The World Cup of Pokémon was first hosted by Jackal in 2005, which consisted of several small 4-man teams earning points in a simple 1v1 bracket. Though it was successful in its own right, the tournament truly took off the next year when it was completely revamped and hosted by both Jackal and Shiv. Since then, the World Cup has become one of Smogon's most prestigious annual tournaments, and it gains in popularity and overall quality each year.
In the second Pokemon World Cup, 8 teams consisting of 8 players each battled it out in an 8 vs 8 format to crown the world champions. At the end of the tournament, Team Asia had emerged victorious, claiming the coveted trophy (and bragging rights) for itself.
The third World Cup saw 4 new teams added to the mix. The format of the tournament was also completely overhauled. After a qualifying Round Robin, the tournament became single-elimination, where participants would earn points for each victory they gained for their team. The winning team would be the team with the most points, not necessarily the last team standing. Despite stiff competition, Team Asia managed to defeat the opposition to take home the trophy once again.
In the fourth World Cup, teams were more evenly matched than ever before. The format was overhauled yet again, combining the best aspects of World Cup II and III. In the opening round divisional play was kept, this time with the top 8 teams of 14 qualifying for the quarter finals. In each round to follow, the teams would be matched up against each other, with 8 unique battles to determine the advancing team. The finals saw defending champion Asia taking on up and coming Oceania. It came right down to the wire, as the teams won 4 games a piece, and the entire World Cup was decided on a one game playoff, between Earthworm and husk. Earthworm came out victorious and marked the first World Championship for Oceania and the end of a dynasty for Asia.
In World Cup V, the preliminary round was quite the dogfight, with many teams vying for those playoff spots. Oceania managed to win a couple of tiebreakers over Canada and USA East to qualify as an 8th seed, while USA West held the top seed after the first round yet again. The playoffs ultimately ended the same way as they had a year earlier, however, with Oceania taking down husk and his team of brownies in the finals. Oceania became the second team to win back-to-back years.
World Cup VI was the first World Cup in the BW metagame, and it expanded the globe even further, with the removal of a USA team and the addition of Mexico and Benelux. Oceania showed it was ready to defends its title in the preliminary round by nabbing first seed, while to the surprise of all, superteam Asia failed to even make it to Round 2. Following two more rounds of intense competition, the finals were set, with Oceania duking it against USA West. The teams split the eight match-ups in the finals, setting the stage for yet another dramatic tiebreak, where Earthworm ultimately came out victorious against Philip7086. Oceania won its third straight World Cup, tying Asia's record, and once again asserting their dominance in the competitive Pokemon circuit.
Last year, we sadly announced Jackal had moved onto bigger and better things and retired from Smogon, and Bloo, with Jackal's countryman Iconic took over as Host and Co-Host, respectively. Despite Oceania's excellent playing in previous World Cups, USA East proved to be just a bit too much, beating them out of the tournament in a tiebreaker between Oceania's panamaxis and USA East's Lamppost, in which Lamppost won. The finals were between USA West and USA East, beating out Latin America and Brazil 5-3, respectively. In the finals, USA West played excellently, beating out USA East in a 5-2, where the only match that was left not played was kd24 vs Philip7086.
This year, the hosts changed once again, Bloo and Iconic stepping down (but not leaving Smogon) and being replaced by M Dragon and Aldaron. Hopefully, with stricter rules and excellent hosts, this World Cup will be the best yet.