The day started off lame because it started before noon. I'm not a morning person but I managed to wake up at 8:30 and walked with Havak all of 50 meters from our hotel to the Circus Space where the London Event was being held. Our hotel was literally across the square from the actual event, and we found out later on that some of the staff for the event had actually been staying in the same hotel as us. After queuing for around 20 minutes, they began to let people in, but not before filling in a team sheet. Here's a rundown of the team I was using. MYSTERION Dusknoir @ Chesto Berry Trick Room Memento Rock Slide Will-O-Wisp This is obviously where I get my trick room from, and Dusknoir is also given the job of shutting down any early physical sweep attempts with Will-O-Wisp. Memento is really the only move that stands out as uncommon here. I like Memento as it lets me render an opposing attacker somewhat useless, but still keeps them in the fray while Snorlax comes in and sets up. They can either switch out or stay in, but either way they won't be harming Snorlax much. TOWELIE Togekiss @ Lum Berry Follow Me Protect Air Slash Extremespeed I chose to use Togekiss as I noticed that a lot of people relied on taunt to stop trick room and weren't prepared for a follow me + trick room combo. This Togekiss is incredibly bulky, surviving things such as Abomasnow Blizzards and Weavile's Ice Punch with ease. Extremespeed beats Fake Out Smeargles to the punch and allows me to KO them with ease. As a sort of sub-strategy, Air Slash and Rock Slide combo provides me with a brilliant chance to flinch my opponents to death. If Togekiss survives for long enough, it can use Follow Me again when Snorlax comes in to help it set up belly drum. Overall, I just think that Togekiss is a much safer lead than the popular level 1 Smeargle strategy that was all over the place today. MANBEARPIG Snorlax @ Sitrus Berry Belly Drum Return Fire Punch Protect AWESOM-O Metagross @ Shuca Berry Psych Up Bullet Punch Rock Slide Explosion These are both pretty standard and well known by now. I don't really need to go into any detail. I got into the actual event and headed straight for sign ups. Entrant number 59, not bad. After getting my wristband I went back over to Havak who was waiting for me and we spent a few minutes surveying the room for other Smogoners. I found GEC stood playing Fifa DS at the far end of the room and Havak went over to Akira and Ace Matador (I think). While we sat around waiting, an interviewer and cameraman approached us and asked me for a short interview. They bore an uncanny resemblance to the TV crew sprites in diamond and pearl and I honestly don't know if it was intentional or just pure coincidence. They asked me how I found out about the tournament and I briefly plugged Smogon, then they asked if I was nervous about anything and I took this as an opportunity to rant about how unfair the "prize draw" system of being selected was. Interview over and it was nearly time for the prize draw, where I met another Smogon member Underdawg. GEC's number came up early on and he went off to the final registering phase, a few later and Havak's number came up. I waited anxiously as players disappeared all around me. The final 16 numbers felt like an eternity, and finally, 10th from the last, my number appears on the screen. I let out a Flair-esque Wooo! and swaggered over to register. In front of me in the line here I met Wichu, and his brother - who was quite excited to show me his rain dance team that Wichu had given him. I had a quick look at it and told him he was going to win the Juniors easily (I was right!). Finally, I made it into the main battling area. By the time I'd gotten in, a lot of people had already started battling, and we had to queue to wait for a battling station. As I slowly made my way to the front of the queue, GEC approached me looking disappointed. Apparently him and his opponent were selected for a random hack check, and they decided to disqualifying for "having too many TMs". This seemed very unfair to me, but there was nothing we could do, so I had to stay focused on my match. Round 1, I'm facing a guy called Knight, and he has me worried for a second as he sends out Abomasnow, one of the few pokemon I wasn't looking forward to facing. His other Pokémon is Vaporeon and I'm not really sure what to make of this, it opens the match by using Aqua Ring, and by now I'm thinking this guy isn't too experienced. I decide to get some damage down on Abomasnow and set up trick room in case I have to bring in Lax early. Togekiss easily survives his blizzard, which I was very suprised about, and I get Aboma down to low yellow health with air slash before setting up Trick Room. Predicting an Ice Shard I decide to protect with Togekiss and Rock Slide with Dusknoir. Rock Slide KOs Abomasnow and does a bit of damage to Vaps, his Vaporeon Ice Beams Togekiss to end the turn, doing no damage at all. He brings in Gengar, but it doesn't stick around long enough to do anything, I Air Slash and Rock Slide again for an easy KO. Vaporeon uses Ice Beam on Togekiss for a KO. He brings in Alakazam, and I send in Metgaross. 'Zam focus blasts Metagross but it's left with plenty of health, and it explodes to get me the win. On to round 2, and I'm pretty confident when I see that my opponent is running a standard level 1 smeargle, trick room team. I quickly eliminate Smeargle with Extremespeed and Rock Slide as he tried to fake out Togekiss. He puts trick room down but I'm not too bothered as I benefit from it too. He brings in Snorlax and knowing that he's going to belly drum, I decide to WoW. It misses and he gets a belly drum in. I decide to try and fix this next turn by using follow me with Togekiss so Dusknoir can survive another turn and burn it. He takes down Togekiss and I use WoW again to burn his Snorlax. It misses again. I'm pissed off now and showing it, and the guy I'm battling let's out a timid "I guess luck is on my side today...". I decide to bring in Metagross and Psych Up off his belly drum, the same turn I try this though his Dusknoir burns my Metagross with Fire Punch. Both Dusknoir are dead now and Metagross rendered useless, I bring in Lax and he brings in his Metagross. I start protect stalling in hope that he'll foolishly explode, but to no avail. I'm out because of my awful luck. I leave the battling zone to find that Havak met a similar fate in his match, so we decide to make the most of the rest of the day by chatting with smogoners and friends from other forums. We stayed to watch the final and I managed to get a good video of it, but YouTube has screwed up the quality a bit. Pokémon Video Game Championships 2009 - London Final: Sadman vs Andy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3rMyioiAvc See if you can spot the Smogoners in the crowd. Pictures soon.