Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The World Championships 2012 - entry

Eelektrik won't be in my Worlds' deck!
Hello everyone!

I’m writing this entry from the sunny Hawaii. We arrived to Hawaii two days ago (on Saturday evening). I’m still trying to survive from a bit of a jet lag, so I could be at 100% in the World Championships. Worlds are only 5 days away and I simply can’t wait for it!

This week will probably be the most exciting week of 2012 for me. Last week, my laptop decided to broke down, so I had to bring my girlfriend’s IPad (I hate typing with touch screen) with me, so I could keep updating my blog, Facebook and Twitter. I hope you will join me in Facebook and Twitter during my journey in World Championships and The Top Cut Invitational. I’ll try to update my result after every round if I can get an access to the Internet. Here are the channels, you can follow me from:


Anyways, let’s take a look at what makes this weekend so special for Pokémon TCG and for me personally. Some pieces of information of the metagame and my deck choice will also be included.   

Last Chance Qualifier

This tournament will take place on Friday just before World Championships. Regarding the official release of the LCQ tournament, 8 top players from each age group will be awarded an invite for World Championships from the LCQ. However, they said that also last year and still they awarded an invite to top16 players. So, pretty much can be changed when it comes to LCQ.

The LCQ will be run by using a Single-Elimination format with best-of-three matches. If you lose one round of best-three-matches, you’re out. The tournament is tough and unforgiving, but I think that’s why it’s the “Last Chance” Qualifier. Unlike last year, the matches will be 60 minutes instead of 45 minutes. This makes Vileplume decks a viable choice compared to 45 minutes, but I still think that 60 minutes is a risky for a Vileplume deck. You still need to win every single round. Since the LCQ is in Hawaii, there will be less players in LCQ than in for example San Diego, so probably you need to win only 4-5 rounds to get through to Worlds. It’s way easier than in San Diego, but it’s still difficult.

I can only give you two tips, if you’re going to LCQ.

1) Don’t play a stage2 deck
2) Try to avoid every single Japanese player.

I wish you great luck if you’re trying to Grind in to Worlds!

World Championship 2012

These will be the 9th World Championships under Nintendo/PCI. During the years, Worlds have been around the U.S. and with different kind of formats, but one thing has never changed – it’s the main event of Pokémon TCG. This year the World Champion of each age group will be given 10,000$ among other great prizes, so whoever wins Worlds this year must be very happy after making it to the top.

The official statement from PCI says that Worlds will be 7 rounds of Swiss and top32, which I’m very happy about and I hope they won’t change it. Top16 with 7 swiss rounds is plain stupid, because even some 5-2s won’t make it, which is ridiculous. However, with top32, even some lucky 4-3s will make it. One of these 4-3s will face the player going 7-0 and will see if the curse of the first still applies!

The 7 Swiss rounds and top32 games will be played on Saturday, while the top16 games will be played on Sunday. The award ceremony will also take place on Sunday - 5:30 PM if I remember correctly. I hope to see some Finnish color on the podium on Sunday.

When it comes to Worlds metagame, it will be very difficult to predict. It’s easier to predict a metagame for a tournament with only 1 nationality than a tournament with over 25 nationalities. Not only there will be a lot of European players with some new decks, there will also be a huge amount of Japanese players to mix the metagame since Hawaii is so close to Japan.

On a personal note, I’ve been doing only a little bit of play testing an in the past two days and have concentrated on seeing the sights and just relaxing. I also haven’t yet decided which deck to play. However, on Thursday I’ll start preparing for Worlds for real. For now I’ll just keep on enjoying the vacation! There is one thing that I can reveal about Worlds deck – I won’t play Eelektrik in it!


The Top Cut Invitational 2012

I already made an entry about how I was invited to The Top Cut Invitational, but nevertheless it’s a tournament worth mentioning. Not only it will be an incredible experience for me, it will also be an exciting tournament for all the spectators since the tournament will include a bunch of World’s best players (and me, haha).

The tournament will begin on 6PM on Sunday after World Championships and even though all the players will be probably tired by then, I’m sure everyone will give everything they got for this tournament as well. I’m sure I will. However, I’m pretty sure I’ll play a different deck in this tournament than in the main tournament.

If you don’t yet know what The Top Cut Invitational is, now is the time to find out more about it by reading one of my previous entries:

My Worlds Experience

…Will be nothing like before. These will be my 7th Worlds, which I’ll be attending, but this year there will be so many new things for me personally to experience that I don’t how I manage to do it all in 4 days!

1) Hawaii

Believe it or not, I’ve never been to Hawaii even though I’ve attended 6 Worlds. in 2007 I wasn’t able to come to Worlds, because I decided to judge our Nationals and lost the top4 ranking spot due that misplay. When Worlds were held once again in Hawaii in 2010, I had to do the military service, so once again decided to judge at Nationals, because even though I would’ve gotten the travel award, I wouldn’t be able to go to Worlds. And those are the only two years, I haven’t attended the Worlds.

So far Hawaii has been an incredible place to be and I can’t wait to see more of this beautiful island. I have also heard that the Hotel itself is an incredible place, so I’m looking forward to it as well. Even though Hawaii is pretty much on the other side of the World if we look at the Finland (the flights were 27 hours), all the traveling was worth it. Hawaii is one of those places everyone should visit at least once during their life time.

2) My blog

It has been almost a year since I started my blog and as I’ve said multiple times, I would’ve never imagined it to get this big. I think it’s fair to say that I wouldn’t have gotten the invite to The Top Cut Invitational without my blog, even though I have won Finnish Nationals 6 times.

Some people may even recognize me in the tournament area and even if they don’t know what I look like, they’ll probably know my name. Being known for my opponents is a completely new thing for me. But I think it won’t be a bad thing since JWittz reached the top8 last year even though everybody knew him.  

At this point I want to thank everyone who has been supporting me and my blog the whole season and all what is left is the highlight of the season. I hope I’ll live up to everyone’s expectations in the Worlds and in The Top Cut Invitational and won’t let anyone down who is rooting for me!

3) The Top Cut Invitational

I’m almost equally excited about playing in The Top Cut Invitational as I’m playing in the World Championships. It’s an event like no other and the best part of it is that I’ll be able to play against the top players in the world I haven’t yet been able to face! From those 7 players invited to the tournament, I’ve personally only played against two of them.

In 2008, I faced Sami Sekkoum in the 6th round of Swiss and lost to him with my Glaceon deck. The second player I’ve been able to meet in the Worlds, is Yuta Komatsuda, who I won in 2009 in a very tough Palkia G mirror match. These players were not only very skilled, but also true gentleman players. I believe that all the other players invited to the tournament are the same, real assets for the game.  


To conclude, Worlds are just behind the corner! I really wish it was Saturday already and I would be on the table playing Pokémon.

Good luck for everyone attending World Championships and Last Chance Qualifiers! Also, if you happen to spot me in the tournament area, feel free to come and say hi to me. I have a pretty good nickname memory even though I’ve talked with a lot of people during the past year.

Wish me luck for Worlds, I’ll need it!

Thanks for reading my blog and special thanks to everyone who’ll be rooting for me in the World Championships!

- Esa


  1. Out of curiosity - why won't you play Eelektrik? :D

    1. Because playing Zeels is too mainstream.

    2. Then, so is Darkrai?

    3. Esa just never really liked eele apparently. I remember him back in regionals or ECC saying something like "I'm not gonna play eels cuz I don't like how it just sits on the bench and do nothing". Very classy indeed :P

  2. Good luck Esa! Hope you enjoy yourself over there :) Have fun :D

  3. Good luc Esa and the hotel is going to be somethind mind blowing, beatiful and unbelivitt(uskomaton)

  4. Good luck Esa I am boarding my plane in an hour and to join you over there =)

  5. Good luck from Spain Esa, but the most important thing, have fun there!!

  6. Why the tip for avoiding Japanese players in the LCQ? All I know of is that one Japanese player who grinds his way through to Worlds. Is that why?

  7. Esa, y u tell people to avoid me? :(


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