TRAINER LEVEL: 40
FAVORITE POKÉMON: UMBREON
CLAIM TO FAME: PvP GURU
THE INTERVIEW - GIMMIE SOME HUGS!
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?
Hugs: PeaceLoveHugs, Umbreon: it’s a dark type Pokémon and looks cool(Silver version was my first Pokémon game). Take care of my two dogs: Toots & Tickles between days at work.
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?
Hugs: I played PoGO on day one and have played the MSGs since childhood. My favorite‘feature’ of PoGO isn’t an actual in-game feature; instead, it’s the community and ‘World’ created as a byproduct of the game. PoGO, in many ways, brought to life the world of Pokémon complete with Pokémon: researchers, news reporters, collectors, Raiders, casual players, and finally, Battlers.
G2G: What attracted you to the PvP Aspect of PoGO? Was it something you enjoyed in the main series games and carried over?
Hugs: PvP is synonymous with Pokémon, and it’s what drew me to PoGO in the first place, I kept playing waiting for PvP to eventually drop and almost quit a few times while waiting. There’s a different level of satisfaction when dueling another trainer that an NPC can never replicate.
G2G: You play in a lot of tournaments, what would you say is the most important thing to know before starting your first battle on tournament day?
Hugs: Type advantage is the foundation that all other strategies are built on & no strategy is 100% perfect; we battle other humans, not NPCs.
G2G: If you had to pick one highlight of your time as a Battler, what would it be?
Hugs: My semi-final match in Chicago, I had complete control of both official battles and the two that we had to restart due to lag. In-game 2 even though it looked close I had two paths to victory, both KiengIV and Nick(TRNRTips) forgot that I significantly overcharged my Azumarill, so I didn’t need to shield Toxicroak as suggested by the commentary, I could have let it go, farmed down the Froslass, and fired off a Play Rough on the Ludicolo and won. Instead, I wanted to win with 2 Pokémon standing.
G2G: Do you have any advice for people who want to get into Battling or who have just started and are struggling to find they’re way?
Hugs: The most straightforward path to getting into PvP or improving PvP skills are to practice, but with that said, I do believe there are efficient and inefficient ways to practice. I personally spend more of my prep time studying and reviewing battle tape than live practice & when I do practice; I often practice specific scenarios. When I go into high stakes tournaments, and for me, that’s either Regionals or Worlds I will almost exclusively practice scenarios where my opponent has the lead advantage and strong team comp vs. my 3. I do this so that no matter what happens, I already know how to escape ‘worst-case scenario.’ For regular Cups, I spend more time practicing specific skills since it’s only the ‘regular season.’
PeaceLoveHugs, Hugs, or as I know him, Andrew, is a fantastic battler, world-class even. But, he is more than just good at Pokemon GO PvP, he is an equally good human being. We hope that he continues his meteoric rise in PvP, and wish him all the success in the world. You can catch more of PeaceLoveHugs on the HoustonPogoLive Twitch stream, and be sure to give him a follow on Twitter as well!