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Santino Tarquinio wins Pokémon Players Cup VGC 2020 in undefeated run

Sailing through the winners bracket without dropping a match, US player Santino Tarquinio became the first ever Pokémon Players Cup champion for Sword and Shield.
Santino Tarquinio wins Pokémon Players Cup VGC 2020 in undefeated run

After the Pokken Tournament DX champion was crowned last weekend, it was the turn for VGC Sword and Shield competitors to battle for the Pokémon Players Cup. 

The top 16 players, who had battled through regional qualifiers across four regions or from the Kickoff Invitational, faced each other in the online VG finals to decide who will be crowned champion and win a Travel Award to a future international championship. 

The final fell down two players from the North American qualifiers, Santino Tarquinio and Jiseok Lee, who faced each other again after the latter was defeated and sent to the losers bracket in the winners finals. 

The grand finals saw Santino switch to a far more aggressive style of play with Urshifu and Coalossal in the opening gambit, which seemed to quickly overwhelm Jiseok’s Primarina and Dragapult combination. 

Santino’s strategy was perhaps far more unique than what was seen elsewhere in the Players Cup, which eventually lead him to clean up with a straight 2-0 victory - even quicker than their initial 2-1 result in the winners finals. 

Throughout the regional qualifiers and this finals bracket, Santino went undefeated - which is especially impressive considering he only started playing competitive Pokémon seriously since 2019. 

Pokemon Players Cup finals
 The VGC winner's bracket ​​​​​​(Picture: Pokemon Play!) 

While the transition to online undoubtedly raised some unforeseen issues, with the lack of spectator mode within the game causing some player dilemmas, it’s likely you’ll see Santino’s name in the top cut of Pokémon tournaments in the months to come. 

The Pokémon Players Cup is set to conclude next weekend starting Saturday 29th August with the TCG finals.