Ash takes on Gladion in the Manalo Conference finals. Zoroark charges ahead and uses Night Daze, though Pikachu counters with a Thunderbolt. Gladion follows up with Shadow Claw and Pikachu uses Iron Tail to block it. Zoroark then goes on a fury of Shadow Claws eventually striking its foe. Pikachu dusts himself off in time to leap upwards to evade another Night Daze, but Zoroark lashes him with a Shadow Claw as he descends towards the field. Gladion sees an opening, so he activates his Z-Ring to have Zoroark unleash the Never-Ending Nightmare. The Z-Move plunges the arena into darkness and a multitude of eerie hands pursue Pikachu. Ash orders a Quick Attack, but the dark hands are seemingly inescapable. Instead, Ash orders Pikachu to stop running and counters with a Z-Move of his own. Using Breakneck Blitz, Pikachu rushes through the wall of hands and strikes Zoroark. Gladion’s Z-Move still connects resulting in a large explosion. The smoke soon clears, and Professor Kukui declares both sides unable to battle, leaving Ash and Gladion with one Pokémon each remaining.
After recalling their respective Pokémon, they return to their places. The two sides glare at each other. Ash compliments Gladion for being in perfect sync Zoroark, while Gladion admits only Ash would be able to break through his Z-Move like that. The tense battle atmosphere breaks as the two boys burst into laughter, taking the audience by surprise. Ash soon catches his breath and tells Gladion that this was their best battle yet, with Gladion agreeing on that. With that, the two sides decide to settle an old score, both sending out their Lycanroc as their final Pokémon. Ash and Gladion both open with Stone Edge, cancelling each other’s efforts out. Ash orders his Lycanroc to use Accelerock which Gladion's Lycanroc intercepts with Counter before punching Ash's Lycanroc away. Gladion then goes for another Stone Edge, which Ash's Lycanroc evades by running alongside the attack, then goes to use Bite. Ash orders his Lycanroc to stop as his sees Lycanroc readying another Counter. Gladion switch tactics and orders a new Stone Edge, though Ash’s Lycanroc flips to the attack with its remarkable reflexes. Ash orders his Lycanroc to charge ahead and continue attacking. It dodges an oncoming Stone Edge and prepares to lash its opponent with an Accelrock. Gladion orders another Stone Edge, though Ash's Lycanroc jumps on top of the boulders and manages to hit Gladion's Lycanroc. Gladion is determined to stop Ash’s Lycanroc using the Stone Edge as a useful footing, though Ash’s dodges a set of Stone Edges and gets within range to attack. Gladion's Lycanroc grins as it uses Counter to deliver an uppercut to Ash's Lycanroc, who was unable to dodge because of its momentum. Ash’s Lycanroc hits the ground hard and soon returns to its feet in an act of defiance. Gladion admits that this match is particularly exciting, and Ash agrees.
As both Lycanroc continue to battle, they take heavy blows, but continue to fight on. Gladion orders his Lycanroc to boost its power with Swords Dance before lashing its opponent with Outrage. Ash’s Lycanroc uses Stone Edge, to which the Gladion’s Lycanroc simply smashes right through them during its Outrage. As Gladion's Lycanroc confronts Ash's Lycanroc, it stops abrupt to let out a howl as it succumbs to the aftereffects of Outrage - confusion. Ash orders Lycanroc advance with Bite, but Gladion's Lycanroc snaps out of its confusion after biting its own paw and lands a hit with Counter. Gladion admits that he developed the confusion-snapping strategy to avoid calamity during a heated battle, much to Ash’s astonishment. Ash's Lycanroc is visibly battered and barely manages to stand up.
Gladion calls for a Stone Edge, while Ash has his Lycanroc chomps through the obstacles. Gladion's Lycanroc repeats its attack, to which Ash's Lycanroc uses Accelerock to break through and charges at Gladion's Lycanroc, who immediately uses Counter. As it takes the blow, Ash has Lycanroc use its own Counter, which shocks Gladion. Ash's Lycanroc's eyes twitch: it back-flips and hits Gladion's Lycanroc with its horn, slamming it into the stadium wall. Ash's Lycanroc's eyes return to their normal green color, as it sees Gladion's Lycanroc having been defeated. Kukui is surprised for a moment, then nods as he declares Gladion's Lycanroc unable to battle and announces that the winner is Ash. The crowd erupts into cheers and Jīkyō announces that Ash is officially the first Alola LeagueChampion. Ash is left speechless by the result, though Gladion affirms that Ash has indeed won the tournament and shakes his hand to congratulate him. Gladion suggests they battle again sometime, and Ash agrees to it.
Meanwhile underground, Team Rocket are surprised to see that Ash has won the League. Jessie then asks James if their mech is finished; James puts on the final bolt and happily confirms that it is complete. The trio cheer as they prepare to plunder the League of every single Pokémon, etching their names into the history of Alola. Meanwhile at Bewear's den, the Oranguru robot is completely destroyed and shuts down, while Stufful and Bewear are nowhere to be seen.
At night the awards ceremony takes place, with Professor Burnet disappointed that Kukui isn't there to see Ash’s big moment. The Masked Royal steps onto the stage, and gives Ash his trophy and congratulates him on becoming Champion. Ash thanks the Masked Royal and adds that he is excited for tomorrow’s exhibition match. The crowd again claps for their new Champion, with Rotom taking a commemorative photograph of the moment. Suddenly, Wicke detects an Ultra Wormhole signal directly over their very location, Manalo Stadium. Burnet, Lusamine and the others turn their attention to the sky as the Wormhole expands before a Guzzlord emerges. The Ultra Beast crashes into the stadium field below before letting out a large deafening cry.
Also, Ash's League victories both take place in a setting that consists of a tropical archipelago featuring regional variants of Pokémon and is overseen by a team of four primary Trainers that must be battled in the lead-up to the main competition. However, unlike the Orange Crew, the Island Kahunas are not necessarily required to be battled in order to qualify for entry.