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Speculation Was Blue the first champion of Kanto?

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in Red, Blue, Yellow, FireRed, and LeafGreen, Lance has a very interesting choice of words upon his defeat; "You are now the Pokemon League Champion! ...Or, you would have been, but you have one more challenge left. There is one more trainer to face! His name is... <insert whatever you named your rival>!" the interesting part of this to me is "You are now the Pokemon League Champion! ...Or, you would have been, (...)" as it implies, at least in my mind, that the only reason Red wasnt the champion yet was because Blue beat lance first, meaning there was no champion in place for Blue to defeat. the logical conclusion, and the simplest one (which, following occam's razor, would be correct), is that Blue was the first person to ever become champion of kanto, right? if anyone has any other perspectives, feel free to share, i just thought this was super intriguing lore wise :3
 
From the game's dialogue, we know that Blue defeated Lance before the player and that, therefore, he is now the champion. Hence, two inferences seem plausible to me: 1 - Lance was the Champion, and now he is no longer, but Blue. 2 - The Champion position was vacant.

The first seems to be inconsistent with the game, as Lance refers to himself as The Leader of the Elite Four (What is true, datawise), and not the champion. Therefore, the second option seems to be more appropriate. But then there is an open question, for which the game does not provide a definitive answer, was the position temporarily vacant because the former champion abandoned the position, or was it vacant because there had never been a champion before?

Personally, I stick to the first option. What makes me believe this? The fact that, unless I'm mistaken, the strongest trainer in the original game, according to data miners, was supposed to be Professor Oak. Many, therefore, believe that the initial idea was that he would be the champion, an idea that was discarded during the game's development.

On the other hand, we have, more or less officially, as shown in Pokémon Let's Go, that Red kind of abandoned the position of Champion, so that Lance temporarily returned to the position of Leader of the Kanto Elite Four.

In Summary, there are precedents for the first hypothesis, while none for the second. In fact, it was supposed to be a surprise that Blue was/came to be the Champion before the Player.
 
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i would argue that there is precedent for the second hypothesis; in GSC and HGSS, after Red has retreated into the mountains, Lance is instated as champion, rather than simply remaining an elite four member. this would suggest that, in the event of a champion disappearing, their position is filled by the strongest elite four member, rather than left vacant, meaning that if the champion before Blue had disappeared, then Lance would be the champion Blue would have to face. those are some very good points though!! ill admit i didnt think about the Let's Go side of things, so that changes things a bit!
 
Indeed, you are right. Still, as I said, it is impossible to conclude from the information that is given why the position was vacant and whether or not it was previously filled.

On the other hand, there is nothing to indicate, on the contrary, that the Indigo League was a novelty in the first generation games, and not something already traditional and established. By contrast, in Alola we are clearly informed of Kukui's intention to form a Pokémon League, we even witness, in a way, the construction of the building, and the player is declared the first champion of the region.

Furthermore, we have the fact that in Hoenn, after Steven most likely stepped down, he was succeeded by Wallace, and not the Leader or a member of the Elite Four, which leaves us without knowing the procedure for succession in such cases.

It should also be noted that in the first Generation there are also no references to Johto and much less that the region would share the same Pokémon League as Kanto. These, as well as the fact that Lance is from Johto, were only stated in the second generation of games and the franchise never bothered to clarify issues relating to such facts. Surely, it is not completely impossible that, despite sharing the same League, the regions could have different Champions.
 
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I'm surprised how what's said in Let's Go seems so obscure. Just after you beat Lance, Professor Oak says that previously, Trainers who beat the Elite Four were recorded as Champions. However, starting from this point on, the rules were changed so that Champion is now also a part of the Pokémon League challenge, meaning that now, a Trainer must defeated both the Elite Four and the reigning Champion in order to become a new Champion. I presume a similar situation also applies to the original Kanto games and the first set of remakes.

So, in short: yes, there very likely were Champions before Blue, but they weren't part of the League challenge, as per the old rules. Kinda similar to how the Paldea League works, just without the fifth fight at the end.
 
The idea that there was a champion before Blue who just mysteriously vanished is such a fun concept. I like to think it's either the protagonist's mysterious father, Ash (since he exists in the games now) or the opposite gender character (funny how Red doesn't show up in FRLG if you pick Leaf considering how much they otherwise advertise him). But that's just my wild headcanon lol.
 
There's kinda some bases to Prof Oak being the old head of the Pokémon league in Pokémon Red and Blue, or at least that it went through some structural changes sometime around the start of the game.

If you interact with PC in Oak's lab, there's an e-mail sent by the Pokemon league that seems to be an announcement of it accepting challengers again and asking Oak to visit them soon (for settling things I assume?)

"
There's an e-mail message here! ... Calling all POKEMON trainers!
The elite trainers of POKEMON LEAGUE are ready to take on all
comers! Bring your best POKEMON and see how you rate as a trainer!

POKEMON LEAGUE HQ INDIGO PLATEAU
PS: PROF.OAK, please visit us! ...
"

It's not 100% saying that the league was not available for restructural reasons, since you can interpret the " ready " as them just always being available, but the mail asking for Oak to visit them makes me think that League was indeed going through some changes.
They probably wanted to settle stuff in person with Oak, or just invite him as a celebrity to for ceremonial purposes.
 
The idea that there was a champion before Blue who just mysteriously vanished is such a fun concept. I like to think it's either the protagonist's mysterious father, Ash (since he exists in the games now) or the opposite gender character (funny how Red doesn't show up in FRLG if you pick Leaf considering how much they otherwise advertise him). But that's just my wild headcanon lol.

This is a really interesting thread...I guess the idea of Oak being the former champion and retiring shortly before he sends Red and Blue out with their dexes (thus leaving the spot vacant until one of them beats Lance) makes the most sense.

But I love the story potential in Leaf being a Champion who suddenly vanished!

Okay, I'm just gonna shove them both into my head canon. Oak retired, handed Leaf a dex and told her to take on the E4. She accomplished that but mysteriously disappeared. (She's fine. We'll blame Hoopa.) Later Oak sends the two boys to do the same thing. All of them eventually reconvene on Pasio with mixed memories as to exactly how things played out, but they don't talk about it, because it's too much of a headache. :)
 
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