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Ludwig Ahgren won Wolfe “Wolfey” Glick’s Pokémon Sword & Shield Super Smash Brothers Invitational on Jan. 12. The event pitted professional Smash players and personalities against each other in the Pokémon Sword and Shield VGC format.
Ludwig suffered a close loss to Hugo “HugS” Gonzalez in his first match of pools. However, he was able to advance out of pools on losers side, making it into top 4. Along the way, he won tight three-game sets against Kris “Toph” Aldenderfer and Justin “Plup” McGrath.
Ludwig’s most dominant performance of the Pokémon Smash Brothers Invitational came in the Semifinals. He was able to defeat Eric “ESAM” Lew 2-0. Ludwig finished his run with a 2-1 victory over Zain Naghmi in Grand Finals.
Luck was on Ludwig’s side during the final turn of the tournament. His Dynamax Rhyperior dodged a super-effective Icicle Crash from Zain’s Galarian Darmanitan. In addition, he burned Zain’s Whimsicott using his Torkoal’s Heat Wave, breaking its Focus Sash and ending the game.
Understanding the Format
Wolfey hosted the Pokémon Smash Brothers Invitational as a way to connect the otherwise unrelated Smash and Pokémon communities. Eight Pokémon coaches supported the Smash figureheads leading up to the event. The teams of players and coaches were as follows:
- Ludwig and Michael “JiveTime” Lanzano
- Zain and Aaron “TBFUnreality” Traylor
- ESAM and Eduardo “EmbC” Cunha
- HugS and James “Jamesspeed1” Baek
- Jacob “Alpharad” Rabon and Markus “13Yoshi37” Statder
- Plup and Ashton “Linkyoshimario” Cox
- Toph and Justin “AzazeL_The_God” Carris
- Jason “Mew2King” Zimmerman and Aaron “Cybertron” Zheng
Players were split into two double-elimination pools, with two players from each pool advancing into a single-elimination bracket. The Pokémon Smash Brothers Invitational also featured commentary from Wolfey, Cybertron, AzazeL_The_God, and Rosemary “Nekkra” Kelley.
Other results from Wolfey’s Pokémon Smash Brothers Invitational
Like Ludwig, Zain started out his run with a loss. While he dropped his first set to ESAM, Zain proceeded to beat Mew2King in losers. He advanced out of pools over Alpharad, who had to drop out of the event. Then, Zain earned a win against HugS in the Semifinals of the final bracket.
HugS was a favorite going into the Pokémon Smash Brothers Invitational, as one of the few Smashers who had already been playing competitive Pokémon. Though he didn’t win the tournament, HugS had a flawless run through pools, defeating Ludwig and Plup. Similarly, ESAM went through pools undefeated, winning sets against Zain and Alpharad.
Plup was only able to take one set at this invitational, winning his first round against Toph. However, he notably made use of a Dynamax Cramorant, a rarely-used Pokémon in the current VGC metagame.
Dylan Tate is an alumnus of the Hussman School of Journalism and Media at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a gaming journalist with a love for Nintendo esports, particularly Super Smash Bros. and Pokémon.