Drama erupted amidst the Pokémon Regional in Baltimore when competitive player Isaiah Bradner was accused of cheating.
Bradner could be seen taking the wrong cards from his deck during a livestream and, when confronted, showing his competitor a totally different card from his hand. This has left the community divided, with some saying he blatantly cheated on stream and should be punished — especially after lying to his competitor. Others, however, felt that he was just under pressure and accidentally fumbling.
Now, Bradner has come forward with his own side of the controversy.
In a TwitLonger, Bradner has claimed there was “no malicious intent” in his actions.
Baltimore Regionals 2022
— Isaiah Bradner (@IsaiahBradner) September 22, 2022
Bradner responds to cheating allegations
There were two instances of possible cheating at the Baltimore Regional, which has left Bradner in hot water with the community. After a few days of silence, Bradner has decided to give an explanation. He admitted that he made a “gameplay error” in both situations but that it wasn’t done maliciously.
“During the event, I was not in a good headspace. I was exhausted, dealing with sinus congestion and migraines, and extremely anxious because of events that happened during my first week of college,” Bradner started.
During the stream with his friend Xander Pero, Bradner explained that Pero had asked him to play faster which left him worried about getting called out by a judge for “slowplay.” He started playing at a much faster pace than usual, which made him not take the time to think about his plays.
Bradner claims that by game three, when the alleged cheating occurred, his “mind was elsewhere.” When confronted by Xander about taking two items off of his Irida, he claimed that he simply showed him the “first two cards” he saw in his hand, Palkia VSTAR and Cross Switcher.
“In the mentally rushed state I was in, my brain jumped to the conclusion that that’s what I grabbed, and so I showed them to Xander and continued on with the game. You can find this clip at the link below,” Bradner said.
Irida really can grab anything! pic.twitter.com/wRhK4Q0w8S
— Jac Carter (@Jace_TCG) September 17, 2022
Bradner continued; “I had no ill intent in this action, and I am sorry to Xander for making this mistake against him. Thankfully, my mistake did not impact the match result at all. For those who don’t know, the judges assessed the film and penalized me with a double prize penalty for the situation. It was ruled as a gameplay error minor (skipping a step) that was escalated because it occurred on stream.”
The second incident Bradner addressed was earlier in the day against Joey Rojas in round two. Bradner said that the stories have escalated from reality at this point.
According to Bradner, he played Irida on his second and third turns. The first Irida got him a Palkia and Capacious Bucket and the second a Palkia VSTAR and Capacious Bucket. After drawing his second Irida, Bradner got his second KO on Rojas’ Regidrago, leaving him with two Registeel and a Regieleki.
Rojas attacked on his turn, doing Static Shock for 100.
On his turn, Bradner used Drizzile to search for the supporter Melony. While doing so, Rojas looked through Bradner’s discard and saw that he only had one Irida in the pile despite playing two earlier in the round. Bradner realized he was right and offered to take an Irida out of his deck. Rojas asked, however, if Bradner had another Irida in his hand, which had 15 cards. Bradner saw that he did and told him he could discard it and call a judge on himself. In response, Rojas “insisted” there was no need.
“I am sorry to both of my opponents, everyone else in the event, and the entire Pokémon community for playing sloppily, not calling a judge, and allowing these situations to happen in the first place. To everyone who believes in me — I promise that this will never happen again,” Bradner concluded.
The explanation has done little to calm the Pokémon players who already believed he was purposefully trying to pull a fast one on his opponents. Others, however, have said that Bradner should be believed. For now, nothing official has been done regarding Bradner’s actions at the regional.