Coming into the Pokémon UNITE Asia Champions League 2023 as underdogs, Hi5 have quickly earned the admiration of Pokémon trainers everywhere with their high-level gameplay in the East Asia division.
As champions of the Taiwan Open 2022, they earned their spot to compete amongst the best teams in Asia.
The team is currently undefeated with a clean 2-0 series record against both T2 and Eternity.
Hi5 kicked off game one with an unexpected Absol
Game one’s draft looked like any other until Hi5 locked in a fourth pick Absol. The plan was simple, snowball as hard as possible on Shingdi’s Absol and keep the tempo going.
Good thing for them, the Shingi express picked up speed and never stopped.
Right from the laning stage, they executed a number of well-coordinated knockouts to assist side lane Pokémon, putting pressure on Eternity to group up defensively. Eternity’s own central laner, Hanaka struggled to keep up with Shingdi’s lightning-fast rotations.
Eternity were also walking a fine line whenever a team fight erupted due to Wushuan’s Blissey. Having skilled Safeguard, it was almost impossible for Eternity to catch out any of Hi5’s players.
Content with their lead, Hi5 positioned themselves to defend Rayquaza. Hard-pressed to make a move, Eternity tried multiple times to fish for a knockout, but just couldn’t get the job done. On their third attempt, Hi5 landed crucial KOs on Eldegoss, Aegislash, Mr. Mime, and finally Snorlax.
Stuck in a one versus five situation, there was only so much Hanaka could do. Hi5 took Rayquaza for themselves and locked in a game one victory.
Hi5 claim victory with a most unorthodox draft featuring Garchomp
Fans were scratching their heads when Hi5 finalized their draft for game two. Garchomp’s appearance was one thing, but the team also decided to skip out on a classic Defender Pokémon to hold the front line.
Without the typical Defender, they were on the backfoot whilst defending heavy early game aggression from Eternity. The team had to hold the fort down whilst BKZ worked on powering up Garchomp.
Eternity secured the first Registeel of the game whilst Hi5 continued to buy time.
Their patience finally paid off at the six-minute mark when both teams met at Regieleki. From this moment on, they constantly fought as a team and Eternity began to feel a shift in power.
They couldn’t target BKZ because Shingdi’s Delphox and Zzzray’s Mew would provide ample cover fire, and they couldn’t reliably dive the backlines because of Blissey.
As soon as Rayquaza hit the field, Hi5 assumed an aggressive position. BKZ was in the pit chipping away at Rayquaza whilst the rest of his team continued to zone Eternity away until it was done.
Powered up with Rayquaza’s shield, Hi5 ran their opponents down to secure their second game of the day.
Hi5 will play their next match on January 27 against the WCS 2022 Japanese national team, Secret Ship.