TRAINER LEVEL: 40
FAVORITE POKÉMON: SANDSHREW
CLAIM TO FAME: GTPVP ADVOCATE / TEAM BUILDER
THE INTERVIEW - THE HOFF!
G2G: First, can you tell me your in-game Trainer name, level, and your favorite Pokémon? Is there a reason it is your favorite? Also, what do you do in your daily life?
NHoff: My IGN is NHoff, I am level 40, and my favorite Pokemon by far is Sandshrew.
I’ve always really liked both armadillos and pangolins despite not being anywhere near their habitats. I really like the concept of being able to curl up—kind of similar to turtles, which I also like. I also LOVE the Alolan forms of both Sandshrew and Sandslash, which is a relief because when I first heard about them revamping my favorite baby shrew, I was concerned.
In my daily life, I work as an engineering manager, at least for the moment. I’m soon moving up to Boston with my long-time-long-distance-relationship significant other, which my best buddy ever is named after! I also do a LOT of indoor gardening, growing lots of succulents and carnivorous plants, among other things here and there.
G2G: What got you into Pokémon/Pokémon GO? Were you into Pokémon before GO was released? What do you like the most about Pokémon in general? Do you have a favorite feature in PoGO?
NHoff: The thing that got me into Pokemon was being a young kid growing up in the early aughts. You could not escape the franchise, and I certainly made no attempt to! I joined PoGo the day it released, and while I did take a substantial break from Go at one point, I’ve always enjoyed the franchise as a whole.
I think I always just loved grinding games and especially loved turn-based RPGs. My favorite game of all time is still Paper Mario: TTYD. So I just always liked Pokemon’s playstyle beyond any overarching plot. I never wanted to collect them all; I just wanted to beat the Elite 4.
Favorite non-PoGo Pokemon games are Sapphire, as well as the controversial Pokemon XD.
My favorite PoGo feature, by far, is PVP!
G2G: What attracted to you the PvP Aspect of PoGO? Was it something you enjoyed in the main series games and carried over?
NHoff: I’ll say there are two answers to this question – and no, I never played PVP in the MSG.
I re-joined PoGo in June of 2019 after about a 1.5-year hiatus, and I had told my friends the only way I get back into that game is if I get back into it hard. So I dove into every aspect of the game and how I could get into the min/maxing of this app that brought me both serotonin and good health habits.
Naturally, that led me to seeing top tier raid counters but also to what PVP was and what was good for it. I passively saved up good PVP Pokemon and looked into Silph right before S2 started.
The second answer -which I would be foolish to not include – is that I’m from Southeast PA, one of the biggest PVP hubs in the region. The Philly discord has its own channels for PVP, and just as I was hearing of the Silph community, Philly was hosting its Ultimate Showdown at the end of S1. The community has been AMAZING and so very helpful to a new battler.
To add on to this, my online communities have been amazing as well. It would be rude of me not to mention both Alfindeol (Ken) and the friendliness that him and the other mods of his channel have extended to me. It’s cliché to say, but we’re a family. The same goes for GTPVP, but I know I have explicit questions about THAT group later on!
G2G: What is it about your style and your content that makes you stand out from the rest of the PvP crowd?
NHoff: Well, this is a fun question! I want to say I don’t stand out from the crowd, but I guess then I wouldn’t be here. So my general response to my rank achievements is just that “I get lucky with leads,” which is actually super true. I think the mind game leading into lock-in is something I’m pretty good at and helps me do well in a lot of matches. But that obviously isn’t the full story.
I really like building teams. It’s something that’s earned me a bunch of recognition in the GTPVP discord and led to me making my Corebreakers graphics. I see a lot of people dreading the teambuilding aspect of Silph, and I want to help that if I can. That, too, leads me to stand out, if only a bit. I almost always bring a Pokemon that I would call mild spice – things that are there and competitive, but aren’t exactly considered by everyone. I think that leads to a lot of benefit as well. I had a few Shelgon not shield the Play Rough from Donphan in Ferocious, and a few people brought in their Blaziken to counter my Vespiquen in Forest (which does NOT work in their favor).
All in all, I think it’s a combination of me putting in a LOT of consideration at the start of a month plus me being pretty decent at guessing trains of thought.
G2G: Do you have any advice for young women who want to get into Battling or who have just started and are struggling to find their way?
NHoff: Definitely join the GTPVP discord! I’m not saying that just because I’m a mod! Contact me and ask to join, or just contact me and ask for advice as well. I want everyone to enjoy this part of the game, and I very much want women – of any age – to be able to compete in a community that needs more women involvement.
G2G: Lastly, if you had to highlight the most positive Pokémon GO experience you have had so far, be it PvP, Community, etc. what would it be and why?
NHoff: By far, it has to be my local SEPA Toxic Cup performance.
So to give context – I had no intention of doing super well. I had done around my normal showing in my other Toxic Cups, largely on the backs of Escavalier and Gligar.
I had just gotten my hundo Body Slam Lickitung to Best Buddies and threw it into my team primarily to get a laugh from my friends.
To say I overperformed would be selling my opponents short. I’ve never had such a tough bracket and yet done so well. Most notably, of course, was an Elite (back in Toxic mind you) who was then ranked 5th in the world. I don’t think I need to mention him by name, but I do want to say he’s one of the nicest opponents I’ve had. And Lickitung was WHY I beat both him and a few other opponents. It was busting my mind apart just how well I was doing with this little pudge, alongside my other favorites of that meta.
The response within my even-more-local community was amazing as well. Banter about who had to face him in the round after me turned into amazing congratulations, which continued to the finals. I think that really helped this tournament – which unfortunately wasn’t even my weighted – stand out to me. A lovely group cheering me on and sharing in my victories – even when I had to battle a couple of them!