World Championships

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The Pokémon World Championships (Japanese: ポケモンワールドチャンピオンシップス Pokémon World Championships) are an annual event staged by the Play! Pokémon organized play division of The Pokémon Company International (formerly known as Pokémon USA). The first ever World Championship event was run by Wizards of the Coast, a division of Hasbro, on August 2002 in Seattle, WA[1]. Due to the transfer of the licensing of the Trading Card Game from Wizards to Nintendo, neither company staged a World Championship in 2003. Nintendo resumed World Championships in 2004, and have held them each year ever since. Prior to the start of the World Championships tournament structure, the best players from around the world competed at the Tropical Mega Battle between 1999 and 2001, as well as at several Super Trainer Showdown events held in the US in 2000 and 2001.

An annual invitational-only event held in August of a given year, players are chosen on overall ratings, national champions and past performances in the previous year's World Championships.

Trading Card Game

The championships are staged utilizing that year's Standard format, previously referred to as Modified Format prior to the 2014 season. The 2015 season introduced the Expanded format. Set over three days with a last chance qualifier (known to players as "The Grinder") on the Friday to fill seats left vacant for various reasons (no travel, local qualifiers) until all seats are filled. The second day is limited to Swiss Pairings over a set number of rounds, and the top players (16 each in the Junior and Senior Divisions, as well as the top 32 in the Masters division) move onto the Sunday rounds. The format for this final is single elimination, until the finals, which are a best two matches out of three to decide the World Champion. There are three divisions: Junior (known as the 10 Years Old and Under Division until 2006), Senior (known as the 11 to 14 Year Old Division until 2006) and Masters (called the 15 Years and Older Division until 2006).

Standard/Modified Format Sets

Expanded Format Sets

World Championship decks

Main article: World Championships Deck (TCG)

World Championship decks are purchasable non-tournament-legal prints of 60-card decks used by World Championship players.

Video games

The format for the Video Game Championships (VGC), first staged in 2009 in San Diego, California is virtually the same as the TCG counterparts in which winners of those in the National tournament play. In 2010, a Last Chance Qualifier was held on Friday to fill all vacant spots. In 2011, a Masters age Division was added to parallel the TCG. The most recently released Pokémon game is used for battles. The in-battle rules and banned Pokémon vary from year to year. Usually, the battles are double battles, and each player can use four Pokémon. The event format consists of Swiss rounds, followed by a single elimination tournament. In 2009, the top two advanced to play the finals on Sunday, whereas since 2010, the top eight advance to play in a head-to-head single elimination event to decide the World Champions.

Games used

Pokkén Tournament

Games used

  • 2015 - Pokkén Tournament (arcade version, Invitational only)
  • 2016 - Pokkén Tournament
  • 2017 - Pokkén Tournament
  • 2018 - Pokkén Tournament DX
  • 2019 - Pokkén Tournament DX

Pokémon GO

  • 2019 (Invitational only)


Pokémon World Championships
Pokémon Trading Card Game only 2004-2008; TCG and Video Games 2009-on
2004: Blaziken TechMagma SpiritRocky BeachTeam Rushdown
2005: Bright AuraDark TyranitarKing of the WestQueendom
2006: B-L-SEeveelutionsMewtrickSuns & Moons
2007: FlyveesLegendary AscentRamboltSwift Empoleon
2008: Bliss ControlEmpotechIntimidationPsychic Lock
2009: StallgonCrowned TigerQueengarLuxdrill
2010: LuxChomp of the SpiritHappy LuckPower CottonweedBoltevoir
2011: MegazoneReshiphlosionThe TruthTwinboar
2012: Pesadelo PrismTerraki-MewtwoEeltwoCMT
2013: Anguille Sous RocheAmerican GothicDarkraiUltimate Team Plasma
2014: Plasma PowerTrevgorEmerald KingCrazy Punch
2015: The Flying HammerPunches 'n' BitesHonorStoisePrimal Groudon
2016: Black DragonBebe DeckMagical SymphonyNinja Blitz
2017: Infinite ForceGolisodorIce Path FTWSamurai Sniper
2018: Victory MapDragones y SombrasGarbanetteBuzzroc
Champions Jason KlaczynskiJun HasebeRay Rizzo