Pokémon is for everyone, and for seven-year-old Simone Lim, she proved that competing isn’t just for the grownups. The World Championships are next.
Pokémon is for everyone, and for seven-year-old Simone Lim, she proved that competing isn’t just for the grownups. When asked how it felt to be the winner of the Pokémon Oceania International Championships Junior Division in Melbourne, she answered, “All children like winning.”
While cradling her stuffed Eevee, Lim took home US$1,500 (S$2089) in prize money. She also qualified for the World Championships in August. However, Singapore’s youngest esports champion is still just a kid. Ernie Lim, Simone’s father, introduced her and her brothers to Pokémon as a way to teach them about financial concepts. He found out that competitions could teach them lessons.
He stated, “In the beginning, they wouldn’t know how to handle the aggression shown by their opponents, and would get emotional. But they have learned that they have to take it in their stride if they want to do well. In a way, it’s a lot like the corporate world, where people tend not to show their hand until they can make a winning play.”
Simone’s brothers Theodore, 13, and Alvin, 10, play Pokémon as well, but in physical 60-card decks. Alvin also attended the tournament in Melbourne and finished in fifth place.
“Our stance is that if you don’t do well academically, then you don’t get to play,” Mr. Lim said. “In fact, Simone didn’t do well on a spelling test recently and I wasn’t too happy about that. So she’s just an ordinary girl with rather anxious parents.”
However, while Simone’s push into Pokémon VGC might have been inspired by her parents, her dedication to the game hasn’t gone unnoticed.
Simone’s mother, Kristine Lim, said, “We went back to the hotel room the day before the finals and she took out her notes to revise on her own. I’d never seen her so hardworking before!”
Simone swept the finals away from experienced trainer Justin Miranda-Radbord in a last-minute upset that left the crowd shocked. It’ll be interesting to see how her matches go at the Pokémon World Championships. The competition will take place Aug. 14-16 in London, England.
Pokémon Sword and Shield are available now on Nintendo Switch.