"Sidekick Showdown", known as "Brave Max the Loser" in the original version is the sixtieth episode of the Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS anime. It aired in Japan on July 18, 2018. It aired on December 8, 2019 on Teletoon.
Emma and Skye are trying to figure out who Playmaker is, and one of their leads is Shima, who claims to be Playmaker’s friend. When Ghost Gal finds Brave Max, Shima’s avatar, in LINK VRAINS, she challenges him to a Duel.
At Café Nom, Cal Kolter is told that Bohman "is" Playmaker. Yusaku adds that he believes Bohman's memories were manipulated, and that finding out whoever manipulated Bohman is key to saving Jin. Theodore thinks it may be easier said than done, and Ai agrees, knowing that Bohman escaped after his defeat, and Windy's domain vanished soon after. Yusaku feels that Bohman's team will never stop hunting him down. Cal agrees that they need to be patient, and offers to show Yusaku his new installation - a second login booth for Soulburner, in place of Cal's ice-cream dispenser. Theodore is impressed that it's even painted in his color. Cal then reminds Yusaku that his encounter with Bohman brought back a lot of data to sieve through.
Meanwhile, inside LINK VRAINS, Akira Zaizen informs The Gore of a portal beyond LINK VRAINS. With The Shepherd looking the other way not far away, Gore asks how that involves Playmaker. Akira replies that Playmaker escaped through that portal after Gore failed to capture him, but will give Gore a second chance, because the portal is likely to re-emerge. The Shepherd interrupts, clearly displeased at having to wait, because he wants to actively seek out Playmaker. When Akira reiterates that his orders are his orders, Shepherd walks away and logs out. Gore starts doubting Akira's authority, only for Akira to reiterate that Gore already failed once.
At sunset, Skye and Emma meet Akira at their designated meeting spot in a forest. Akira notes his own doubts over the bounty hunters' mission that he's in charge of, admitting that the capture of Playmaker is the last thing he wants. He tells Emma and Skye that he also wants to find Playmaker. Emma warns that Playmaker chooses to be found or not, but Akira reiterates that finding Playmaker is key to finding the other Ignis. He believes Playmaker's real-world location is within Den City. Akira also knows that Playmaker is a skilled duelist and hacker. Emma doesn't know of duelists or hackers in the real world other than her, and Skye agrees that there aren't many around. Akira reminds Emma and Skye that the personality of an avatar is often a personality they keep hidden in the real world. Skye admits that they all might have seen Playmaker around in real life, but never noticed.
The next day, Theodore meets up with Yusaku in front of school. They then notice Skye approach. Theodore greets Skye happily, not aware that Skye doesn't know him. Theodore lets Skye know his name, and Skye moves onwards for class, saying that she's late and so is Yusaku. Suddenly, Naoki Shima butts in between Theodore and Yusaku, asking Skye why she hasn't been to Duel Club. Skye says she became busy. Theodore suddenly shows interest in the Duel Club. Shima recommends it, saying that Theodore can learn the best dueling strategies from him. Theodore isn't quite impressed. Skye walks away, but suddenly turns after hearing Shima claim to be Playmaker's sidekick. Shima protests to the also-skeptic Yusaku that he helped Playmaker beat the Hanoi.
After school, Skye meets Emma under the Den City bridge, and lets her know about Shima. Emma quickly identifies Shima as the person she saw in LINK VRAINS claim the same thing, but is also skeptical of Shima's claim. Skye recalls the time she decided to ask Shima upon hearing his claim. Shima elaborated that he's not only Playmaker's sidekick but also his "bestest friend". If that's the case, asked Skye, doesn't he meet up with Playmaker outside of LINK VRAINS too? Shima gave nothing away. Emma realizes that Shima might lead them to Playmaker, and Skye agrees. However, Emma isn't sure if Shima is telling the truth. She wants to test the skills of the supposed sidekick of Playmaker, and Skye agrees with that too. Emma decides she'll go ahead with testing Shima, but needs Blue Angel's help. Skye gasps.
Skye ends up logging into LINK VRAINS to pose on a promotional advert as Blue Angel. Brave Battler sees this and his infatuation with Blue Angel knows no bounds, as he starts dancing on the street. Ghost Gal catches Brave Battler on the act, and asks if he remembers her. After Brave Battler doesn't answer her question properly, Ghost Gal tries asking if Brave Battler was being hunted by bounty hunters. Brave Battler claims that he scared them all away. Ghost Gal questions Brave Battler's statement, by claiming to be a bounty hunter herself. Ghost Gal notices Brave Battler's facial expression, and believes Playmaker's friend will get her closer to the real thing. Brave Battler says he's not lying about being Playmaker's sidekick, and challenges Ghost Gal to a duel, although Brave Battler blushes at the moment the duel begins.
During Ghost Gal's turn, she reminds Brave Battler of "Altergeist Silquitous'" effect when she summons it, telling Brave Battler that Playmaker figured a way past it. When Ghost Gal ends her turn, Brave Battler admits it isn't a problem for him either, but he gives away his problem - his struggle to pronounce "Silquitous". Ghost Gal gets impatient when Brave Battler continues to waffle on, and orders him to start his turn. Ghost Gal thinks to herself, what can Brave Battler's opening move tell her about him? Brave Battler believes he has the perfect opener, and makes his play. By then, Blue Gal has arrived to watch. After Brave Battler summons his second "Green Baboon, Defender of the Forest", Ghost Gal notes that her opponent has already paid half his Life Points to set up his board. Blue Gal makes a comment as she watches the duel from above a virtual building.
Ghost Gal senses Brave Battler's confidence, but wonders if he knows he can't win on his turn. Brave Battler claims he can already win, but decides to win in style. Ghost Gal and Blue Gal watch as Brave Battler performs a Link Summon, and proudly proclaim that "he gave up everything he had". Blue Gal is shocked at that move, and Ghost Gal knows her opponent goofed at that point. Brave Battler thinks otherwise about Ghost Gal, thinking she's scared. However, Ghost Gal is doubting whether her opponent is even genuine. She notes that Brave Battler paid no attention to "Silquitous" and gave up two 2600 ATK monsters for one 2600 ATK monster. Unless, Brave Battler's new Link Monster has some special effect that she wasn't told about?
Ghost Gal grits her teeth, drawing an overconfident reaction from Brave Battler. He goes into battle. Ghost Gal activates her trap, brings out two more "Altergeists" and uses "Silquitous'" effect, only for Brave Battler to claim that it won't work on "Metal Baboon, Stalwarts of the Forest" because it doesn't exist in the hand. Ghost Gal is gobsmacked. Blue Gal, too, for realizing a duelist who can't duel is proclaiming to be Playmaker's sidekick. Ghost Gal gets impatient and reminds Brave Battler of the rules. She states that a "return-to-hand" effect still works on Link Monsters, returning them to the Extra Deck instead. Brave Battler sees his monster return to his Extra Deck and gets confused. Then he complains and falls to his knees, before composing himself, standing up and claiming he knew it all along.
Ghost Gal again interrupts her opponent's waffling and begins her turn. At this point, Brave Battler imagines "Silquitous" stamping on his head and punching him over the horizon. Brave Battler makes another insipid comment before Ghost Gal even makes a play, causing her to get fed up. However, she decides to agree to Brave Battler's proposal to only attack with one monster. Brave Battler sees his opponent bring out the 1500 ATK "Altergeist Hexstia", and thinks he'll get another turn. However, Ghost Gal reminds Brave Battler of "Hexstia's" ability to gain power from its Link Points, and Brave Battler admits he has a problem.
Brave Battler is thrown into the air and back down again by "Hexstia's" direct attack which wins Ghost Gal the duel. Ghost Gal tries to comfort the fraud she just defeated, with some nice words, before leaving to join Blue Gal. Blue Gal replies that she didn't know Brave Battler would fool her that hard either, and apologizes for proposing to investigate him in the first place. Now Blue Gal admits she has to cheer him up. Meanwhile, Brave Battler himself is slamming the ground while crying at his loss, claiming he only made one mistake. He says he must train harder to win back Playmaker's respect... only to be sent an invitation to Blue Angel's meet-and-greet.
In the evening, Cal shows Yusaku and Theodore what he has found. The portal has reappeared in a section of LINK VRAINS that is still being built. Ai and Flame agree that they should be the first to explore it. Thus, Yusaku and Theodore log into LINK VRAINS together. Emma, looking at her computer at home, also sees the portal appear, whilst The Gore informs Akira that the portal has appeared. However, Akira tells Gore to log out and report to Queen for more important matters. Playmaker and Soulburner are about to enter the portal, only for Cal to receive a warning message on his screen. Cal realizes that Playmaker and Soulburner have been lured. Inside the portal, a click of the fingers launches a wind-draining device from that threatens to absorb Playmaker into the portal. Playmaker sees Shepherd from inside the portal and tries to resist, but Soulburner knocks him out of the way and gets sucked in instead. As Soulburner falls into the portal, memories of the Lost Incident come back to haunt him.
Featured Duel: Ghost Gal vs. Brave Battler
This Duel is conducted as a Master Duel.
Turn 2: Brave Battler
Brave Battler's hand contains two copies of "Green Baboon, Defender of the Forest", two copies of "Scrap Kong", one copy of "Yellow Baboon, Archer of the Forest" and "Double Summon".
Brave Battler Normal Summons "Scrap Kong" (2000/1000), which gets destroyed by its own effect when Summoned. Since a face-up Beast-Type monster he controlled was destroyed and sent to the GY, by paying 1000 LP (Brave Battler: 4000 → 3000 LP) he Special Summons "Green Baboon" (2600/1800) from his hand via its own effect. Next he activates "Double Summon", which allows him to Normal Summon again in the same turn. Using the effect, Brave Battler Normal Summons another copy of "Scrap Kong" (2000/1000), which gets destroyed by its own effect, thus activating the effect of another copy of "Green Baboon" (2600/1800) in his hand, which he Special Summons to his field by paying 1000 LP (Brave Battler: 3000 → 2000 LP) . Brave Battler uses the two copies of "Green Baboon" to Link Summon "Metal Baboon, Stalwarts of the Forest" (2600/LINK-2/↙↘) to the Extra Monster Zone. He attacks "Silquitous" with "Metal Baboon", but Ghost Gal activates her face-down "Altergeist Camouflage", equipping it to "Silquitous". The equipped monster cannot be attacked, and all effects that target "Silquitous" will be negated. So the attack cannot continue.
Since a Trap Card was activated, Ghost Gal Special Summons "Altergeist Multifaker" (1200/800) from her hand via its own effect. Since "Multifaker" was Special Summoned, she activates its other effect, allowing her to Special Summon 1 "Altergeist" monster from her Deck in Defense Position. She Special Summons "Altergeist Marionetter" (1600/1700) in Defense Position, via this effect. Next she activates the effect of "Silquitous", returning an "Altergeist" card she controls to her hand to return a card Brave Battler controls to his hand. She returns "Camouflage" to her hand, and returns "Metal Baboon" to Brave Battler's Extra Deck.
Turn 3: Ghost Gal
Ghost Gal uses "Multifaker" and "Silquitous" to Link Summon "Altergeist Hexstia" (1500/LINK-2/↓→) to the Extra Monster Zone. Its effect allows it to gains ATK equal to the original ATK of each "Altergeist" monsters it points to. "Hexstia" points to "Marionetter" only, gaining 1600 ATK ("Hexstia": 1500 → 3100 ATK). "Hexstia" attacks Brave Battler directly (Brave Battler: 2000 → 0 LP).
The following cards appeared in this episode. Cards in italics debuted here.