Players will be able to participate in a series of officially sanctioned events called the Play! Pokémon Team Challenge via the Pokémon Trading Card Game Online. Players first compete in a series of qualifiers for their store, then, qualifying players will represent their store in a worldwide single elimination tournament!
Starting with the 2nd of November, stores can sign up to take part in the Play! Pokémon Team Challenge! The only requirement for stores is to already have a Pokémon League ID. This means they have been running officially sanctioned Pokémon events. If they have not, they will not be able to take part in the event.
Find out if your Play! Store has already registered by contacting them–you can look up your local play store here! If they are not interested in taking part, you may play in a different store’s events. After you have found a store that is taking part in the Play! Pokémon Team Challenge, you can register your interest in taking part in the event, and even offer to TO the event if the store is still looking for staff.
You will be eligible to take part in your Play! Store’s Qualifiers if you are a Pokémon Masters Division player and were born in 2004 or earlier (or those aged 18 and over where playing out of Brazil) and if you are a resident of the country your eligible Play! Store is located in.
Note: Players who participate and are found to break one or both of these requirements will be disqualified!
Join your Store’s Discord Channel
You will need to join your store’s Discord Channel for the Play! Pokémon Team Challenge, so you can interact with other players, TOs, learn more about the event, ask questions, and get to know your opponents. Each Store has been instructed to set up their own channel, so nudge them to send you a link!
Check/Install the Pokémon Trading Card Game Online (TCGO)
The tournament will be run on TCGO. The Pokémon Trading Card Game Online is an online version of the popular Pokémon Trading Card Game enjoyed by millions of players around the world. It is free to download, free to play, playable cross-platform on PC, Mac, iPad, and Android tablets. If you do not have TCGO, please follow this link to install it! Please not, you will not be able to run the app on your mobile phone, only on an iPad, Android Tablet, Mac, or PC. For the exact requirements, please follow the link. Please note: to avoid any delays, please install the game and complete the tutorial before the day of the first Qualifier. To supplement your card pool, you can purchase Pokémon TCG Products that contain codes which unlock additional content in the online game from your Play! Store.
Team Challenge Structure
The Team Challenge kicks off on December 5, 2020, and will run over six months, giving participants lots of opportunity to compete and advance.
In the first stage, individual stores will host Qualifier tournaments via the Pokémon TCG Online. The winners from each of these individual tournaments will form a team as representatives of their store. This Qualifier round is expected to run about 10 weeks and conclude on February 28, 2021.
Once the teams are in place for each store, they will compete against teams from other stores in an elimination bracket. Each bracket match will be a 3v3 round-robin competition against another team, with the team that earns five or more wins advancing to the next round. Initially teams will play other stores from their city, and then will be reseated at regional, national, and global levels if they progress. This round will also take approximately 10 weeks, starting on March 20, 2021.
The Team Challenge culminates in a Grand Final between the top two stores’ teams in late May 2021.
Player and Store Eligibility
The Team Challenge is open to Masters Division players (born in 2004 or earlier, or age 18 and over in Brazil) who have a Pokémon Trainer Club account and valid Pokémon Player ID. Stores who host Play! Pokémon events are eligible to host a team for this event.
Stores and players from the following regions/countries are eligible to participate in the Team Challenge:
North America: Canada, United States of America (including Puerto Rico)
Europe: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Ireland, Italy, Jersey, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom
Latin America: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil (age 18 or older), Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay
Oceania: Australia, New Zealand
Play in Qualifier(s)
You will need to sign up for the RK9 Labs platform here. After you have done so, you will need to sign up for the event(s) that you wish to play in. You will also need to submit your decklist before the event starts. You will need to use the same deck for the entirety of the Qualifier. Please note, once you sign up for a store, you will be locked into that store and will be unable to play in a different store’s events.
You will receive TCGO codes for participating in the Qualifiers. The codes will unlock in-game digital booster packs. You will be awarded additional ones depending on your results. The winner of each Qualifier will receive an official Pokémon playmat. These will be distributed to the winners by your store. You will also receive codes for digital sleeves and deck boxes for having taken part in the event (distributed after conclusion of Qualifiers).
Play in Play-Offs
You will need to sign in the RK9 Labs platform here. You will need to submit your decklist before the event starts. Please note, you will need to use the same deck for the entirety of the Play-Off.
Teams that make Top 256 will receive official Team Challenge playmats for the four Team Members (and for their judges). Teams that make Top 32 will receive an additional Top 32 Team Challenge playmats for the four team members (and one for the store).
These playmats will have different artwork than the ones offered in the Qualifiers. You will also receive additional TCGO codes, depending on your ranking. Top 8 Teams will receive additional physical product, distributed by their participating store.
What is in it for me?
If you are still not convinced to register and participate in the Play! Pokémon Team Challenge, this is what you will get in a nutshell:
The chance to play the game you love in an official sanctioned global event, the chance to represent your store in the first iteration of the Play! Pokémon Team Challenge, an opportunity to hang out with the Pokémon community online, TCGO codes and potentially playmats!
The schedule for the Play! Pokémon Team Challenge events is as follows:
- Qualifiers 1st Period: December 5 – December 19, 2020
- Holiday Break: December 20, 2020 – January 5, 2021
- Qualifiers 2nd Period: January 6 – February 28, 2021
- Play-Offs: March 20 – End of May 2021
- Grand Final: End of May 2021 (TBA)
An official FAQ is available for the Play! Pokémon Team Challenge here.