Flying to Worlds...Matty's DiaryPokémon World Championship 2011 Worldstory Here's the worldstory which tells in detail the adventure of mine, and Team Italy to the Pokémon World Championship, which as we know it was 12 to 14 August in San Diego, CA. Here I will tell you in detail the days we spent together, including burgers, fries, hot dogs, Coca Cola and challenges to the death, until you come to the conclusion of this fantastic trip! First of all I apologize for my bad English... I'm sure I'll make lot of mistakes =) Before you begin, however, it is necessary to present the protagonists ... Actors Matty I started playing competitively five years ago, but since this is the first year that the VGC was organized in Italy, I started to play doubles only six months ago. I ranked second at the Italian national championships, and so I qualified for the Pokemon World Championship. Alexis First place at the Italian National Championships...Francesco plays Pokemon for a long time, and unlike me has already played doubles on several previous occasions. We've been friends for several years, and when we played together the national final and we had the opportunity to make this trip together for us was a great joy. Nicola Nicola is my little brother. He is 11 years old, and until a few months ago had no idea what the competitive battling was. When I decided to participate in VGC I started to teach him to play and i helped him in building the team for the national championships, where he ranked second in the Senior Division. Despite being the youngest in its division, he has proved very strong, and managed to surprise everyone, including me. Alby Alby is my second younger brother, and came to San Diego as legal guardian of Nicola. He followed us in the national championships and in the World Championship preparation, lowering the role of mental trainer and headcoach of the team, then he was fascinated by the game and decided to participate in the LCQ August 12. Tuesday August 9 Despite the departure is fixed for the next day, the adventure of the Italian expedition begins today. Alexis and I we agreed to make the trip together, so he reached my home town and was my guest for a few hours. After an afternoon on the beach and an ice cream after dinner is the time to complete preparations: we get to nerds on Pokémon Online deciding the final version of the team and making small changes to the one used in Rome a couple of months before, inserting Krookodile Eelektross. We win many battles, and this gives us a nice injection of confidence in the quality and synergy of the team. Wednesday August 10 At 2 am it's time to close the bags and leave for Bologna...In the car we listen to the lucky CD of the National Championships in Rome, then we arrive at the airport and we are ready for the Check-In and Metal Detectors (thankfully I realize at the last minute to have a cutter in my hand luggage o_O) and finally we took off! The trip goes safely and smoothly: we do a stopover in Frankfurt and Philadelphia, where we are able to board the plane at the last moment, then we landed in San Diego at 18:30 local time . We take a taxi that takes us to the beautiful Hilton Bayfront, where we are placed in a quad with the most comfortable beds we ever slept. After about 36 hours without sleep, fatigue began to be felt, so we go quickly to Subway (which often cheer our meals in the following days) and we go straight to sleep. Thursday August 11 At 4 am we all suffer the effects of jet lag and we are all awake in the middle of the night (in Italy it is lunch time lol). We make an effort to get back to sleep till 7, then we go to breakfast at Starbucks and start looking around trying to recognize among the customers of the Hilton our opponents. Immediately our attention is captured by the large Pokémon stickers stuck to the fourth floor terrace, where the challenges would be held the following days. We take the elevator and go have a look, but everything is still under construction...we look around we can take as many photos, but after a few minutes surveillance sends us away. Since it is still early we go for a walk through the streets of San Diego, snapping photos like crazy between Hot Dogs, fries and Cokes. In the afternoon we return to the hotel and we note that other participants are arriving, including Ruben and Albert, the two Spaniards who qualified first in London and second in Madrid, and who will accompany us on this adventure in the days ahead. We quickly become friends and decide to spend the afternoon in the beautiful and sunny beaches of San Diego...in the meantime we exchange opinions about the single and doubles metagame, each one telling its own experience in the qualifying national championships. In a few serious talk (very few) and lots of nonsense comes out also the mascot of the Neo-Italian Spanish group: Patrat ... the world's strongest Pokemon! After a swim in the ocean we decided to return to the hotel for a dip in the pool, then we go to dinner together for a pizza, where we know other distinguished participants in the competition, as BlueCookies and Ryuzaki. Once back at the hotel to be ready for the tournament, arranging the final details and exchanging Pokémon, then go to sleep exhausted. Friday August 12 Today the events of the Pokémon World Championship begins. After the classic Breakfast at Starbucks, we go to the Indigo Ballrom for the competitor Check-In. Among T-shirts, hats, cards and various gadgets we are literally covered with merchandise, and we also discover that there ara other Italians to participate in the Masters Division: Giuseppe and Manuel, the other two semifinalists in Rome. We also met the Junior Fabrizio and Lorenzo and the Senior Andrea. Alby decides to participate in the LCQ, but unfortunately fails to qualify ... in the meantime we watch the other matches, starting to feel the tension for the next day. In the late afternoon we go shopping together with Ruben and Albert, and after a quick stop at the hotel we went to dinner at Subway, where we share the excitement and tension for the imminent elimination phase. After we returned to our room and we do the last friendly matches between us, then we go to sleep. Saturday August 13 At 6.30 in the morning I can not sleep (jet lag effects again, but mostly the tension), so I get up and go for a swim in the pool with Alby to try to relax a little. After an hour and a half we go back in the room and prepare to descend on the fourth floor, where we have breakfast and watch the Opening Ceremony, which is really exciting and salaries. Nick McCord's words are exciting...after so much effort to get here now is the time to battle: one of us is going to become a Pokémon World Champion! At 10 o'clock we start! The players in each category are divided in their respective areas, we are reminded of the rules and we are invited to save the team in the box, which is immediately locked. My team was the following: Tornadus @ Flying Gem Abilità: Prankster EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spd Natura: Jolly (+Spd, -SAtk) - Acrobatics - Tailwind - Substitute - Protect Haxorus @ Choice Scarf Abilità: Rivalry EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spd Natura: Adamant (+Atk, -SAtk) - Outrage - Dual Chop - Earthquake - Rock Slide Krookodile @ Focus Sash Abilità: Intimidate EVs: 164 HP / 252 Atk / 92 Spd Natura: Adamant (+Atk, -SAtk) - Earthquake - Crunch - Rock Slide - Protect Thundurus @ Charti Berry Abilità: Prankster EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd Natura: Timid (+Spd, -Atk) - Thunderbolt - Hidden Power [Flying] - Thunder Wave - Substitute Scrafty @ Chople Berry Abilità: Moxie EVs: 144 HP / 252 Atk / 112 Spd Natura: Adamant (+Atk, -SAtk) - Crunch - Drain Punch - Fake Out - Protect Eelektross @ Life Orb Abilità: Levitate EVs: 88 HP / 252 SAtk / 168 Spd Natura: Modest (+SAtk, -Atk) - Thunderbolt - Flamethrower - Hidden Power [Ice] - Protect The preliminary phase consisted of a total of six matches each, the first to win two matches out of three would win. In the first round the participants were randomly paired, while each subsequent ones would be paired with a participant who had his same number of victories and defeats. After the six battles, the first eight would qualify for the final phase of the next day. Round 1 [0-0] - VS Albert Bos (Albert), ES Matty VS Albert 2-1The draw for the first round is not very good, primarily because I could have been paired with softer opponents, then because Albert is a friend...I was curious to battle with him, but certainly not so soon. I start the first match with Krookodile Eelektross, bringing back Haxorus Thundurus, as he goes with Amoonguss Mienshao. I kill Amoonguss with a Flamethrower + Earthquake combo, then he send out Haxorus, but he switches immediately for Scarf Jellycent, which is hit by the Hidden Power Ice. The fight goes on very balanced: I'm unlucky to hit twice his -1 Atk Mienshao with Outrage (the second time taking away 1 PS because of Sash), but in the end I win thanks to my Haxorus that doesn't hit itself in confusion . The second match i go with the same Pokémon, but I do not play in the best way, and Albert's Haxorus surprises me with his Lum Berry when I try to paralyze it with Thunder Wave. Albert controls the match without too many problems and wins...1-1. Not seeing any holes or weaknesses in Albert's Team i decided to use again Krrokodile, Eelektross, Haxorus and Thundurus...this match is very balanced, but Albert switches out Jellicent and send out Haxorus, which is hit by Thunder Wave, consuming his Lum Berry. In the next turn I paralyzed him again and he didn't attack for two turns because of paralysis, which allows me to manage the match and win easily. I apologize to him and I congratulate...except for the paralysis all the battles were really beautiful. Round 2 [1-0] - VS Sinan Oezer (Hilikus), DE Matty VS Hilikus 2-1In the second round i'm again paired with an European...it's Hilikus, vice-champion of Germany. I don't know his gameplay style, but in the preview I see the three genes, against which Eelektross has good matchup, so I'm confident. I go again with Eelektross and Krookodile, but he surprises me with a Scarf Landorus U-Turn that hits Krookodile, breaking his sash and causing good damage. I don't remember the rest of the match, but it's always been in balance, up to a flinch of Rock Slide on my Eelektross, who would have attacked and Landorus with Hidden Power Ice, killing him. Due to this flinch I lose the fight and I find myself at 0-1. The defeat of the first game immediately puts me in a bad position, but at the same time I had the opportunity to know my opponent, and to understand his style of play and the set of his Pokémon. Unfortunately I do not remember the other two matches, but I think both have been balanced to the end with no hax on both sides. At the end I managed to win both challenges and to go undefeated at the lunch break. Round 3 [2-0] - VS Rebecca Wolf (Sanchan), DE Matty VS Sanchan 2-1After the lunch break I learn to be against Rebecca Wolf, from Germany, ranked third at the National Championships. In the preview i saw a Life Orb Cinccino, and I was sure she would use it, seeing two genes in my team. In addition she had Amoongus, Scarf Haxorus, Tornadus and two others I can not remember. The first match is always been in balance, and I won it without too many problems with Scrafty entering the mid game and using Fake Out on her Haxorus, immediatly knocked out by mine. The second match starts pretty well for me, and I think to win without too many problems, but unfortunately Cinccino hits Scrafty 5 times with Tail Slap, putting him ko in one shot. This brings Rebecca into a position of advantage, she plays well and in the end manages to win the second match. The outcome of the third match was uncertain until the last turn...I get a ko on her Tornadus, but he uses Tailwind, and puts me in a bad position. I make good use of the Protect in the three Tailwind turns, but she used Amoonguss to put my Pokémon asleep, which luckily did not sleep long. In the end we both find a Pokémon on the field: my Scrafty VS her Scarf Haxorus locked on Dragon Claw. It does about 55% to Scrafty and I use Drain Punch, recovering enough PS to survive her second attack and kill Haxorus with Crunch. Round 4 [3-0] - VS Ruben Puig Lecegui (Ruben), ES Matty VS Ruben 1-2At 3-0 i'm aware that from this moment all the battles will be very hard, but at the same time I know that the qualification for the next day is really close...just a little effort and i'm qualified! The next opponent was Ruben, champion of England and great battler, who has won his previous victory against the world champion BlueCookies. He uses a team very similar to the one I had used in Rome, so I can imagine what his style of play. In the first match we both start with and Scrafty Thundurus, but I make the mistake of using Fake Out on his faster Scrafty, that makes me flinch, while its Thundurus made a Substitute. The next turn his Scrafty used Protect and his Thundurus used Thunder Wave on mine: i double attack Thundurus and put him Ko thanks to a Critical Hit. I do not remember the next turns, apart from the fact that my Thundurus was paralyzed for two turns in a row...I think he used Tornadus and Terrakion. The wrong choice of the first turn and the two paralysis put me in a bad position, and Ruben took the opportunity to win the first round. Seeing that Ruben liked the combo Scrafty + Thundurus I decided to stand against Krookodile Eelektross. The strategy works without problems and I control the second match with no efforts, returning in a draw. The last battle was very tense and thankfully with no hax, I don't remember very well, but in the end Ruben won 1-0. Handshake, hug and I go on to Round 4. GG Ruben ;) Round 5 [3-1] - VS Trista Medine (Ryuzaki), US Matty VS Ryuzaki 2-0I know that if I want to be in the Top8 I have to win the fifth match, so I cross my fingers to avoid a fratricide battle against Alexis. When the pairings arrive I learn to be against Ryuzaki, a very tough opponent. I see that she's already waiting for me at the table, so I collect all my concentration and reach her. The first battle starts with a bad matchup for me... my Scrafty Thundurus against Eelektross and Thundurus. I Fake Out Eelektross and use Thunder Wave on Thundurus, then in the next turn I take the control of the situation with a double switch and putting Krookodile and Eelektross that goes to cash her Eelektross Acrobatics (Thundurus tries to attack Kroko using HP ice but is fully paralyzed...sorry :( ). I play the next turns with some good predicts, and once knocked out her Terrakion and Druddigon I win the match. I don't remember well the second game, apart from a paralysis that prevents her Thundurus to attack and a Protect stall with my Krookodile and her Druddigon, while her Scarf Terrakion used Rock Slide. In the end I take down Terrakion using Scrafty, getting the Moxie boost and killing Druddigon in the last turn. Round 6 [4-1] - VS Matt Coyle (Enfuego), US Matty VS Enfuego 0-2The victory in Round 5 made me recover the game lost against Ruben, and now I know I have high chances to qualify in the Top8. When I see the pairings for the last turn I find to be against Matt Coyle (Enfuego), which until then had won five fights in five. I know it will be a tough encounter, but if they put me against him who has more wins than me means that between 4-1 am the one with the highest rating, and also losing I still fall in the final stage. By winning, I would go also to qualify as 1st, so I try to concentrate and join him at the table. The team Enfuego is classic, but very well organized, thanks to its Samurott, which will be a great thorn in the side. In addition he uses the two genes, Scrafty, Terrakion and Chandelure. In the first game my Krookodile resists Scald with few PS, but is burned and goes KO. Meanwhile I damage Samurott and put it in the range of Eelektross Thunderbolt (I figured that would have Wacan Berry). The turn after I put him KO in spite of the berry, but his Focus Sash Terrakion and his Scrafty (faster than mine) put me in difficulty, allowing him to win the match. The second match I decided to bring Haxorus to put in mid game, but the situation does not improve. Enfuego plays very well, I can not find the clarity to put him in difficulty and also won the second battle. In the meantime just finished the sixth round of play come the final results of the Junior and Senior divisions. Incredibly Nicola did a very good job, winning 4 out of 5 matches played, and qualifying for the next day final phase as 6th. Even in the little Fabrizio in Junior has managed to reach the 8th place, qualifying for the quarterfinals. At this point we've only to wait for the Masters final results...I'm almost certain to qualify, but I can not say the same for Alexis. The tension is sky high, and when they bring the paper with the final ranking of the Masters category we get crazy...not only Alexis has qualified as the seventh, but Albert was placed eighth! I'm in fifth place, while Ruben, who lost only a fight was second. When we realize that we all four have qualified for the quarter-final went mad, hugging and putting to jump like idiots screaming Patrat! After giving the organizers our data and addresses to send us the Nintendo 3DS (they are also withdraw our game cartridges), in disbelief, joy, excitement and wonder we back to the rooms, then we meet immediately in the pool to celebrate with a good Mojito. Late afternoon we back in the room, even euphoric, then we go to the usual sandwich from Subway for dinner. Along with Ruben and Albert we spend a little more time together, then we go to sleep, knowing that the following day everyone would have played the most important match of his Pokémon trainer career. Sunday August 14 Even this morning there's no way to sleep, and at 6.30 I go with Alby in the pool, to ease the tension, and repeat the lucky ritual of the previous day. Follows the same routine for breakfast, while each participant tries to rehearsing his strategy for the battle. We meet Albert and Ruben, and everyone is excited by the idea of?playing World Championship Finals. My opponent is Zog (who had beaten Alexis in the elimination phase), Albert is paired with Enfuego (undefeated in the previous day) and Alexis with Ruben. The other match is BlueCookies VS Wolfey, and puts face to face the 2010 World Champion and the 2011 U.S. National Champion. Nicola is against the Japanese Shota Yamamoto, 2010 Junior World Champion. At 9.30 it's time to battle: all the 24 contenders enter in a fenced area whit six tables, two for each category. There we find our game cards to indicate where we sit, and take place immediately...to my left is Ruben, Alexis is in front of him, while the other two matches are played at the table behind us. I wish good luck to Nicola then I focus on my opponent...Alexis the day before lost to him 2-0 and said that Zog was the opponent who impressed him most, so I should be very careful. After the usual exhilarating Nick's performance we shake hands and start the fight. Quarterfinals Matty VS Zog 2-1We start the first fight, and I see in the preview Terrakion, Krookodile, Amoonguss, Jellycent, Tornadus and Beehyem. He starts with Amoongus + Water Gem Jellycent, a combo that can be annoying, while I send out Krookodile and Tornadus. I imagine he's going to use Rage Powder + Water Spout, so I use Earthquake to damage both and decrease Water Spout damage, while Tornadus create a Substitute that is immediatly broken. The fight continues very balanced with several predict on both sides: in the following turns he send out a Krookodile and a Scarf Terrakion, while I'm going with Scrafty Thundurus. His Terrakion is a trouble for me, especially when he condemn me with a Rock Slide Critical Hit on Krookodile that would have kill him with Earthquake. This put me in a bad position, and my won the first round. In the meantime I try to look around to see what others contenders are doing, but Alexis has lost his first match with Ruben, and I can not see what Nico is doing. Meanwhile, Alby follows everything from the outside, wondering how it went the first challenge. The second challenge we sterted with the same Pokémon, but this time Zog mistakes his predict, and thinking that i was going to crunch Jellycent he replaced it with Terrakion, which gets a Earthquake that took him close to death. Meanwhile Tornadus creates a Substitute, and Amoonguss uses Rage Powder or Spore on the Substitute...I don't remember. This error puts me in advantage, and I can play down the rest of the game, with no exaggeration predict risky and risky moves. I also discover that his Amoonguss does not carry Coba Berry, and I can kill it with a single Acrobatics. With a sigh of relief I take second point, then we start the decisive game. The third match is the longest and most rational of all...each of us take the time necessary to select the moves of his Pokemon, trying not to take unnecessary risks or expose themselves to attack opponents. Shortly after the beginning of the battle I see Alexis and Ruben, who rose to their feet, and from this I deduce that the Spaniard has qualified for the semifinals...Francesco passes behind me and gives me a pat of encouragement on the shoulder. I also lool to Nicola...he alse lost both its challenges, and I understand to be the only Italian left in the game...I must win! The battle continues without many knockouts, but the tension is sky-hight...we do many predicts and switches, trying to limit the damage of our Pokémon. With less than a minute left we are still at 3-3, and we knocked out only one Pokémon each, but giving a look at the percentage of PS I realize that in case of timeout I would lost the challenge, so I was forced to pull off a KO in the last round of play. I Protect with Scrafty, while Eelektross use Flamethrower on its Krookodile, then cross my fingers...I predicted right, and Scrafty successfully protects from an attack, while Eelektross resists tho the second attack and puts KO Krookodile with Flamethrower. At this point we have to select the last two attacks, but I know that the next turn won't be played, cause we are over the 15 minutes allowed by the regulation: the battle ends for Timeout, and I am declared the winner by KO difference. Now i reached the semi-final, Francis joined me and hugs me, putting his lucky Rotom charms in the pockets of my pants. At this point all my attention goes to the winners of the other two matches, which I realize only now be long gone. BlueCookies won and will be compared for the second time with Ruben, while Enfuego won against Albert, so I'll have battle him for the second time. In the previous day he outpleyed me with no many problem, so i know that this semi-final will be very very difficolut...we sit at the table with the other categories Top4, and in a few minutes I tried to develop some combination that could have a chance of winning. A few minutes later we sit at the tables and it's time to start... Semifinal Matty VS Enfuego 2-0My opponent decided to open just like the day before, using Samurott and Thundurus. I start with Tornadus and Haxorus: I use Outrage, but it strikes just the substitute created by Thundurus, while he scores a OHKO with Ice Beam. Meanwhile, my Tornadus creates a substitute, and I send my Thundurus field. The game goes fairly quickly and with KOs from both sides...An Acrobatics critic get the OHKO on Samurott, which is immediately replaced by Terrakion, while the paralysis prevents my Thundurus to attack twice. His Terrakion also misses Rock Slide, and after a few turns I finally attack with Thunder Wave. The match is balanced, and in the end i win using Krookodile and Thundurus, killing Terrakion and his Scrafty. The first win gives me confidence and knowledge that can do it...another victory and i'll play the final. The second game i start with a more classic couple...Thundurus and Scrafty. My opponent has the same idea, but the approaches are different: I decide to paralyze her Scrafty once, that being faster than mine would have given me a lot of grief, while he attacks Thundurus twice, getting the KO. I send out Eelektross, and his Thundurus attacks Scrafty with Thunderbolt doing about 45%, while my Scrafty crunches it for the KOn and my Eelektross attacks with Thunderbolt his Scrafty, who remains paralyzed. Matt send out Terrakion, a Pokémon that gives me some problems, but in this turn i go with a good predict... his Scrafty protects and Terrakion uses Rock Slide: both of my Pokémon resist the hit and Scrafty recovers his PS using Drain Punch, while Eelektross KOs with Thunderbolt. As the last Pokémon enters Samurott, but the match is already decided...he get a KO on Eelektross using Scald, then I kill his Scrafty and send out Tornadus to finish the battle attacking Samurott twice in the final. At this point I realize of being in final...Alexis is crazy, and Alby reminds me we should buy a new towel for Hawaii! All the Italian team together with Ruben and Albert comes to congratulate with me...but the other semi-final? Ruben lost to BlueCookies, and I immediately realize that I am going to play the final against the world champion of the previous edition, which will surely want his second world title in a row. I am also told that the finals will be played in the afternoon, so I will have more than three hours to relax and think about how you handle the match ...after a brief interview to the journalist of the World Championship we withdraw all together in the room to celebrate. The three hours that separate us from the final seem endless, and every ten minutes I wonder to Francis what time is it! We go out for lunch (I only drink a Coke and eat some chips) and follow the finals of the TCG founding with joy that the Italian Marco Facchin is playing the Senior final. At 15.30 it's time to take the field! This time he plays big on stage, and each category is transmitted on a giant screen...Nick presens contenders, and collecting all the concentration I can, I ascend to the stage ready to fight. Final Matty VS BlueCookies 1-2In the preview my opponent's team i see two unusual Pokémon... Escavalier and Gothitelle. I imagine that probably he uses them for specific purposes (Escavalier definitely against Trick Room), and I understand that probably the main team is composed of the other four: Hydreigon, Terrakion, and Conkeldurr Thundurus. I decide to start with Scrafty and Thundurus, and ignore in the first turn I attack his Scarf Terrakion with Fake Out + Thunder Wave. The subsequent rounds serve mostly to test the waters and to study the set and playing style of the opponent. Ray played well, but to amaze me are the set of his Pokémon, such as bulky Thundurus that resists two Thunderbolts from mine and Sub Protect Hydreigon, whose Substitute is not broken even by the Krookodile's Rock Slide. The composition of his team disoriented me a lot, and even with Krookodile Tornadus and I can do much, so Ray won the first match. The second match I combine my Pokémon in a different way...i go with Thundurus + Krookodile and Eelektross + Tornadus. This Round is characterized by heavy hax on my part, I start spamming Thunder Wave on my opponent's team, and his Pokémon often remain paralyzed in the later rounds, allowing me to take the lead and win the match, returning in a draw. I apologize to Ray, who nevertheless does not seem to break down that much, we shake hands again and begin the last challenge. This time I opt for a departure Krookodile Eelektross +, but not out to be the best: Terrakion uses Sacred Sword on Krookodile, and Hydreigon attacks Eelektross with a powerful Dragon Pulse. I damage his Pokémon with Earthquake and Hidden Power Ice, but both my Pokémon are slower, and I must protect with Krookodile, sacrificing Eelektross and sending out Thundurus. In the next turn, I do a very good predict attacking Terrakion with Hidden Power Flying, and the Pokémon is replaced by Conkeldurr, which survives with few PS...at the same time i switch Krookodile for Tornadus, while Hydreigon attacks Thundurus. Here I can finally take hold of the situation and decided to attack both of my opponents: Conkeldurr is KO, but Hydreigon protects...here comes Thundurus, the Pokémon that probably gave me more problems, since I had no one to rapidly to put KO before he did too much damage. In fact, a few rounds with Ray knocks my Thundurus with Dragopulsar, Tornadus with Thunderbolt and finally Krookodile, left with few PS. Too bad...maybe if instead of attacking Hydreigon I used Substitute with Tornadus I had the chance to win it, but if he would not have protected i would have won in this way. Ray is carried in triumph and I I reach my friends, that make me compliments and remind me that I still did something great. In few minutes the closing ceremony starts, and all finalists in all VGC and TCG categories are awarded. Here again, the stage effects are great, with videos that sum up the three fantastic days spent together, loud music and throwing confetti on the crowd into a frenzy. I shake hands with the director of Game Freak Masuda, and recive the 2nd Place cup. We add the TCG guys, and celebrates the Italian expedition: we lost the two finals, but a performance like this was never seen in the history of the Pokémon World Championship Matty: 2nd Place - VGC - Master Division Alexis: 7th Place - VGC - Master Division Nicola: 7th Place - VGC - Senior Division Fabrizio: 8th Place - VGC - Junior Division Marco: 2nd Place - TGC - Senior Division After the festivities, photos, interviews and greetings with the other participants we retired in our room, and immediately are joined by our friends, Ruben and Albert, and begin to comb through the bags and gadgets reserved to the Top8. We broke out on the bed three boxes containing 36 packets of cards, and as children of 8 years (maybe less ...) we start to open them, enhancing each rare card and screaming like idiots every time someone found a Patrat. After this moment of trading card game autism we go for yet another dip in the pool, while at dinner with the other Italians opt for the Old Spaghetti Factory, Italian restaurant where we enjoy some great lasagna topped with tomato sauce and sausage and tomato ravioli with beautiful half raw. At the table we will exchange opinions on the day after and on the tournament, as well as information about the video game and card game. Once we finished dinner and greets everyone back in their rooms, where at some point come to visit also the usual and Albert Ruben, ready to cheer the evening before going to sleep. Together they play some friendly matches, as well as double battles Matty & Alexis VS Albert & Ruben. After about an hour and a half the two leave us, because the next day would be leaving early to go home, and between big hugs and a bit of disappointment they leave, wishing a safe journey and good luck for the qualifiers next year. At this point the adventure of the Pokemon World Championship is over, leaving us a great satisfaction but also a bit of disappointment, as many times as something beautiful and memorable ends, so we all go to sleep, knowing that now it's the time to enjoy the holiday! Vacation's where I wanna be...Party on the beach where the fun is free! From August 15 to 19, we enjoy the holiday! The Italian quartet passes a final day in San Diego, then visit the great metropolis of Los Angeles. Friday 19 we leave with the plane to Bologna, who regularly late in making us lose the connection in Frankfurt ... Conclusion At the end of worldstory seem fair to draw conclusions and make thanks to those in charge. The 2011 World Championship was a great experience for me, and be able to do so well has made it even more memorable. I had the opportunity to meet many wonderful people who share my passion for Pokemon and make many new friends. This has definitely been the best Pokemon experience of my life, and already I can not wait for 2012 World Championship! What makes this so memorable world championship, however, were all the people present, so now is the time of thanks: - Alexis: Great player and great friend! Play along with you the National Final was amazing, as well as having the possibility to make this journey together. Congratulations for your seventh place at worlds...I'm sure that you will qualify without any problems for next year;) - Nicola: No doubt you are the person that amazed me most in these last two months. You play Pokémon for a very short, and although you was the youngest of Senior Division you Ranked 2nd at National and 7th at Worlds...very good job! You'll surely become an even better player in the coming years, keep it up! - Alby: The coolest headcoach you've ever seen...this trip has rekindled in you a passion for Pokémon, and this is a good thing! You were unlucky in LCQ, but next year you'll have the time to prepare better...good luck and thanks for the support! - Ruben and Albert: I can not really find the words to describe you two...you have made this experience even better thanks to your presence. You really are very good players, but also two great guys. Without you this trip would have been very different! I really hope to see you again soon! - All those who played with me: Albert, Sinan, Rebecca, Ruben, Trista, Matt, Daniel and Ray...thanks for the battles we've played, all of theme were great and have been memorable for me. GG to all! - All the VGC competitors: Let us congratulate each other, because if we had the opportunity to participate in this great event means that we worked hard and we deserved to be there! Everyone has surely done his best to be there and get as high as possible, so thank you all, because if this Worlds were so memorable it is largely your merit! Props - Wonderful experience, I had the opportunity to meet new people and make new friends - Perfect organization and great tournament...San Diego and the Hilton Hotel are beautiful - My 2nd place! If six months ago someone had told me that I would play the final of the Pokemon World Championship I would not have never believed... - The good performance of Europeans (5/8 in quarterfinals) and Italians. This was our first year of participation in the World Championship, and we managed to do really well ... congratulations to all! Slops - Losing the final lol...Joking apart, when you play the world final you start to believe that you can take it all, but in the end Ray has definitely played better and deserved to win, so I'lltake note of the many good things I've done at this World Championship and I will work to try to do as well next year. - I regret not having had the opportunity to know well you all the way I wanted. We were a lot and I could talk with a few people...I hope to meet you all next year in Kona, where we will surely know better!