2018 Worlds Preview – Latin America Edition

By: Stephen Mea with assistance from Javier Valdés, César Reyes, and André Fumis

They told us, they weren’t lying. Everyone decided to sleep on Latin America (Latam), and then they took half of the Worlds 2017 Top 8 spots, and Paul Ruiz of Ecuador leaving with a trophy.

Latam had not seen too much International success before the release of Sun and Moon. It took until 2015 for them to cut their first Worlds in any division, and it only seemed right for it to have been Sebastian Escalante of Argentina in his final year as a senior. Escalante would go on to cut his first masters World Championships in 2016 and finish in 9th (which actually tied the placement of Mexico’s Genaro Vallejo in 2015, but that tournament had a Top 8 cut). In 2018, Latam has not performed as well Internationally as they had in 2017 but they have certainly had their shining moments at Internationals and invasions to North American events. Let’s meet the players that I insist you do not sleep on.

1st: Javier Valdés [CL]
CP: 2064

  • 69th European International Championships
  • 7th Oceania International Championships
  • 65th Latin American International Championships
  • 45th North American International Championships
  • 1st Chile Special (June 23)
  • 1st Argentina Special (March 10)

2nd: René Alvarenga [SV]
CP: 2046

  • 102nd European International Championships
  • – Oceania International Championships
  • 11th Latin American International Championships
  • dnf North American International Championships
  • 1st Panama Special
  • 1st Guatemala Special (April 15)

3rd: Juan Naar [CO]
CP: 1930

  • 85th European International Championships
  • – Oceania International Championships
  • 61st Latin American International Championships
  • 129th North American International Championships
  • 1st Colombia Special (June 24)
  • 1st Colombia Special (June 11)

4th: Renzo Navarro [PE]
CP: 1653

  • – European International Championships
  • – Oceania International Championships
  • 16th Latin American International Championships
  • – North American International Championships
  • 1st Paraguay Special (June 11)
  • 1st Chile Special (June 2)

5th: Dorian Andre Quiñones Vallejos [PE]
CP: 1558

  • 15th European International Championships
  • 76th Oceania International Championships
  • 19th Latin American International Championships
  • 65th North American International Championships
  • 1st Peru Special (Feb 17)
  • 6th Peru Special (May 22)

6th Federico Turano [AR]
CP: 1558

  • 42nd European International Championships
  • 18th Oceania International Championships
  • 43rd Latin American International Championships
  • 92nd North American International Championships
  • 1st Argentina Special (Feb 13)
  • 2nd Paraguay Special (Jan 21)

7th Felipe Méndez [CL]
CP: 1506

  • – European International Championships
  • – Oceania International Championships
  • 30th Latin American International Championships
  • – North American International Championships
  • 1st Paraguay Special (June 9)
  • 1st Chile Special (Feb 24)

8th Paul Ruiz [EC]
CP: 1447

  • 135th European International Championships
  • 53rd Oceania International Championships
  • 34th Latin American International Championships
  • – North American International Championships
  • 1st Ecuador Special (Jan 20)
  • 2nd Colombia Special (June 11)


Javier Valdés [CL]
CP: 2064

Javier is the player on top of the CP intensive region of Latin America and for good reason. His relative consistency makes him a big contender, he earned CP at three of his four Internationals. Not only did he collect CP, he Top Cut the Oceania Internationals with a unique Weavile + Nihilego team. He is fairly experienced, having played at Worlds since 2015 and reaching Day 2 in 2017. His successful nationals experience extends far back as well with a Top 4 finish at Peru Nationals in 2016. In 2017, he Top Cut seven special events and took home gold in Argentina. Javier has proven he can compete with the best this year and has great potential to add a high Worlds finish to his resume.

René Alvarenga [SV]
CP: 2046

René is one of Latam’s elite and will be returning to Day 2 of the World Championships. As one of only three Masters with over 2000 CP, he has obviously had a very successful season. His International peak came in 2017 with a Top 8 placement at the World Championships. In 2018, he placed 11th at the Latin American International Championships. René has won three 2018 Special Events in three different countries, Panama, Guatemala, and Mexico. He has also Top Cut five other Special Events using either Mega Charizard-Y or Tapu Lele + Mega Metagross centric teams. René’s success playing in the United States must not be overlooked as well. He touts a Day 2 finish at 2016 US Nationals and a Top 4 at 2017 San Jose Regionals. After his big finish last year, René is certainly one of this year’s top contenders for the prestigious title of World Champion.

Dorian Andre Quiñones Vallejos [PE]
CP: 1558

Dorian is another Latin American star that will be returning to Worlds. Unlike 2017, he secured a Day 2 invite this year. He did so through some impressive performances, including placing 15th and 19th at the European and Latin American Internationals respectively. At Special Events, Dorian top cut four and took the crown in Peru in February. Dorian’s ability to perform consistently in Latin America and Internationally should make a repeat Top 8 appearance from 2017 all the more likely with a great potential to go deeper.

Federico Turano [AR]
CP: 1558

Federico (known by many as Fede) will be returning to Worlds for the third time in three years and is ready to make even more noise. In 2017, he Top Cut but lost his Top 16 qualifier. His accomplishment stretch before the days of Tapus with his victory at Argentina Nationals in 2016. In 2018, Fede finished 18th at Oceania Internationals and top cut six Special Events. He defended Argentina’s special in February and has been one of the pioneers of the Mega Manectric + Snorlax team composition. Fede has proven he has what it takes to cut Worlds and perhaps this is his year to take it further.

Jean Paul Lopez Buiza [PE]
CP: 1317

Jean is a Peruvian player that that accomplished something only three Latin American players did in 2018, cut an International. He finished 7-1 in swiss at his home international in Sao Paulo and finished in 6th place. His other big national level placement came in 2016 when he placed Top 8 at Peru Nationals. On a regional level, he cut four events this season and nearly won the Bolivia Special Event, placing 2nd. His experience dates further back with a finalist appearance at the 2015 Peru Regionals. With enough CP to earn a Day 2 invite in any other region and such an impressive resume, watching Jean more than likely play in Day 2 and perhaps Top Cut in Nashville sounds exciting.

Diego Ferreira [CL]
CP: 1105

Diego is a relatively well known Chilean player with some consistent International and Regional results. In 2017, he cut North American Internationals with a tech filled Celesteela Gastrodon team. This season he has amassed some other solid results. After getting CP from the European Internationals at 80th, he top cut five regional level events, winning one in his home country in March. Diego has what it takes to fight through two days of play and top cut a big event so expect him to make a splash in Nashville.

David Rodriguez [CR]
CP: 819

David is a Costa Rican player that has made waves toward the end of the season. Earlier on in 2018, he top cut two special events and won one in El Salvador. Just recently he placed Top 16 at North American Internationals, being the highest placing Latin American player. He piloted a progressive Mega Charizard Y + Raichu team that has been rising in popularity over the past few months. Coming off such a good finish could set up David for a deep run at the World Championships.

Gabriel Agati [BR]
CP: 458

Gabriel is perhaps one of the most interesting players to be competing at the 2018 World Championships. He had his breakout performance in 2017 when he reached the Top 4 of the Latin American Internations in his hometown. He earned one of the two Masters Internationals trophies in Latin America and put himself on the map. Unfortunately, he was not able to attend the World Championships and instead opted to wait for 2018. Gabriel does not travel much but placed Top 32 at the Latin American Internationals in 2018. From home, Gabriel has continued to prove his presence as a top player through online tournaments by winning a recent win a switch tournament featuring several top players. If any Day 1 Latin American player will make noise this year, our bets are on it being Gabriel.

Day 1 Players: CP

  • Jean Paul Lopez Buiza [PE] 1317
  • Diego Ferreira [CL] 1105
  • Heriberto Pacaje [CL] 1025
  • David Rodriguez [CR] 819
  • Abel Yantorno [CL] 808
  • Estephan Valdebenito [CL] 668
  • Victor Vargas [PY] 652
  • Agustín De Cicco [AR] 634
  • Rafael Tavarez [EC] 627
  • Enrique González [GT] 619
  • Alejandro Diaz [CL] 614
  • David Samanez [PE] 594
  • Sebastián Reyes Villagra [CL] 588
  • German Ortiz [CO] 577
  • Juan Pablo Martinez [PY] 572
  • Gustavo Gonzalez [CO] 558
  • Charly Pastrana [MX] 558
  • Kitaro Javier [PY] 553
  • Laura Prada [VE] 552
  • Emiliano Reyes Castro [CL] 549
  • Ivan Inostroza [CL] 546
  • Juan C. Ortiz [EC] 542
  • Giovanni Andres A [BO] 524
  • Wagner Queiroz [BR] 517
  • Diego Paredes [PE] 517
  • César Reyes [MX] 516
  • Omar Acuña [CL] 502
  • Juan Andrés Samayoa [GT] 498
  • Pablo Godoy [GT] 498
  • Federico Enciso [PY] 497
  • Jorge Coria [AR] 488
  • Francisco Trigo [CL] 485
  • Sergio Miranda [MX] 480
  • Boris Paredes [CL] 479
  • Javier Martínez [MX] 498
  • Gustavo Braz [BR] 471
  • Max Morales Castro [CR] 470
  • Israel Suas Guendu [MX] 470
  • Javier Parada [CL] 470
  • Esteban Hernández Beita [CR] 469
  • Gabriel Agati [BR] 458
  • Rafael Gonzalez [GT] 455
  • Sebastian Bisbal [PE] 451
  • Kyara Zepeda [CL] 449
  • Gabriel Menegon [BR] 448
  • Eduardo Acevedo [SV] 445
  • Galvarino Collihuin [CL] 445
  • James Stevan Arango Ramirez [CO] 443
  • Diego Llanes [CO] 442
  • Julio Morales [GT] 442
  • Diego Dos Santos [UY] 441
  • Yamid Rodriguez [EC] 440
  • Joan Mena [CR] 440
  • Joaquin Reyes [CL] 438
  • Matias Roa [CL] 435
  • Victor Manuel Gonzalez Garcia [CR] 434
  • Martín Muñoz Suárez [CL] 433
  • Camilo Andres Esquivel [CO] 432
  • Francisco Alca Chacon [PE] 431
  • Nicolas del Campo [CL] 431
  • Aldo Roberto [MX] 431
  • Alex Terrazas [MX] 431
  • Steven Robles [CR] 426
  • Cristofher Solís Jiménez [CR] 425
  • Catalina Castillo [CL] 425
  • Enio Fonseca [CR] 424
  • Christian Ramirez [MX] 423
  • Ernesto Serpa [PE] 422
  • Gilberto Espejel [MX] 420
  • Jason Lopera Arango [CO] 419
  • Juan-Pablo Rodriguez [CL] 417
  • Carlos Beingolea [PE] 415
  • Felipe Ide [BR] 414
  • Pablo Aldana [GT] 413
  • Alberto Renero [MX] 413
  • Sergio Oyarzun [CL] 413
  • Kelvin Yavi [EC] 413
  • Esteban Molina Avila [CR] 411
  • Roman Villanueva [PE] 409
  • Jorge Peraza [CR] 408
  • Alexis Hernández Pichardo [MX] 408
  • Hiram Espinosa Ornelas [MX] 407
  • Fredy Vanegas [CO] 407
  • Roberto Najle Fairlie [CL] 407
  • Andres Parada [CR] 406
  • Matias Vivaceta [PE] 406
  • Paulo Miranda [CL] 405
  • Guillermo Naranjo [EC] 405
  • Alexander Camacho [BO] 404
  • Jose Luis Pando [PE] 403
  • Naxo Sepulveda [CL] 403
  • Gabriel Alejandro Quevedo Zuazo [BO] 402
  • Yostin Rojas [CR] 402
  • Diego Gutierrez [PE] 401
  • Franco Sportelli [AR] 401
  • Abraham Orta [MX] 400
  • Guido Micheli [AR] 400

Latam Smart Money

Renzo Navarro [PE]

This smart money was probably the hardest we have done so far. Latin America has not had a clearly consistent International player like Europe does with Yuree or Oceania does with Melvin. Instead we looked at recent, relevant performances and Renzo jumped out as the man with a plan. He placed 16th at his only international which is a slight beacon of consistency. He also won four Special Events, all of which were in the last two months of the season. He is also not unfamiliar with the world’s stage, having represented Latin America in Day 2 of the 2017 tournament.

While it is risky to not pick one of the previous Worlds cutters already confirmed for Day 2, Renzo’s ability to close out so many events with a victory alongside his relative International consistency makes him clearly our pick to perhaps pick up where Latin America left off last year and earn a spot playing on Sunday on the World’s biggest stage.

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