After an amazing weekend of battling, we have new Pokémon VGC World Champions, including our very first repeat Pokémon VGC World Champion—Ray Rizzo from the United States!

2011 Pokémon World Championships

Your 2011 Pokémon Video Game World Champions!

Masters Division Champion: Ray Rizzo (US)
Masters Division Runner-Up: Matteo Gini (Italy)

Senior Division Champion: Kamran Jahadi (US)
Senior Division Runner-Up: Sejun Park (South Korea)

Junior Division Champion: Brian Hough (US)
Junior Division Runner-Up: Ian McLaughlin (US)

Right after their battles, we caught up with the new Pokémon VGC World Champions.

Masters Division World Champion Ray Rizzo

Pokémon Team: Escavalier, Conkeldurr, Terrakion, Gothitelle, Thundurus, Hydreigon

2011 Pokémon World Championships

Masters Division World Champion Ray Rizzo

What was your strategy and keys to victory?
Using Pokémon that players weren’t too sure about, Pokémon you didn’t see a lot. I think that helped a lot.

How does it feel to be a two time Pokémon World Champion?
It feels amazing. I didn’t really expect it too much, but I’m glad it happened.

What were the challenges you faced in this year’s Worlds?
I played against the best players in the world and I played a lot of really good friends, so it was tough beating them since they’re such good friends. All of my games were really close. I faced a lot of other paralysis teams that were using Thunder Wave.

Have you made a lot of new friends at the event already?
I hung out a lot with friends, and it was great seeing fellow Pokémon fans and hanging out with them.

What was your most valuable Pokémon in your team?
Probably Thundurus with Thunder Wave to paralyze the opponent’s Pokémon.

So you’re going to school now? Are you going to find time to train Pokémon?
Yeah, but I’ll definitely keep practicing since I’m going to be here again next year.

Senior Division World Champion Kamran Jahadi

Pokémon Team: Jellicent, Amoonguss, Chandelure, Terrakion, Tornadus, Thundurus

2011 Pokémon World Championships

Senior Division World Champion Kamran Jahadi

What was your strategy and keys to victory?
My strategy in my team was to use Tornadus and the move Tailwind, or Thundurus’ Thunder Wave along with Terrakion’s Rock Slide to knock out my opponent’s Pokémon. I also used Chandelure and Jellicent as my counters to Trick Room.

I saw that you faced Jeremiah Fan in the Top 8. What was it like playing against a former World Champion?
I’d already played him in 2009. He beat me in the Top 4, but I think I just had a better strategy this time.

What was your most valuable Pokémon in your team?
It’d have to be a tie between Thundurus and Terrakion. It’s good when Terrakion knocks out the opponent’s Thundurus or Thundurus, or when Thundurus uses Thunder Wave for paralysis.

Have you made a lot of new friends at the event already?
I made lots of new friends, including people I’ve been working with online to build my team. They’re really cool people. They’re the only reason I’m running this team.

How is it different playing against other countries where language can be a factor?
It’s just really cool to play and meet a lot of different people and see what their country’s strategies were.

You’re a World Champion, how do you feel?
It feels so good. I thought for sure I wouldn’t even make it through the Last Chance Qualifier.

Junior Division World Champion Brian Hough

Pokémon Team: Mienshao, Terrakion, Hydreigon, Thundurus, Musharna, Amoonguss

2011 Pokémon World Championships

Junior Division World Champion Brian Hough

What was your strategy and keys to victory?
I had the element of surprise on a lot of my opponents. My dad helped me a lot, too—he told me a lot of things before the tournament started.

Did you keep your strategy pretty consistent throughout the day?
My strategy is pretty flexible as you can pretty much put any two Pokémon up front together. As long as I have one good attacker out, you can do pretty well with my team.

Which Pokémon do you think helped you the most in battle?
The one I like the most is my Shiny Terrakion. It’s really cool and saved me in a match against a player in the Fourth Round, knocking out three Pokémon all by itself.

So do you use Rockslide and Close Combat?
Yeah, I use all three, Rockslide, Close Combat, and Earthquake. My opponent thought I was going to use Rockslide when his Pokémon were down in health, but I used Earthquake instead. The move didn’t affect my Hydreigon, but it knocked out both of his Pokémon.

Congratulations to all of our Pokémon VGC World Champions and Runner-ups!