Five Battle Road tournaments were planned this year to determine who would go to Worlds from Japan (not to be confused with America’s Battle Road tournaments, which are completely different), but the remaining three have been canceled as the result of a threatening letter sent to Pokemon Card Laboratory (PCL), the makers of the Pokemon TCG. Bangiras has translated PCL’s statement on the issue below:
We received a letter from an unknown sender stating an intent to disturb the Kanto Convention (scheduled April 12 and April 13), one of the Pokemon Card Game Battle Road Spring 2008 events which was originally scheduled to occur on 7 days, in 5 locations throughout the country, starting on March 23rd.
Since becoming aware of the situation, we have discussed it thoroughly, and feel the safety of our customers is the top priority. With great regret, we are suspending the aforementioned Kanto Convention, as well as the scheduled Chuubu Convention and Kyushu Convention. So as not to disrupt criminal investigations, we can not release any further details.
This was an extremely painful decision, and we ask that you please forgive us. We offer our deepest condolences to our customers who planned to participate in these events.
This event is unprecedented in Pokemon’s history, so the situation is quite shocking. Because the remaining Battle Roads are canceled, it is unknown how the Japanese will determine who goes to the World Championship this year, as only two of the five qualifying tournaments were completed.