In the first episode of the GBL Spotlight Interview Series: Paulasha97! For those who still don’t know her, Paulasha reached the #1 spot in the GO Battle League Leaderboards this season with a peak MMR of 3481, and might be the first ever female battler to achieve that.
And we did it! First time top 1 GBL worldwide! Thx to everyone and GGs to all my opponents!
I hope this could be a motivation to all the girls who are playing ☺️ https://t.co/FYzx1AObWB pic.twitter.com/I86EDcInCg
— Paula (@Paulasha97) January 20, 2023
Not only is she a very talented battler but also one of the most influential players in the #GirlsThatPvP community. We’re incredibly lucky to interview her today, so buckle up!
Getting to know Paulasha97
Hi, Paulasha! Could you introduce yourself to our readers?
Hi! I’m Paula, a Spanish girl that lives in Barcelona and I’m 25. I’ve been playing Pokémon since I was 2 years old and my first Pokémon game was Pokémon Red.
Why did you start playing Pokémon GO and what drives your gameplay at the moment?
When Pokémon GO was released I wanted to play because it was a Pokémon game but I stopped playing a month after release, as I felt it was a bit boring. But with the introduction of T5 raids and the release of new Pokémon I started playing again on December 17. And of course, I really enjoy playing PvP.
Please, tell us a bit about your PvP journey in GBL & Silph.
When PvP first released I didn’t really like it because in my opinion it was mostly a tap-tap game with little to no skill involved. But a fellow player in my community started playing Silph in Boulder Cup and he disseminated the PvP seed in my mind, so made my Silph debut on May 19 with Nightmare Cup and I still play to this day!
I really enjoyed Silph because in my opinion there is more skill involved than in GBL, which has an undeniable random component. I reached Rank 10/legend rank in seasons 1-2 and from 5 to 14 (the current one). My objective in Silph and GBL is improving day by day and show that girls also play PvP!
#1 in GBL Leaderboards
CONGRATS on reaching #1! What an insane achievement! You might be the first ever female battler to reach that spot, how does it feel?
Reaching #1 as the first ever female battler feels pretty good! I think it’s a goal that can encourage other female players.
You’re an active member of the #GirlsThatPvP community. Could you tell us a bit about the movement?
The #GirlsThatPvP community is a group created to supporting other girls in the Pokémon GO PvP competitive scene. To this day, most players in the competitive e-sports scene are men. But a lot of girls are also playing and demonstrating we’re all valid and we are successfully destroying the prejudices!
Go Battle League & Silph
What are your most and least favourite aspects of GBL and how does it compare to your Silph experience?
I like playing GBL because it’s the easiest way to play competitive PvP, but in my opinion it has a lot of issues and problems that to this day still need to be solved.
The blind 3v3 format sometimes has a random & RPS component that I really hate. On the other hand, Silph’s 6v6 format requires more strategy. Not only you have to play your Pokémon well, but also think about your opponent’s potential team comp and build a 3-mon team that makes sense!
In a 3v3 blind format, how do you usually try to find the win condition after a bad lead? Do you prefer shield or switch advantage?
In GBL I prefer energy or shield advantage over switch advantage because I feel it fits my playstyle better. My favourite Pokémon to use in PvP are the ones that are more flexible like Sableye, Froslass or Gliscor. All of them can sweep with energy or shield advantage!
In my teams I usually have a defined safeswap and my lead is a check or counter to the counterswitches of my safeswap. The final slot belongs to a closer that plays very good in low-shield scenarios.
Do you usually stick to one team or do you use multiple teams based on the elo range you’re playing at?
When I’m playing I prefer to play only a solid team and master it: the matchups, what to do in every situation, when it’s worth winning shield advantage, how to master energy management or whatever.
One of my favourite aspects of PvP is the meta analysis and analyzing how to counter the meta.
Talking about the OGL format specifically, do people at that ELO range also play BBML teams (i.e. Medi-Basti core) or do they run very unique teams like yours?
In higher MMR ranges the teams are mostly very similar, there are some popular cores or teams popularized by a YouTuber and it’s a lot more restricted than in lower MMR ranges.
The team you used to climb to the very top is quite unique! How do you usually build your teams? Do you pick a solid core and find a 3rd Pokémon based on common weaknesses or do you prefer to run anti-meta?
When I saw the actual Open Great League meta I saw that there were a lot of people using the Medicham/steel type (Bastiodon or GFisk normally) team comp and I wanted a core team that could beat them.
That’s the reasoning behind the Tapu Fini/Shadow Gliscor core (maybe Azumarill could do the same role as Tapu Fini and even better but I prefer Tapu Fini as it has more fast move pressure and could win the shield advantage that Shadow Gliscor needs!). Shadow Gliscor covers Tapu Fini from grass/electric/poison damage and Tapu Fini covers Shadow Gliscor from ice/water Pokémon! The last Pokémon is Galarian Stunfisk, as I saw grass-types are not very common in the current meta. (the only common grass-type is Trevenant and Galarian Stunfisk does very well against it!). Galarian Stunfisk can also perform really well in battles where most shields are down.
Do you have a favourite league? What is the league you perform best in and why?
My favourite league by far is Great League. Ultra League is way too bulky and a lot less aggressive (but I have to admit that I loved playing the Ultra League Holiday Cup format with Dubwool), and Master League has never been the format where I perform best in. I prefer restricted cups over open formats because I feel they are more predictable and the meta analysis is easier.
Could you name one thing you would improve about PvP and one new feature you’d love to see implemented in the future?
I really liked when Niantic reduced the switch timer to 30 seconds because it made battles more tactical and gameplay felt a lot less RPS-like. I hope Niantic considers implementing the 6v6 format in GBL in the future!
Advice to newer players
What kind of advice would you give to players that are just new to Pokémon GO PvP?
The only advice I could give to players that are new to Pokémon GO PvP is to have patience. The “entry barrier” is a bit too high now, you’ll need a lot of stardust and hours and hours of battling and practising to get to know the game mechanics, move counts and more. So be patient, you’ll slowly improve. Don’t worry if you go 0-5 on a GBL set, you’ll get better every day!
After thousands of battles, you’ve played enough games to confirm there is no GBL algorithm. Is there anything you’d like to add to further debunk that theory?
There’s no algorithm in GBL. If you’re losing the battle based on team comp, another player is winning it for the same reason so… Who chooses who’s winning?
What’s next and final words
Now that you’ve reached #1 in the GBL Leaderboards, what’s next? Do you have any other objective you’d like to achieve? Have you ever participated or are you willing to participate in any of the official events of the Pokémon GO Championship series?
Now, my objective is to keep improving. If everything goes well, I’m thinking about participating in the EU International tournament of the Pokémon GO Championship series that will take place in London.
I’m working on building the team and preparing to battle against the psychological pressure and nerves involved. It will probably be my first official tournament and I hope I can feel comfortable battling outdoors!
Team in action
If you want to see the team in action, Jonkus and Zyonik featured it on Youtube:
At Pokémon GO Hub we want to give a huge shoutout to Paulasha97 for taking the time to respond to all the questions for this interview.
There’s great advice and lots to learn in her responses, so if you’re a player that’s hesitant to become a Pokémon GO PvP battler, you’ll probably want to read what she has to say.
We hope you found the interview as interesting as we did, feel free to leave us your comments down below or on our social platforms. And of course, give Paulasha97 a follow!