Curtain Up, Unova League!
Ash, Iris, and Cilan finally arrive in Vertress City, the place where the Unova League is set to take place. As they enter the city, Ash greets his fellow rivals: Trip, Bianca, Stephan, and Virgil, as they all proceed into the stadium to register for the Vertress Conference.
After registering, the group decides to head to the location where they would be resting for the day, in order to be fully prepared for the start of the Unova League the following day. While walking to their location, Ash encounters his other rival, Cameron, who has been sleeping in a nearby tent. Iris raises a point, in which trainers that registered are offered a place to stay throughout the tournament. Cameron, not knowing this, leads Ash to realize that he had never registered for the tournament, so he rushes him to the stadium to register, despite the already passed deadline. Cameron, with the help of Ash, convinces Nurse Joy, to enter him into the competition.
Now that everyone is registered, they head to their resting place. Ash is seen talking to Professor Juniper, while she is transferring one of his Pokemon. She wishes Ash success in the Unova League. Following their conversation, Ash, as well as everyone else, decides to head to sleep. Ash and Pikachu have difficulty sleeping due to their excitement of the upcoming tournament. Ash starts to speak about how he's come a long way throughout his journey in the Unova region, while flashbacks of all eight Gym Battles are shown, and makes a vow with Pikachu to win the entire Unova League.
The day of the Unova League has arrived and with the torch lit up, it signifies the start of the tournament. The first round are the preliminary rounds and trainers are only allowed to use one Pokemon. Ash's first match-up turns out to be Trip, who he has failed to defeat in previous battles throughout his journey in Unova. Meanwhile, Stephan along with his Zebstrika, Bianca with her Emboar, Virgil with his Vaporeon, and Cameron with his Ferrothorn, are all shown to be victorious with their battles and advanced to the main rounds.
Finally, the preliminary match of Ash and Trip arrives. With the stakes so high, both trainers are ready to give their best. Trip calls out his Serperior, while Ash calls out his Pikachu. Ash starts off with a Quick Attack, but Serperior manages to evade it. Ash follows up by commanding Pikachu to use Iron Tail, only for Serperior to evade once more. With Ash showing some slight frustration, he commands Pikachu to use Electric Ball, only for Serperior to evade that as well. Trip strikes back by commanding Serperior to use Dragon Tail, landing a direct hit on Pikachu. The episode ends with Pikachu struggling to recover after receiving a direct hit from Serperior.