Pokemon

Former voice actor comments on Ash's historic Pokémon League victory

by Isaac McIntyre

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Former Pokemon voice actor Veronica Taylor has congratulated Ash Ketchum on breaking a 22-year title drought to win his first-ever Pokemon League championship.

Ash, who has helmed the Pokemon franchise as its protagonist since the release of the first season in 1997 all the way to this year’s Sun and Moon series, has long been branded a league-loser in the popular anime.

The newly crowned Alolan champion has had a rough run of it since entering his first official tournament system in Kanto in 1999. The forever-young hero secured a host of top-eight placement across his career, and finished as runner-up in Kalos in 2016.

Now, Ketchum has finally broken his losing streak in Pokemon League tournaments, defeating Team Skull rival Gladion in a three-vs-three system in the region's grand final.


The momentous occasion, more than 22 years in the making, sparked congratulations from the series' fans across the internet, including Ash’s former voice actor Veronica Taylor.

“Congratulations to Ash Ketchum on winning the Pokémon League from Ash’s ‘younger’ self, circa 1998...” she tweeted. “Hard work, determination, good friends, and a bit of luck pay off!”

There are also fans that have claimed Ash already had two title victories under his belt - the Orange Islands and Battle Frontier. However, many fans have argued the first win was not in an official region, and the BF victory was during a ‘challenge’, not a league.

What makes Ketchum’s championship all the sweeter for the series protagonist is the fact that Alola had never hosted a league before, meaning his title will forever be the first in the region.

The win in Alola could also be a bittersweet one for Ash Ketchum fans. There were already rumors that the long-standing main character would be departing ahead of a reboot season for the franchise.


Considering the 23rd season of the anime has been announced to cover every region in the history of the series, and is reverting to the first season’s logo, it’s more than likely the writers decided it was time to wrap up Ash’s storyline with a bow, or a title, on top.

Crunchyroll
Crunchyroll
Ash Ketchum has been chasing a Pokemon League title since his first attempt in 1999.

Regardless of whether this is the end for Ketchum or not, it’s the end of the road for one of the longest title droughts streaks in competitive sport. 

The real-life history books may not remember Ash’s pains as he chased a championship, from a mediocre top 16 finish in Kanto, to the heartbreaking top 2 in Kalos, but it’s something Pokemon fans will likely be talking about for years to come.

Ash Ketchum's career Pokemon League finishes

Date Conference Finish Final Match Result
1/14/1999 Indigo Plateau Conference Top 16 L vs Ritchie 
10/31/2002 Silver Conference Top 8 L vs Harrison
06/16/2005 Ever Grande Conference Top 8 L vs Tyson
08/26/2010 Lily of the Valley Conference Top 4 L vs Tobias
01/10/2013 Ventress Conference Top 8 L vs Cameron
08/18/2016 Lumiose Conference Runner-up L vs Alain
09/15/2019 Manalo Conference Champion W vs Gladion