Brendan Zheng has made a name for himself in the Junior Division after reaching the semifinals several times in past World Championships. This year, his patience and experience has paid off, finally earning him the title of World Champion in his last year as a Junior!
Pokemon.com: Congratulations on becoming the Pokémon Video Game Junior Division World Champion! How does it feel?
Brendan: It feels great.
Pokemon.com: You've been close to the finals before, finishing in the top 4 twice at previous Worlds. How important is it to you to be World Champion as a Junior?
Brendan: It definitely boosts my confidence going into the Senior Division next year. It's the only thing I wanted to do to really boost my résumé in the Junior Division.
Pokemon.com: Do you feel like you're in good shape to play at a similarly high level when you make the move to the Senior Division next year?
Brendan: I think I'll need to change a lot. Seniors is definitely a harder level. I don't know how much I need to change yet, though.
Pokemon.com: Did you prepare for Worlds differently than you had in previous years?
Brendan: This year I built my own team. In previous years I'd gotten some ideas from another good player.
Pokemon.com: Well, your brother Aaron is a great player. I'm sure he has helped you train in the past.
Brendan: Yeah, but this year I didn't practice with him much. He's on a level too high for Juniors. I needed my team to be a little bit more simple.
Pokemon.com: Let's talk about your final match. In the first game you seemed to have luck going your way.
Brendan: I did, but it didn't always matter that much. What really mattered was that my Cresselia used Bulk Up effectively to slow down my opponent's Beat Up attacks.
Pokemon.com: Were you surprised to see your opponent use the same starting Pokémon in the second game?
Brendan: I tried to predict what she would start with, but I also wanted to play it safe. I wasn't that surprised because it was probably the best lead she could use against me.
Pokemon.com: Even with the noise canceling headphones, could you tell that the crowd was cheering?
Brendan: Yeah, it was cool. I could tell that my brother was cheering me on, too.
Congratulations again, Brendan. We'll see you next year at the 2014 World Championships in the Senior Division!