2012 Junior Division Video Game World Champion Abram Burrows made the jump to the Senior Division this year. The competition has been tough, but he's managed to stand out as one of the top players on the planet. We talk about what it's been like to battle against more experienced Trainers.
Pokemon.com: How much more difficult has the competition been all year now that you've moved into the Senior Division?
Abram: It's been harder in all my tournaments really. I wanted to win Regionals and came in second. Then at U.S. Nationals I made the top 16 and lost in the first round of the top cut, unfortunately.
Pokemon.com: At 3-3, your prospects of making the top cut are pretty dim. How do you feel so far?
Abram: Well, it's unfortunate. It would've been really good to be a repeat World Champion, especially with moving up into the Senior Division. But it doesn't look like it's going to happen.
Pokemon.com: What's different about playing in a higher division?
Abram: There's a bigger variety of teams. And there's definitely more strategy involved, such as predictions on when Pokémon will switch. There are more move sets to consider, too.
Pokemon.com: Do you think you've improved your game over the year, too?
Abram: I've gotten better, but I could still improve more.
Pokemon.com: Even though you were playing in a different division, do you think people were wary of playing you as a World Champion?
Abram: I have a feeling that people at least knew who I was. They may have known my style a little bit, too. I wasn't too worried about it, though. I did OK, but I made a few mistakes along the way. I didn't do as well as I could've.
Pokemon.com: What kind of team did you bring to Worlds this year?
Abram: I came in with a simple Rain strategy, usually starting with Politoed and another fast Water-type Pokémon. It did better in practice than it did here. It worked OK, but it could've been better.
Pokemon.com: What's your method for training for competitions like Worlds?
Abram: I learn a lot by failure. I practice and see what works and what doesn't. I talk a little with my brother about strategy. I also try to see teams online and think about how I can put my own twist on them.
Pokemon.com: How different is this team from the one you brought to Nationals?
Abram: I made a lot of adjustments. I completely wiped my team and started over. I got the idea for this team from another player online. It seemed like it was easy to use and I was comfortable with it.
Pokemon.com: How important is it for you to have a team that is easy to use?
Abram: It helped a little bit, but actually I think it's better for me to be a little more creative. Once you know the ins and outs of your team—what you're strong and weak against—that's what helps me the most.
Pokemon.com: Are there any teams you've been surprised by this year?
Abram: There were a few teams that surprised me. I should've been a little more prepared in general. But playing in a two-out-of-three format helps. You can make adjustments. In the Senior Division, the other players adjust with you. When they see something, they know how to react better.
Congratulations, Abram, and we’re sure Pokémon fans will be eager to watch your progress next season!