When you think about it for a second, Pokemon Gyms don’t make a whole lot of sense. Most of them are just weird puzzles with a few random fights thrown in before you finally throw down against the gym leader. got a series of ex-champions to test a trainer’s true skill. Which is exactly what YouTuber and pro-Pokemon competitor WolfeyVGC did in New York City last week.

Wolfey “WolfeyVGC” Glick is the 2016 World Champion, North American International Champion, six-time regional champion, and 202 Players’ Cup Champion. He’s got a lot of wins under his belt, and he makes the perfect gym leader for prospective trainers to challenge. Wolfey took over luxury Italian shoe store P448 and turned it into his Water-type Gym, complete with his own set of minion trainers that would try to defeat trainers before they could even hope to challenge him. Those trainers included two-time regional champion Aaron Traylore, worlds semi-finalist and two-time national champ Aaron Zheng, and international champion James Baek.


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As a Water-type Gym, Wolfey's team adhered to the theme with Quaquaval, Tatsugiri, Pelipper, Coalossal, Barraskewda, and Palafin. Astute Pokemon trainers have already noticed Coalossal as the odd one out, being a rock-type Pokemon, but Wolfey's Coalossal has a Water-type Tera Form. You gotta have at least one surprise as a Gym leader.

Wolfey's gym, despite being located in a shoe store, was as accurate to the games as possible. There was a guy in glasses hanging around outside giving prospective challengers tips on how to defeat the Water-type teams they'd face and also handing out water bottles. Inside, trainers had to face each of the three pro-Pokemon players before finally facing off against Wolfey.

You didn't have to win to get your badge though. All challengers that managed to reach Wolfey at all received a commemorative pin, but only those that defeated him would receive a special gold embossed pin with a purple Poke Ball. They also received a free pair of shoes from P448 valued at around $350.

Despite being a pro, Wolfey lost as often as he won, with quite a few challengers walking away with a purple badge and new shoes. The last challenger was Brenden Zheng, the 2013 World Champion and brother of Aaron Zheng. He handily defeated Wolfey's mostly Water team with an Amoogus, a Rotom, and a Tyrannitar.

Sadly, Wolfey's gym was just a one-day affair, but hopefully, it'll inspire others to create their own Pokemon gyms in designer Italian shoe stores too.

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