At the 2019 Pokemon World Championships this weekend, trainers can choose any of the existing 807 known Pokemon to fight by their side. This is the last time they’ll be able to do so, at least in the near future.
Earlier today, the Pokemon Company announced that Pokemon Sword and Shield will be the official games used for competitive play during the 2020 season. While that isn’t necessarily a surprising move, it does mean that that the scene will be seeing some major competitive shifts moving forward after the 2019 championships in Pokemon Sun and Moon wrap up.
As revealed at E3, Pokemon Sword and Shield will be the first games in the series’ recent history that won’t allow players to pull in Pokemon from previous games via the Pokemon bank.
We don’t know which Pokemon will be left behind in this coming generation. Will Celesteela, who helped North American champ Wolfe Glick clinch the finals in June, end up returning? Whoever makes the cut, the field is in for a major culling, and it seems likely that some current competitive favourites could fall victim to that.
While that’s made some fans angry, it also makes this year’s World Championships extra special. It’s the end of a generation — multiple generations, really — and a perfect opportunity to celebrate the series’ competitive legacy on the 3DS.
The Swiss round of matches got underway yesterday, and the action continues today starting at 10:45PM AEST to determine who will make the final cut. Then on Monday, the video game finals are expected to kick off sometime after 2:00AM AEST with the Junior Division. The finals are expected to wrap up by 6:00AM AEST that day.
All of those matches will be streamed on the Pokemon VGC Twitch channel.
The Pokemon World Championships are home to more than just matches in the Moon and Sun games. The event also hosts the championships for the Pokemon Trading Card Game, which will be going on simultaneously and streaming here, as well as a Pokken Tournament DX event that will be streaming here with the finals starting at 5:00AM AEST Sunday.
The event even hosted a small Pokemon GO invitational. If you want to check out what competitive Pokemon GO looks like, you can find the VOD available here, which one spectator over on ResetEra called “a beautiful showcase of Pokemon GO’s trademark jank”.