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Pokemon EUIC 2024 – Everything’s changed yet somehow the same

This past weekend Pokemon fans from across the globe descended upon the ExCeL in London for the Pokemon European International Championships. With players competing across the TCG, Video Games, Pokemon Go and Unite, it was bound to be a landmark event in the history of Pokemon.

full view of the ExCel hall filled with Pokémon fans
Image by the Pokémon Company International

EUIC 2024 was crowned as the largest Pokemon tournament outside of Japan to date, with over 2500 players competing in the TCG masters category alone! While this may only be temporary with NAIC just around the corner and sure to smash that record again, it is amazing to see such a large level of growth within the Pokemon community. 

So, other than the tournament itself, what else did EUIC have to offer? Well there was a temporary pop up Pokemon Center at the tournament, selling various bits of exclusive merchandise that players and collectors alike were eager to get their hands on. Around the event there were also various mini games such as Perrin’s photo challenge, where you had to take pictures with various Pokemon around the event, ring toss and a retro Pokemon games area just to name a few. Outside of that you also had various side events put on by Tournament Center and the judges including GLC, the TCG Joust and TCG raid battles. These were certainly popular amongst the Bath TCG crew.

EUIC Pokemon Center entrance

Rotation: New format, New cards

With 30 people from within the Bath TCG community at the event either spectating or competing, everyone was ready to go after weeks of late nights, testing and refining decks. 

This EUIC, similar to last year, marked the start of this year’s rotation, with all of the E block cards disappearing into the void, meaning decks like Mew VMax and Rapid Strike Ushifu were no longer on the table to play. Existing decks would also need to adapt to the cards they were losing and find new strategies to stay relevant in the new format.

To make things even more complex, the new set Temporal Forces released a few weeks prior, meaning that this event would be the first tournament where these cards were legal to play. Because of this, new archetypes have emerged and are looking for a chance to prove they have what it takes to be the new Best Deck In Format (BDIF). Some examples of this include Ancient Box, which features the new single prize Roaring Moon and Koraidon cards. Future Box with the new Iron Crown ex to boost the damage of future Pokemon, both new and old.

With Charizard ex predicted to be the biggest threat in the format, everyone had their game plans on how to take down this behemoth of a deck. With a whopping 22% of the day 1 metagame, Zard was going to have a big target on its back in this format.

Day 1 deck usage stats for EUIC. Charizard ex was most popular at 22.85%

Our team went into the tournament playing a variety of decks, some old (such as Lost Box and Lugia) and some new (such as Roaring Moon Ancient Box and Turbo Iron Hands). The players did their best throughout the day to get the 19 points needed to enter day 2. Whilst most got close, and had very respectable records on day 1, Matteo Galenti ended up taking his Turbo Iron Hands deck into day 2 of the tournament, representing the Bath TCG crew all the way to his 47th place finish.

So, what won the TCG finals?

After 3 days of consistent games and grueling matches, Sunday was the big finals day! The atmosphere in the hall was electric as everyone gathered around the stage to watch the action unfold live. 

EUIC Juniors final on the live stage

The juniors category was up first with Yohann Cote piloting Lost Goodra and Peter Shapkin with his Lugia deck. After some unfortunate prizing from Peter, Yohann managed to pull out the win, crowning him and Goodra the Junior EUIC champion.

Seniors was up next, and it was set to be a great show. Benny Billinger had brought Charizard to the table, but his opponent was the current Seniors world champ and winner of LAIC, Gabriel Fernandez. Gabriel had been hard at work learning the new Ancient Box archetype, and piloted it like he had been playing it for months. After very memorable moments, such as when both players drummed on the table when the new Ace Spec, Awakening Drum got played, Gabriel managed to seize victory. WIth this being his second IC win this season alone, he had made it clear to the world he was a player to keep an eye on.

Finally was the main event, the masters! This was set to be the showdown of a lifetime with Tord Reklev, 4 time IC champion, runner up at worlds and generally known to be one of, if not the best player in the world, facing off against one of America’s greatest players, Isaiah Bradner. Both players had cooked up very unique lists, Tord’s Charizard list contained a surprise Cleffa amongst other controlling style cards, and Bradner came prepared with Banette, both the lost zone version and the ex to hopefully give him an advantage. 

Tord Reklev and Isaiah Bradner in the EUIC 2024 finals
Image by the Pokémon Company International

Game 1, it looked like Bradner was in trouble, starting the match by just attaching an energy card and passing turn. Tord took full advantage of this and looked like he would steamroll his opponent. However, Isaiah saw the line and was very close to decking Tord out. The players went back and forth passing turn, before some very clever sequencing from Reklev saw him secure the win.

Game 2 was much more interesting, and there was more of a back and forth between both players. The match though, despite being close, ended up leaning more in Tord’s favour and he managed to secure his 5th International Championship win!

If you want to see what decks managed to make day 2 and maybe try some of them yourself, you can find them all now on LimitlessTCG. And if you are missing any cards, be sure to check out our Card Market to grab any singles you need.

Next up: Worlds 2024!

Within the closing ceremony, they finally announced the dates for the Pokemon World Championships this year. It is now confirmed that it will take place from the 16th to 18th of August in Honolulu in Hawaii! With some of our own players already planning their trips, it looks like it is going to be an incredible event!

Worlds 2024 Honolulu promotional artwork

With EUIC over, we can now look forward to the rest of the season. If you are still looking to grab the last few points needed for worlds, we have our League Cup and Midseason Showdown, scheduled for the 18th of May and it is looking to be a big one. If you want to sign up, you can do so here.

We look forward to seeing you there!

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