TIL: American Idol’s William Hung Was One of Pokémon TCG’s Very First Champions
I’ve been getting back into Pokémon TCG lately, and as such my algorithms have been getting absolutely shelled across the board with Pokémon content.
In my hunt for more knowledge, I went back in time thanks to a great (and relatively new) YouTube historian named RubyRetro, whose first truly popular video just went up recently and recaps the history of Pokémon TCG’s competitive meta. The video kicks off with a commercial that sent me hurtling back through a time machine to the 90’s, and it was awesome to learn about the depth of the game when it was first gaining popularity – and even before most people had internet access or strong platforms (like Pojo) that would give them the ability to share decklists and strategies.
Now, imagine my surprise when early on in the video, RubyRetro calls out that at one of the earliest competitive PTCG champions was none other than William Hung, current motivational speaker and former American Idol viral sensation. Remember him? If not, here’s a refresher:
That’s right folks, in early April 1999, William Hung stomped the competition with one of the first “Rain Dance” decks, taking home top prize in a local New Jersey tournament. The actual decklist itself, stunningly, was immortalized here.
After that, William ended up writing a column for Pojo, one of the earliest and most storied Pokémon TCG resources online. While that only lasted for about a year, William continues to post on his IG and Twitter about his love for tabletop and card games, so it’s clear the hobby has always been a part of him.
It’s always awesome to learn about notable figures and their hobbies, and it never ceases to amaze me when a celebrity talks about their love for gaming in any form. Hope you’re still out there grinding the Pokémon scene, William.
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