2018 Roanoke Regional Preview

Written by Nicholas Borghi

Difficulty Rating

/5

(.67ths of a barn for each year it was held there out of 5)

We like to say that every Regional is usually strong, it’s a bit harder to argue for this one. We have our usual crop of top tier players in attendance, we’ll be talking about some of those. But, with just under 100 players registered at the time of writing, it would be wrong to compare it to other regionals

Players Vying for an Invite:

Placing Needed Player Name Current CP
Top 32 Case Bongirne 367
Top 32 Alexander Williams 363
Top 32 Ben Grissmer 352
Top 32 Dylan Salvanera 343
Top 32 Chuppa Cross IV 342
Top 16 Tyler Miller 325
Top 16 Jake Smith 322
Top 8 Sean Bannen 318
Top 8 Eli North 314
Top 8 Jake Skurchak 302
Top 4 Nate Innocenti 298
Top 4 William Marks 295
Top 4 Alex Collins 291
Top 4 Collin Heier 291
Top 4 Vincent Montalvo 286
Top 4 Justin Frys 277
Top 4 Mihrab Samad 276
Top 4 Mitchell Beyer 275
Top 4 Nathaniel Christmas 274
Needs Finals Emily Golub 264
Needs Finals Alex Arand 257
Needs Finals Corey Esmeier 254
Needs Finals Michael Lanzano 250
Needs a Win Joohwan Kim 220
Needs a Win Robert Moore 207

Highlights

Stephen Mea

Mea is a player we haven’t focused much on in these previews, and it seemed right about time that we changed it. Mea has had quite the fun year for himself, having traveled around the entire world. In his Senior year of Highschool, he played on the Snow Ball for NA CP, allowing him to visit London, Sydney and Sao Paulo. Despite his young babyface, Stephen is going to be attending Rutgers University in the fall, studying accounting and mathematics.

On the Pokémon end of his life, Stephen has shown that he is one of the United States’ best players. Overall in Masters, he has a top 8 at the 2016 Massachusetts Regionals, and Day 2 at the 2017 NAIC. In the Senior division, Mea has a Regional second place under his belt, and a few other scattered performances. This season, he got Top 4 at the 2017 Hartford Regional, Top 8 at the 2018 Toronto Regional, and is currently 5th in US CP with 1117 points. With Jeremy Rodrigues at 1120, this will be a very important event for both players.

Brady Smith

Smith is another extremely strong competitor this season who has been playing on the North American snowball. Having aged up from Seniors in 2016, Brady has recently started to explode on the scene this season. Brady has been on quite the health kick, and making many life changes to help better the quality of his everyday life. This has shown in both his physical appearance, as well as his school work and playing ability. Smith has joined his very good friend Stephen on the snowball this year, traveling all over the world, and he’s said it’s been an amazing experience.

Brady has multiple Senior division accomplishments but really stepped out onto the world stage within the last year as a Master division player. He earned an invite to the 2016 World Championships and made Top 8 at the 2016 Philadelphia Regional. Once 2017 started for the 2018 season, Brady exploded onto the scene with a second place finish at the 2017 Hartford Regional, and a win at the 2017 Memphis Regional. Most recently, he finished with a 6-2 Top 16 at the Sao Paulo International Championship. Brady is always a strong contender to do well at any event he attends lately.

Case Bongirne

Bongirne is not quite Gary Oak, but very much the Gary Oak of VGC. Being a notable singles player for many years, Case gained quite a reputation for himself over on the Smogon forums for being a controversial member. He has made his way to VGC and kept up his antics ever since. Outside of Pokémon however, Case is a former College Baseball player, and is currently working in an accounting firm. He constantly hangs out with other Smogon-VGC players, as well as his local friends from around New York and New Jersey.

Case has a few accomplishments over in Smogon, most notable winning the finals of SPL 7 ( what equates to Smogon’s NPA) with Mono-Ice, and was named an SPL All-Star multiple times. Since the transfer to VGC, Case has played for team North-East in the World Cup of Pokémon and made top 8 at the 2017 Ft. Wayne Regional. While relatively new to the scene, he has put together an impressive 367 Championship Points. He’ll be looking to finish up his invite this upcoming weekend.

Tyler Miller

Miller has shown to be an impressive player within the last year. He is currently a night-manager at a store in his home state of Ohio, and graduated from the Ohio State University. He went to his first events back in 2016, where he narrowly missed a worlds invite that year.

Tyler made his way onto the national scene with a relatively under-the-radar top 4 finish at the 2017 Madison Regional last year. He then made himself known worldwide by making it to the top 10 of the 2017 North America International Championships. He then earned an invite to the 2017 World Championships, where he didn’t finish too hot. Since then he also has a top 8 finish at the 2017 Memphis Regional, as well as multiple Top Cuts in the Ohio area. He’s had a bit of a dry spell as of late, but with only needing a Top 16 finish to compliment his 325 CP, he will be looking to break that and earn his second invite to the World Championships.

Joohwan Kim

Kim is a very fun player to talk about. He’s always been known as an innovator, making an insane amount of fun teams. Kim has been known to be a huge threat to the Northern Virginia and DC regions, consistently doing well at his locals. He’s known for his tan bowler hat, and his admiration of Lilligant. He has ran Lilligant at every single event he’s ever done well at, and he justifies it because using his favorite Pokémon inherently makes the game more fun for him.

Joohwan always has fun when he plays, and it seems to help his results. In 2016, he made top 8 at the Virginia Regional. In 2017, he got 2nd at the Georgia Regional, losing to Paul Chua. This season, he top cut Ft. Wayne Regionals back in September, but has largely gone quiet in terms of Pokémon since. Going into this event, Kim is at 220 CP, and needs to win the event in order to lock up his Worlds invite. If there is a player who can do that though, it is Joohwan.

David Mancuso

Mancuso is a lot of people’s ray of sunshine in this community. He’s friendly to everyone and extremely easy to talk to. As we said earlier, he’s been friends with Ashton since being young, and has expanded his friend group immensely within our community. While he currently lives in Ohio, he will be attending college next semester in the DC area.

In terms of accomplishments, David has a myriad of them. In his breakout season of 2014, he got top 4 at the Philadelphia Regional, and 2 weeks after that, won the Ft. Wayne Regional. He made top 8 of the 2015 Virginia Regional, and finished second at the 2015 Florida Regional. To top it off, he finished top 8 at the 2017 Toronto Regional. Despite his very impressive list of accomplishments, Mancuso has never earned a Worlds Invite. With his recent win of an Ohio MSS, he is looking to get on track to earning one. With 192 CP, this regional will be instrumental on putting him in the running.

Joseph Costagliola

Costagliola is once again, another young competitor, and not just in Pokémon. He is on his High School’s Varsity Soccer team, and the captain of the Science Competition Team, so it’s quite easy to see that Joseph’s competitive spirit runs deep. In addition, Joseph has a deep interest in coding, which allows him to fit in with some of the well-educated minds that frequent the Pokémon Showdown room.

Switching the gear away from academics and sports, Joseph has made a name for himself in our Pokémon community. He has a good list of accomplishments in Seniors. He finished second place at the 2015 Lancaster Regional, and top 8 at the 2016 National Championship. Since his switch to Masters, he took a year off, then recently got top 8 at the 2018 Charlotte Regional. Sitting at 132 CP, he will need to do well throughout the rest of the season to earn the coveted World Championships Invite.

Nick Navarre

I’m only going to mention this quickly since we’ve talked about Navarre in our last 3 previews. Nick won this regional last year, in 2017, and will be going back to defend his title. He didn’t do so well at Toronto Regionals two weeks ago, so he’ll be looking to rebound.

Smart Money

Chuppa Cross

Cross is a fan favorite for his general consistency throughout the years. As of right now, Chuppa is currently 20 years old and studying statistics at Suny Stony Brook University, which tends to take up most of his free time outside of Pokémon. He’s also an avid commentator, sometimes running over some high-profile online matches on his twitch channel, or helping out the now defunct Liberty Garden livestreams.

We’ve run over Cross’ results and accomplishments back during the Charlotte preview, so I’ll try to keep it brief. His most notable accomplishments are being a 3x Regional runner-up. He has done well at multiple National and International Championships, but has never made it to the top cut. Chuppa has come a long way since his 2015 Lancaster run, where he stated that he was just a simple X-3 player. Little did he know he would blow that out of the water soon enough, by finishing in the top 4 of both Collinsville and Massachusetts Regionals later that season.

Cross has taken a brief break from Pokémon since his impressive second place finish at the 2018 Dallas Regional back in January. It’s a common string among people I’ve talked to about this that it seems like it may finally be Chuppa’s time to claim a win. Sitting at 342 CP, he only needs a top 32 finish to lock up his Worlds Invite, but Chuppa has never been the type to do the bare minimum. I would not be surprised whatsoever this weekend if we saw Chuppa Cross dominate the competition this weekend in Virginia.

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