An 8-year-old has qualified for the 2019 Pokemon World Championships

In the Pokemon universe, a child begins their Pokemon journey at age ten. This is when they get to pick their starter Pokemon and leave home to become a Pokemon master, catching and taming new pocket monsters along the way. For eight-year-old Jackson Sutton, he started his journey early, and he’s already heading to the 2019 Pokemon World Championships.

Jackson has been playing Pokemon for only a year and qualified for the massive Pokemon World Championships in Washington D.C. this August. His interest in Pokemon began when his second-grade teacher started giving out Pokemon cards as prizes in school. He went home and learned the basics of the card game by playing with his father Ryan Sutton.

When Jackson beat Ryan in his first game, it was the beginning of an incredible journey. Jackson would not only collect the cards, but study the game heavily and compete in local tournaments. Of course, he eventually earned enough points to get himself a spot at the Pokemon World Championships. His father has good reason to be proud, as the game is helping Jackson in more ways than just becoming a better Pokemon trainer. According to Ryan:

“I think Pokemon as a card game has absolutely improved [Jackson’s] reading comprehension, his reading ability, as well as the in-game math he has to do. Whether one Pokemon hits another Pokemon for 100 plus 60, he’s able to do all that math in his head.”

The game’s social aspects are also a boon to the 8-year-old. Through tournaments and card games, Ryan explained that Jackson has friends of all ages who he can confidently speak to about Pokemon. Bonding over the card game has given him a diverse social life.

Jackson’s story is a feel-good tale about a Pokemon master in the making. When the Pokemon World Championships arrive on August 16, be sure to keep an eye out for the potentially youngest champion there ever was!