As Pokémon Trading Card Game (TCG) and video game players begin preparing for the 2017 Play! Pokémon season, The Pokémon Company International today announced a full slate of all-new competitive events that will improve players’ chances to compete and win across the world. With the introduction of two International Championships that are open to all players worldwide, plus additional local events to make it even easier to jump into the Play! Pokémon program, the upcoming season is positioned to be one of Pokémon’s biggest ever.
At the core of the Play! Pokémon season is the Pokémon Championship Series, consisting of season-wide Pokémon TCG and video game events where players earn Championship Points toward a potential invitation and Travel Award to the Pokémon World Championships, taking place August 2017 in Anaheim, California. Players will also vie for a piece of a cumulative prize pool worth almost $5 million across all Pokémon Championship Series events.
New for the 2017 season, Pokémon is introducing two International Championships that are open to all players across the world, giving Pokémon TCG and video game competitors opportunities to play, win prizes, and earn Championship Points. The first event, the Pokémon European International Championships, will take place December 9–11, 2016, at ExCeL London in London, England. The three-day event will give Pokémon video game players their first chance to battle in a sanctioned event using Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon. Pokémon TCG players will also have their first chance to battle with the Pokémon TCG: XY—Evolutions expansion launching later this year.
A North American International Championships is also planned for 2017. Location, dates, and other details will be announced soon. As with the European International Championships, there will be no residency requirement to participate in the North American International Championships.
Beginning this October, the Pokémon Regional Championships kick off with a full-season schedule of events coming to cities in North America and Europe. As with the International Championships, Regional Championships are open to Pokémon TCG and video game players regardless of their country of origin and will feature larger prize pools and more Championship Points at each tournament. Specifically, every Regional will offer up to $50,000 in prize money, scholarships, and Travel Certificates based on attendance. Additionally, competing at Pokémon Regional Championships gives players a greater opportunity to earn coveted Championship Points and get one step closer to an invitation to the 2017 Pokémon World Championships. The expanded schedule also means that players can attend more Regional events throughout the year, even those held internationally.
The first North American Pokémon Regional Championships will take place Saturday, October 1, at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona, while the first European Pokémon Regional Championships will take place November 5–6 at The Arena and Convention Centre Liverpool in Liverpool, England. Go to Pokemon.com/Play to view the current 2017 Pokémon Regional Championships schedule. More Regional Championships dates and locations will be added throughout the season.
Pokémon TCG players will also have an expanded slate of local events coming to participating hobby shops around the world. Each quarter, eligible hobby shops will host Pokémon TCG League Cup events, where Championship Points will be earned by top finishers. Attending League Cup events is a great way for new Pokémon TCG players to get in on the action and hone their skills for larger events throughout the year.
Pokémon video game players can look forward to more local events as well, including the return of Premier Challenge and Midseason Showdown events. Premier Challenges will provide players with frequent opportunities to play at local events and to try out new strategies in smaller events. Midseason Showdowns are larger events that will give players the opportunity to compete for a greater number of Championship Points in their local area.
Players can earn Championship Points at all local Pokémon TCG and video game events, providing even more chances to earn an invitation to the Pokémon World Championships in Anaheim, California.
Be sure to visit Pokemon.com/Play often as more details will be provided throughout the 2017 Play! Pokémon season. New players interested in competing in the 2017 Pokémon Championship Series will need to create a free Pokémon Trainer Club account at Pokemon.com. For those interested in watching Pokémon competitive events from home, select tournaments will be streamed live at Pokemon.com/Live. Streaming dates and times will be announced soon.