Pokémon VG: Jiseok Lee Wins the 2023 San Diego Regional

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Pokémon VG: Jiseok Lee Wins the 2023 San Diego Regional

The first Pokémon Scarlet and Violet Regional champion is crowned.


Overcoming several forced meta picks, Jiseok Lee pulls out crucial wins for his first Regional win.

Jiseok Lee

A somewhat unproven talent, Jiseok Lee flies in from South Korea to defeat a slew of American talent on their home turf. Utilizing some unconventional strategies in the likes of Poison Tera Garganacl, he was able to overcome Dondozo and Tatsugiri strategies, countless other Tauros teams, and various speed control teams. So far, he's the guy to beat in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet VGC. Formerly he won the 2016 Korean National Championship, as well as finished 2nd in the 2020 Players Cup 1. Now, he finally makes his mark in a live tournament away from home, proving that the Players Cup wasn't a fluke, and setting himself as an early titan in 2023 VGC.

The Team

Jiseok Lee used a pretty original team that possesses ways to counter the most common meta team compositions.

Garganacl @ Leftovers
Ability: Purifying Salt
Tera Type: Poison
- Salt Cure
- Recover
- Wide Guard
- Protect
Baxcalibur @ Loaded Dice
Ability: Thermal Exchange
Tera Type: Water
- Glaive Rush
- Icicle Spear
- Ice Shard
- Protect
Mimikyu @ Life Orb
Ability: Disguise
Tera Type: Ghost
- Play Rough
- Shadow Claw
- Shadow Sneak
- Protect
Tauros-Paldea-Water @ Safety Goggles
Ability: Intimidate
Tera Type: Water
- Close Combat
- Wave Crash
- Aqua Jet
- Protect
Meowscarada @ Focus Sash
Ability: Overgrow
Tera Type: Grass
- Flower Trick
- Knock Off
- Sucker Punch
- Protect
Gholdengo @ Choice Specs
Ability: Good as Gold
Tera Type: Steel
- Make It Rain
- Shadow Ball
- Power Gem
- Focus Blast

While Pokémon like Tauros and Gholdengo follow the strict damage dealer meta, the likes of Mimikyu and Garganacl, especially Poison Tera Garganacl, are quite unusual. The Poison Tera Garganacl is a key component, as not many Pokémon run any moves that are super effective against Poison. It is a defensive typing serving to completely eliminate super effecting damage on Garganacl. When mixed with Recover, Protect, and Leftovers, it becomes just as hard to eliminate as Dondozo with all of its Commander boosts from Tatsuagiri. Meanwhile, Salt Cure slowly (or quickly) ticks down the damage of Garganacl's opponent while continuously restoring itself.

Congratulations Jiseok!

With plenty of Regionals, Internationals, and the World Championship to look forward to, we will likely see more of Jiseok this season. We hope to see appearances from him in regions outside of Korea similarly to how much of we saw of Chongjun Peng from China in 2022. His teams will always be ones to look out for to test on the ladder, and everybody can't wait to see what he brings next.