Major Changes Coming to 2017 ‘Play! Pokemon’ Events

We all knew it was coming, and now it’s here — major changes are coming to next season’s Pokemon events!

  • Pokemon Championship SeriesStates and Nationals are gone.
  • There will now be four huge tournaments that take place throughout the season: “The North American Championships,” “The European Championships,” “The Latin America Championships,” and “The Asia Pacific Championships.” Players throughout the world can travel to these events to compete in them — there is no residency restriction. Each event will feature high Championship Point payouts and a total prize pool of nearly $250,000 per event. To make it easier to attend these events, travel awards and stipends will be available to players based on their Championship Point performance in the specific zone they live in (North America, Europe, Latin America, or Asia Pacific).
  • Regionals will be spread more evenly throughout the season instead of being clustered into a few weekends. Regionals will also be open to players from around the word; you can travel to foreign Regionals and play in them for points and prizes.
  • Cities have been renamed to “League Cups” and are still being marketed as local events. Hobby stories can host one per quarter.
  • Pokemon League Challenges are still entry-level events.
  • Premier Challenge and Midseason Showdown events will return as local events for Pokemon video game players.

So you get your feet wet at Pokemon League, League Challenges, and League Cups; the “serious” events in your area are Regionals. Then if you’ve done extremely well at these events relative to other players in your zone, you’ll get travel awards to your local zone’s major tournament (such as “The North American Championship”). And then of course at the end of the season, if your Championship Point total is high enough from competing in all of the above, you’ll get invited to Worlds. So in a way this structure is conceptually the same as it was before, but now there’s more opportunities to attend events and travel! It’s a good thing!

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Get ready for an epic year of competitive Pokémon TCG and video game battling at all levels—including the Championship Series—with all-new events in the 2017 Play! Pokémon season. We’re making significant changes to the program to improve players’ chances to compete and win across the world. Take a look.

This year, we’re introducing a new Championship Series event in each of the four core rating zones. The European Championships, North American Championships, Latin American Championships, and Asia Pacific Championships will take place throughout the season and are open to all players worldwide. These amazing events will feature high Championship Point payouts and a total prize pool of nearly $250,000 per event. In addition, Travel Awards and Stipends will be available to players worldwide based on Championship Point performance in their home rating zone. Travel Awards and Stipends available for each of these events may vary by rating zone and by age division. Stay tuned for more details closer to the events.

Pokémon Regional Championships will now be open to players around the world and will feature bigger prizes. Every Regionals will offer more than $50,000 in prize money, scholarships, and Travel Certificates based on attendance. These competitions will be spread more evenly throughout the 2017 Championship Series season instead of clustered over several weekends during the year, making it easier for players to attend multiple Regionals throughout the season. There are no residency restrictions for 2017 Pokémon Regional Championships; players are free to travel to foreign events. Travel Certificates earned at Regionals will be deposited to a travel account that winners may use as they wish.

City Championships will now be known as League Cup events. Participating hobby stores will be eligible to host one League Cup event per quarter, giving Pokémon TCG players more opportunities to play in their local area. The Championship Points structure for top finishers at a League Cup event will be the same as for the former City Championships. Also, Pokémon League Challenges will return as entry-level events, giving Pokémon TCG players a great place to get started and even more opportunities to compete in local events.

The Premier Challenge and Midseason Showdown events will return in the 2017 Championship Series season as local events for Pokémon video game players. 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.

At every event listed above, players can earn Championship Points to qualify for the most prestigious event in the Championship Series: the Pokémon World Championships. Championship Point totals needed to qualify for the 2017 World Championships will be announced in September.

Play! Pokémon will no longer host Pokémon State or National Championships. The Play! Pokémon team may approve independently operated National Championships on a case-by-case basis. The Championship Points and prizes available at these events will vary.

We look forward to seeing you at Play! Pokémon events during the 2017 season. Good luck throughout the year on your climb toward the title of Pokémon World Champion.

Stay tuned for more information on specific events during the 2017 Championship Series season.