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SPOILERS: Masters Eight Discussion/Speculation Thread

No. Number 5 VS Number 7??? No way that will happen.

Ash VS Lance (8 VS 4)
Iris VS Steven (7 VS 3)
Cynthia VS Diantha (2 VS 5)
Leon VS Alain (1 VS 6)
????

Those don't matter we see her Dragonite against Gardevoir. It's more or less confirmed.
 
Well, obviously Iris and Alain are jobbing in round one, but I'm curious whether they'll immediately run home in shame or stick around to interact with Ash, joining Gou in the stands to root for him. I can imagine an increasing pool of cheerleaders forming as more and more of Ash's friends come to watch him battle.
 
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Well, obviously Iris and Alain are jobbing in round one, but I'm curious whether they'll immediately run home in shame or stick around to interact with Ash, joining Gou in the stands to root for him. I can imagine an increasing pool of cheerleaders forming as more and more of Ash's friends come to watch him battle.
Prob alot of friends, maybe all alolans + the main characters stood by his side. Maybe even team rocket will apear to watch it as bartenders or something..

I think Alain came back to the anime to interact for sure, it will continue the narative. But I dont think Iris will interact much, not more than the other, she already made her thing in their battle.
 
R1 matchups have been officially revealed:

Leon vs Alain
Lance vs Diantha
Cynthia vs Iris
Steven vs Ash



Hm, so Leon and Ash are definitely moving on to R2.

As for the other matchups...

Firstly, Cynthia is almost most certainly moving on, unless the writers somehow really want Iris to fulfill her promise to Ash, and are absolute madlads who want to see the anipoke fandom burn.

As for Diantha vs Lance. This might be a controversial opinion, but I feel that this could really go either way, from an out-of-universe standpoint.

From the other matchups, we know that 2 out of 4 Mega Evolution users are definitely getting eliminated. While Ash does have Mega Lucario, I think he is most likely sticking to Z-Moves in R1, since he is the representative of Alola, and the region representative theme would be most apparent in R1, when there have not yet been any eliminations. In this scenario, this would mean the gimmick of Mega Evolution would have lost against both Dynamax/Gigantamax and Z-Moves in R1, with the only potential win for Mega Evolution being against Iris, who doesn't even use any gimmicks from the games. So unless the writers are willing to throw Mega Evolution under the bus, I can't see the writers going 0 for 3 in terms of gimmick matchups and have Mega Gardevoir lose against D-Max Gyarados.

On the other hand, Diantha on paper has the type advantage over Lance, and we all know how the writers like to go about type advantages in the anime (aka, basically a death sentence). Also, there is still Ash (and Cynthia, most likely) to showcase Mega Evolution in R2 and onwards.
 
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R1 matchups have been officially revealed:

Leon vs Alain
Lance vs Diantha
Cynthia vs Iris
Steven vs Ash



This is not meant sarcastically, but I would pay a small fortune to be in that writing room with them (and miraculously knowing Japanese) to see first hand their creative thought process that produced this matchups and tournament tree.

Like really, I do not understand - but unfortunately - am not expecting anything deep, so I am inclined to see it went something like this.
-"Hey guys, how we will line them up?"
-"Is it not usual that top seeded guys go against the lowest and vice versa?"
-"Yep, but that makes us to pair Leon vs Ash in first round.:oops:"
-"OK, that's too bold, we want them into finals, and the best would be Cynthia before that. How the rest of the matches go then?"
-"First Cynthia vs Iris..."
-"That makes sense, too predictable, but OK, let's us fly with that for now."
-"Steven vs Alain..."
-"Oh damn, that makes sense too..."
-"and Lance vs Diantha..."
-"Hmm yes, the most open, unexpected match, that frankly almost nobody cares about..., let's keep that one and what do you say, we will switch Ash and Alain, then we could have Ash facing n. 3, then n. 2 and then n. 1 in the world and we will get Charizard vs Charizard as bonus!"
-"But out of three Champions Ash did not actually battle before, he has the least rapport and history with Steven, less than Lance, not mentioning Cynthia."
-"That's it, none would be expecting that."
-"Yep, but won't it undermine bringing Alain back a little? Aside from Ash, but OK we are subverting expectations, he has closer connection to Steven or even Diantha, or we could pair him against Lance to make some unexpected first round match with open outcome?"
-"Very intriguing and logical thoughts, but no, Charizard vs Charizard it is. We may subvert expectation but shilling Leon's Charizard even more but not even using Gigantamax. So instead of 1 vs 8 and 3 vs 6, we will make 1 vs 6 and 3 vs 8 and leave 2 vs 7 and 4 vs 5. How would then semifinals look like, what are the options?"
-"Well, since we are probably not be that bold not have Leon and Ash advance..."
-"No, we are definately not..."
-"Then we have no option, but to leave Cynthia win, since repeating Iris vs Ash would be too bold..."
-"Yep, we are not going that far..."
-"And with regards to our most open match with Lance vs Diantha, we are probably not repeating Leon vs Lance again..."
-"Now you mention it, obviously not!"
-"Then when we are messing with seedings, wouldn't be it better to at least switch whole brackets, so that it would be uncertainity whether Ash will get Lance or Diantha, and we would be teasing Leon vs Cynthia, but with tiny chance of Iris actually making the biggest surprise up to the date against her mentor and facing Leon herself?"
-"No, I think it works best as it is! Excellent work everyone!"
 
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This is a wild tournament bracket lol!

So this does basically confirm no round Robin and seemingly no double elimination/losers bracket which I’m fine with

They seemed to be going for the Ash goes the 1st 2nd and 3rd Ranked so he’s going against the “best” of the best
Which I think is a good idea on paper

Ash vs Steven is the only thing shaky about it to me as Cynthia and Leon have been foreshadowed for a long time

I just think they could of adjusted it to make Lance #3 if that's the case to make Ash have that battle against Lance most predicted and/or wanted
Ash vs Lance and Seven vs Diantha makes more sense to me but oh well

The bracket seems to be a psuedo standard one as they put the top 4 against the bottom 4 but they shook up the order for whatever reason to avoid Ash vs Leon early as it's 1v6, 4v5, 2v7 3v8 (swapped Ash and Alain if was a normal bracket)

For the actual matchups
  • Leon vs Alain: as much as I wanted him vs Steven/Diantha/Ash, if Alain was going to lose I think it’s respectable to make him lose against Leon who is the perceived top
  • Lance vs Diantha: no real thoughts seemed to be a nice Dragon vs Fairy battle somewhat but is just to move Lance on I feel as that side of the bracket doesn't have Ash so it's kinda just for show
  • Cynthia vs Iris: similar to Alain if Iris was going to lose to someone Cynthia makes the most sense, as she looked up to her and now has the pleasure of battling her and when losing can keep her motivated to surpass her (if Cynthia loses Iris gets that progression of beating her idol)
  • Steven vs Ash: Ash vs the #3 they don’t have much connection but I think there’s a way to write around/retcon that like always wanting to battle since Kalos or etc

Future guesses
  • Like I said it does feel like Ash against the top 3 as he’s most likely beating Steven to battle Cynthia then to battle Leon
    • I also like the idea of Ash avenging his friends losses as he’ll battle Cynthia who beat Iris and Leon who beat Alain
  • Leon vs Lance: is the rematch and can give more credit to their battle as it won't be 1v1 now
  • Ash vs Cynthia: the match we’ve been waiting for the longest, longer than Leon, Alain etc (if Ash vs Iris then the promised rematch against friends)
  • Leon vs Ash: Self-explanatory
My worst-case scenario bracket... is sort of happening. Give me chaos! Iris vs Ash, Round 2: Electric Boogaloo!
Hilarious lol
 
R1 matchups have been officially revealed:

Leon vs Alain
Lance vs Diantha
Cynthia vs Iris
Steven vs Ash


well some were obvious like Leon vs Alain and Cynthia vs Iris but others like Lance vs Diantha and Steven vs Ash weren't on my radar!
then at least they will be 2vs2 battles, I'll settle for that if that's the case!
 
Leon vs Alain: as much as I wanted him vs Steven/Diantha/Ash, if Alain was going to lose I think it’s respectable to make him lose against Leon who is the perceived top
And Alain isn't going down without a fight. There's a brief shot in the trailer that shows Alain manages to beat at least one Pokémon.
 
Makes me think, I would have preferred Ash v Diantha over Steven. At least Diantha has fought Ash twice before, and it makes sense for Pikachu to battle Gardevoir with that record against it, more so than another Metagross to beat.
In terms of progression, I assume they want to show Ash against the three strongest competitors, but Steven really doesn’t have any relevance to Ash’s past to make it a really epic contest, especially when the outcome is so predictable.
 
They REALLY dropped the ball on this one..first of all, Ash not being the one to defeat Alain is absolutely insulting. And secondly, they're REALLY not gonna pit Iris against Lance? The other Dragon Master here? She's going up against Champion Cynthia and we know she might just lose to her so we can get Ash vs. Champion Cynthia. This was just a horrible setup.
 
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