PSA: Team Challenge 3 Players Now Restricted to State of Residence

Pokemon recently announced Team Challenge Season 3 and while a few changes were announced at the time of the announcement, there’s been a hidden change that is sure to cause a bit of disruption. In previous Team Challenge events, players were restricted to their country of residence. With the Team Challenge Season 3, that restriction is made even tighter—players from the United States will now be restricted to their specific state of residence. This means that players who would have been participants at stores just across state lines are no longer allowed to participate in the qualifiers for those stores.

This change can be found on the one of the details pages for the Play! Pokemon Team Challenge – Season 3 on RK9’s website.

Players eligible to participate in the Play! Pokémon Team Challenge – Season 3 must meet the following requirements:

  • You must be a Masters division player born in 2005 or earlier (if you are a resident of Brazil, you must be aged 18 and over), and
  • Reside in the country that your Play! Pokémon Store is located in (if you are a resident of the United States, you must also reside in the state that your Play! Pokémon Store is located in).

Participating countries include:

  • 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 years or older), Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay
  • Oceania: Australia, New Zealand

It seems likely that COVID concerns are behind this particular change, and that they’re introducing this restriction to clamp down on cross-state travel since some areas will have the option to run qualifier events in person instead of online. However, in an online-first era where many newer players have never even played the Pokemon Trading Card Game in a card store—or may not feel comfortable doing so—the restriction being imposed on online qualifiers comes off as a bit odd. Although players participating in this third season of the Team Challenge may be technically allowed to participate in the qualifiers for up to three stores, people in certain states may literally not have three qualifiers they’re eligible to play in.

taveryri

Aspiring Trainer
Member
If I have ever read a regurgitated politicians statement on an issue, I’ve just read one lol.
 

Yaginku

Aspiring Trainer
Member
I thought the only countries that are allowed to run in-store qualifiers are those that are reopened by Pokemon, which doesn't include the USA? Making this change completely pointless.
 

gijinka

Aspiring Trainer
Member
I thought the only countries that are allowed to run in-store qualifiers are those that are reopened by Pokemon, which doesn't include the USA? Making this change completely pointless.
Well, the season is only starting, and who knows which areas may be considered safe enough to play in person again, over the next few months ;)
 

Yaginku

Aspiring Trainer
Member
Well, the season is only starting, and who knows which areas may be considered safe enough to play in person again, over the next few months ;)
Which honestly sounds like a drama waiting to happen, with TPCi trying to act like medical authorities judging which places are "worthy" of reopening. Every country/state already controls what is open and what's not, they could literally just follow that.
 

tenkarasu

Aspiring Trainer
Member
Which honestly sounds like a drama waiting to happen, with TPCi trying to act like medical authorities judging which places are "worthy" of reopening. Every country/state already controls what is open and what's not, they could literally just follow that.
They could very well just be doing a blanket thing for everyone, rather than having people cheat and claim they live in Indiana, when they actually live in California.

It's probably just to cover their own butts. From what I've found, more people know the name Pokemon than Magic: the Gathering. If there were to be a massive outbreak with a Pokemon event, the name *Pokemon* would be ruined. If it were to happen at a *Magic* event, or even a *YuGiOh* event, it wouldn't be under Magic or Konami, it would be under Hasbro/WotC or Konami.
 

Yaginku

Aspiring Trainer
Member
It's probably just to cover their own butts. From what I've found, more people know the name Pokemon than Magic: the Gathering. If there were to be a massive outbreak with a Pokemon event, the name *Pokemon* would be ruined. If it were to happen at a *Magic* event, or even a *YuGiOh* event, it wouldn't be under Magic or Konami, it would be under Hasbro/WotC or Konami.
Somewhat, but I think it's mostly because Pokemon TCG is experiencing that massive uptick and it's way better to let in-store play dead and reap in profit from investors and collectors, than risk any bad news that might pop that bubble. Magic needs players in stores, the collector's market for that game is really low compared to Pokemon's, especially fresh product.
 

Nintenfreak

Aspiring Trainer
Member
Great, can't wait to never be able to play because there are no card stores that run Pokemon near Tupelo, MS and are certified.