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It only took 25 years, but after a lifetime of traveling, battling, and dealing with Team Rocket, Ash Ketchum’s determination and perseverance has paid off. Now recognized as the Pokemon World Champion, Ash’s journey from Pallet Town to the global stage saw him emerge triumphant in the Masters Eight Tournament of the Pokemon World Coronation Series. But before he could claim the title of best in the world, Ash had to learn the hard way that there’s no shortcut to greatness.
Across multiple towns, cities, and region, this was an odyssey that would regularly take the legend-in-training to the various Conferences of each region, culminating in massive battles where Ash would come incredibly close to achieving greatness. Fielding his best and strongest Pokemon in each tournament, Ash’s League record is one of crushing defeats, last-minute comebacks, and victories that were nothing short of miracles.
If there’s a running thread throughout these main event showdowns, it’s that Ash’s team always represented the best of the region that he found himself inside of, even if he was on the losing end of a bout against trainers who would eventually go on to achieve Pokemon fame and glory. With his current journey across the globe wrapping up, we’re taking a look at the most pivotal tournaments that helped shape Ash into a master trainer (Sorry Orange Islands fans, the filler arc of the Orange League doesn’t make the cut) and which episodes you can catch all that pocket monster action in.