Congratulations to Masters Division player Arash Ommati, the first European Trainer to become Pokémon World Champion! He dueled against Japanese national champion Ryosuke Kosuge, and won in straight games to become victorious.
Pokemon.com: Congratulations on your amazing victory, Arash. How do you feel right now?
Arash: I'm great. I really didn't expect to go so far in the tournament, and to win against such a strong opponent.
Pokemon.com: As you were playing in your early rounds, at what point did you think that you had a team that could make you a champion?
Arash: I was not very confident about my team, especially before the tournament. Then I lost my first match in the Swiss rounds. After that I won my next four matches, including doing well in bad situations. At that point I felt I at least had secured a point in the top cut.
Pokemon.com: How did you prepare your team leading up to Worlds?
Arash: I've been working on this team since June, I think. I built this team because I thought it would work well in this meta game, and it worked pretty well.
Pokemon.com: We'd heard that Japanese players in particular were doing different things in their own meta game. Did you study their strategies specifically?
Arash: I did. I studied the Japanese teams quite a bit because their teams are similar to a lot of European teams. So I thought it was the best way to prepare.
Pokemon.com: How did you do in the Championship tournaments in Europe?
Arash: I played in both the Milan and Bochum tournaments, but I didn't make it further than top 16 in either competition.
Pokemon.com: Did you practice with Italian players leading up to the World Championships?
Arash: There were four Masters Division players from Italy, and two of them (including me) made it into the top cut. We were friends but I didn't practice with them much because I didn't want to show them my team.
Pokemon.com: What does this mean to be the first Italian and first European world champion?
Arash: It's great and I'm really happy. I hope that my victory will help Pokémon tournaments become more popular in Europe.
Pokemon.com: How long have you been playing Pokémon?
Arash: I've been playing since the beginning. My first game was Pokémon Red. But I have been playing Pokémon competitively for only about a year and a half.
Pokemon.com: What has your experience been like at your first World Championships?
Arash: Incredible! This is great. I think that once you come to Worlds, you can never get enough. I'm here with my friends and I've made new ones. And we're in a beautiful hotel. It's been a great time.
Pokemon.com: Let's talk about your last match. You seemed to be in control from the very beginning.
Arash: Yes, definitely. I had a good match-up against my opponent, and I think he let me play my game how I wanted.
Pokemon.com: Was there a particular moment that you think gave you the victory?
Arash: In the first game, when I targeted both my Pokémon at my opponent's Cresselia and he chose to protect with Heatran, I felt I knew I was going to win.
Pokemon.com: How are you going to celebrate?
Arash: I'm not sure yet, but I'm going to do something with my friends.
Pokemon.com: How do you think becoming the World Champion will change how people play against you?
Arash: I don't know. I'll just try to do my best like I did this year. I'll try to play without expectations, and just do my best.
Congratulations to Arash, and all of our 2013 Pokémon Video Game World Champions. We look forward to seeing you return to battle at Worlds again in 2014!