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Niklas “Wingtide” Laerbusch won the Pokkén Tournament DX Kickoff Invitational for the Pokémon Players Cup. Like its VGC counterpart, this event was pre-recorded. Competitors played their matches from June 13 – 14, and then The Pokémon Company livestreamed them from June 27 – 28.
Wingtide faced off against Labib “slippingbug” Haq in the first round of this bracket. He emerged on top with a tight 2-1 victory, advancing into Winners Semis. There, Wingtide solidly overcame No. 1 seed Davon “Shadowcat” Amos-Hall, winning their set 2-0.
Wingtide had another close set in Winners Finals, this time winning 3-2 against Jacob “Jukem” Waller (formerly known as “ThankSwalot”). Ultimately, Wingtide finished the Pokkén Tournament DX Invitational in a more dominant fashion. He beat Allister “ALLISTER” Singh 3-0 in Grand Finals. Because of this tournament victory, Wingtide will compete in the Pokémon Players Cup finals in August.
Hailing from Germany, Wingtide was the sole representative from outside the United States at the Pokkén Tournament DX Kickoff Invitational. He notably won the European International Championships last April but was unable to compete at the World Championships last August. As a result, Wingtide went over a year without entering a major tournament before winning this event.
Other results from the Pokémon Players Cup Pokkén Tournament Invitational
ALLISTER lost 0-2 to Jukem in his very first set of the Pokkén Tournament DX Kickoff Invitational. Despite this early setback, he made a remarkable losers run in order to finish in 2nd place. ALLISTER earned 2-0 victories over both Benjamin “Toasty” De La Rosa and Shadowcat en route to top 4. From there, he defeated Anthony “Rokso” Paratore 2-1 and won his rematch against Jukem 3-2.
Blastoise made multiple appearances in the Pokkén Tournament DX Invitational, despite being among the worst characters in the game. First, slippingbug played Blastoise in his close set against tournament champion Wingtide. Even more notably, Chaz “Mewtater” Wright used the character to beat Toasty 2-0.
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.