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Pokemon Sword and Shield: Players Cup III Begins – Tournament Breakdown

With the Pokemon Players Cup III on the horizon, we take a look at the tournament and offer a breakdown for those interested. Check it out below…

The world of Pokemon has changed quite a lot in the past few days with some exciting news regarding the new Pokémon Snap for Switch and the rumoured Diamond and Pearl remakes to be revealed in an upcoming Nintendo Pokemon Direct next month. So it’s a pleasant sigh of relief to know that the Pokemon Players Cup III has officially begun today – or something like that.

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The tournament’s qualifying rounds, which run from Jan 15th to Jan 17th, will send four trainers from each region, Europe, South America, Oceania, and North America, into the final stages which will take place periodically between Januarary and April of this year.

The VGC Players Cup III is a doubles only event and has banned a handful of legendaries from participating. This includes popular Pokemon: Sun and Moon meta-picks like Kyogre and Rayquaza (more specifically, Primal Kyogre and Rayquaza) and Pokemon: Sword and Sheild’s newest email-available-legendary: Zarude.

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The favorite to win is previous Players Cup II champion, Panda Global’s Wolfe Glick, who won Players Cup II with this team below featuring his All-Star Coalossal and trusty sidekick, Dragapult. 

Players Cup III Pokemon
Credit: The Pokemon Company

This team is stacked with tricks the most notable being the Dragapult itself and its most important move: Surf. It’s designed to hit attack its teammate, Coalossal, activating its “Steam Engine” ability. This boosts Coalossal’s speed stat to the max. The speed boost is dynamic meaning it can change the order in which Pokemon attack during the attack sequence. It meant Coalossal would gain a significant speed boost, essentially guaranteeing it to attack immediately after its ability’s activation.

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It’s special because this particular moveset on Dragapult is so specific, so purposeful. Dragapult almost always plays the role of a hard-to-hit sweeper within a team’s composition. I’d say competitive Pokemon players have seen their fair share of Dragapults since release, but nothing quite as mischievous as “Wolfey’s”. His deep understanding of the metagame and dedication to composing creative line-ups of Pokemon to showcase, is enough to get me excited for Players Cup III. 

The tournament’s final stage will be in April of this year, so Pokemon fans who may want to get into competitive Pokemon will have plenty of Twitch streams to explore and guides to read to prepare for the assumed Players Cup 4 later this year.

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Tune into the Players Cup III Finals streamed on the offical Pokemon Twitch channel, and be sure to check out the Players Cup II Finals match featuring Wolfe Glick and his equally cunning opponent, Davide Carrer with an incredible Regiggas team on this playlist of VGC matches on The Official Pokemon YouTube channel.

Credit: The Official Pokemon YouTube channel

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