2018 Charlotte Regional Championships Preview

After a very exciting Costa Mesa Regionals a few weeks ago, the talk of the town is about the innovations that will appear in Charlotte. You can watch the regional live stream here, and you can find the official Twitter account here.

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(3 of the Gamefreak Employees who released Intimidate Incineroar just before a major event out of 5)

This regional by no means compares to any of the previous regionals this season, as it is one of the smallest tournaments so far. However, the top players attending are through the roof in skill.

Player’s Shooting for an Invite

Required Placing Player Name CP Count
Top 32 Brian Youm 367
Top 32 Alvin Hidayat 365
Top 32 Jake Muller 342
Top 32 Chuppa Cross 340
Top 8 Case Bongirne 302
Top 4 Paul Chua 286
Finals Jeremy Odena 268
Finals Eli North 253
Finals Vincent Montalvo 242
Win Nathan Wright 234
Win Andrew Nowak 234
Win Tyler Miller 230
Win Brendan Zheng 225
Win Joohwan Kim 220
Win Mitchell Beyer 218
Win Ben Grissmer 202

Players to Watch

Ashton Cox

Cox has been a very consistent player for a very long time. From his humble beginnings in 2014 as a first-year master, he has garnered quite a name for himself. He used to be known as the player who uses weird and unique teams, like when he brought Aggron to the 2014 World Championships, or his multiple uses of Pikachu at Regional level events. Cox, however, has seemingly broken this stereotype, having recently preferred more standard teams. Just look at his Collinsville 2nd Place team.

As of late, Cox also finished Top 4 at the Oceania International Championships. But his most notable accomplishment was his win at the 2017 Sao Paulo Internationals. Plus, he top cut the 2017 World Championships and got Top 16 in 2014. He is always a safe choice to make it into the top cut of any given event.

Alvin Hidayat

Hidayat is one of #SmogonSquad players, and is known as a friendly figure in the community. He tends to hang out with multiple groups, befriending everyone from his locals in the NOVA area to a large group of Senior division players. But Hidayat is more than just a good person — he’s a good player, too. So far, he has been to Day 2 of the World Championships twice (2016 and 2017) and also made it to to Day 2 of the 2017 North American International Championships.

In addition, he has a Top 4 at the 2017 Georgia Regionals and a Top 16 at the 2018 Dallas Regionals. Hidayat has also been known to be quite the bubbler, having gotten 17th at Collinsville regionals back in 2017, and 9th at Madison regionals in the same year. Hidayat’s crowning achievement, however, was taking the title at the recent 2018 Collinsville Regionals. Alvin is on a hot streak, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him continue it this weekend.

Chuppa Cross IV

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Cross has been a very consistent player throughout his VGC career. He has been around longer than most people on this list, and earned his first notable accomplishment back in 2011. That year, while in the senior division, he was crowned Rhode Island Regional Champion. He is part of the infamous NYNJ crew, and has been battle hardened in this area. He is historically a relatively standard player, preferring to use consistent teams that have good match-ups around the board. He is also by far the most laid back player you will ever meet, and it shows in how calmly he takes in everything around him.

Cross has a very long list of accomplishments, going from a Day 2 Worlds appearance in 2017 and multiple appearances in the Day 2 of Internationals/Nationals depending on the year. He also has multiple 2nd place performances at Regional Championships including 2014 Massachusetts, 2016 Philadelphia and 2018 Dallas. He also has two Regional Top 4’s and two Regional Top 8’s to add to his overflowing list of accomplishments. Easy to say, a Regional Top Cut is not a sight for sore eyes when it comes to Chuppa Cross IV.

Nick Navarre

Navarre has shown to be a pinnacle of consistency ever since late 2016, when his breakout began. He is a part of Smogon Squad, but also the team Michigan. The latter means he can reach frequent events anywhere from Ohio to Canada. Navarre used this advantage and multiple other high finishes to end the 2017 season as Number 1 is US CP.

Nick Navarre is the 2017 Virginia Regional Champion, and has gotten Top 4 at multiple other regionals such as Philadelphia 2016, Dallas 2017 and Collinsville 2017 to name a few. On the International stage, Navarre has finished Top 8 at both the 2017 Oceania Internationals as well as the 2017 North American Internationals. He has been to Day 2 of the World Championships once however, despite his extensive resume. However, ever since the format switch, Navarre has stated that he’s in a slump, and in his opinion just can’t get going. Despite this, he has still shown his consistency by making Top Cut of the 2018 Collinsville Regional in a rather nonchalant way.

Collin Heier

Heier has been around since 2013, but didn’t have his breakout season until his sophormore season. He is from Wisconsin, but is part of the Boiler Room group, which features titans of the community such as Toler Webb, Michael Lanzano, David Mancuso, Blake Hopper and Benji Irons. But most importantly, his recent Top 16 at Hartford earlier this season and 17th at Dallas show he’s hungry for another top cut.

It wouldn’t be foreign territory for him, either, as Heier has an impressive resume. He is a 2x Regional Champion, having won in Madison in back-to-back regionals (2014 and 2015). He also has multiple random Top Cuts and Top 4’s to his name, the most recent one being Top 4 at the 2017 Dallas Regional. But his crowning achievement is his 3rd Place finish at the 2014 World Championships. All in all, Heier is one of the strongest players in the world, and will be looking to make it back to Top Cut after his previous 2 close calls.

Brendan Zheng

Zheng has really stepped out of his brother’s shadow ever since he moved to Masters. Well, he would have stepped out if he wasn’t already 4 inches taller than Aaron. Either way, Brendan is the youngest member of the list, and thus earned most of his accomplishments in the younger age divisions. In Seniors and Juniors, he has six Regional Champion titles, and also made Top 8 of the World Championships in 2016. But Brendan is also the 2013 Junior Division World Champion, which is something few players can claim.

Now that he has moved up to the Masters division, he has repeatedly demonstrated his talent crosses over division lines. He went 9-0 in Swiss at Dallas Regionals earlier this year and finished Top 16. He has also finished Top 16 at Hartford Regionals back in September, and has finished high at all of the locals he has attended in the battleground that is New York/New Jersey.

Michael Lanzano

Lanzano is quite a wild card. He has a very interesting habit of going off the grid for various periods of time, seemingly at random. However, when he does show up to an event, he’s always a strong contender to do well. Most recently, his plan has been to go to a regional and then Nationals in order to lock up his invite.

This plan has worked in the past, since he is a 2x Regional Champion (in 2012 and 2014) and made Top 8 of the 2016 US National Championships. Combining the latter with a Lancaster 2015 top cut earned him a Worlds invite that season. And at that World Championships, he made it all the way to Top 16. So far this season, however, he only has a 6-2, Top 32 finish at the Ft. Wayne Regional Championships, an event he decided to go to last second. But Lanzano has said he’s feeling good going into this event, so don’t be surprised if you see his name at the top of the post-swiss standings.

Nepotism Pick

Jeremy Gross

Call it nepotism if you will, but it’s hard to talk about this tournament’s top talent and not mention Trainer Tower’s very own Jeremy Gross. He is a solid player with results including a Day 2 finish at the 2016 US National Championships, a Top 8 finish at the 2016 Philadelphia Regionals and a Top 16 at the 2017 Collinsville Regional. Add in two Worlds invites during the 2016 and 2017 seasons and you get a relatively new player just waiting for his next cut. Don’t be surprised if it happens in Charlotte.

Smart Money

Justin Crubaugh

Crubaugh is a player from Cambridge, Wisconsin, and burst onto the scene with a 7-0 Swiss-run during his first regional tournament. He finished in Top 4 of the 2016 Wisconsin Regional Championships, losing to the runner-up, Sam Schweitzer. He also has a Day 2 finish at the 2016 US National Championships.

Crubaugh has been close to winning before, though with 2nd place finishes at two different regionals (2016 Ft. Wayne and 2017 Memphis). Plus, you can’t forget his 2018 title of Mr. Midseason, with a long streak of wins in his region. All in all, he is an extremely consistent player, and that’s why we’ve cursed him with Smart Money.

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