I have literally just got back from Cape Town SPE and what an experience it has been. This is my 5th time to South Africa to play Pokémon TCG and it never ceases to amaze me the level hospitality and warmth this community has. I am truly blessed to have been to both Johannesburg and Cape Town to play City Championships/League Cups and the Special Premier Events. This was my second Special Premier Event win having won Dubai SPE (UAE) in 2017 and placed Runner Up in 2018. In 24 years of playing this game competitively the best part of this game is meeting new people and making lifelong friendships. I would like to think I am always winning because I have made some incredible friendships on this trip and winning the event was just a bonus. Pokémon has blessed me in so many ways, last year I was headhunted to be on hit reality television show Beauty and The Geek UK notably because of my successes in the trading card game. In 2018, I made Top 22 in the European rankings for the World Championships in Nashville that gave me the Day 2 invite and the Travel Award.

Nevertheless, the growth of the game over the last few years thanks to the infrastructure of hosting Premier Events by Solarpop has led the game to grow sizeably. Whether it be the easy accessibility to product to the many locations across the country. It has been rewarding to see the level of competition has risen and with it has brought more locations to play. Last month I went to play at ‘The Geek At Home’ in Pretoria for a League Cup and was great to see an amazing turnout. I made Top 8 cut going undefeated in Swiss with Mew Vmax in that event losing to amazing local player Burgert Stoop in the mirror match. So going into Cape Town SPE, I knew the level of competition would be very tough and the diversity of decks in this current format is rather broad. But I decided upon playing something that I have been running throughout the year Mew VMax. The deck and variants of it has got me 6 Day 2 placings this year in Stuttgart Regionals, Orlando Regionals, European International Championships, Portland Regionals, Malmo Regionals, and Turin Special Premier Event. So, I felt very comfortable with the deck and the list remained unchanged for 5 major events.

The evening prior to the tournament, I managed to experience some of South Africa’s finest cultural spots the V & A Waterfront with my close friend Sheldon Kuppan who was a fantastic host all weekend. We sat and testing decks till late and I was adamant that I would be playing Mew Vmax (Judge/Path). But in the lead up to the event, I did test Lugia Vstar/Archeops. But I didn’t want a deck that was totally reliant on flipping the right combination of heads and tails to get the combo off. I would recommend to anyone going into a major event that they play something that they are comfortable with and that they would enjoy for say 9 rounds and that may not necessarily be the best deck in the format.

The tournament matchups: 

  • Round 1 v Mew DTE WLW – Simone Byrne 
  • Round 2 v Mewtwo Vstar/Lunala WW – Christopher Gau 
  • Round 3 V Gardy LWT – Moenn Mungalee 
  • Round 4 V Mew DTE LWL – Devan Naidoo 
  • Round 5 V Fusion Mew WW – Emile Hoffmann 
  • Round 6 V Arceus/Tina WW – Rudolph Du Plessis 

Top Cut:  

  • Top 8 v Lugia WLW – Prenesh Naidoo 
  • Top 4 v Arceus/Duraladon/Umbreon LWW – Clinton Matos 
  • Final V Arceus/Tina LWW – Ethan Lee

I had a few lucky coin flips that went my way over the course of the Top Cut which proved decisive in the match ups and to take down a large event like this you do need an element of luck and skill on your side. I thoroughly enjoyed playing the various matchup throughout the day and there was a level of gameplay and sportsmanship. I would like to congratulate everyone who has qualified this weekend Michaela Bussey, Ryan Perry, Aaqil Sedien, Clinton Matos, Moeen Mungalee and Ethan Lee.

I look forward practicing with the South African contingent in the lead up to Yokohama and I know they will make you guys all proud in their performance this summer in Japan.