Saylor did not make finals thanks to bus hax, leaving the finals to fall to de facto #2 seed and North American Championship Points leader Zach Droegkamp (Zach) who added yet another Regional Championship to his resume after taking Ft. Wayne in the Fall with a victory over Rick Guerra in the finals. The Seniors division showed a level of competition on par with their Masters counterparts with Devon Ingram taking a victory over Eujin J. (KiwiDawg7) in one of the first finals to complete.

Congratulations to all of the Champions and runners-up! In addition to bragging rights, Champions in the Masters and Seniors division take home a paid trip to Indianapolis, IN, complete with hotel room, to compete in the United States National Video Game Championships, July 5th - 7th, 2013, as well as a first round Bye in the Swiss rounds of Nationals and 120 Championship Points to be used towards an invitation to the 2013 Pokémon World Video Game Championships in Vancouver, BC. Runners-up in the Masters division receive $600 to help pay their way to Indianapolis, 110 Championship points, and a first round Bye in the Swiss Rounds of Nationals, with the 3rd and 4th place finishers in the Masters division receiving 90 Championship points. Seniors division runners-up receive $750 to help pay for them and a guardian to attend Nationals in Indianapolis, as well as a first round Bye in the Swiss rounds of Nationals and 110 Championship points, with 3rd and 4th place finishers receiving a $700 travel stipend and 90 Championship Points each.

Complete Results

Sandston, VA

Masters Top 8

  1. Ben Rothman (Nightblade7000)
  2. Michael Lanzano (JiveTime)
  3. Andres Morales
  4. Simon Yip (TDS)
  5. Evan Latt (evan)
  6. Patrick Brodarick (wer)
  7. Dan Levinson (dtrain)
  8. Alan Sutterlin (Dubulous)

Top 31 after Swiss

Seniors Top 8

  1. Jonathan Hiller (MrFox)
  2. Paul C. (WhatARandomName)
  3. Edward F. (iss)
  4. Brandon S. (TheJaymee3000)
  5. Cameron S. (Drizzleboy)
  6. Luke K. (Burgba)
  7. Mackenzie K.
  8. Ben H. (Darkpenguin67)

Top 28 after Swiss

St. Louis, MO

Masters Top 8

  1. Kamaal Harris (FonicFrog)
  2. Nico Villalobos (Calm Lava)
  3. Benji Irons (benjitheGREAT)
  4. Scott Glaza (Scott)
  5. David Arnold
  6. Jonathan Rankin (JRank)
  7. Bryan Reed
  8. Greyson Garren (GreySong)

Top 32 after Swiss

Seniors Top 8

  1. Aaron Grubbs (LPFan)
  2. Justin M. F.
  3. Kyle H.
  4. Jacob P.
  5. Brian H.
  6. Danny I.
  7. Darrin C. (ninten678)
  8. Ian M.

Salem, OR

Masters Top 8

  1. Randy Kwa (R Inanimate)
  2. Alex Stempe (Stump)
  3. Quinn Johnstein
  4. Casiano S. Atienza III
  5. Aryana Welch (feathers)
  6. Brandon Deragimore (Branflakes)
  7. Christopher Beckstrom
  8. Max Douglas (starmetroid)

Top 40 after Swiss

Seniors Top 8

  1. Jake Hwang-Twigg
  2. Ian W.
  3. April H. (Phenac)
  4. Aaron N.
  5. Henry M. (Snake)
  6. Will B.
  7. Elicia A.
  8. Ryan B.

Top 30 after Swiss

 Long Beach, CA

Masters Top 8

  1. Jacob Burrows (Noobly9730)
  2. William Hall (Biosci)
  3. Enosh Shachar (Human)
  4. Hayden Morrison (hakemo)
  5. Kamran Jahadi (kamz)
  6. Matthew Dotey (Knight)
  7. Duy Ha (Duy)
  8. Len Deuel (Alaka)

Top 31 after Swiss

Seniors Top 8

  1. Jerico Horca (DoctorRiceYouSee)
  2. Abram B. (Abman261)
  3. Emilio F. (emforbes)
  4. Daniel C. (KermitTheFrog14)

Lake Buena Vista, FL

Masters Top 8

  1. Zach Droegkamp (Zach)
  2. Rick Guerra
  3. Sam Haarsma (DrFidget)
  4. Edwin Baez (Chogy64)
  5. Conor Tobin (Tobes)
  6. Ryan Lankford (Maestro)
  7. Brandon Oramas
  8. Gus St. Germain (Gustalice)

Top 22 after Swiss

Seniors Top 8

  1. DeVon Ingram (dingram)
  2. Eujin J. (KiwiDawg7)
  3. Hugo C.
  4. Luke L. (MudkipMaster)
  5. Marc M. (green hornet)
  6. Samuel W.
  7. Joshua Z.
  8. Lex D.

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