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.
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:
So by the time Se Jun Park got to his final win, his celebratory pirouette with his Pachirisu plushie felt particularly gratifying:
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:
if pachirisu can help win a world championship anything is possible
— Rei's Glasses (@actual_glasses) August 18, 2014
pachirisu is our new lord and savior.
— Antigone Willis (@FeywildeCosplay) August 18, 2014
It's blowing my mind that Pachirisu was on the winning team of the Pokemon world championship.
— Andrew Coulombe (@coulombe) August 18, 2014
I love this (So backstory this Pachirisu or Pokemon beat two megas in the Pokemon world tournament) pic.twitter.com/yywMd4DQXr
— Hawkeye (@khmormon) August 18, 2014
The Pachirisu today proves that almost any Pokemon is usable. You just have to have good strategy and an element of surprise #PlayPokemon
— Matt Brandl (@TheAbsol) August 18, 2014
Pachirisu's success says very little about it as a pokemon, and WAY more about the player who executed it so well.
— Kenyon Ward (@KingHerp70) August 17, 2014
I need to raise a Pachirisu now.
— Michael (@RoboKabutops) August 18, 2014
Pachirisu is a BEAST #PlayPokemon
— Tamashii Hiroka (@TamashiiHiroka) August 16, 2014
Urge to raise a competitive Pachirisu... rising... #PlayPokemon
— Seifer Alberio (@SeiferA) August 16, 2014
#PlayPokemon PACHIRISU IS TRUE ESPORTS
— Hey! You Can Do! ♥ (@CombotronRobot) August 16, 2014
PACHIRISU ACTUALLY WON THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS LPOL KRKDFGASFA
— ho ho ho (@pawreen) August 18, 2014
...There's a Pachirisu in my box of Legendaries. Coincidence? I think not!
— Kousen (@KousenZephyr) August 18, 2014
rose won evo. pachirisu won pokemon. 2014
— Lulu ☆ Blue (@BlueSweatshirt) August 17, 2014
OH MY GOD PACHIRISU I'VE BEEN SO JUDGMENTAL OF YOU
— PokéKellz (@PokeKellz) August 17, 2014
The Pachirisu plush gives him strength!
— Liam (@LiamBarrak1999) August 17, 2014
IS THAT A PACHIRISU IN THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP!? SEJUN! SEJUN! SEJUN!
— P0KEM3N (@P0keMEN) August 17, 2014
HOLY SHIT THAT PACHIRISU I CANNOT BELIEVe
— kisuMAY (@mayhugs) August 18, 2014
im so sorry to all the pachirisu that i dismissed as useless when i was playing platinum
— KOO!!!! (@kooricoo) August 18, 2014
Pachirisu for Smash? How about Marvel vs. Capcom 4?
— Levi (@LPSquirtleKing) August 18, 2014
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!
( Via diddgery)
( By sabutops)
( Via playpkmn)
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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