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Discussion in 'VGC' started by Cybertron, Jan 27, 2012.
Aaron this is the most amazing thing I've seen. Mad props :)
Hi guys! Sorry for not having updated in so long, spring break just ended for me, and with my new internship I won't have much time to write more interviews other than during the weekends. I'll be contacting the second batch of European winners from all their VGC's though, so look forward to that! There will be even more activity after Regionals over here in the US in two weeks. Stay tuned :D
Your during great man. Im sure the people dont mind if you took a break :)
I mind a little.
I'm with Huy on this one. I mean, he's got the time to sort out new avatars all the time, but can't spare any to give the people what they want.
I'm jesting, but it'd be nice to see some more of these my man!
I actually don't mind of how long you take to create another vgc spotlight interviews.
Good god, I just realized I haven't posted an actual interview in over 2 weeks. I know it's been a long time, but I have a lot of good stuff in the works with European players right now. I also updated the OP to make it a bit nicer looking and cleaned up the links. There will be constant updating starting tomorrow, I promise. The next one's especially good. ;)
Cybertron for King
Europe's Best: 2x National Champion Ruben Puig Lecegui
2009: Top 16 Spain Qualifier
2010: 2nd Place Spain Nationals, 29th Place World Championships
2011: 1st Place UK Nationals, 4rd Place World Championships, 1st Place Autumn Friendly
2012: 1st Place UK Nationals
2010 Nationals: Trophy, DSi, invitation and trip to compete at the World Championships in Kona, Hawaii,
2011 Nationals: Medal, 3DS, invitation and trip to compete at the World Championships in San Diego, California
2011 Worlds: 3DS, various Worlds exclusive items
2012 Nationals: Trophy
Biography and History
Arguably the best European trainer to ever play in VGC, Ruben "RubeNCB" Puig Lecegui is now a name known to pretty much everyone in the Pokemon community. Having met him at the World Championships in San Diego last year, I think Ruben made Worlds a lot more memorable and fun for me. His humor, charm, and energy really adds a whole new environment to the scene. He is also one of the best, if not, the best European player to have played VGC in the past four years.
Having started in 2009, Ruben finished in the Top 16 at the Spanish Qualifier. His finish was decent, but it wasn't enough. Ruben was determined to do better in future years. In 2010, he attended both the Lyon and Spain Nationals, and although he was eliminated in Lyon, he placed 2nd at Spain and won a trip to Hawaii to represent Spain in the 2010 World Championships. He used a very interesting team, using Banette to set up Trick Room. You can see his semi-finals match here, and his finals match here. At the World Championships, he finished with a record of 2-4, placing 29th in the world. Although his finish was sub-par, Ruben had made a strong entrance into the VGC community, and he would prove just how strong of a trainer he was with VGC 2011.
When VGC 2011 started, Ruben decided that he would fly out to the UK to attend the National Championships there. His team consisted of Scrafty, Tornadus, Terrakion, Thundurus, Amoonguss, and Chandelure. He managed to win game after game, defeating tblakey89 in the Top 8 and 2010 UK National Champion Rees Hamilton in the Top 4 for the trip and invitation to San Diego. Ruben then faced Smogon's very own twash, in which he also defeated. You can watch his finals match here, and his warstory of the event can be found here. Ruben then flew out to San Diego, using the same team with a few small changes. His line up of opponents was incredibly difficult, going up against Fish, Enfuego, Ray, and Matteo. (Enfuego, Ray, and Matteo were all eventual semi-finalists) Having event defeated Ray and Matteo in swiss, Ruben finished 2nd overall in Swiss and had to play 7th seed Francesco Pardini (2011 Italy National Champion). He defeated Francesco, and faced Ray again in the most important match of the tournament. Ray defeated Ruben this time, and Ruben was eliminated from the tournament, finishing 4th overall. Ruben's finish shows how much he has improved as a player from 2010, and just how strong of a competitor he really is, having defeated both eventual World Champion Ray and Runner Up Matteo in the swiss matches the day before. Ruben also won the Autumn Friendly tournament, which held over 10,000 participants throughout the world.
It was no surprise to any of us when we had found out Ruben won the 2012 UK National Championships yet again. He had become the first person in the world to ever successfully defend their national title. He had a couple of tough matches along the way, but managed to push through and successfully defend his title. His semi-finals match against Smogoner Showsni can be found here, and finally, his finals match against Ben Kyriakou is shown here.
In an incredibly controversial turn of events, Ruben's title of National Champion was revoked recently, and he was banned indefinitely by Play! Pokemon due to some outside incidents that happened the day before the UK National Championships. As a result, he lost his invitation and trip to compete in Hawaii, and will not be allowed to play in any more VGC events until Pokemon changes it. I don't think this is a topic that is appropriate for discussion anymore, and what's done is what's done. I am honestly going to miss Ruben though, and despite only meeting him once at Worlds last year, I think it's going to be a lot less energetic and fun without him there. Only time will tell whether Ruben will be allowed to play in the future or not.
Ruben's achievements speak for themselves: He's won a trip and invitation to Worlds three years in a row now, and he's the first person in the world to defend their national title successfully. When he battles on PO, he is always at the top of the ladder. Correct me if I am wrong on this, but I think that Ruben's the only European to have been invited to Worlds three years. I think that next to Matteo, he is one of the greatest players in both Europe and the entire world to have ever played VGC. Hopefully, we'll see more of him in the near future...
Hi Ruben, thanks for agreeing to do this interview with me! Why don't you introduce yourself to everyone?
Hi to all Habaks!!!!! :D My name's Ruben, but you can call me RubeNCB (NCB = BCN, which stands for Barcelona, I love it jaja), I'm 19 years old, I'm a Spanish player, and I live in Barcelona. I consider myself one of the best players in the world, and I am happy to do this interview :D
Great! When did you start playing Pokemon? What about VGC? What was your first VGC tournament like?
I started playing Pokemon when I was 7 years old, my uncle was a great player in his day and decided to teach me Pokemon. At the time, we were just playing for fun, I was very bad. When Pokemon Pearl and Diamond came out, I began to start playing more competitively through Wi-Fi and on the Spanish forums. When I learned that the VGCs were coming to Europe in 2009, I decided that this game would mean something more to me, and I decided to play competitively to achieve great things!
My first VGC tournament was in 2009 in Barcelona, a Regional tournament. I didn't do that well, out of 128 players, I finished in the Top 16. I think it's the experience that I got out of that tournament that really opened my eyes and changed my way of thinking. It was incredible to see so many people gathered together, enjoying this wonderful game. I had so much fun and it filled me with joy. It's true that I lost in that tournament, but I was motivated to do well. I promised myself that I would win every year, and promised that one day, I would be world champion.
Although you weren't too successful in VGC 2009, that changed as VGC 2010 came along. How did you do that year? I remember you used an interesting team that had Hariyama and Banette. What was Nationals and Worlds like for you that year?
In 2010, my three friends and I, who all lived in Barcelona, decided to create a Pokemon clan (HABAK CLAN) to help each other and train. We went to Lyon that year, where Albert was the runner up. However, the rest of us were eliminated. My confidence and hope to go to Hawaii increased after that experience, and I was determined to do well in Spain. I went to the National Championships in Spain, and I felt like I could achieve my goal: to qualify for Hawaii.
My team was very original. I used a Trick Room team, which utilized Hariyama and Banette, using Fake Out with Hariyama and Trick Room with Banette. Flame originally had this combo, but changed many things. In the back, I had Dialga and Kyogre, which held an Iron Ball and Power Bracelet to reduce their speed for Trick Room. My other two Pokemon, which I only used occasionally, were Smergle and Machamp. I had several different strategies and leads, such as leading with Dialga and Smeargle, or using Machamp in the back. I was so happy when I finished 2nd in Spain.
Hawaii was absolutely beautiful. It was my first World Championships, and it was one of the best moments of my life. I decided to use a different team, which had Giratina, Bronzong, Kyogre, Infernape, Palkia, and Blissey. I regret changing my team because the team I used in Madrid was always perfect when fighting against friends. I didn't do too well at the World Championships that year, finishing in 29th place after winning 2 matches and losing 4.
I'm sure that you weren't too happy with your finish, but Hawaii sounded like quite the experience for you. VGC 2011 was even a better year for you though! You traveled to the UK for Nationals and won there, and finished 4th at Worlds! What team did you use? How was Nationals and Worlds for you? Were you sad, losing in the Top 4? Do you think you could have won against Matteo if you beat Ray?
I used the same team for both the UK National Championships and the World Championships, bar a few small changes in attacks and EVs. My team consisted of Scrafty, Amoonguss, Thundurus, Tornadus, Terrakion, and Jellicent. It was totally standard without any surprises. There were however several different strategies that could be used, such as using Thundurus's Thunder Wave to paralyze all my opponent's Pokemon while using Terrakion's Rock Slide, flinching and paralyzing my opponent. I also used Tornadus's Tailwind to double the speed of my team. After using this team, I've realized that sometimes, it just takes a player with a good team, prediction, and attitude to win. You don't always need to use something original to win in the Pokemon world.
Since 2010, I had always wanted to go to England and win the championships there. In 2010, people like Rees Hamilton motivated me a lot and I wanted to go their to play against the best players in Europe. At the time, the best players were the English, I can say that without hesitation. I thought to myself, if I wanted to win the World Championships, I have to win the most difficult Nationals in Europe, so I attended the UK Nationals last year and won the entire competition. This was a great feeling: for the 2nd year in a row, I had qualified for the World Championships, which took place in the city of San Diego.
In San Diego, I did a lot better than I did in the World Championships of 2010. I finished 2nd in swiss after the 1st day, with 5 wins and 1 loss. I managed to beat both Ray and Matteo in swiss that day. My record allowed me to play in the next day for title of World Champion. The night before the final elimination round, I had no fear. My eyes were lit. I thought that in my heart, I would be world champion.
After I won my Top 8 match though, I had to play against... the most incredible, most legendary, most famous player in the history of Pokemon... against Ray Rizzo. Yet I was determined to win, because I had beat him the day before. I let my anxiety get to me, and Ray played much better than me in two games. I felt terrible. I was disappointed with myself. I was sad that I was so close to my goal of becoming World Champion. I think that if I beat Ray, I would have been able to defeat Matteo in the finals. It would have been very difficult, and Matteo is an amazing player, but I am convinced I would have won. In the end, I'm very happy that I was one of the best players in the world in 2011. I feel very lucky, but I know I can aspire to do better, and I know that some day, I will become World Champion.
That's really inspirational, I think it's really good you have such a positive attitude. Let's talk about your victory in the UK this year. You managed to successfully defend your national title. Was it hard, winning two years in a row? What team did you use?
Right, I won in the UK against this year. I thought at the time, "Ray Rizzo has won 2 straight years in the world, right? Then I can get my second win in the UK Championships." With confidence that I won in 2011, I returned to the UK and won yet again. I don't think it was harder or easier than last year. All VGCs are difficult, but I did not have to work that hard to win. I just had one really close match that was very difficult for me, against Baz Anderson.
Like always, my team was pretty standard. I used Hitmontop, Zapdos, Tyranitar, Chandelure, Cresselia, and Metagross. All these Pokemon compliment each other perfectly and, just like my team last year, had several different strategies. I could use Cresselia and Zapdos to paralyze my opponent's team. Chandelure breaks the metagame. As the metagame has evolved though, I have realized that this team is not up to par anymore.
It's interesting though, that kind of team has pretty much won every European national. Now, I have to ask you, what happened the day before that led to your disqualification? How did you react to that? What do you have to say about it?
I do not think it's a good idea to discuss what happened back in the hotel. It's just that the night before the UK Nationals, my friends and I did not behave well. The police showed up, we had to pay a small fine, and it was quickly resolved. That's it. I'm upset about the withdrawal of my awards. I would like to offer these words to everyone:
To the Pokemon world and the rest of England, I turn to you to communicate that I am completely sorry for what happened in the hotel in Birmingham. It was totally out of place, especially for Pokemon players. I understand perfectly why I was disqualified from the tournament. I did not know how to handle the situation, and I did not act properly. I apologize to the UK and anyone else who may have been offended by my actions. Please understand that I say this sincerely, that the last thing I want to do is to hurt the imagine of our country and the great people in it. I have made some of my best friends because of this great game called Pokemon. I apologize to the Pokemon Company for creating all this trouble. Every night, I remember and regret what I did. I apologize to Game Freak and the Japanese creators of this game, I'm sorry that I have given a bad image to the game. The last thing I want is to hurt what I love most in the world, Pokemon. I can never forgive myself, and I promise to have completely ethic behavior. To England, to the Pokemon Company, to Japan, to anyone else who has felt offended by my actions, please accept my sincere apologies. I am really sorry.
I think that everyone deserves a second chance, and I really hope that Pokemon reconsiders their decision. You really deserve another shot at the World Championships this year. Let's move back to Pokemon though, who do you think are the best players in Europe? How about America? Who do you think will win Worlds in Juniors, Seniors, and Masters this year?
Every year, new players are emerging, and many are very good. The level of difficulty increases every year in Europe and in America. Some of the best players that didn't make it to Hawaii in Europe this year are Koryo, Alvert, Drug Duck, Massi, Zog, Rees, Hogan, etc. They had poor or bad luck in the pairings and hax. It's a real shame, but that's the game.
Not to be rude, but I think the best player in Europe is me! Sorry if that upsets anyone, but it's what I think. I also have a list of players who I consider the best in Europe: Matty, Albert, Donsteve, Kasty, Flash, Sekiam, Drug Duck, Massi, Zog, Rees, Flame, Yoshi and many other players.
Clearly, I think the best player in America is Ray Rizzo. He is so talented, a great person, and the best player. He has perfect prediction and his teams are genius. I think Enfuego and Wolfey are also on the top of America, and for Seniors, my favorite is you jajaja :3
This year, it's difficult to make predictions for Worlds. If there is a miracle that I can go to Worlds, then I think I will win :) But really, I stand by Ray winning again, I think he can win for the 3rd year in a row, I love you Ray jajaja:) I think the Japanese will win in Juniors and Seniors though.
Yeah, I guess we'll just have to wait to see what the Japanese have to offer this year. Having played VGC every year since 2009, what has been your favorite metagame out of the four? ('09, '10, '11, '12)
For the moment, I prefer VGC 2010. I like it very much. I think the legionaries, the weather of Kyogre and Groudon, and other various factors make the metagame give it a real special touch.
Yeah, I think a lot of people agree with you on that one. This is random, but I've always wondered, what exactly IS Habak?
HABAK has several different meanings. However, I can't say the primary meaning of the word. It is something only Albert and I know, and always will be just between us. I think that HABAK is a word that you have to put a meaning to yourself.
Ohhh, that's pretty deep. I'm still kind of confused! Thanks for the answer though. What's your favorite Pokemon and game?
My favorite Pokemon is Smeargle, a Pokemon that can learn every possible attack and that is very happy all the time. In my point of view, it also works well in several different VGC metagames :D
My favorite Pokemon game would be Gold and Silver, 16 badges and 2 regionals, I love IT * _ *
Haha, my favorite game would probably be Gold and Silver too! Well, that's pretty much it for Pokemon questions. What do you like to do outside of Pokemon?
I like to do many things! I am very athletic. I like to break dance, play basketball and football, and really, any competitive sport. I also really like to play chess. I like girls jajaja. I have too many hobbies and like too much! I am also currently studying and working.
Wow, you sound really busy! I lied about the Pokemon questions by the way, I just have 1 quick one. How do you train for VGCs and tournaments?
I train on the Skarmbliss sever on Pokemon Online, and also use the GBU to practice on Wi-Fi.
Oh, great! I think that's how most people practice, really. Anyway, thank you so much for taking your time to do this interview with me, you have some really incredible responses. To finish up, do you have any final words or shout-outs?
I want to thank everyone for making this so special for me. You are all great people and I hope to see you in the future. I wish you well, I wish you happiness, and I wish you good luck in VGC and in your lives. Life is wonderful, and if you need anything, I'll be here :) Also...
HAAAAAAAAAAAABAAAAAAAAAAAAAAK FIESTAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA PARTYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY WIN IT'S EASYYYYYYYYYYYY PATRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT SEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEX FUKING CRAZYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY HABIBIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII I 'M STROOOOOONG jajajajjajajajajjaja: D, a kiss for all :D
Ruben, representing Spain at last year's World Championships.
Great Interview Ruben!!
Can't wait to see you again...Patraaaat!!
That was an intense read!
Nice job with the interview Cybertron! I enjoyed it!
awesome interview! I really hope you are allowed to play in VGC again soon and come to the world championships again. I will miss you this year in hawaii :(
also ruben your english is becoming very good!
Haha, just so you all know, I fixed up and reworded some of Ruben's original responses just to make them more readable, but they were already pretty well written and I could totally understand all of it.
awesome done !!
You can use Kyogre and Groundon in 11 now?
Ruben is the strongest european.
You mean VGC10? 11/12 no Kyogre :( I miss my Kyogre.
I dunno what you guys are talking about......
Great interview. Do you count the Autumn Friendly as part of accomplishments? If so, Ruben took first place there as well.
I was going to include that but it totally slipped my mind while writing it! Thanks a ton TRE.
Great interview Cybertron. Ruben is truly a great Pokemon player!
Great interview <3 ruben.
Also lol@ 4rd place :D
Good Interview Cybetron! Also, I hope I can meet Ruben one day.
A great interview it was. Hopefully Ruben can play next year. Nice way to start interviews again with one of the best Europeans
I always love the interviews with great players. They always have great personalities too, at least in the interviews :) I'm so happy for Ruben, in terms of his success, but also very sad, in terms of his DQ. I would hope, that if at any point I would make worlds, to at least shake his hand :) Great interview Cybertron.
Also, it's important to note that Ruben likes chess(which is, of course, very similar to Pokemon). It would be interesting to see Ray and Ruben play chess against each other, lol.