Eleven year old Ian McLaughlin captured second place in the Pokémon World Championships, Junior Division, in San Diego on Sunday, August 14.
Ian, who attends Evans Middle School in McKinney, Texas, played in the Pokémon qualifiers in Arlington earlier in May but was eliminated during the third game.
Last week Ian’s family took a short vacation to San Diego before school started and decided to visit the Pokémon World Championships Last Chance Qualifier. Much to his family’s surprise, Ian qualified to play in the World Championships.
More than 400 players from over 27 countries competed in the annual event. Winners of the tournament received medals, trips, Pokémon merchandise, and collectively more than $100,000 in scholarships. The event showcased the chief qualities of Pokémon Trading Card Game and video game players: skill, strategy, creativity, sportsmanship, and fun.
On Saturday, Ian won 4 out of 5 games in the preliminaries and moved on to the World Championships, continuing to progress as he prevailed against the only undefeated champion of the preliminaries, becoming one of the top two world championship contenders for the Junior Division.
On Sunday, the final game was broadcast on a huge screen as Ian played on stage in front of hundreds of Pokémon fans. When the games concluded, Ian was awarded second place in the Pokémon World Championships Video Games Junior Division.
His prizes include a Nintendo 3DS system, Pokémon merchandise, a trip to Hawaii, and an opportunity to play in next year’s Pokémon World Championships.
Ian’s family is very proud of Ian’s hard work, dedication, and relentless pursuit of success.