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The Pokkén Tournament DX bracket at the Pokémon Players Cup IV has concluded, bringing with it more surprising outcomes than the game’s previous two Players Cup appearances. This event not only featured a different set of grand finalists for the first time, but it also featured two grand finalists who had never qualified for a Players Cup top eight before.

Here’s a breakdown of the most unexpected results from this major Pokkén Tournament DX tournament.

Wise becomes the first Canadian Pokkén Tournament champion

Richard “Wise” Rennehan utilized Sceptile’s extensive combos and quick movement options, both in the air and on the ground, to claim first place in the Pokkén Players Cup IV bracket. In doing so, he became the first Canadian to win a Pokkén Tournament DX competition at an official Pokémon event.

Wise had a strong run at the Regional Finals, upsetting Davon “Shadowcat” Amos-Hall 2-0 and beating Milton “PuppyHavoc” Castillo 2-1 to qualify for the global finals without losing a set. He started the global finals with a 3-1 win against Kira “Kira FR” Péniquaud in winners quarters. Then, he scored another victory against PuppyHavoc, winning 3-1 in winners semis.

Wise defeated Dawson “TEC” Trepanier 3-1 in winners finals. The two players later faced off in a grand finals rematch that went the distance. They played patiently in the final round of game five, spending more than half of the round in the first Field Phase. However, Wise got the first neutral win, leading into a huge combo in the Duel Phase. Shortly afterward, he connected a Burst Attack to finish the game and defeat TEC 3-2.

Shadowcat misses Players Cup grand finals for the first time

Shadowcat has proven himself to be one of the most consistent top-level Pokkén Tournament DX players, as he placed first at the Players Cup and second at the Players Cup III. However, the Players Cup IV marked his first time missing grand finals at a Players Cup event. Still, his run to third place was nothing to scoff at.

After his loss to Wise at the Regional Finals, Shadowcat had an unexpectedly early match against Jacob “Jukem” Waller, a rematch of the previous Players Cup grand finals. Shadowcat won 2-0, eliminating reigning champion Jukem in 17th place. From there, he eliminated Nicky “YaBoy” Redmond 2-0 and Griffin “ThunderGriffin” Barboro 2-0 to qualify for the global finals.

Shadowcat kicked off the global finals with a 3-0 win over Adam “Niet” Haskell, only to lose 3-0 against TEC in winners semis. In the losers bracket, he beat Kira FR 3-1 and earned another 3-0 win over Niet.

Shadowcat seemed poised to defeated TEC in losers finals, winning the first two games thanks to his devastating punish game with Darkrai during Bad Dreams Rising. However, TEC took complete offensive control from there, winning six straight rounds to complete the reverse 3-0 and eliminate Shadowcat.

Niet represents Europe and Decidueye in the top four of the Pokkén Players Cup IV

At the last Players Cup, the entirety of the top four consisted of North American players. The United Kingdom’s Niet broke that trend at the Pokkén Players Cup IV by finishing in fourth place. Even more, he did so using Decidueye, a character that has not previously appeared in top eight of a Players Cup for Pokkén Tournament DX.

During the Regional Finals, Niet earned 2-0 wins over Fabian “Fabilous” Zahn and Kira FR. Both of them previously qualified for the original Players Cup. After losing to Shadowcat in winners quarters of the global finals, Niet beat Sandy “Kira_A” Pallazzoni 3-1. Then, in loser quarters, he secured a 3-1 win against North American competitor PuppyHavoc.

Dylan Tate is a student in 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.
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