Congratulations to Hayden McTavish, your new Pokémon Video Game Senior Division World Champion! Earning his seat through the Last Chance Qualifier, Hayden has played in a lot of matches this weekend. All the work paid off when he emerged victorious from a tough finals match against U.S. player Ben Hickey.
Pokemon.com: Congrats, Hayden, on becoming the new Senior Division World Champion! How are you feeling?
Hayden: I'm feeling great. Those were great games. My opponent Ben is a great player. He even beat me in the Swiss rounds.
Pokemon.com: You made it into the World Championships through the Last Chance Qualifier. Was this just a whim to come up and play?
Hayden: Not really. I've been playing for a couple years competitively, and reached top 16 at the U.S. National Championships.
Pokemon.com: As you were playing through the Swiss rounds, did you feel like you had a team that could go all the way?
Hayden: During Swiss I started 3-0, and I felt like I had a good team. And then I lost two matches, so I wasn't as sure. I then ended up beating Brian Hough, who ended up making it to top 8, so that was cool.
Pokemon.com: You opened up some players’ eyes with a little bit of an unconventional team featuring Machamp. Were your opponents surprised?
Hayden: I think my opponents were surprised by how bulky it is. Players were also surprised by what I think are fairly standard moves on Machamp, such as Stone Edge.
Pokemon.com: Describe your experience playing in your first World Championships.
Hayden: It's been amazing. I've met a lot of cool people. And the battles have been really hard, but it's been very cool.
Pokemon.com: What was the turning point in your final match?
Hayden: I was able to knock out my opponent's Hydreigon before it was able to do a lot of damage in both of the games we played. Hydreigon is one of the biggest threats to my team, so I spent a lot of time analyzing it prior to the match.
Pokemon.com: You'll move into the Masters Division next year. What will you have to do differently to win?
Hayden: I don't really know yet. I'll probably have to rethink everything with Pokémon X and Pokémon Y on the way. I'll have to consider new counters and everything.
Pokemon.com: Before you have to think about that, you get to celebrate this victory. What are you going to tonight?
Hayden: Well, it's my mom's birthday and my entire family is up here to cheer me on. We're going to go out to dinner.
Congratulations, Hayden! Pokémon fans are looking forward to your continued success in the Masters Division next year!