Pokémon Champion

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Artwork of Galar Champion Leon from Pokémon Sword and Shield

A Pokémon League Champion (Japanese: リーグ優勝者 League Champion), normally referred to as simply Champion or Pokémon Champion (Japanese: チャンピオン Champion), is the highest known level of rank for a Pokémon Trainer. The title is also colloquially referred to as League Champ (Japanese: ポケモン リーグの ちょうてん Pokémon League's Greatest).

It usually refers to a Trainer who has completed a Pokémon League by collecting all the necessary Badges, and either winning a regional Pokémon tournament or defeating the Elite Four and the previous Champion (if there is one). Kanto and Johto share a Champion, while other regions have their own. If a Champion is defeated, they must relinquish their title to the victor; however, the victor can refuse the title, as N did in Pokémon Black and White.

Starting in Generation VII, the player, as Champion, can defend the title against challengers. If the player loses a title defense, they black out and return to the Pokémon Center and are still referred to as the champion despite losing the title defense.

In the core series games

The Champion's chamber in Pokémon Sun and Moon, where Professor Kukui challenges the player to test their worth as Alola's first Champion.

Champion is a Trainer class that first debuted in the Generation I games. It is the title held by the last Trainer who defeated the Elite Four and the previous Pokémon Champion. Each Champion is always stronger than the Elite Four members and most other Trainers, and has a party of six Pokémon to test their opponents' strength. Like Elite Four members, they employ the use of strong healing items. To challenge the Champion, Trainers must defeat all four Elite Four members without leaving the Pokémon League area, and cannot access the Pokémon League Pokémon Center and Poké Mart until after defeating the Champion or losing at any point during the challenge. If a challenger is defeated by the Champion, just like the Elite Four, they must start over.

Since in the vast majority of core series games the player goes on to defeat the standing Champion, most player characters are considered Champions and subsequently entered into the Hall of Fame, along with their party. However, for players in games prior to Generation VII, becoming the Champion is mostly a symbolic honor, as they are unable to battle challengers or take up any other league duties; the former Champion will still remain at the Pokémon League, retaining the Trainer class Champion (in Generations I and III, Blue clearly states his reign is over; in the Delta Episode, Zinnia teases Steven that he is the former Champion). In games prior to Pokémon Sun and Moon, the player may battle the Elite Four and the former Champion an indefinite number of times, and on each success will be re-entered into the Hall of Fame with whatever team was used in that challenge. In Alola, the player may still battle the Elite Four an indefinite number of times, but this is followed by a battle against a challenger rather than the former Champion. In Galar, the player can host Champion tournaments, facing three Trainers per tournament; these can be repeated indefinitely.

In Black and White, Cynthia tells the player that once every few years, the Champions from all the regions come together and battle to find the strongest among them. In the Pokémon World Tournament in Black 2 and White 2, which takes place two years later, all the Champions the player battles in previous games participate in the Champions Tournament. This tournament does not include player characters, with the exception of Red.

In Sun, Moon, Ultra Sun, and Ultra Moon, the Pokémon League of Alola, having just been established, has no Champion. Instead, Professor Kukui (the league's founder)SM or Hau (the player's rival)USUM, stands in as the final obstacle the player must overcome before becoming the league's first Champion. In another first for the series, the player can defend their title against challenges from non-player characters. The player keeps the nominal title of Champion even if defeated. Similarly, in Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!, Trace is the Champion of the Indigo League at first, but loses his title to the player. After defeating Lance in a rematch, Trace will challenge the player as a normal Pokémon Trainer in an attempt to retake the title. In Pokémon Sword and Shield, the player character can host post-game Champion tournaments, with one of the possible challengers being Leon.

In Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!, Professor Oak reveals that originally, Trainers who defeated the Elite Four were recorded as Champions, but now Champions were going to be established as a part of the Pokémon League challenge, meaning that now a Trainer can only become a Champion by defeating the Elite Four and the current Champion. In the same games, Brock also reveals that Gym Leaders have the right to directly challenge a Champion.

In Paldea, the title of Champion is a rank bequeathed to Trainers who pass the Champion Assessment at the Pokémon League headquarters after obtaining their eight regional Gym Badges. Geeta, the chairwoman of Paldea's Pokémon League, is considered the Top Champion, the strongest of the region's Champion-ranked Trainers. She stands as the final obstacle for Trainers wishing to complete the Champion Assessment. Due to the way the Champion Rank works, Paldean Champions maintain their title even if defeated.

Known non-player Champions in the games:

Indigo League/Johto League Hoenn League Sinnoh League
Blue Trace Lance Red* Steven Wallace Cynthia
FireRed LeafGreen Blue.png Lets Go Pikachu Eevee Rival.png HeartGold SoulSilver Lance.png FireRed LeafGreen Red.png Omega Ruby Alpha Sapphire Steven.png Emerald Wallace.png Brilliant Diamond Shining Pearl Cynthia.png
Various Various Dragon Various Steel Water Various
Unova League Kalos League Galar League Paldea League
Alder Iris Diantha Leon Mustard* Peony* Nemona Geeta
Black White Alder.png Black 2 White 2 Iris.png XY Diantha.png Sword Shield Leon.png Sword Shield Mustard.png Sword Shield Peony.png Scarlet Violet Nemona.png Scarlet Violet Geeta.png
Various Dragon Various Various Various* Steel Various Various

In the spin-off games

Pokémon Trading Card Game series

In Pokémon Trading Card Game, after defeating the Grand Masters of the Pokémon Dome, the last challenge they must face is their rival, Ronald, who beat the Grand Masters before them and obtained the four Legendary Cards. The player must defeat him to become Champion and gain control of the Legendary Cards for themselves. In the championship duel, Ronald uses the Legendary Ronald Deck, which focuses around Fire Energy, Colorless Pokémon, and the Legendary Moltres and Dragonite cards.

In Pokémon Card GB2: Here Comes Team GR!, a direct sequel to the previous game, the player, as acting Champion, pursues Team Great Rocket after their Cards are stolen.

TCG Island
Colorless Fire

Pokkén Tournament

In Pokkén Tournament, Glenn is the League Champion of the Ferrum League and the top Trainer in the Chroma League. His fighter is a Machamp. Defeating him unlocks the Iron League.

Ferrum League
Pokkén Tournament Region: Ferrum
Trainer League Pokémon
Pokkén Glenn.png
League Champion
グレン Glen
Pokkén Chroma League.png
Rank A
Chroma League
Chroma League
Pokkén Machamp.png

In the anime

Main series

The current regional Champions (and Alain) in the anime

In the Pokémon anime, there can only be one Pokémon Champion per region at a time. While Pokémon Trainers can freely request an informal battle from the Champion, much more popular events are the Pokémon League Conferences, which can normally be entered by Trainers with at least eight Gym Badges. The winner of these tournaments may enter the Champion League to face off the regional Elite Four members and, if successful, the League Champion.

In Alola, due to the Pokémon League being a new establishment, there was no reigning Champion for the majority of Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon, and the winner of the region's first League Conference was directly declared the first Champion of Alola. In addition, due to the lack of Gyms in Alola, any willing Trainer is allowed to participate in its League Conference.

In the English dub, Orange League challengers who defeat the Orange Crew Supreme Gym Leader attain the title of Champion, but the Supreme Gym Leader is not displaced upon defeat. Winning Trainers earn the Winner's Trophy and are inducted into the Palace of Victory, but do not have to carry out any specific tasks as Champions. In the original Japanese version, winners are instead given the title of (Japanese: 名誉トレーナー Honored Trainer).

In addition to gathering eight Gym Badges, the Indigo Plateau Conference is known to accept Trainers passing the Pokémon League Admissions Exam and those graduating from Pokémon Tech. There are also smaller tournaments, such as the Pokémon World Tournament Junior Cup, where the winner gets to battle the League Champion straight away. Trip and Magnus were allowed to battle Alder and Diantha, respectively, by winning such competitions.

In Pokémon Journeys: The Series, Champions from every region introduced before Paldea participated in the World Coronation Series to achieve the title of Monarch, with all known competitors having climbed to the Master Class. Although they still maintain their title of Champion, they start at the lowest rankings like any participant and need to rank up within the parameters of the competition. In this series, Ash defeated some current and former Champions.

Known Champions in the main series (including any previous ones):

League Name
Indigo League Lance*
Johto League
Hoenn League Wallace*
Steven Stone
Sinnoh League Cynthia
Unova League Alder*
Kalos League Diantha
Alola League Ash Ketchum
Galar League Leon

A list of episodes in which a Champion (excluding Ash) appears can be found here.

Pokémon Origins

In this series, the system for defining the Champion of the region is identical to the method seen in the Generation I games. Red and Blue won the eight Badges, and therefore the right to battle the Elite Four. Blue won against them first and became the de facto Champion, after which he faced off against Red. In the end, Red defeated him and became the new Kanto Champion.

Known Champions in Pokémon Origins:

Name League
Blue Indigo League
Red Indigo League

Pokémon Generations

Due to the format of the series, in Pokémon Generations, the subject of Champions is not addressed. In The Challenger, Blue became the Kanto Champion after defeating the Elite Four. In The Redemption, Calem was shown celebrating his newly acquired Champion status. Other characters who have become Champions of their regions also appear in the series.

Known Champions in Pokémon Generations:

Name League
Blue Indigo League
Cynthia Sinnoh League
Diantha Kalos League
Calem Kalos League

Pokémon: Twilight Wings

Leon first appeared in Letter, where he was seen defeating Bea in a Pokémon League battle, successfully defending his title.

In The Gathering of Stars, Leon was revealed to have lost his title to Victor or Gloria, who was later invited to partake in the Galarian Star Tournament. The former Champions Mustard and Peony also appeared and were invited to the tournament as well.

Pokémon Evolutions

Several Champions appeared in this series. The most prominently featured one of them was Leon, who served as the main character of the Galar-focused episode.

Known Champions in Pokémon Evolutions:

Name League
Leon Galar League
Diantha Kalos League
Alder Unova League

In the manga

The Electric Tale of Pikachu

The following are the known Champions in The Electric Tale of Pikachu:

Name League
Drake Orange League
Ash Ketchum Orange League

Wallace wearing the "Champion's Cloak" in Pokémon Adventures

Pokémon Adventures

In Pokémon Adventures, the Champion of each region is the winner of an elimination tournament held every three years in each region. In the Ruby & Sapphire chapter, it was determined that the winners of each tournament would have to face the Elite Four, each a former Champion themselves, before challenging the Champion. The main characters that took part in a Pokémon League tournament so far are Red, Blue, Green, and Black. Of the four, Red and Black both won a tournament, though only Red was formally given the title of Champion.

The following are the known Champions in the Pokémon Adventures manga:

Name League
Professor Oak First Triennial Indigo League
Red Ninth Triennial Indigo League
Steven Stone Hoenn League
Wallace Hoenn League, awarded by Steven
Cynthia Sinnoh League
Alder* Unova League
Iris Unova League
Diantha Kalos League
Leon Galar League

Pokémon Battle Frontier

The following are the known Champions in Pokémon Battle Frontier:

Name League
Rald Unknown

Pokémon Zensho

The following are the known Champions in Pokémon Zensho:

Name League
Shigeru Indigo League
Satoshi Indigo League


  • In French localizations, Gym Leader is translated to Champion, while Champion is translated to Maître, meaning "master".
  • In some languages, including Danish and Finnish, "Pokémon Champion" is translated the same way as "Pokémon Master".
  • Diantha has the highest leveled Pokémon out of all the Champions battled the first time the Pokémon League is challenged. Her lowest level is 64, and her highest is 68.
    • Although Alder has Pokémon above level 70, he is not battled as Champion until the post-credits rematch against the Pokémon League.
  • Lance has the lowest leveled Pokémon out of all the Champions. His lowest level Pokémon is level 44 in Generation II, and level 46 in Generation IV. His highest is level 50 in both generations.
  • In Pokémon X and Y, the Backpacker who gives the player a Strange Souvenir and foreshadows Alola mentions his region's Champion, even though Alola didn't have a Champion during the events of X and Y.
  • Despite Alder not being a type specialist, half of his Champion team consists of Bug types.
  • Peony is the only Champion who never battles the player with a full team of six Pokémon.

In other languages

Language Title
The Arab world Flag.png Arabic بطل batal
Chinese Cantonese 冠軍 Gungwān
Mandarin 冠軍 / 冠军 Guànjūn
Denmark Flag.png Danish Mester
The Netherlands Flag.png Dutch Kampioen
Finland Flag.png Finnish Mestari
French Canada Flag.png Canada Champion*
France Flag.png Europe Maître
Germany Flag.png German Champ
Greece Flag.png Greek Πρωταθλητής Protathlitís
Israel Flag.png Hebrew אלוף Aloof ()
אלופה Aloofa ()
Hungary Flag.png Hungarian Bajnok
Italy Flag.png Italian Campione ()
Campionessa ()
South Korea Flag.png Korean 챔피언 Champion
Norway Flag.png Norwegian Regjerende mester
Poland Flag.png Polish Wielki Mistrz ()
Wielka Mistrzyni ()
Portugal Flag.png Portuguese Campeão ()
Campeã ()
Romania Flag.png Romanian Campion
Russia Flag.png Russian Чемпион Chempion
Spain Flag.png Spanish Campeón ()
Campeona ()
Sweden Flag.png Swedish Mästare
Champion Mästare
Thailand Flag.png Thai ผู้ชนะเลิศ P̄hū̂chnaleiṣ̄
Turkey Flag.png Turkish Şampiyon
Vietnam Flag.png Vietnamese Nhà vô địch

See also

Pokémon Champions
Core series BlueLanceRedStevenWallaceCynthiaAlderIrisDianthaTraceLeonMustardPeonyNemonaGeetaMost player characters
Masters EX BlueLanceRedStevenCynthiaAlderIrisDianthaLeonAsh
Ronald (TCG GB)Mark (TCG GB)Mint (TCG GB)Glenn (Pokkén)
Anime LanceCynthiaWallaceAlderDianthaStevenAsh KetchumLeonIris
Origins BlueRed
Generations BlueCynthiaDianthaCalem
Evolutions LeonDianthaAlder
Adventures Professor OakRedSidneyPhoebeGlaciaDrakeStevenWallaceCynthiaAlderIrisDianthaLeonMustardPeony
Other manga Shigeru (Zensho)Satoshi (Zensho)Rald (Battle Frontier)

Trainer classes in the Pokémon core series
Kanto Ace Trainer*BeautyBikerBird KeeperBlack Belt*Bug CatcherBurglarCamper*ChampionGSCFRLGHGSSPE
ChannelerElite FourGSCFRLGHGSSPEEngineerFishermanGamer*GentlemanGym Leader*GSCFRLGHGSSPE
HikerJugglerLassPicnicker*Poké Maniac*Pokémon Trainer*GSCPEPsychicRivalRocker
Roughneck*SailorScientistSuper NerdSwimmerTamerTeam Rocket Grunt*Youngster
BoarderHGSSDouble TeamHGSSFirebreatherGSCHGSSGuitaristGSCHGSSMediumGSCHGSSPokéfanGSCHGSS
Cool CoupleFRLGCrush KinFRLGSis and BroFRLGYoung CoupleFRLGHGSS
Coach TrainerPEKarate MasterPEPunk GuyPETeam RocketPETeam Rocket AdminPE
Master TrainersPE
Beta Trainer class:
Johto Ace Trainer*BeautyBikerBird KeeperBlack Belt*BoarderBug CatcherBurglarCamper
ChampionExecutive*FirebreatherFisherman*GentlemanGuitaristHikerJugglerKimono GirlLass
LeaderMediumPicnickerPokéfanPoké Maniac*PKMN TrainerPoliceman*PsychicRivalSage
SailorSchool Kid*ScientistSkierSuper NerdSwimmerTeacherTeam Rocket Grunt*TwinsYoungster
Mystery ManCHGSS*
Double TeamHGSSElderHGSSPasserbyHGSSYoung CoupleHGSS
Battle Frontier only:HGSS

Aroma LadyArtistBattle GirlCameramanClownCollector
CowgirlCyclistDragon TamerIdolJoggerLadyNinja Boy
Parasol LadyPIPoké KidPKMN BreederPKMN Ranger
RancherReporterRich BoyRoughneckRuin ManiacSocialite
Arcade StarCastle ValetFactory HeadHall MatronTower Tycoon

Hoenn Ace Trainer*Aqua AdminSEASAqua LeaderSEASAroma LadyBattle GirlBeautyBird KeeperBlack Belt
Bug CatcherBug ManiacCamperChampionCollectorDragon TamerElite FourExpertFisherman
GentlemanGuitaristHex ManiacHikerInterviewersKindlerLadyLassLeaderMagma AdminREOR
Magma LeaderREORNinja BoyOld CoupleParasol LadyPicnickerPoké FanPoké ManiacPokémon Ranger
Pokémon TrainerPokémon BreederPsychicRich BoyRuin ManiacSailorSchoolkid*Sis & Bro*Swimmer
Team Aqua GruntSEASTeam Magma GruntREORTeammates*TriathleteTuberTwinsWinstrateYoung CoupleYoungster
Ace DuoORASBrains & BrawnORASBackpackerORASDelinquentORASFairy Tale GirlORASFare PrinceORASFree DiverORAS
LeadersORASLorekeeperORASMysterious SistersORASProprietorORASRotation GirlORASScuba DiverORAS
Secret Base ExpertORASSecret Base TrainerORASSootopolitanORASStreet ThugORAS
Battle Frontier only:E
Arena TycoonDome AceFactory HeadPalace MavenPike QueenPyramid KingSalon Maiden
Battle Institute and Battle Maison only:ORAS
ArtistBattle ChatelaineButlerChefFurisode GirlGarçonGardenerMadameMaidMonsieurOwnerPreschoolerPunk Girl
Punk GuyRising StarRoller SkaterSchoolboySchoolgirlScientistTouristVeteranWaitressWorker
Sinnoh Ace TrainerAroma LadyArtistBattle GirlBeautyBird KeeperBlack BeltBug CatcherCameramanCamperChampion
ClownCollectorCommanderCowgirlCyclistDouble TeamDragon TamerElite FourFisher*GentlemanGuitarist
Gym Leader*HikerIdolInterviewersJoggerLadyLassMadame*Ninja BoyParasol LadyPicnickerPIPoké Fan*
Poké KidPokémon BreederPokémon RangerPokémon TrainerPolice Officer*PsychicRancherRanchers*
ReporterRich BoyRoughneckRuin ManiacSailorSchool KidScientistSkierSwimmerTeam Galactic Boss*
Team Galactic Grunt*Tower TycoonTuberTwinsVeteranWaiterWaitressWorkerYoung CoupleYoungster
Arcade StarPtCastle ValetPtFactory HeadPtHall MatronPtMaidPtGAME FREAK'sBDSP
Unova Ace TrainerArtistBackersBackpackerBakerBattle GirlBeautyB2W2BikerBlack BeltBoss TrainerB2W2Champion
ClerkCyclistDancerDepot AgentDoctorElite FourFishermanGAME FREAKGentlemanGuitaristB2W2Harlequin
Nursery AideParasol LadyPilotPokéfanPKMN BreederPKMN RangerPKMN TrainerPoliceman
PreschoolerPsychicRich BoyRoughneckSchool KidScientistSmasherSocialiteStrikerSubway Boss
SwimmerTeam PlasmaTeam Plasma GruntThe RichesBWTwinsVeteranWaiterWaitressWorkerYoungster
Pokéstar Studios only:B2W2
A-list ActorActorActressBig StarCelebrityChic ActressChild StarComedianFine Actor
Movie StarNew ActressStar ActorSuit ActorUnique StarVeteran Star
Pokémon World Tournament only:B2W2
Junior RepresentativeMaster RepresentativeSenior Representative
World ChampionWorld FinalistWorld Runner-up
Kalos Ace DuoAce TrainerArtistArtist FamilyBackpackerBattle GirlBeautyBlack BeltBrains & Brawn
ButlerChampionChefDriverElite FourFairy Tale GirlFishermanFurisode GirlGarçonGardener
Hex ManiacHikerHoneymoonersLassLeaderLumiose Gang MemberMysterious SistersOwner
Poké FanPoké Fan FamilyPokémon BreederPokémon ProfessorPokémon RangerPokémon Trainer
PreschoolerPsychicPunk CouplePunk GirlPunk GuyRangersRising StarRoller Skater
SchoolboySchoolgirlScientistSky TrainerSuccessorSuspicious ChildSuspicious Lady
Suspicious WomanSwimmerTeam FlareTeam Flare AdminTeam Flare BossTeam Flare Grunt
Battle Chateau ranks:
By male: BaronViscountEarlMarquisDukeGrand Duke
By female: BaronessViscountessCountessMarchionessDuchessGrand Duchess
Battle Institute and Battle Maison only:
Battle ChatelaineLadyMadameMaidMonsieurRich Boy
Galar ArtistBackpackerBeautyBlack BeltCabbieCafé MasterCameramanChampionColleaguesCookDancerDaring Couple
DoctorFisherGAME FREAK'sGym ChallengerGym LeaderGym TrainerGentlemanHikerInterviewersLassLeague Staff
Macro Cosmos'sMadameMedical TeamModelMusic CrewMusicianOffice WorkerPoké KidPokémon Breeder
Pokémon TrainerPolice OfficerPostmanRail StaffReporterSchoolboySchoolgirlSwimmerTeam Yell GruntWorkerYoungster
Expansion Pass only:
Dojo MasterDojo MatronMaster Dojo Student
Paldea AIBackpackerCabbieChampionCookDirectorDragon TamerElite FourGym Leader
Gym TrainerHikerInstructorMusicianOffice WorkerPoké ManiacPokémon Trainer
ScientistStudentTeam StarTeam Star GruntTop ChampionYoungster

DawnChallenge.png The Pokémon League VSAaron.png
TrainerBattleGym Leaders
Championship matches
Elite FourOrange League
Champion League
Pokémon League Conferences
IndigoSilverEver GrandeLily of the Valley
Regional Pokémon Leagues
Areas of jurisdiction
Pokémon League Reception GateHall of Fame
Palace of VictoryCerulean Cave
Pokémon AssociationPIA
World Coronation Series
(Masters Eight Tournament)

Project CharacterDex logo.png This Trainer Class article is part of Project CharacterDex, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on each character found in the Pokémon games.