Experts' corner

Zach Lesage

Player Spotlight: Michele Babin

A quick interview with one of the up-and-coming players in this game.

04/15/2019 by Zach Lesage

A New World

What’s up everyone, it’s me, Zach, and I am here with a player interview. I could have chose one of my friends on Dead Draw Gaming that have been dominating this season, but I am sure you have already heard their stories on our YouTube channel. Today is a bit different and I hope you all enjoy it. I am interviewing Michele Babin, one of the Up-and-coming players in Canada. Did I mention she is one of the only females in the Greater Toronto Area? Yeah, she definitely rules in this game. She totally rocks our local events, she streams on Twitch when she has time, and she even won the 100+ player TCG Cup in Dallas, TX earlier this year. I sat down with her today and I asked her a few questions about here journey. Here is that interview.

The Interview

All of the answers from Michele are in her own words and are truthful. Enjoy.


Name: Michele Babin

Age: 22

Hometown: Montreal, Canada

Current Home: Toronto, Canada

Years Playing: 2 (competitively less than 1)

Current CP: 196

Next Major Event: European International Championships in Berlin

Zach: Hey, what’s up? How are you doing?

Michele: I’m eating, haha. I’m doing fine, I’m getting hyped to go to Germany for the first time.


Zach: That’s good to hear! So you are going to the EUIC, that’s amazing! What deck are you going to play?

Michele: Uh, Im really considering Blacephalon GX (LT; 52)  / Naganadel (LT; 108) , but I also like Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  / Lycanroc GX (GRI; 74) . Obviously Blacephalon GX (LT; 52)  is my first pick, but you never know how you will feel before a tournament. I played it in Denver and liked the deck. It is better to have more than one option.


Zach: Obviously I like that deck choice! Any techs that you are thinking about including or any changes from the list that you played in Denver?

Michele: I might want to include a Field Blower (GRI; 125)  in case I face against a Celebi & Venusaur GX (TM; 1) deck decides to play a Weakness Policy (BUS; 126) , but I like my list the way it is. In Denver we decided to cut the Tapu Lele GX (GRI; 60) , which I agree with, but I might want to add it back into my deck for added consistency.


Zach: Ah, I see, I see, that’s cool! Would it be ok for us to post that list? I am sure others would love to see it!

Michele: Yeah, that is fine.


Zach: I think that seems like a solid list! Hopefully you make it far in Berlin! What do you expect the metagame to look like?

Michele: Uhhh, the big decks are going to see a lot of play. Celebi & Venusaur GX (TM; 1)  will see play because Tord Reklev hyped the deck up, Pikachu & Zekrom GX (TM; 33)  saw a lot of play in Denver, and Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  will probably see an increase of play because Caleb Gedemer just won with the deck. Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  / Lycanroc GX (GRI; 74)  is always relevant because people feel safe playing that deck; it is always on my radar.


Zach: That seems fair! So how are you preparing for Berlin? It seems like it is the biggest event that you have played in your career so far! 

Michele: Honestly, I think that relaxing is working so far for me. I have been testing with you, Zach Lesage, and we have been testing a few card changes to Blacephalon GX (LT; 52) ">Blacephalon-GX / Naganadel (LT; 108) . I am usually anxious about each event that I play in and I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself. I am looking at this event like any other event, it could be looked at like a League Cup, my goal is to play my best.


Zach: That sounds like a great plan! Have you used any of those strategies before? 

Michele: Not really. Honestly, I have tried grinding out games for the other Regionals that I have played in, but that didn’t really work out. I feel like my new strategy of remaining calm might actually work for such a big event.


Zach: Cool, cool! This is a heavy question, but Is it difficult to play Pokémon as a female?

Michele: I am gonna I am going to elaborate on this one for a bit, so stay here with me. I am going to say yes, but it might not feel like that for every female player. I remember when I played at a few particular events and I feel like I wouldn’t be in certain situations if I would be a male player. I remember at Anaheim Regionals in December that I played against a guy and he seemed to be upset at my deck choice. I was playing Gardevoir GX (BUS; 93)  / Gallade (BKT; 84)  / Swampert (CLS; 35)  / Alolan Ninetales GX (LT; 132)  and I think my opponent was playing a Zoroark GX (SLG; 53)  deck.

It had a Fighting-type Weakness at least. As soon as my opponent realized that I had a type advantage against him, he starting acting rough towards me. He started slapping my deck when he cut it, used swear words under his breath, and he showed his frustration. I watched my opponent play out some other games against male players during the tournament and it seemed like he only acted out against me because he lost to a girl. I am sure that in other tournaments that I was viewed as an easy win, but I hope that I prove them wrong nowadays. It’s not always easy to be a girl.


Zach: Wow! I never would have expected that! Do you feel like that has affected you as a player?

Michele: Definitely. I feel like I need to prove to others that I am not an easy win. I am still learning to become a better player and this has really fuelled my desire to compete. It is hard to grow as a player in this game and it is just a bonus that I am a girl. We saw last season that Natalie Shampay was able to become a Collinsville Regional finalist and that proves that girls can see great success. Even when female players make Day Two at a major event, it seems that they have so much more to prove. I guess I just to be a role model for other female players in this game.


Zach: That is a really great approach! Getting back to some lighter questions... Are you going to any other major events this season?

Michele: I am going to Hartford, CT Regionals, Madison, WI Regionals, and the 2019 North American International Championships in Columbus, OH. I will be attending the 2019 World Championships in Washington D.C. regardless if I get my invite or not. I want to be at that event to see the top players play their games and if I don’t have an invite, I will try my hardest in the Open to earn CP for the next season. If i get a decent amount of Championship Points in Berlin this season, I might even go to Santa Clara, CA Regionals or the Cancún, MX Special Event Im Quarter Four. Let’s just say that I will fight for my invite as hard as I possibly can! 


Zach: That seems like a bunch of fun! Best of luck! Any last words for anyone reading this article?

Michele: If you are out there chasing your invite or if you just want to grow as a competitive player, don’t let anyone stop you! There is always going to be negativity surrounding those who want success, just don’t look into that negativity too much! Having a positive attitude is the best way to go! 


Thank you so much for answering my questions! If you are looking to follow Michele on Social Media, she has provided the links to her Twitter and Twitch! Regardless of my relationship with her, it is exciting to see a female player dominate in a male-focused game! If you are a female player reading this, I truly applaud your ability to compete with the rest of the players!

Don’t give up, show the world that you are an amazing player, and enjoy this wonderful game that we all love. To anyone else, let’s all work on welcoming EVERY player into the community, treating them all with respect, and share our love of Pokémon! I hope that Michele is able to finish her season off strong, that she continues to earn some more CP, and that she is able to earn her World Championships Invite this year! 

Michele’s Twitter: MicheleBabinTCG

Michele’s Twitch: MicheleBabinTCG

See Ya in Berlin

I hope that you enjoyed this quick article and that it has shown you that anyone can become a competitor in this game. Like I said, Pokémon is all about the community and we should welcome EVERYONE into our game. As for me, my next stop isn’t Daytona Beach because I really don’t have a need to pick up Championship Points anymore and I have Easter plans with my family. This season is a bit of a weird one for me because I am already locked for a Day Two invite for the 2019 World Championships and I have already earned enough Championship Points for a stipend to the 2019 North America International Championships in Berlin. I guess my only push is to earn more money, represent myself to my fullest potential, and my chase to become the best player who plays this game. My next stop is Berlin, Germany and I will be the attending the event with my amazing girlfriend Michele Babin. She is on the hunt for the remaining Championship Points needed for her invite to the World Championships so hopefully we both see success. For those of you who don’t know, I do offer coaching services and I am actively accepting new clients. Feel free to message me on Facebook or hit up my DMs on Twitter if you are interested in learning from me. I am also active on Social Media and as a content creator so be sure to check out all of the links below to follow me on my Pokémon adventure. 


Twitch: zlesagepokemon

Twitter: zlesage_pokemon

Facebook: Zach Lesage

YouTube: Team DDG



Zach Lesage

[+23] okko


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