Nobody Expected This Pokémon To Win The Championship Last Weekend

This weekend, video game matches at the Pokémon World Championships saw the usual suspects. There was Garchomp. Aegislash. Mega Charizard. Just to name a few. But the championships also saw the delightful inclusion of Pachirisu, a Pokémon used by Masters champion Se Jun Park.

Some context. Pachirisu is an electric squirrel-like Pokémon introduced in the Diamond and Pearl games. Prior to this weekend, I wouldn't blame folks for cynically writing off Pachirisu as a bad Pikachu knockoff, a testament to Game Freak's inability to come up with good Pokémon designs. Nothing on Pachirisu or anything, it just didn't seem like the most notable Pokemon—and it's (sadly) easy to be mean to anything after the first generation of Pokémon games.

And then the World Championships happened. Korean player Se Jun Park managed to get to the finals against player Jeudy Azzarelli, and it was all thanks to Pachirisu. Basically, Se Jun Park trained Pachirisu to be able to tank any moves used against it during double battles. This bulky training, coupled with Pachirisu's "follow me" move—which redirected any moves thrown against Pachirisu's teammate to Pachirisu—meant that Se Jun Park's non-Pachirisu Pokemon were free to wail on the opposing team's 'mon, all without getting hurt.

Nobody Expected This Pokémon To Win The Championship Last Weekend

Se Jun Park's entire team, plus their movesets and held items—in case you're curious.

Pachirisu's role was a sacrificial one, yes, but also a crucial one—and people recognized this. The crowd chanted "Pachirisu" over and over before the final match even started, and they went wild when Se Jun Park threw Pachirisu into the final battle around the 4:15 mark of this video:

You can even see Se Jun Park proudly wiggle a little Pachisiru plushie in between matches, which is adorable.

Nobody expected Pachirisu to turn out to be so useful in a high-stakes match—competitive sites mark Pachirisu as a Pokemon in the "never used" category. You can tell, too—during an interview this weekend, one of the things Se Jun Park was asked was why he even brought Pachirisu to the championships in the first place:

The answer? Everyone was expecting a different Pokemon to fulfill a similar role, so he purposefully chose something unexpected. Kind of genius, and a testament to the fact that tiers are not things that are set in stone. (Granted, the tiers don't quite apply to double battles, but still—it's not like anybody was expecting Pachirisu to perform so well.)

Plus, Pachirisu's inclusion made for a great, entertaining match. Yes, Pachirisu was used strategically, but for me, it was just hilarious to see a little cute rodent standing fiercely against scary behemoths like:

Nobody Expected This Pokémon To Win The Championship Last Weekend

So by the time Se Jun Park got to his final win, his celebratory pirouette with his Pachirisu plushie felt particularly gratifying:

Nobody Expected This Pokémon To Win The Championship Last Weekend

Yeah! You earned it, Se Jun Park. I'm not the only one that feels that way, judging from the internet's reaction to Pachirisu's win:

And yes, Pachirisu's win is also inspiring a ton of great photoshops and fan-art—which feels particularly notable, because prior to this weekend, most Pachirisu art on Tumblr seemed to be, well, furry porn. No more!

Nobody Expected This Pokémon To Win The Championship Last Weekend

( By shenanimation)

Nobody Expected This Pokémon To Win The Championship Last Weekend

( Via diddgery)

Nobody Expected This Pokémon To Win The Championship Last Weekend

( By sapphireluna)

Nobody Expected This Pokémon To Win The Championship Last Weekend

( By sabutops)

Nobody Expected This Pokémon To Win The Championship Last Weekend

(Via pixelpolkadots)

Nobody Expected This Pokémon To Win The Championship Last Weekend

( By crucis-willow-oha)

Nobody Expected This Pokémon To Win The Championship Last Weekend

( Via playpkmn)

Nobody Expected This Pokémon To Win The Championship Last Weekend

(Via another-pokemon-kid)

Nobody Expected This Pokémon To Win The Championship Last Weekend

(by DPIK)

Nobody Expected This Pokémon To Win The Championship Last Weekend

(By SailorClef)

Nobody Expected This Pokémon To Win The Championship Last Weekend

(via n_quan_d)

Nobody Expected This Pokémon To Win The Championship Last Weekend

(By rcbboy)

I'll leave you with an awful/amazing video of Pachirisu made two years ago, which couples Pachirisu's appearances in the anime with One Direction's single, "What Makes You Beautiful." It seems particularly fitting after Pachirisu stole the show last weekend:

You're beautiful, Pachirisu.

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