Thunder Win 3-0 in First Unite Scrim of 2023
Team Norse Thunder’s new-look Pokemon Unite set-up got off to a flying start last night as Team Yellow beat Goal Ducks 3-0 in a best-of-five match.
Thunder launched its original Pokemon Unite roster in December 2021, but the new program marks a major change for the organisation. There are now two teams within its roster - Team Red and Team Yellow - and both have set their sights on the 2023 World Championships.
It was Team Yellow making their competitive debut together against Goal Ducks last night, who themselves are relatively new to the scene. Originally slated as a best of three, the match evolved to a best of five, which an impressive Team Yellow swept with a 3-0 win.
Game one saw Thunder select Clefable, Scizor, Snorlax, Azumarill, and Duraludon as their team to face off against Garchmp, Slowbro, Dodrio, Delphox, and Wigglytuff.
A somewhat dominant performance saw Thunder lead virtually throughout, but it was the securing of the final Regieleki, Regice, and Rayquazza trio that forced an early surrender from Goal Ducks. With just under a minute and a half still remaining on the clock, the game ended with Thunder winning 409-135.
Thunder took a 1-0 lead into game two knowing that another win would put them in the driving seat to claim the series. In the second game, Thunder picked Sableye, Scizor, Mamoswine, Azumarill, and Duraludon into Goal Ducks’ team composition of Buzzwole, Slowbro, Venusaur, Delphox, and Trevenant.
Goal Ducks were ahead on the scoreboard up until almost a third of the way through the game, but with Regirock, Regice, and the first two Regielekis all going Thunder’s way, followed by a couple of solid team fights, it slipped away from them. A strong end to the game saw Thunder push home their advantage and earn a 288-117 win just after securing Rayquazza.
The second win put Thunder within one of claiming a clean sweep going into the third game of the match, though Goal Ducks were looking to kickstart their comeback. For that potential final game, Thunder picked Pikachu, Scizor, Snorlax, Azumarill, and Mew as their lineup, while Goal Ducks opted for Mamoswine, Wigglytuff, Dodrio, Aegislash, and Cinderace.
The third game saw Goal Ducks again take an early lead, but Thunder fought back, then the lead changed hands back again after Thunder took the Registeel and Goal Ducks secured Regieleki. With five minutes on the clock, there was still everything to play for with the score at 108-147 in Goal Ducks’ favour. However, Thunder claimed another Registeel and a Regieleki before winning a long, drawn-out team fight in the top lane which set them up to position for Rayquazza first, which forced the surrender.
Speaking about the scrim, and the position of the Unite program, Team Norse Thunder’s Dave Scotford said: “I thought the guys looked brilliant last night. A 3-0 win is always going to be positive, but the way they went about it was spot on. Comms were rocking and there was always a plan ‘a’ and ‘b’ if something went wrong. This was the first time that Team Yellow played together in a game-day setting, so to start out with a win is great!
“We now have a program that puts us at the top table of teams in Europe. That’s no exaggeration, and both of the five stacks have a genuine shot at being at worlds in Japan later this year. The next few months are going to be all about reaching the potential we have and putting theory into practice.
“At our core, the values of Thunder as a social enterprise remain the same, and our elite, now flagship Pokémon Unite teams will be excellent ambassadors in helping to spread the word about what we do. We have something special here and we want to make it happen for everyone involved.”