During the first day of the North American Pokémon International Championships one dedicated player took on a fight with incredibly low odds. According to the report by Kotaku, Giovanni Costa, this season’s premiere Eevee player, found himself facing off against Germany’s Tobias Koschitzki in the third round of the tournament.
Koschitzki was using a team of Smeargle, Porygon Z, Arcanine, Tapu Bulu, Hariyama, and Nihilego, which recently finished in the top four of the Japan National Championships. Costa had made some major updates to his previous Eevee team, with Incineroar, Tapu Koko, Whimsicott, Tapu Fini, and Dragonite accompanying the Evolution Pokémon. Costa’s new lineup helped him win the first round, but things started looking a bit grim after that.
Costa eventually lost Game Two and was forced into a final match to determine the overall winner. Costa went for the usual Eevee strategy of trying to boost its stats before giving them to another Pokémon with Baton Pass. On the second turn, Nihilego and Hariyama made it impossible for that plan to work, and Koschitzki destroyed the rest of Costa’s team.
According to Kotaku:
“Dragonite’s demise seemed like a done deal: after all, it was four against one. Even the commentators, who generally try to never give up on a player’s chances of winning, seemed to have called it. But then Koschitzki made a mistake. After putting Dragonite to sleep the turn before, he switched out his Smeargle for a heavily damaged Hariyama. And then, instead of going for a safe Protect to ensure the win, he went for a Hidden Power Ice with his Nihilego. The move was four-times-super-effective and left Dragonite with only 13 HP — but it didn’t finish the job.”
Against almost every single prediction, Costa’s Dragonite woke up. And since Dragonite was packing Earthquake, Costa handily took down Hariyama and Nihiligo. After that, the whole game came down to whether Koschitzki’s Smeargle could deal 13 damage with a single use of its only attack, Fake Out. As the timer ran down, the players only had three turns left to decide a victor, and Koschitzki went for the Fake Out option, which proved less effective than expected.
Surviving with four HP, Dragonite finished the game off and granted Costa an almost impossible victory.