Play! Pokemon Team Challenge—Season 3 Announced

The Pokemon Company International has announced the newest round of the Play! Pokemon Team Challenge following last year’s Summer Team Challenge. As before, Masters Division players will compete against one another in a series of qualifying matches to earn a spot to compete on their local game store’s Pokemon TCG team. Qualifiers begin January 15th and wrap May 8th.

There are a few noteworthy changes to the Play! Pokemon Team Challenge this time around. The biggest is perhaps that players are no longer ‘locked’ into a specific game store until they have qualified at one. Players may compete in the qualifier events for up to three stores of their choosing. Additionally, stores that exist in regions where Pokemon has sanctioned play may hold their qualifier events in person.

The text below comes from’s announcement.

Play! Pokémon Team Challenge—Season 3 is a Pokémon TCG tournament where players will play to form a four-person team representing their local game store to compete for prizes and glory! The tournament is open to Masters Division players (players in Brazil must be 18 years or older).

This season of Team Challenge will be played both online and in stores. Online matches will be held through the Pokémon TCG Online and hosted by tournamentcenter BVBA. In-store matches will take place in regions that are open for Play! Pokémon events. Please refer to the official Play! Pokémon COVID-19 requirements, and stay connected with your friends and your gaming community while staying safe!

To participate in the Play! Pokémon Team Challenge—Season 3, use the Play! Pokémon Store Finder to locate participating stores near you. You can register to play at starting January 7, 2022. You can also visit to check for weekly event coverage.


Team Challenge Structure

The Team Challenge—Season 3 kicks off January 15, 2022, and will run through fall 2022, giving participants plenty of time to compete and advance.

In the first stage that begins January 15, individual retailers will host Qualifier tournaments in store (where available) and 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 conclude on May 8, 2022.

Once the teams are in place for each store, they will compete against other Store Teams in an elimination bracket. Each bracket match will be a 3v3 round-robin competition; the team that earns five or more wins will advance 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.

The Team Challenge culminates in the Grand Finals between the top two Store Teams.


Player and Store Eligibility

The Team Challenge—Season 3 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 that 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—Season 3:

  • 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 (players must be 18 or over), Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay
  • Oceania: Australia, New Zealand

If you own or manage a store and would like to participate, register now. You can also learn more about Play! Pokémon if your store is not yet part of the program.


Pokémon TCG Format

The initial round of the Team Challenge will use the 2021 Standard format, including the Pokémon TCG: Sword & ShieldFusion Strike expansion.



Participants will have the opportunity to win Pokémon Trading Card Game Online booster codes (prize quantity depends on the number of participants in each qualifier), digital card sleeves, and deck boxes for the Pokémon TCG Online. An event-exclusive Pokémon TCG playmat will also be revealed later.

Check back soon for more information about prizes.


Stream Information

Don’t miss the exciting conclusion to the Play! Pokémon Team Challenge—Season 3! The final rounds will be streamed live on TwitchTwitterYouTube, and Facebook. Pokémon TCG experts will be on hand to host and offer insight for this global event. Check back later for more information about the exact dates and times for all the action.