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US boy could become the best junior Pokemon player in the world

Japan Pokemon Go
Posted at 3:21 PM, Aug 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-09 16:21:56-04

A 10-year-old boy in South Carolina is gaining recognition internationally as he skills playing Pokemon at the junior level are spiking fast.

Max Lentz's mother Lacy Daniel spoke of his now busy schedule, telling the Herald Online, Max is going to go to the first day of school and then get on a plane that afternoon,” she said of his trip to London to compete in a junior competition.

“This was sort of a no-brainer. He needs to go,” she said.

Max has honed his Pokemon skills on Friday nights at his local card shop and game venue in Rock Hill, South Carolina. He's been playing the game since he was at least 6-years-old when he won one of his first big tournaments.

“He was just barely learning to read and do math,” his dad Ian Lentz said.

Max's dad decided to try and learn the game alongside his son looking to play in local competitions, and then took his son Max to his first League Cup in Columbia, South Carolina.

Now Max is ranked number 15 in the U.S. and Canada within his junior age group, which gained him a paid invite to travel to London for the world championships from Aug. 18-21.


Players in the game need to get to 350 in point to qualify to play in London, and Max has 633.

Max's dad Ian says his son has an "uncanny ability to plan ahead" in the game and he "sees the game unfold two or three turns ahead.”

A fellow player named Alex Raymond name was beating her for a long time.

“He just has a great instinct for the game,” she aid. “He understands a lot of what the cards do in a way that even some of the adult players don’t get. He picks it up very fast.”

As for the tournament in London, Max's dad says he doesn't stress out about the game and said “He’ll go up against somebody who’s good, who’s ranked high or who’s won some tournaments. He just plays," he told the Herald Online.

If Max wins in London it could take his career in Pokemon to the next level, but he doesn't appear to be too worried.