For me, one of the most difficult parts of Pokémon VGC is finding people to test and play with. That’s not because there aren’t enough communities—there are loads—but sometimes, I feel out of place joining an already-established group. That’s mostly on me but it is what it is. However, thanks to Wolfe Glick’s Hartford video, I think I’ve found the right place and it’s called Esports Match.
What the heck is Esports Match?
Esports Match is an e-sports matchmaking platform where players can receive benefits like monthly group coaching, regular battling with like-minded trainers, and exclusive access to tournaments with cash prizes. They cover a number of different games including:
- Pokemon VGC
- League of Legends (coming soon at time of writing)
- Valorant (coming soon at time of writing)
- Call of Duty (coming soon at time of writing)
- Fortnite (coming soon at time of writing)
But I was here for Pokemon VGC (I’ll leave Fortnite to my son). Interestingly, Esports Match says it uses AI to match you with the best players to “ensure a competitive and balanced gaming experience, fostering growth and thrilling encounters.” I’ve not seen this yet so I suspect it’s something for the future as the community is still young (I’m happy to wait).
Coaching, you say?
So, you heard group coaching and you’re wondering “who are the coaches?” Here are just a few so far (with more on the way):
- Justin Tang (2x regional champion)
- Wolfe Glick (he’s won everything at least once)
- Zackary Thornberg (who created Esports Match and a regular top cut player as well)
- James Baek (multiple regionals and interational champ how also finished Top 4 at Worlds twice)
I’ve attended all but one session (it was one of Wolfe’s two sessions) and they’ve been super enlightening. I’ve had one-on-one coaching with Justin before so while I knew what to expect, it was still really insightful and gave me some takeaways. James Baek did a few hours of battles with other ESM subscribers which I watched and improved my understanding of plays, techs, and strategies.
Who much does all this cost?
In terms of pricing, there’s an early bird monthly fee of $14.99 but once that stops, it’ll go up to $24.99. I know there are criticisms of charging for this kind of thing outside of individual coaching and, yes, there are plenty of free alternatives. But I think both can exist and, in my opinion, it’s up to Esports Match to provide benefits that justify the costs. I’d say the prize pool of $20k for a major in-house tournament and paying coaches is validates that, but that’s just my opinion. It’s also not a binary choice: you can be a subscriber if you have the means to do so and use free resources or just do one or the other; no one is stopping you.
Why did I join?
Like I said above, I’m not being paid or endorsed to write this. I’m doing it because I found a solution to a problem I had: finding like-minded competitors to learn from and play. I’m fortunate to have the money to pay for this kind of service and because it’s a new community, I don’t feel like a newbie amongst long-time professionals. In fact, a few of my existing VGC friends have joined as well which helps immensely.
Whether you’re just starting out or have played for a while and want to get even better, and have the money, I’d personally recommend joining.