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Santino “SupahSanti” Tarquinio won the Pokémon Players Cup Sword and Shield VGC Finals bracket, which was streamed on August 23. He was undefeated throughout both the qualifier rounds and the final bracket.
SupahSanti advanced out of the qualifier bracket on winners side. In the process, he overcame opponents like Andrew “Jadis” Ding and Jonathan “Ezrael” Evans. Then, SupahSanti kicked off the Finals bracket with a 2-1 win over Julian “SimiusBlack” Eduardo Martinez.
SupahSanti proceeded through the bracket with convincing 2-0 victories against Ben “Maddo” Madigan and Alessio “Yuree” Boschetto (the Invitational champion). In Winners Finals, he beat Jiseok “MeLuCa” Lee 2-1. SupahSanti challenged MeLuCa once again in Grand Finals of the Pokémon Players Cup Finals. But this time, SupahSanti performed even better, edging out MeLuCa in both games for a 2-0 victory to win the tournament.
Congratulations to our new #PokemonVG Champion, Santino Tarquinio!
Not only did he win the final match, but Santino didn’t lose a single set throughout the Players Cup—talk about impressive! pic.twitter.com/zhCi9ZFj36
— Play Pokémon (@playpokemon) August 23, 2020
SupahSanti largely built his team around Coalossal, a solid though somewhat uncommon Pokémon. After taking an Aqua Jet from its partner Urshifu, Coalossal’s Attack and Special Attack stats increase thanks to its Weakness Policy item. In addition, Coalossal’s Speed stat drastically increases thanks to its Steam Engine Ability. SupahSanti partnered this idiosyncratic core with several extremely common Pokémon: Dragpult, Togekiss, Incineroar, and Rillaboom.
Other results from the Pokémon Players Cup VGC Finals
MeLuCa earned 2-0 victories over the likes of Joseph “JoeUX9” Ugarte and Conan “Conanyk” Thompson to qualify for the Pokémon Players Cup Finals on winners side. He started his Finals run by defeating Edoardo “Duckpond” Giunipero Ferraris 2-1. After that, MeLuCa did not drop a game to anyone besides SupahSanti. Along the way, he beat Gabriel “AgatiGa” Agati, Christopher “Wasp” Kan, and Nico “Desu” Davide Cognetta.
Desu lost his very first match of the Pokémon Players Cup VGC Finals to Caio “PumpkinPhantom” Romanini. Despite this, he pulled off a spectacular losers run to finish in 3rd place. In the process, Desu eliminated JoeUX9, Maddo, Duckpond, Wasp, and Conanyk.
Finished Players Cup as runner-up.
The team and my luck were great, but I didn't play well enough to capitalize on them.
Sorry about the disappointments, especially not making the finals as long as possible lol
Thank you for all the support, and huge congrats to @SupahSanti_! pic.twitter.com/3ceG3TL2h3
— MeLuCa VGC (@MeLuCaVGC) August 23, 2020
Got 3rd place in the Player's Cup finals, enough to get me the Paid Trip for an International of my choice.
The losers match finals was awful, I barely slept that night and wasn't feeling so well so I apologize for that embarassing g2 you had to see but I was super stressed 😅
— Dave Cognetta デス (@DesuVGC) August 23, 2020
Like Desu, Conanyk lost in the first round of the Pokémon Players Cup Finals, then made a deep losers run. After losing to Yuree, Conanyk defeated Geovanni “ESAGreen” Polanco, AgatiGa, SimiusBlack, and Yuree en route to 4th place.
However, his impressive performance only served to attract negative attention, as many players argued that he shouldn’t have been allowed to compete in the first place. Previously, Conanyk confessed to his involvement with the “BowtieVgc2” Twitter account, which tweeted numerous offensive and incendiary comments. While The Pokémon Company did not disqualify Conanyk, it also did not stream any of his matches.
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.