A familiar face in competitive Pokémon takes the win at the San Antonio Regional 2024.
After years of Day 2 appearances at major events, Giovanni Costa is finally a Regional Champion.
— Nimbasa City Post (@NimbasaCityPost) December 17, 2023
Giovanni is a player whose name is known in competitive Pokémon, but not because of his trophy case. Gio is most notable for his 2017 season in which he not only used an unevolved Eevee in competitive play but also reverse-swept an entire team of 4 Pokémon with only his remaining Dragonite. He even popularized the usage of Normal Tera Dragonite in Scarlet and Violet when that strategy first came into competitive play. Formerly known for a few “shticks” he will now be better known as a Regional champion and World Championship qualifier. Though he didn't use a Dragonite in this tournament, its spirit is undoubtedly carried with him in this win.
San Antonio Regional 2024 Championship Team
Flutter Mane @ Booster Energy Ability: Protosynthesis Tera Type: Fairy - Moonblast - Shadow Ball - Icy Wind - Protect
Ogerpon-Wellspring @ Wellspring Mask Ability: Water Absorb Tera Type: Water - Ivy Cudgel - Wood Hammer - Follow Me - Spiky Shield
Farigiraf @ Life Orb Ability: Armor Tail Tera Type: Fire - Psyshock - Hyper Voice - Trick Room - Protect
Urshifu @ Focus Sash Ability: Unseen Fist Tera Type: Dark - Wicked Blow - Close Combat - Sucker Punch - Detect
Iron Hands @ Assault Vest Ability: Quark Drive Tera Type: Fire - Fake Out - Wild Charge - Drain Punch - Heavy Slam
Gholdengo @ Choice Specs Ability: Good as Gold Tera Type: Steel - Make It Rain - Shadow Ball - Focus Blast - Psyshock
This team of powerhouse Pokémon focuses very little on support and packs a ton of power. While every Pokémon can be used to deal damage, there are a lot of hidden utilities hidden within. Iron Hands' Fake Out is very standard for getting early leads, but some Pokémon on the team are built with moves they don't always carry. Flutter Mane, for example, carries Icy Wind as a way to control speed without having Tailwind or being forced to use Farigiraf's Trick Room. Even Ogerpon, who is known to be packed full of power, carries the move Follow Me to enable teammates rather than have to output all the damage itself, which is something that has gained popularity leading up to the San Antonio Regional 2024.
Players who have been playing consistently well for years are all adding their first trophies to the case in this 2024 season. San Antonio Regional 2024 is no exception, with an iconic player finally taking home a Regional Championship. With a World Championship qualification, Giovanni has plenty of time and some more Regulations to play in before then. The question for early season Regional Champions is whether they can keep up consistency through the entire season into the World Championship. Wotj Gio being the icon he is, we'll surely see him in the late stages of the Pokémon World Championship 2024, hopefully winning and hopefully with a Dragonite once again.