Accusations of cheating during this weekend’s Pokémon TCG Baltimore Regional stream have been levied towards competitive Pokémon player Isaiah Bradner.
Bradner is a prominent member of the competitive Pokémon TCG community; not only that, he’s one of the game’s top North American players. He recently placed 16th at Worlds in London. Now, however, Bradner has been accused of cheating while competing in Baltimore, the first regional of the 2023 season.
Isaiah Bradner and his opponent, Xander Pero, were both 3-0-0 when they faced each other in the fourth round of Day 1. The match was streamed on Pokémon’s official Twitch channel, most likely due to Bradner’s prominence in the scene. This made it all the more shocking that Bradner decided to possibly cheat while the action was being viewed live.
At 2:35:58 during the stream, Bradner can be seen playing a Drizzile, which then allowed him to grab a supporter from his deck. He chose Irida, which states that players can search their deck for a Pokémon and an item card. But instead of getting those cards, Bradner grabbed a Cross Switcher and Quick Ball — two item cards.
The commentators immediately noticed the mistake, noting that he had to get a water Pokémon. But meanwhile, Bradner had used the Quick Ball already, putting it in his discard pile. That’s when his opponent noticed the mix-up. Pero asked Bradner to show him which cards he got off of Irida and this is when it became more apparent to the Pokemon community that Bradner may have done this on purpose. Instead of owning up to the possible mistake, Bradner showed Pero the Cross Switcher and a Pokémon that had already been in his hand.
“No, yeah… He did grab that Quick Ball,” the commentator said.
Still, the game went on. The commentator said he was “confused” at what had just happened, since it seemed as if Bradner was just going to continue the game as if he didn’t just draw two items on stream. What initially seemed like a mistake now seemed to be a purposeful cheating move.
With only three minutes left in the game, Bradner started playing faster. Many viewers, however, felt that he started playing quicker to further confuse his opponent and avoid a penalty for the wrong move.
Bradner knocked out one of Pero’s Pokémon but time was out and ended up with a tie, since they were both 1-1 before the final game. After the match, both players seemed to be discussing what had just happened but nothing came of the alleged cheating. Now, many players are calling for Bradner to be penalized, even suspended, for purposefully misplaying in a tournament.
at risk of starting drama, you can clearly see that bradner grabs two items off irida here, and then when called out shows a palkia vstar he already had in his hand, then uses oth the cross switcher & the quick ball he grabbed with irida https://t.co/GeIJuchO9l
— Jenny (@SolaceTCG) September 17, 2022
For now, Pokemon has not made an official statement or ruling on the situation. Bradner has also yet to respond to the allegations against him.