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SPOILERS: Masters Eight Discussion/Speculation Thread

Simple answer : popularity, Steven is the 3rd most popular champion in Japan (very close to Leon for 2nd) and sometimes they just want viewers to watch their show you know.

Cynthia is technically more popular than Leon but they just couldn't put Cynthia 1st and Leon 2nd for huge narrative reasons and Galar bias so they just switched instead.

So yeah they just made their top 3 ranking by popularity , nothing too complicated.
Yea it’s for sure popularity based. I wouldn’t honestly be surprised if he’s ahead of Leon and even Cynthia honestly. This isn’t exactly a statistical measure at all but when the M8 was announced, the JP twitter posted each individual champion and Steven had by far the most likes. It went Steven > Ash > Leon > Alain > Iris > Cynthia > Lance > Diantha with Steven being almost 2000 likes ahead of Ash

Might not mean much but it is a pretty decent look at the excitement by fans regarding Steven’s presence in the tournament. Not that surprised if the ultimately gave him priority over Lance and Diantha when it comes to Ash opponents just for that
 
I really didn't think that Steven was that popular among the Champions. Although, that would explain more of the hype around him when OR/AS came out and would provide another reason why XY made him look cooler aside from making up for his lackluster AG appearance.
 
I really didn't think that Steven was that popular among the Champions. Although, that would explain more of the hype around him when OR/AS came out and would provide another reason why XY made him look cooler aside from making up for his lackluster AG appearance.
Yea, never really took him for being such a popular character. Out of the champions, he’s among those you never really hear people even talk about. Heck, they had even replaced him as champion in Emerald, something you never really see in any other gen.
 
Yea, never really took him for being such a popular character. Out of the champions, he’s among those you never really hear people even talk about. Heck, they had even replaced him as champion in Emerald, something you never really see in any other gen.
I think there isn’t much discourse over him but I do think he’s very liked. And even though Emerald did make Wallace the champ, Steven was still the stronger post-game super boss. Felt more like a GSC situation where even though Lance was technically the champion, most fans treat Red as the champ
 
I kinda like Ash vs Steven now, he gives Ash some much needed type variety unlike Lance. Besides it’s not like those 2 had much in common except repping kanto

Just Alain I’m bummed abt, really hope he and Ash get an ep for closure somehow
 
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You guys, for me the surprise is the writer actually made ash go vs rank 3rd 2nd and 1st...
But I think ash winning the first 2 rounds could be enough, and it is more likely Leon wont lose to Ash just because.

The only other explanation is that the writer wanted Ash to show us he is capable of inventing new tech' every big match and by not losing to Steven and Cynthia he is worthy enough to at least draw with Leon.

Anyway it smells...
 
I think it would be cooler if Ash fights Iris. Rematches are great: 1. You see old faces again 2. The opponent may have a new Pokemon, e.g. Bea Machamp. 3. Old Pokemon that may revive themselves appear.
 
By the way, a fight against Lance would make sense since Lance is Kanto Champ, which as you know is Ash's homeland. Nevertheless, I would find Cythia or Iris much more interesting and beautiful. Achso Dragonite vs Dragonite would be something nice in my opinion. Same Pkmn different attacks. Understood
 
Click pleas on my profile picture. There you see Dragalge right? Dragalge was shown in a TV show in Pokemon besides Drasna. I think she will use it: NO SHE DONT. I was so disappointed. If that happens to this episode too, I'll be pissed
 
You guys, for me the surprise is the writer actually made ash go vs rank 3rd 2nd and 1st...
But I think ash winning the first 2 rounds could be enough, and it is more likely Leon wont lose to Ash just because.

The only other explanation is that the writer wanted Ash to show us he is capable of inventing new tech' every big match and by not losing to Steven and Cynthia he is worthy enough to at least draw with Leon.

Anyway it smells...

Eh, I say let Ash go all the way. Defeating Cynthia (and Steven), two of the most powerful Champions in the world, is not something to be swept under the rug. At worst, Ash becomes the second-best World Champion, but Leon will soon be old news when SV comes around.

Plus Leon practically screams "I have to be beaten in order to move on with my life." Guy never suffered a loss and could you really be happy if you can't lose?
 
The only thing that is frustrating to me is that we need to wait four (Potentially five) episodes to see Ash battle in the Masters Eight. I wish Cynthia vs Iris and Ash vs Steven was flipped around so that Ash and Steven battle before they do.
 
Eh, I say let Ash go all the way. Defeating Cynthia (and Steven), two of the most powerful Champions in the world, is not something to be swept under the rug. At worst, Ash becomes the second-best World Champion, but Leon will soon be old news when SV comes around.

Plus Leon practically screams "I have to be beaten in order to move on with my life." Guy never suffered a loss and could you really be happy if you can't lose?
Plus Leon getting defeated by the young protagonist is also sort of important to Sword/Shield's theme of passing the torch.

I know the anime often ignores the game's storylines and themes, but carrying over Leon' whole "undefeated" rep and even promoting him to World Champion while making him the protagonist's whole goal is incredibly strange if he remains unbeaten, and since Ash can't possibly battle Leon before the last round with this bracket the old suggestion of Lance or Cynthia defeating Leon after he defeats Ash can't happen.
 
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