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The third edition of the Pokémon Players Cup has come to a close with the final matches broadcasted April 25. The Pokkén Tournament DX global finals concluded with Jacob “Jukem” Waller coming from the losers bracket to win the tournament. Here are some of the biggest takeaways from Pokkén Tournament DX at the Pokémon Players Cup III.
Jukem overcomes reigning champ Shadowcat to win Pokkén Tournament at the Players Cup III
As the 2018 world champion, Jukem is no stranger to first place. Still, he faltered at the first Players Cup, losing to Davon “Shadowcat” Amos-Hall in grand finals. But Jukem flipped the script at the Players Cup III Pokkén event, defeating the reigning champion twice on his path to victory.
However before he could face Shadowcat, Jukem had to make a run through the losers bracket. Using Sceptile, he lost 3-1 to Allister “ALLISTER” Singh’s Suicune in winners semis. After conquering Umberto “Goreson” Tagliafierro 3-1 and Anthony “Rokso” Paratore 3-2, Jukem had to rematch ALLISTER in losers finals.
This time around, Jukem relied on a different character, Empoleon. ALLISTER seemed unable to combat his offensive Empoleon style with either Suicune or Pikachu Libre. As a result, Jukem defeated ALLISTER 3-0. This outcome set up Jukem versus Shadowcat, a repeat of grand finals from the first Players Cup.
Jukem continued to use Empoleon in grand finals, showcasing his strong punishes en route to a convincing 3-1 win in set one. However, Shadowcat bounced back in the next set. Shadowcat took offensive control, cleverly setting up shield breaks using the multi-hit Dragonite support, and won the first two games as a result.
With his back against the wall, Jukem fell back on his trusted Sceptile. With the quick, combo-heavy character back in his control, Jukem made precise reads on Shadowcat’s movement, converting hard callouts into big punishes. As a result, he pulled off a reverse 3-0 to win the set and the Pokémon Players Cup III Pokkén Tournament DX event.
I'm your Players Cup III champion! Was very exciting to get that runback in Grand Finals! Love all the support from y'all. THANKS SHADOWCAT FOR WAKING ME UP!
4X GANG 4X GANG, PRAISE THE CASCOON (also follow my Twitch and sub to YouTube aha) pic.twitter.com/4vRw6vgqve
— 🔴LIVE: Jukem, Cursed by Grapes (@JukemFGC) April 25, 2021
ALLISTER excels with a plethora of characters
One of Pokkén’s longest-standing top players, ALLISTER is perhaps best known for his success with Suicune. But at the Players Cup III Pokkén event, ALLISTER reminded viewers that he is not limited to only piloting one character at a high level.
ALLISTER used a whopping five different characters throughout the global finals alone. He proved himself competent with Aegislash, Sceptile, Mewtwo and Pikachu Libre, in addition to his Suicune. ALLISTER’s diverse array of characters allowed him to constantly adapt his playstyle to best counter his opponent. This strategy helped ALLISTER secure wins over Alexander “Iceburgy” Berglind and Jukem.
The very definition of DOWN TO THE WIRE! Allister steals a win with less than a second left on the clock with a high-risk Synergy Burst! #PokkenTournamentDX
— Play Pokémon (@playpokemon) April 24, 2021
North America stands out as Pokkén’s best region
North American players had a numbers advantage going into the Players Cup III Pokkén bracket, with four slots reserved for them in the global finals. In contrast, Europe had three slots, while only one Oceanian player advanced to the finals.
But the results proved that this slight bias toward North America was well-deserved. The four American competitors — Jukem, Shadowcat, ALLISTER and Rokso — only dropped sets to each other. As a result, they collectively outplaced every player from the other regions. In doing so, they helped to preserve the United States’ status as the center of competitive Pokkén Tournament DX.
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.