The ION Pokémon League is a Wi-Fi battling competition on Pokémon X & Y Version. For details and to join, click here.
This week is the first major event of the ION Pokémon League, BattleMania! At the end of every month, trainers are matched up based on ranking. The top ranked contender gets a chance to challenge the IPL World Champion for the title. With a champion yet to be crowned, the top two ranking trainers will meet to determine who will be the first ever IPL World Champion. All other trainers will have their stakes raised as well, as a win this week will earn a trainer 4 points, double the usual amount. Let’s take a look at the match-ups for BattleMania.
Custos vs. Jeff
Custos ended the qualifying phase of March in a 4-way tie for 4th place in the rankings. The IPL Championship Committee determined that, based on his only win of the month coming against a lower ranked opponent, Custos would be placed in the 7-8 match-up, setting the stage for a rematch from 2 weeks ago against Jeff. Custos is the only trainer in the IPL to this point who has used a completely different team of Pokémon in every match. This shows either a willingness to be versatile or that Custos hasn’t quite settled on a core group of Pokémon yet. In actuality, it’s probably a little of both. Jeff is still in search of his first IPL victory. A major contributing factor to this is that Jeff has had a different battle format in each of his battles thus far. Like Custos, Jeff seems to be experimenting with some different combinations and styles. It’s a good time to do such a thing at the beginning of the IPL because you can sure up your gameplan and not risk falling too far behind the other trainers. A win at BattleMania would vault either trainer up firmly into the top half of the rankings.
Michael vs. Steven
Two of the trainers who were part of the 4 trainer deadlock for 4th in the ranking will meet to attempt to break that tie. Both Michael and Steven claimed their lone victory against Custos, so on paper, this is a very even match-up. Michael has been the most consistent trainer in the IPL in terms of Pokémon usage, with 5 of his Pokémon seeing action in all three of his matches so far. Steven, conversely, has been experimenting with some different Pokémon and styles during his battles thus far, with only two (Manectric and Tyranitar) seeing action more than once. He bounced back big last week after slow start in a decisive victory over Custos. A victory will put either trainer in good standing heading into April.
Zero vs. Andy
Andy is the 4th trainer in the logjam at the 4th spot in the rankings. Based on his victory coming against a higher ranked opponent, the IPL Championship Committee placed him in the #4 position for BattleMania. That win came against Zero, giving us our second rematch on the card. Zero, one of the favorites entering into the IPL, fell in an upset last week in a match that wasn’t his strongest performance. It’s safe to say that he is looking to even to score with Andy this week. One interesting note about Zero is that, thus far, every Pokémon that he has used is a Pokémon that was first discovered in the Hoenn region. Andy will be looking to keep the momentum rolling from last week’s big win. He has a core of Pokémon that he has used in both of his Single matches to this point, with his Togekiss, Tess, being the one Pokémon that has seen action in all three battles. The winner of this match will likely be in a prime position to claim the first shot at the new IPL World Champion next month.
IPL World Championship Match
AJ vs. Alexander
The IPL’s two remaining undefeated trainers will square off to determine who is the first ever IPL World Champion. AJ has been very versatile in his three victories, using only three Pokémon on more than one occasion. Coming off of three very hard-fought wins over Andy, Steven, and Michael, AJ is riding a tidal wave of momentum into this championship match. Entering into the start of the IPL, there weren’t many who expected Alexander to be standing here with a chance to be the first IPL World Champion. Like AJ, Alexander has been varying his lineups of Pokémon, with only two Pokémon being utilized multiple times. His Espeon, Carbuncle has seen the field in each of his matches thus far. With impressive wins over Steven, Andy, and Jeff, Alexander has secured himself a spot in the championship match, largely due to his expertise in multi-Pokémon battle formats. After BattleMania, one trainer will be crowned the World Champion and the other will find himself at the bottom of the ladder.
Alexander was asked about his thoughts coming into this big match. Here is what he had to say:
“First of all, let me say that it is a tremendous honor to have the chance to be the first ION Pokémon League World Champion. There are seven other fantastic trainers in the IPL, and to have the opportunity to stand atop that mountain is amazing. There is so much going on right now that it is a little hard to grasp it all at the moment. With PAX East 2014 right around the corner, I have been readying myself to represent the PAX Pokémon League as a Gym Leader. But make no mistake about it, all of my focus this week is on the IPL World Championship match in front of me with AJ.
I have nothing but the utmost respect for AJ and his skills as a trainer. I know that he is supremely talented and that defeating him once is no easy task, let alone twice. The way I look at it, though, is that I have nothing to lose. No one expected me to be here. To be honest, I don’t think I expected that I would be here. But the fact of the matter is that I am here. The Knights and I will be riding into this match with everything we have. It will take no less than that to defeat AJ. I know he will be ready to go. I will be too. I’m entering BattleMania to give it my all and, when the dust settles, I’m looking to walk out the IPL World Champion.”
One way or another, the landscape of the IPL will look much different after BattleMania!