2019 Worlds Preview: Meet Team Europe!

Only 3 days are left for the 2019 World Championships in Washington D.C, where players from over 30 countries are gathering for this year’s biggest event.

In our aim to provide you with great coverage before, during and after the event, we’re introducing the top players from all competing regions in Day 2 of Worlds. On Sunday, we presented the North American players, and yesterday we got to meet team Latin America. Today, it’s Europe‘s turn!

salamence-mega Victory Road Europe at Worlds

Since the inception of International Championships back in 2017, European players have always defended the title at home, with all finalists being Italian or Spanish. When it comes to the other regions, Team Europe has been present within the top 8 at all 9 overseas Internationals as well, having won twice in Melbourne 2018 (Alessio Y. Boschetto of Italy) and 2019 (Eduardo Cunha of Portugal).

When it comes to Worlds, Europe has had at least one Worlds top 8 finish every year since 2011, too — even in 2015, when Japan swept the stage, Germany’s Lajos Woltersdorf snagged an 8th place. However, despite being home to some of the World’s most renown players (and countries, collectively), Europe only holds one championship under Arash Ommati of Italy‘s win in 2013.

Since then, Europe has not fought any Worlds finals, but several top 4 finishes have been earned: Nils Dunlop (Sweden) in 2018, Markus Stadter (Germany) and Eduardo Cunha (Portugal) in 2016, and Markus Liu (Germany) in 2014. With more than 130 invitees, team Europe is eager to bring home another 1st Place trophy — and chances are it’s going back to Italy.

salamence-mega Victory Road Day 2 players

Leading the European rankings with almost 2000 CPs we have the well-known Italian face of Alessio Yuri Boschetto. Yuree started to play competitively in 2014 with the release of Pokémon X&Y. Since then, his learning curve has exceeded what one might call positive, managing to win his first major event in Innsbruck, Austria in 2016. After that, he’s proven himself as one of the most consistent players in a long time with his top finishes at events such as the 2018 Oceania Internationals, where he won, and the 2017 and 2018 World Championships, where he got up to the top 16 twice.

Regarding this 2019 season, he got most of his CPs in the Sun and Moon Series, where he won the Bolzano Special Event and got 2 more Regional finalist bricks. He’s also the sole player in Europe to have gotten a travel award for all 4 Internationals (and has already secured one for São Paulo 2020 this November). Considering his astonishing consistency, he can arguably be one of the safer bets to take Worlds home this year. Is Italy getting their second Worlds 1st Place trophy?

PRT Eduardo Cunha (1355 CP)

As the second Day 2 spot in Europe for this year, we have another popular player, Eduardo ‘EmbC’ Cunha from Portugal. Edu is another brilliant example of consistency in this game, as his multiple top performances reflect. If one were to pick another key word to talk about him, adaptable feels appropriate. Back in 2016, Edu had qualified for day 1 of Worlds and managed to win Victory Road’s Road to San Francisco tournament, which helped him a bit in funding his trip to San Francisco.

The efforts and constant practice paid off hugely as he ended up in 3rd Place, his best Worlds result so far. His success doesn’t stop there, though, as he also won Madrid’s Special Event in 2017. More recently, he’s the current Oceania International Champion and his constant hard work have earned him 3 travel awards this season, plus his Worlds one.

Edu has been close already to tasting the championship, and has shown the world that he can take on the very best of the best. His all-time best result at Worlds comes from a similar format to this year’s, so expectations are high on him.

ITA Flavio del Pidio (1280 CP)

Flavio del Pidio is our 3rd European Day 2 attendee and one of the 5 Day 2 Italian players. If we take a closer look at his latest accolades, he’s the current European International Champion. This key win allowed him to start rolling the snowball just in time to get top 8 in Columbus, although he couldn’t play his quarter finals match due to some ruling issues. Despite this, he’s route and hungry for more in the next season, as he’s already got a Travel Award for São Paulo 2020.

Flavio started to play back in 2014, just right after Worlds. In 2015, he managed to reach the quarter finals of Rome Regionals. That fueled him to keep on improving and collecting great finishes at various events such as top 8 in both Torino and Rome Regionals for 2016. Last year, he got his first major event brick in Leipzig, Germany, and also a spot among the best 8 European players.

Although his World Championships records are not stellar, we’ve all witnessed Flavio’s constant improvement year after year, and his insane Ultra Series results make him a clear favorite to take it all in D.C.

GBR Ethan French (1181 CP)

The first UK representative at Worlds is a recently graduated player from Seniors — but don’t let that fool you. Since the start of the season, he’s been performing consistently well at all events he’s attended: with the Travel Award he obtained to Brazil, he placed 6th after losing to the current World Champion Paul Ruiz in the quarter finals of Latin America Internationals. Shortly after that, he got 3rd at Harrogate Regionals.

Then, despite missing the stipend to Australia, he went to Melbourne, but bubbled out of top 16 at 17th place. As for the Ultra Series, he’s played at Bristol Regionals and at Berlin, where he finished 5th and 57th, respectively.

In his first Masters Worlds, he’ll be seeking to establish himself as one of the newer big names while also improving his top 8 finish from last year.

ITA Davide Carrer (1180 CP)

Davide played the finals against his friend and fellow Italian Flavio at this European International Championships and also got top 32 in Columbus. Having had a strong 2019 season, he has shown notorious strength in the Ultra Series format, something that will clearly be on his side for this weekend.

The Italian has been a part of the scene since October 2016. In his first season in 2017, he got 2nd place at Leipzig Regionals, with it being the first Regionals he ever attended. Since then, Davide has kept on honing his skills, and thus he’s made a name for himself: he placed within the top 8 in London 2018, still under the VGC17 format, with a clean 9-0 day 1 record, and improved that mark to 2nd in Berlin 2019.

With this being Davide’s 3rd Worlds appearance, he’s got more than enough experience at the international and world stage to be a strong contender for the win. We’ll be following him closely on Saturday!

ESP Ismael Aarab (1074 CP)

Ismael is the first of Spain’s 3 appearances in this list, and also the first Day 2 player to come from the Canary Islands, a Spanish territory in northern Africa.

He started playing competitively in 2014, when he first found out about an event in his hometown of Gran Canaria, and has kept on being a top player in Spain for the last years. As for this season, he kicked things off by winning Lille Special Event in France, which allowed him to get a travel award to Melbourne for Oceania Internationals. Decent finishes at the majors he attended while storming local events in Poland, where he lived during most of the season, secured him one of Europe’s golden spots for Saturday.

With this being his first World Championships and his lack of impressive finishes in the international stage, it’s hard to predict his result in D.C, but we’ll keep an eye out on him!

ITA Marco Hemantha (1062 CP)

Marco is another of your recently aged up players competing in his first Masters Worlds. In 2017 and 2018, he also got Day 2 in Seniors.

While he hasn’t been particularly relevant during the first months of this season, when Ultra Series kicked in, his results started growing, as he placed within the top 32 players at both Berlin and Columbus. Leading up to Worlds, he won Europe’s final major event in Jönköping, Sweden Regionals. Such strong results in this final part of the season have also earned him a travel award for the 2020 Latin America Internationals, with a 190 CP margin from the 2nd player in the rankings, fellow Italian Flavio del Pidio.

He’s clearly built up some great momentum during the Ultra Series, knowing this would be the key format to dominate in order to win Worlds. Nonetheless, he has yet to impress with a strong international result, so anything could happen.

ESP Eric Rios (1023 CP)

To no one’s surprise, Spain’s Eric Rios is back on Europe’s Day 2 list once more. He won Europe’s first major event of the season in Valencia in July 2018, and his strong finishes in local events and majors in France and the UK have secured him travel awards to both Australia and Germany. In his last major event of the season in Berlin, he placed 13th after losing a tight final swiss round against 2016 World Champion Wolfe Glick.

Despite this being Eric’s 5th Worlds, all of them as a Day 2 player, he has so far struggled to break the x-3 Worlds curse every year. The last time we were in D.C for Worlds in 2014, he placed 3rd in Seniors, so he’ll be surely hungry for redemption.

DEU Fevzi Özkan (1021 CP)

The one and only German player in the European top 16 ranking. This year, Fevzi will try his best in what will be his first time at Worlds since he started to play. In 2016, where he made his competitive debut, he placed within the top 16 at German Nationals in Kassel.

After that, he fell into a losing streak, getting nothing but top 32 finishes, but always making sure to learn something from them. His resilience paid off this season, as he’s bulked up great results throughout the entire year: top 16 at Valencia and practically cutting all events he’s attended, namely Frankfurt, Cannes or Bolzano. With such a consistent season but no international accomplishments, Worlds could be the break out performance he’s looking for.

ESP Alex Gómez (1010 CP)

Unsurprisingly, Alex Gómez is back to Worlds Day 2, making this makes it his 8th consecutive Worlds qualification, all the way since Hawaii 2012 until now. With a top 16 placement in Berlin last April and strong finishes at Regionals in Europe, the Spanish player has cleanly gained his invite for D.C.

Although he’s just 20, he’s already one of the most accomplished players in Europe: 2016 UK National Champion and 2018 European Internationals runner-up. In his first years competing, he placed top 8 in Vancouver 2013 and D.C 2014 as a Senior. However, since graduating up to Masters, he’s always left the World Championships with a bittersweet feeling, as he’s also suffering the x-3 curse. We’re expectant to see how well he fares this weekend!

GBR Jamie Boyt (1007 CP)

The renowned British player Jamie Boyt (check out his YouTube channel!) will be one one of Europe’s last spots. After being close to losing such privilege, he managed to secure his spot for Saturday thanks to his solid finishes in Berlin and Columbus, plus a Regionals top 8 in Bristol.

This will be Jamie’s 5th consecutive Worlds participation, and so far he’s always got himself within the 32 best in the world. Known for his infamous and unorthodox Pokémon choices, he’ll be one of the players to follow closely during this weekend as he tries to get past his 13th place in San Francisco 2016, his best result so far.

FIN Oliver Eskolin (1006 CP)

Behold Finland’s first Masters Day 2 representative! Oliver, just aged up from Seniors, is the Scandinavian day 2 representation at this year’s Worlds.

Despite living in a country with just a few locals, he’s managed to travel to Europe and beyond to get his Day 2 invite. In his way to D.C, he’s collected several solid placements at Regionals like Lille and Harrogate. He’s also attended both Ultra Series Internationals, advancing into day 2 at both.

While this won’t be his first Worlds, as he got Day 2 in Seniors last year, this will likely be his first major challenge. Does he have what it takes to win?

ITA Michele Gavelli (997 CP)

Italy’s Michele Gavelli is another known face to the great stakes of the game. Back in 2017, where he had just aged up from Seniors, he already distinguished himself by placing 3rd at London Internationals.

During his 3-year stay at Masters, he’s so far won Regionals once (Sheffield 2018), got to the finals of another one (Cannes 2019) and, more importantly, got top 4 at Internationals twice (London 2017, São Paulo 2019).

Despite his Ultra Series’ presence being rather modest, he was just 4 CP away from getting a stipend for Columbus, which would have meant he got a stipend/TA at all 4 ICs of the season. Such a strong player is clearly a force to be reckoned with when looking at the candidate list for winning Worlds this weekend.

Alexandre, also known as Radium, is France’s main hope at Worlds, and the first Bleu to get a Day 2 invite in Masters for quite a long time.

After falling short of Day 2 last year, he played on the side-event Nashville Open, placing 3rd. This first strong performance was later followed by two 2nd places in Harrogate and Lille‘s major events. This allowed him to quickly accumulate enough CP to get the snowball rolling to down under and back to Berlin with a travel award and a stipend, respectively. Despite being inactive in the final months of the season, he’s one of the names that could make an impact in D.C.

CZE David Koutesh (917 CP)

David is one of the younger players at Worlds and within this list and the only one from the Czech Republic. Despite this, he’s got a hefty amount of strong finishes under his belt, and most of the time with undefeated swiss records. That is the case for all Jönköping, Cannes, Lille and Harrogate major events, though he hasn’t been able to grasp the 1st Place just yet. He was also close to the winning brick in Valencia for this season’s start last July, placing 2nd and losing to Eric Rios of Spain.

He’s attended Worlds every year since 2015, where he was still a Seniors player and made it all the way to the top 8 before losing to the eventual World Champion. Last year, we saw him pull a vigorous run through day 1 to then fall short of top cut in the last swiss round. Known for his out of the box team choices, David could very well be the dark horse of this edition.

Riccardo is Italy’s and Europe’s final Day 2 spot. After getting there through Day 1 a couple times, this is his first season with paid trip to the World Championships. The final spots for Europe were extremely tight leading up to Columbus, as he didn’t attend the event but the bottom part of the table did. Despite this, he managed to hold onto the stipend.

In 2016, the most similar format to what we’re playing at Worlds this year, he won Preganziol, Italy Regionals and got top 8 at Italian Nationals. As for this season, he’s worked his way through the season with great finishes in Frankfurt, Cannes, Bolzano, and Bristol, proving himself as a skilled player in all 3 variations of VGC 2019.

In his 3rd Worlds, he’ll be looking to make a name for himself and improve his 21st place from Nashville 2018.

salamence-mega Victory Road Day 1 players

For those unaware on how the qualification system works, all players living in Europe with 300 or more CP at the end of the season get invited to play at the day 1 of the World Championships and may play on the Friday Swiss rounds against other Day 1 qualifiers if they wish to attend. Those with 2 or fewer losses at the end of the day (x-2) will advance to Day 2, where they will play with the top players of each rating zone, automatically invited to Saturday.

The following list comprises all players with 300 or more CP in the European rating zone, and is based on the official Play! Pokémon leaderboard.

  1. GBR Jonathan Marston (886 CP)
  2. ITA Gilberto Goracci (813 CP)
  3. ITA Matteo Agostini (679 CP)
  4. GBR Ben Kyriakou (666 CP)
  5. ITA Leonardo Bonanomi (603 CP)
  6. ITA Lorenzo Semeraro (557 CP)
  7. ITA Manuel Vittorio (512 CP)
  8. SWE Nils Dunlop (Worlds 2018 4th Place)
  9. NDL Bram de Jonge (Seniors Worlds 2018 2nd Place) 
  1. GBR Ben Markham (487 CP)
  2. SWE Nicole Saeed (481 CP)
  3. POL Bartosz Ekiert (466 CP)
  4. DEU Alexander Becker (447 CP)
  5. ITA Davide Cauteruccio (444 CP)
  6. ITA Edoardo Giunipero (441 CP)
  7. ITA Luca Marcato (434 CP)
  8. ITA Enrico Mostallino (430 CP)
  9. DEU Fabian Braum (422 CP)
  10. FRA Florian Henry (414 CP)
  11. GBR Harry Louth (410 CP)
  12. ITA Andrea Sasso (407 CP)
  13. GBR Sam Bentham (404 CP)
  14. ITA Tommaso Calzolari (403 CP)
  1. NDL Jorjin Raymakers (396 CP)
  2. GBR Richard Hodge (393 CP)
  3. ITA Luca Lussignoli (386 CP)
  4. ITA Andrea Piasso (382 CP)
  5. NDL Andres Escobosa (380 CP)
  6. ESP Diego Montes (378 CP)
  7. NDL Willem Geurts (377 CP)
  8. POL rubinek (376 CP)
  9. SWI David Mizrahi (374 CP)
  10. PRT Pedro Lima (374 CP)
  11. ITA Roberto Porretti (372 CP)
  12. ITA Nico Davide Cognetta (372 CP)
  13. FRA Hippolyte Bernard (367 CP)
  14. POL Szymon Wojdat (366 CP)
  15. SWE Sventhoon (365 CP)
  16. PRT Guilherme Martins (361 CP)
  17. FRA Alban Badin (361 CP)
  18. ESP José Cabré (359 CP)
  19. SWI Glurak_xy (358 CP)
  20. ITA Alessio Fucsà (355 CP)
  21. GBR David Partington (354 CP)
  22. ITA Manfredi Insinga (352 CP)
  23. ITA Lorenzo Lax (352 CP)
  24. FRA François-Xavier de Lageneste (351 CP)
  25. FRA Antoine de la Forest (348 CP)
  26. ESP Miguel Pedraza (346 CP)
  27. ITA Matteo Moscardini (344 CP)
  28. ITA Stefano de Maria (342 CP)
  29. DEU Jonas Wiegel (342 CP)
  30. ITA Gianluca Grassi (338 CP)
  31. ITA Riccardo Castellari (337 CP)
  32. ITA RobertoP123 (337 CP)
  33. GBR Rachel Annand (337 CP)
  34. ITA Giacomo Bovolenta (336 CP)
  35. ITA Giuseppe Musicco (336 CP)
  36. ITA Andrea Cassinese (336 CP)
  37. ITA Mattea Cipro (335 CP)
  38. DEU Philipp Schlegl (335 CP)
  39. POL Michał Dziurzyński (334 CP)
  40. SWE Pontus Westerlund (334 CP)
  41. FRA Armand Lefebvre (333 CP)
  42. PRT Nuno Rosario (333 CP)
  43. ITA HMNIPippin (330 CP)
  44. NDL Rob Akershoek (330 CP)
  45. ITA Giovanni Favara (330 CP)
  46. PRT Ruben Pereira (330 CP)
  47. ITA Mark Duò (329 CP)
  48. ITA Alessandro Caliri (326 CP)
  49. FRA Anthony Liuzzo (324 CP)
  50. NOR Jens Arne Mækinen (322 CP)
  51. DEU Christian Cheynubrata (322 CP)
  52. ITA Simone Sanvito (321 CP)
  53. ESP Juan Benítez (318 CP)
  54. FRA Alekso Letexier (318 CP)
  55. ITA Manuel M. (318 CP)
  56. ESP José María Sánchez Fuentes (318 CP)
  57. DEU John T. (318 CP)
  58. DEU George O. (318 CP)
  59. ITA Daniel Giannerini (317 CP)
  60. ITA Davide Miraglia (317 CP)
  61. ESP Dani Navarro (316 CP)
  62. PRT Felipe Azevedo (316 CP)
  63. ESP Miguel Martí de la Torre (315 CP)
  64. ESP Dani Navarro (316 CP)
  65. GBR Damian Blakey (315 CP)
  66. ITA Andrea Dangelans (314 CP)
  67. ITA Luca Ceribelli (314 CP)
  68. ITA Andrea Menoncello (314 CP)
  69. ITA Genius39 (313 CP)
  70. FIN Lauri Halonen (313 CP)
  71. ITA Matteo Marinelli (313 CP)
  72. GBR Taran Birdee (312 CP)
  73. FRA Aurélien Forest (312 CP)
  74. ESP Juan Antonio Fernández (311 CP)
  75. ESP Víctor Alarcón (311 CP)
  76. ITA Alessio Astrea (307 CP)
  77. ESP Manuel Barea (307 CP)
  78. DEU Max Müller (307 CP)
  79. ITA Luca Noro (306 CP)
  80. ITA Matteo Guarany (306 CP)
  81. ITA William Bassolino (305 CP)
  82. GBR Barry Anderson (305 CP)
  83. ITA Giuseppe Cangemi (305 CP)
  84. ITA Lorenzo Silvestrini (304 CP)
  85. ITA Francesco Tomasino (304 CP)
  86. ITA Giovanni Panarello (304 CP)
  87. ITA Arash Ommati (303 CP)
  88. ESP Javier Señorena (303 CP)
  89. ITA QuagSimon (303 CP)
  90. DEU Serkan Tas (303 CP)
  91. ITA Marco Bertoni (302 CP)
  92. ITA Robelias (302 CP)
  93. DEU Markus Stadter (301 CP)
  94. GBR James Alfonzo Romero (300 CP)
  95. FRA Nicolas Carvalho (300 CP)

salamence-mega Victory Road Closing words

Congratulations to all European players having qualified for the World Championships! As, arguably, one of the toughest regions in the World, there are high expectations on their shoulders. We wish you all the best of luck.

If you’re not attending but will be following their struggle from home, check the Pokémon website for detailed infos on the live stream. If you’re looking for a timetable of the stream times, click here.

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