Ash, Tyson, and Morrison are all aiming for the top of the Hoenn League, but first they have to qualify for the Victory Tournament stage of the competition. In the third and final double battle qualification round, Ash sends out Glalie and Groyle against Clark, a conductor with two strong Fire-type Pokémon—Charizard and Quilava. Grovyle and Quilava are knocked out first, and it's an icy hot battle as Charizard and Glalie battle for victory! Thanks to Ash's quick thinking, Glalie bounces back for the win.
Morrison and Tyson advance to the Victory Tournament, too. In fact, the only ones not getting anywhere are Team Rocket. It's hard to steal Pikachu when they're busy selling snacks at the stadium, but honest work has its rewards... a delicious dinner they didn't even have to steal! Meanwhile, the Trainers have a day off to see the sights and do some extra training.
Now the Victory Tournament begins: 32 competitors, one winner! Ash's first opponent is Katie, a strategic Trainer who takes full advantage of type weaknesses and strengths. She starts out with Venomoth, but switches in Golduck to put Ash's Torkoal out of the match. Next up is Pikachu, but Katie counters with Dugtrio and sends Pikachu flying! Glalie knocks out Dugtrio, but is stopped by Misdreavus and its Destiny Bond attack. With Ash down three Pokémon and Katie only down two, will he be able to hang on to this match?
In the stadium, Ash orders Grovyle and Glalie to battle Clark and his Quilava and Charizard. They attack directly but end up taking damage from Charizard's Heat Wave and Quilava's Flame Wheel. Glalie's Icy Wind does not affect its opponents, but Charizard's Steel Wing doesn't hit its target either. Quilava manages to hit Glalie with Quick Attack, but Ash's Pokémon retaliate with Pound and Headbutt. Grovyle blocks Quilava's Quick Attack, while Charizard's Heat Wave and Glalie's Icy Wind collide and explode. Then, Grovyle uses Pound to knock out Quilava, but Charizard quickly defeats him with Steel Wing. Ash orders Glalie to use Ice Beam on the ground, forming ice pillars that stop Charizard's oncoming Flamethrower. Glalie then uses Double Team in the icy labyrinth to avoid damage, but Charizard succeeds in striking Glalie with Steel Wing. This sends it ricocheting from pillar to pillar, which Ash uses to his advantage. Glalie darts around the icy field and knocks out Charizard with a high-speed Headbutt, awarding Ash the victory.
Morrison then meets up with Ash and both are excited to have won another battle. They leave to see how Tyson is doing. Tyson and his opponent, Johnny, are each down to their last Pokémon. Tyson's using his Sceptile against Johnny's Aggron. Sceptile uses Detect to evade a barrage of Metal Claw attacks, and when its opponent uses Harden, it charges up a Solar Beam that sends Aggron out of the fight, meaning that Tyson has also won his battle.
Ash, Morrison, and Tyson have now advanced to the third stage of the tournament. As they relax in the Pokémon Center cafeteria, Ash and Morrison are initially disappointed to learn that the next day will be a rest day. Nonetheless the pair use the day to their advantage to continue training for the many Ever Grande Conference matches still to come, and competing against each other in several challenges like swimming. May and Tyson use the time to check out Ever Grande City’s food scene with Max in tow while Brock’s heart is aflutter with all of the Nurse Joys and Officer Jennys around.
From now on, all of their matches will be Full Battles; six-on-six matches on changing battlefields. The next day, Ash is getting ready to face his newest opponent, a girl named Katie. The battlefield is selected by the computer as a craggy rock battlefield. Ash uses Torkoal while Katie sends out a Venomoth. Torkoal blocks Stun Spore with its Iron Defense, which Venomoth renders unusable with Disable. Torkoal uses Flamethrower, but Katie quickly returns Venomoth and calls out Golduck. Ash orders Torkoal to use Body Slam, but Golduck sends Torkoal flying with a Hydro Pump and then cuts it down with Fury Swipes.
With Torkoal defeated, Ash sends Pikachu into the arena. Katie responds by recalling Golduck and sending out Dugtrio. Pikachu uses a Quick Attack, but Dugtrio Digs to dodge, and then uses Sand Tomb to engulf the ground in an ever-growing sand trap. Sliding down the ominous pit, Pikachu uses Thunderbolt on Dugtrio to no avail. Before being swallowed up, Pikachu attacks with Iron Tail against Dugtrio's Double-Edge, but Pikachu is knocked out. Ash quickly picks up Pikachu and proceeds to send out Glalie. Dugtrio escapes underground, but is forced above by Glalie's powerful Headbutt on the ground. Using this opportunity, Glalie knocks it out with an Ice Beam. Katie sends out Misdreavus, but after taking an Ice Beam and a Headbutt, Misdreavus uses Destiny Bond. Misdreavus faints, but then suddenly Glalie glows purple and collapses as well. Ash now has three remaining Pokémon while Katie has four, so the match is set to continue.