World Championships Japan Stars

Meet some of the top battlers from Japan who will be competing to win it all in Yokohama.

Throughout the 2023 Championship Series, Pokémon players from all over Japan have been battling hard for their chance to compete in the upcoming Pokémon World Championships. Here’s your chance to learn more about the best of the best in the Pokémon TCG, Pokémon VGC, Pokémon GO, and Pokémon UNITE. Watch the video to see these amazing players in action.

World Championships Japan Stars

Pokémon TCG

Player: Nachi Nezu
Division: Masters
Country: Japan

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Nachi Nezu proved that during his Pokémon Japan Championships run, when he defeated a wide field of Gardevoir ex and Giratina VSTAR decks with the tried-and-true Mew VMAX. Unlike the most common builds in other regions like North America, Nezu’s rendition of the Mew VMAX deck centered around Elesa’s Sparkle and Fusion Strike Energy to get around Spiritomb’s Fettered in Misfortune Ability. He also included Eiscue to use its Block Slider attack in matchups where he could take advantage of weaker Pokémon on the Bench. This style of Mew VMAX was generally unpopular outside of Japan, but Nezu’s winning deck list has influenced players across the world as they test for the 2023 Pokémon World Championships. Be sure to tune in and watch to see what innovative deck list Nezu comes up with next!

Major 2023 Accomplishments:

  • PJCS 2023 Pokémon TCG Champion

Match Highlights:

Pokémon VGC

Player: Kaito Arii
Division: Masters
Country: Japan

Kaito Arii is notorious for finishing near the top of the leaderboard during Ranked Battles Seasons in Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet, even finishing in 1st place in Ranked Battles Season 5. This year, he’s enjoyed steady success with strong showings at the Japan National Main Stage and the online Global Challenge III. He eventually took down PJCS to become Japan’s National Champion with a team that focused entirely on physical attackers. Arii’s Water–Tera Type Ting-Lu was the star of the show in his battle against Hodaka Hatakeyama as it “soaked” hit after hit on the battlefield. Arii’s been a rock-solid competitor thus far—will his streak culminate in a World Championship title?

Major 2023 Accomplishments:

  • PJCS 2023 Pokémon VG Champion
  • 2023 Japan National Main Stage 2nd Place
  • 2023 Global Challenge III 2nd Place

Pokémon GO

Player: Mitsuta Kazuhiro
Country: Japan

Numerous Pokémon GO players in the Top 8 of PJCS featured “spicy” picks and unique strategies that defied the meta. Mitsuta Kazuhiro strayed away from this approach and focused on a strong, consistent core strategy that leaned on Sableye and Altaria with either Shadow Alolan Sandslash or Registeel rounding out the group. His energy management and switch timing were among the best in the tournament and proved key to his decisive 2-0 Finals win against Hiroaki Ishikawa. Consistent execution is one of Kazuhiro’s greatest strengths going into the Pokémon World Championships—watch and see if he keeps his hands steady against players from around the world!

Major 2023 Accomplishments:

  • PJCS 2023 Pokémon GO Champion

Pokémon UNITE

Team: Secret Ship

  • Piui
  • Obuyan
  • D|R
  • Gyakubari
  • Yakou

Secret Ship ran the show in Japan last year as the region’s No. 1 seed at the 2022 Pokémon World Championships. While they ended up being outplaced by Japan’s No. 2 seed, T2, the team has kept their momentum going strong this year. Piui and Yakou—the only remaining players from last year’s roster—have continued to show out, demonstrating that their team is not only stronger as the No. 1 seed this year, but that Japan is a stronger region, too.

Major 2023 Accomplishments:

  • 2023 Japan Championship Champions