World Championships

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If you were looking for the anime competition known as the "Pokémon World Championships" in Japanese, see World Coronation Series.
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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 held by the Play! Pokémon organized play division of The Pokémon Company International. They function as the finals for both the Pokémon Trading Card Game and Video Game Championships. Since 2015, the World Championships have also featured events for spin-off Pokémon games, namely Pokkén Tournament, Pokémon GO, and Pokémon UNITE. The Pokémon World Championships are held annually, occurring every August.

Competitors usually must qualify for the event based in their performance in other events in the same season, such as regional championships, national championships, dedicated qualifying tournaments, or the previous year's World Championships. The exact qualification requirements depend on the exact year, the region the player is from, and the game in which they are playing.

While the Pokémon World Championships are held as a single unified event featuring multiple different games, each of the games are run as an entirely separate tournament. Competitors compete in only one of the featured games, and the qualification requirements of each are entirely separate. Additionally, competitors usually are separated into one of three age groups, meaning that three world champions are crowned for each game each year.

Minor announcements are usually made during the events, such as upcoming VGC mechanics and variants of TCG cards, the ruleset of the following VGC format, and the city where the next World Championships will be hosted.

History

Predecessors

Before the introduction of the modern Pokémon World Championships, both the TCG and video games held some international competitions.

For the Pokémon Trading Card Game, the Pokémon Tropical Mega Battle was an international Pokémon Trading Card Game tournament held annually from 1999 to 2002 in Hawaii by Wizards of the Coast (the distributor of the Pokémon Trading Card Game in many regions outside of Japan at the time). Players from Canada, Latin America, Europe, the United States, and Japan were invited to the event. After Wizards of the Coast's license to distribute the Pokémon Trading Card Game reverted to The Pokémon Company in 2003, this event was replaced by the Pokémon Trading Card Game World Championships.

In September 2000, to coincide with the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, the first ever Pokémon World Championship was also held in Sydney. Players from Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States competed using Pokémon Red and Blue and Pokémon Yellow. This was a one-time event, with a video game World Championship not being held again until 2009.

Pokémon Trading Card Game World Championships

In August 2002, Wizards of the Coast held the first Pokémon Trading Card Game World Championship in Seattle, Washington in the United States.[1]

Due to the transfer of the licensing of the Pokémon Trading Card Game from Wizards to Nintendo, no World Championship was held in 2003. Now with control of the Pokémon Trading Card Game licence, Pokémon USA formed Pokémon Organized Play to manage Pokémon Trading Card Game events.

In August 2004, Pokémon Organized Play held the 2004 Pokémon Trading Card Game World Championships. From 2004 to 2008, the event was titled the Pokémon Trading Card Game World Championships, reflecting the fact that it was specifically for the Pokémon Trading Card Game only.

At the 2008 Pokémon Trading Card Game World Championships, a special video game event called the Pokémon Video Game Showdown 2008 was held. This event featured players from the United States and Japan competing with Pokémon Diamond and Pearl. However, since only two countries were involved, the winner was not awarded the title of world champion.

Pokémon World Championships

In August 2009, the first unified Pokémon World Championships were held, featuring both the Pokémon Trading Card Game and the Pokémon Video Game Championships. This format has continued until the present.

From 2015 to 2022, Pokkén Tournament was also featured at the Pokémon World Championships. In 2015, the Pokkén Tournament competition was run as an invitational due to the lack of preliminary events. After the 2022 World Championships, it was announced that Pokkén Tournament would no longer appear at the Pokémon World Championships.

Starting in 2019, Pokémon GO was added to the Pokémon World Championships. In 2019, the Pokémon GO competition was run as an invitational due to the lack of preliminary events.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the planned 2020 Pokémon World Championships to be held in London, England were cancelled, and the event also was not held in 2021. The World Championships returned with the 2022 Pokémon World Championships, held in London, England like the original 2020 plan.

Starting in 2022, Pokémon UNITE was added to the Pokémon World Championships.

Events

Since 2004, the Pokémon World Championships have been held annually, except in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Year Dates Venue City Region Country Games
2000 September 22, 2000 University of Sydney Sydney New South Wales Australia Flag.png Australia VGC
2002 August 3 to 4, 2002 Seattle Convention Center Seattle Washington United States Flag.png United States TCG
2004 August 20 to 22, 2004 Wyndham Palace Resort & Spa Orlando Florida United States Flag.png United States TCG
2005 August 19 to 21, 2005 Town and Country Resort and Convention Center San Diego California United States Flag.png United States TCG
2006 August 18 to 20, 2006 Hilton Anaheim Anaheim California United States Flag.png United States TCG
2007 August 10 to 12, 2007 Hilton Waikoloa Village Waikoloa Village Hawaii United States Flag.png United States TCG
2008 August 15 to 17, 2008 Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista Orlando Florida United States Flag.png United States TCG
2009 August 13 to 15, 2009 Hilton San Diego Bayfront San Diego California United States Flag.png United States TCG, VGC
2010 August 13 to 15, 2010 Hilton Waikoloa Village Waikoloa Village Hawaii United States Flag.png United States TCG, VGC
2011 August 12 to 14, 2011 Hilton San Diego Bayfront San Diego California United States Flag.png United States TCG, VGC
2012 August 13 to 15, 2012 Hilton Waikoloa Village Waikoloa Village Hawaii United States Flag.png United States TCG, VGC
2013 August 9 to 11, 2013 Vancouver Convention Centre Vancouver British Columbia Canada Flag.png Canada TCG, VGC
2014 August 15 to 17, 2014 Walter E. Washington Convention Center Washington, D.C. United States Flag.png United States TCG, VGC
2015 August 21 to 23, 2015 Hynes Convention Center Boston Massachusetts United States Flag.png United States TCG, VGC, Pokkén
2016 August 19 to 21, 2016 San Francisco Marriott Marquis San Francisco California United States Flag.png United States TCG, VGC, Pokkén
2017 August 18 to 20, 2017 Anaheim Convention Center Anaheim California United States Flag.png United States TCG, VGC, Pokkén
2018 August 24 to 26, 2018 Music City Center Nashville Tennessee United States Flag.png United States TCG, VGC, Pokkén
2019 August 16 to 19, 2019 Walter E. Washington Convention Center Washington, D.C. United States Flag.png United States TCG, VGC, Pokkén, GO
2022 August 18 to 21, 2022 ExCeL London London England United Kingdom Flag.png United Kingdom TCG, VGC, Pokkén, GO, UNITE
2023 August 11 to 13, 2023 Pacifico Yokohama Yokohama Kanagawa Japan Flag.png Japan TCG, VGC, GO, UNITE
2024 August 16 to 18, 2024 Hawai'i Convention Center Honolulu Hawaii United States Flag.png United States TCG, VGC, GO, UNITE

Video Game Championship

The core series Pokémon games were first featured at a Nintendo-organized World Championship event in 2000 with single battles, and later returning as Pokémon Video Game Showdown (VGS) in 2008 as a side-event to the 2008 Trading Card Game World Championships with double battles. Starting in 2009, the events were renamed the Video Game Championships (VGC).

Battles use the following rules in general:

  • The format is Double Battles. A player must bring between 4 and 6 Pokémon and select 4 of them just before the battle. In games that use Team Preview (Generation V onward), this selection is made after viewing the opponent's 6 Pokémon.
  • Two Pokémon may not have the same Pokédex number. Special Pokémon, Mythical Pokémon, and Ash-Greninja are disallowed (but not Dusk Form Lycanroc) unless the format has an exception.
  • Between Generation VI and Generation VIII, Pokémon must have an origin mark matching the games used for the competition. This may be substituted with the battle-ready symbol.
  • Two Pokémon may not have the same held item.
  • Pokémon cannot battle above level 50.
    • In 2008 and 2009, there was no auto-leveling and Pokémon above level 50 were disallowed outright.
    • Between 2010 and 2016, Pokémon above level 50 were auto-leveled down to 50, but Pokémon below level 50 were not auto-leveled up.
    • From 2017 onward, all Pokémon are auto-leveled to 50.
  • Two Pokémon may not have the same nickname. A Pokémon may not be nicknamed the name of a different Pokémon, and nicknames and Trainer names may not be inappropriate.

Year-specific formats

  • 2008Pokémon Diamond and Pearl
    • For this year only, players were only allowed to bring exactly 4 Pokémon, instead of bringing 6 and choosing 4 just before the battle.[2]
    • Dragonite and Tyranitar were specifically disallowed, preventing players from using the (at the time) Japan-exclusive level 50 Dragonite event. (It was not possible to obtain Tyranitar at or below level 50 until a Generation VI event.)
    • The Japan-only (at the time) Micle Berry, Custap Berry, and Sketching Seed Flare were disallowed.
  • 2009Pokémon Platinum
    • Event-exclusive level 50 Dragonite were allowed this year.
    • All forms of Rotom, including the normal form, were disallowed.[3]
    • The Japan-only (at the time) Jaboca Berry, Rowap Berry, and Sketching Judgment were disallowed. The Custap Berry was also disallowed.
      • The Custap Berry had not yet been distributed to French, German, Italian, or Spanish-language games at the time, though the level 50 Dragonite event was also never distributed in these languages.
  • 2010Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver
    • Up to two Special Pokémon were allowed. Uniquely for this year, a player's team of 6 could list up to 4 Special Pokémon, as long as no more than 2 were chosen before battle.
    • The Jaboca Berry was allowed this year despite still being Japan-only at the time.
  • 2011Pokémon Black and White
  • 2012Pokémon Black and White
  • 2013Pokémon Black 2 and White 2
  • 2014Pokémon X and Y
    • Only Kalos Pokédex Pokémon were allowed. Dark Void once again became allowed.
  • 2015Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire
  • 2016Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire
    • Up to two Special Pokémon were allowed in a team of six.
  • 2017Pokémon Sun and Moon
  • 2018Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon
  • 2019Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon
    • Up to two Special Pokémon were allowed. In addition, the season was split into three series:
      • Sun Series (Sep 4, 2018 - Jan 7, 2019): Mega Stones, Primal Reversion, Rayquaza with Dragon Ascent, and Z-Crystals were disallowed.
      • Moon Series (Jan 8 - Apr 1, 2019): Z-Crystals other than Ultranecrozium Z became allowed.
      • Ultra Series (Apr 2, 2019 - Jan 3, 2020): All Mega Evolution, Primal Reversion, and Z-Moves became allowed.
  • 2022Pokémon Sword and Shield
    • Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 and 2021 World Championships were canceled and the season was eventually extended to last three years with several different series.
    • All Pokémon that were obtainable at the beginning of a series were allowed for that series, including those not in any of the Galar Pokédexes, as long as they met all other requirements (such as having the Galar symbol/battle-ready symbol and not being Special/Mythical). As a result:
      • Version 1.1.0 and Pokémon HOME released before Series 3, The Isle of Armor released before Series 5, and The Crown Tundra released before Series 7.
      • Between Series 1 and 2, only Galar Pokédex Pokémon were allowed due to the only obtainable Pokémon outside the Galar Pokédex being Mew. The only non-Galarian forms allowed were Kantonian Meowth, Persian, Mr. Mime, and Unovan Yamask due to those being the only obtainable ones at the time.
      • Between Series 3 and 4, all non-Galarian forms of compatible Pokémon were allowed except three: Alolan Raichu and Kantonian Weezing were not obtainable with the Galar symbol at the time, and Kantonian Slowpoke was not compatible with Sword and Shield at the time (only Galarian Slowpoke was). Cobalion, Terrakion, and Virizion were compatible but disallowed due to the battle-ready symbol not existing at the time.
    • List of series:
      • Series 1 (Nov 19 - Dec 31, 2019): All Gigantamax Pokémon were disallowed.
      • Series 2 (Jan 4 - Feb 29, 2020): Gigantamax Pikachu, Eevee, Butterfree, Drednaw, Corviknight, Sandaconda, Centiskorch, Blaze Charizard, Meowth (event-only), and Snorlax (event-only) became allowed.
      • Series 3 (Mar 1 - Apr 30, 2020): Gigantamax Coalossal, Lapras, Flapple, Appletun, Alcremie, Kingler, Orbeetle, Grimmsnarl, Hatterene, Solar Power Charizard, and Toxtricity (event-only) became allowed.
      • Series 4 (May 1 - Jun 30, 2020): All Gigantamax Pokémon became allowed (the remaining five at the time being Machamp, Gengar, Garbodor, Copperajah, and Duraludon).
      • Series 5 (Jul 1 - Aug 31, 2020)
      • Series 6 (Sep 1 - Oct 31, 2020): The most used Pokémon from the previous series were disallowed: Venusaur, Gyarados, Porygon2, Tyranitar, Torkoal, Hippowdon, Magnezone, Togekiss, Excadrill, Whimsicott, Incineroar, Mimikyu, Rillaboom, Cinderace, Indeedee, and Dragapult.
      • Series 7 (Nov 1, 2020 - Jan 31, 2021): The above 16 Pokémon became re-allowed.
      • Series 8 (Feb 1 - Apr 30, 2021): Up to one Special Pokémon was allowed.
      • Series 9 (May 1 - Jul 31, 2021): No Special Pokémon were allowed. (identical to Series 7)
      • Series 10 (Aug 1 - Oct 31, 2021): Up to one Special Pokémon was allowed. Dynamax and Gigantamax were disallowed.
      • Series 11 (Nov 1, 2021 - Jan 31, 2022): Up to one Special Pokémon was allowed. Dynamax and Gigantamax became re-allowed. (identical to Series 8)
      • Series 12 (Feb 1 - Aug 31, 2022): Up to two Special Pokémon were allowed.
      • Series 13 (Sep 1 - Oct 31, 2022): Any number of Special Pokémon and any number of Mythical Pokémon were allowed. VGC events taking place during this time period count toward the next year's Championships.[6]
      • Series 14 (Nov 1 - Dec 31, 2022): Up to two Special Pokémon were allowed. Mythical Pokémon were disallowed. (identical to Series 12)
  • 2023Pokémon Scarlet and Violet
    • Both players must disclose their team to their opponent (including Tera Type, species, forms, moves, Abilities, and held items, but excluding stats).
    • On March 1, 2023, series were renamed Regulation Sets (レギュレーション Regulations), with Series 1 and Series 2 retroactively renamed. The season was split into the following series:
      • Regulation Set A (Dec 2, 2022 - Jan 31, 2023):[7] Only Pokémon in the Paldea Pokédex were allowed. Pokémon and regional forms not in the Paldea Pokédex, such as Quagsire and Johtonian Wooper, were disallowed. Paradox Pokémon and the treasures of ruin were also disallowed.
      • Regulation Set B (Feb 1 - Mar 31, 2023): Paradox Pokémon became allowed.
      • Regulation Set C (Apr 1 - Jun 30, 2023): The treasures of ruin became allowed.
        • Prior to the release of Pokémon HOME compatibility, the Japanese and Chinese rulesets consistently stated (for all three regulation sets) that a Scarlet and Violet origin mark was required,[8][9] while the English/French/Italian/German/Spanish rulesets consistently stated (for all three regulation sets) that Pokémon transferred from HOME would become allowed when the feature was released.[10] (No ruleset was published in Korean due to all Korean Scarlet/Violet tournaments up to that point being conducted online.)
        • When HOME compatibility was released, the English/French/Italian/German/Spanish ruleset was changed to state that a Scarlet and Violet origin mark was required for the rest of the series (with the only competitive effect being to disallow Roaming Form Gimmighoul).
        • Regardless of these regional inconsistencies and changes, the HOME update also caused Plates and six certain Egg Moves (Heal Bell, Simple Beam, Cosmic Power, Raging Fury, Barb Barrage, and Psyshield Bash[11]) to become newly available and allowed immediately in all regions, at approximately 4pm JST May 30.
        • Players competing in events in Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, South Korea, and Hong Kong between June 3–4, who were required to lock in their teams by 9am May 31, were sent an email at 11:10pm May 30 stating that the newly available Plates and Egg Moves would be disallowed for those events.[12] Players competing in Japan between June 10–11 were sent a similar email on June 1. Events in other locations on the same days were unaffected and Plates/the Egg Moves were allowed.
      • Regulation Set D (Jul 1 - Sep 30, 2023): Pokémon and forms outside the Paldea Pokédex became allowed, except Walking Wake and Iron Leaves.
        • Before the release of The Teal Mask on September 13, a "Temporary Post-Release Restriction Clause" was added to the ruleset disallowing any traits exclusive to The Teal Mask for the rest of the series (Pokémon, forms, moves, and items), such as the Kee Berry. (For example, this applied to the Curitiba Regionals in Brazil on September 23–24.[13])
      • Regulation Set E (Oct 1, 2023 - Jan 3, 2024): Pokémon in the Kitakami Pokédex and Pokémon made available in the 2.0.1 update became allowed.
        • Before the release of The Indigo Disk on December 14, a "Temporary Post-Release Restriction Clause" was added to the ruleset disallowing any traits exclusive to The Indigo Disk for the rest of the series (Pokémon, moves, items, and the Stellar Tera Type). (For example, this applied to the San Antonio Regionals on December 16–17.[14])
      • Regulation Set F (Jan 4 - Apr 30, 2024): Pokémon in the Blueberry Pokédex and Pokémon made available in the 3.0.0 update became allowed, including Walking Wake and Iron Leaves.
      • Regulation Set G (May 1 - Aug 31, 2024): Up to one Special Pokémon was allowed.

When series may overlap at the start or end of a year, events may use either of the two formats. For example, the Korean League Season 1 on December 15–16, 2019 used 2020 Series 1 rules, while the Kuala Lumpur Regionals on December 21–22, 2019 used 2019 Ultra Series rules.[15]

Broadcasting

  • In 2008, for at least the semifinals onward, players connected their Nintendo DSes to a modified, unreleased version of Pokémon Battle Revolution. The modified game featured a unique remix of Battle! (Team Galactic Boss) seemingly arranged for the event, as well as no region- or language-locking.[16] No Battle Revolution-specific clauses were set.
  • In 2009, for at least the semifinals onward, players connected their Nintendo DSes to a modified, unreleased version of Pokémon Battle Revolution. The modified game featured Platinum outfits for Dawn and Lucas as well as no region- or language-locking.[17]
  • Between 2010 and 2019, only the top screen of the Nintendo DS or Nintendo 3DS was broadcast in order to prevent revealing a player's move selections.
  • From 2022 onward, a third console is connected to the two competitors' consoles in LAN spectator mode in order to prevent revealing a player's move selections (for western tournaments in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, the game is displayed from the perspective of one player's console, but Asian tournaments and the top 16 in the 2023 World Championships used the spectator mode).

World Champions

As of the 2023 season, 45 champions have been crowned during the core series games' tenure as one of the games in the World Championships roster, with Ray Rizzo being the most successful, winning the title three times.

Year City 1st 2nd 3rd
2000 Sydney, Australia United Kingdom Flag.png Darryn Van Vuuren Germany Flag.png Edwin Krause Spain Flag.png Sergio García Maroto
2008 Orlando, Florida Japan Flag.png Izuru Yoshimura Japan Flag.png Yasuhito Kajiwara United States Flag.png Chris Halordain Tsai
2009 San Diego, California Japan Flag.png Kazuyuki Tsuji Japan Flag.png Tasuku Mano United States Flag.png Grace Beck
2010 Waikoloa Village, Hawaii United States Flag.png Ray Rizzo Japan Flag.png Yasuki Tochigi Japan Flag.png Isao Yoshioka
2011 San Diego, California United States Flag.png Ray Rizzo Italy Flag.png Matteo Gini United States Flag.png Matt Coyle
2012 Waikoloa Village, Hawaii United States Flag.png Ray Rizzo United States Flag.png Wolfe Glick Spain Flag.png Abel Martin Sanz
2013 Vancouver, Canada Italy Flag.png Arash Ommati Japan Flag.png Ryosuke Kosuge United States Flag.png Aaron Zheng
2014 Washington, D.C. South Korea Flag.png Se Jun Park United States Flag.png Jeudy Azzarelli United States Flag.png Collin Heier
2015 Boston, Massachusetts Japan Flag.png Shoma Honami Japan Flag.png Hideyuki Taida Japan Flag.png Yosuke Isagi
2016 San Francisco, California United States Flag.png Wolfe Glick United States Flag.png Jonathan Evans Germany Flag.png Markus Stadter
2017 Anaheim, California Japan Flag.png Ryota Otsubo Australia Flag.png Sam Pandelis Ecuador Flag.png Paul Ruiz
2018 Nashville, Tennessee Ecuador Flag.png Paul Ruiz United States Flag.png Emilio Forbes Sweden Flag.png Nils Dunlop
2019 Washington, D.C. Japan Flag.png Naoto Mizobuchi Japan Flag.png Hirofumi Kimura United States Flag.png James Baek
2022 London, UK Portugal Flag.png Eduardo Cunha Spain Flag.png Guillermo Castilla Díaz United States Flag.png James Baek
2023 Yokohama, Japan Japan Flag.png Shohei Kimura Germany Flag.png Michael Kelsch Japan Flag.png Mao Harada

In the games

In-game effects

Starting from Pokémon Video Game Showdown 2008 (and excluding VGC 2010), aesthetic changes are made to the link battle arena during the World Championships. These tend to come in the form of a unique battle background made specifically for the event, but can also change the music, either by using a track unique to the World Championships (such as Pokémon World Championships Final, used from Generation V to Generation VII) or by locking music selection to a pre-existing track.

Year Game Arena Picture Music Differences
VGS '08 PBR Sunset Colosseum Sunset Colosseum PBR.png Orchestral arrangement of Battle! (Team Galactic Boss) from Pokémon Diamond and Pearl Unique build of Pokémon Battle Revolution that featured a new arrangement of Battle! (Team Galactic Boss) that appears to have been made specifically for Pokémon Video Game Showdown '08.
Used for at least the semi-finals and finals matches in both Junior and Senior divisions.
VGC '09 Waterfall Colosseum Waterfall Colosseum PBR.png Mysterial's battle theme Unique build of Pokémon Battle Revolution that used the Platinum designs for Lucas and Dawn during DS Multiplayer which are not present in the retail release of Battle Revolution. Additionally, matches played on this build used the battle track that plays when facing Mysterial in Stargazer Colosseum, which is not usually an available music choice for Waterfall Colosseum.
Used for at least the semi-finals and finals matches in both Junior and Senior divisions.
VGC '11 BW Link battle room Battle terrain Championships B2W2.png

Battle! (Trainer)

Pokémon World Championships Final (during finals matches)
During Generation V Regional, National and World Championships events, a unique white link battle background was used. The music track used during these battles was typically Battle! (Trainer); however, the music changes to Pokémon World Championships Final during each division's final set at the World Championships. This battle background and the track Pokémon World Championships Final are not used anywhere else in-game with the exception of several special Download Tournament events in Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 based on the World Championships.
VGC '12
VGC '13 B2W2
VGC '14 XY Link battle room Battle terrain Championships XY.png

Battle! (Trainer)XY

Pokémon World Championships Final (during finals matches)

During the 2014 World Championships, a unique rainbow-themed battle background was used. The music track used during the 2014 World Championships battles was typically Battle! (Trainer); however, the music would change to Pokémon World Championships Final during each division's final set.

A new background was made for Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire that would be used during the 2015 and 2016 World Championships, this time only being used during each division's final set. It adds dark blue flooring, a spinning globe in the background and multicolored spotlights. Both battle backgrounds and the track Pokémon World Championships Final are not used anywhere else in-game.
VGC '15 ORAS Battle terrain Championships ORAS.png
VGC '16
VGC '17 SM Link battle room Battle terrain Championships USUM.png Pokémon World Championships Final During each division's final set at Generation VII World Championships events, a unique battle background with multicolored spotlights and a jumbotron displaying a crown was used. This battle background and the track Pokémon World Championships Final are not used anywhere else in-game.
VGC '18 USUM
VGC '19
VGC '22 SwSh Wyndon Stadium Battle Stadium Championships SwSh.png Battle! (Champion Leon) A unique variation of Wyndon Stadium with the World Championships logo present on the advertising boards and a Poké Ball displayed on the jumbotron was used during all 2022 World Championships matches. This battle background is not used anywhere else in-game.

In addition, at the start of every game, there is a unique starting animation: when the League Cards of both players are shown, a unique outer space background with the Earth is used instead of the standard battle start background.

VGC '23 SV Mesagoza Mesagoza Championships SV.png Battle! (Champion Nemona) A festival-themed variation of Mesagoza at night was used during the 2023 World Championships for top 32 onwards, adding fireworks, decorations and a large crowd of spectators, along with unique camera angles that would later be used in all online games from version 2.0.1 of Pokémon Scarlet and Violet onwards. This battle background is not used anywhere else in-game.

In-game appearances

In Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, the top four competitors from each division of the Video Game Championships from the 2012 World Championships were featured in the World Championships Tournaments in the Pokémon World Tournament. In the Generation VI games, unused text exists for the top three competitors as opponents in the Battle Maison.

In Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, several NPCs at the Battle Resort mention the Pokémon World Championships.

Trivia

  • It is possible for moves to become event-exclusive at a World Championship format despite not being event-exclusive normally. For example, Bounce was an event-exclusive move on Gyarados in VGC 2017 only, as it otherwise needs a Move Tutor to learn Bounce and so could not have the black clover at the time.
  • The Kalos first partner Pokémon were effectively event-exclusive between 2023 Regulation Sets D and E, due to being unobtainable in any previous Switch game and requiring an old install of Pokémon Bank.
  • While event-exclusive Pokémon, moves, and items have been disallowed, event-exclusive Hidden Abilities have always been allowed.
  • The first half of 2020 is the only time that non-event Pokémon have been disallowed because of rarity. Specifically, Gigantamax Pokémon that were rarely available normally in-game did not become allowed until the start of the first Wild Area News event that temporarily made them more common. This would become moot with the release of The Isle of Armor, which would make all relevant Gigantamax Pokémon available without relying on rarity.
  • Between approximately October 2020 and March 2021, at least the English language rulebook mistakenly implied Regigigas was disallowed (by omitting its National Pokédex number from the list of allowed Pokémon that do not have a Galar/Isle of Armor/Crown Tundra Pokédex number).[18][19][20] This was fixed sometime in or before February 2022.[21]
  • Coincidentally, in the 2022 edition's Masters Division finals for the core series video games, players Eduardo Cunha and Guillermo Castilla Diaz represented the basis of the Paldea region (the Iberian Peninsula), the setting of the Pokémon Scarlet and Violet games.
  • To promote the then-upcoming 2023 World Championsips, the Battle Stadium within Pokémon Scarlet and Violet had animated fireworks in its home screen and battle preview.

Trading Card Game

All Pokémon Trading Card Game World Championship events are staged utilizing that year's Standard format.

The first World Championships for the TCG was held in 2002 by Wizards of the Coast, while subsequent World Championships, starting 2004, are organized by The Pokémon Company International through their Play! Pokémon division.

Year-specific formats

World Champions

As of 2023, 54 World Champions have been crowned across all three age divisions, with Jason Klaczynski from the United States being the only player to win the title more than once.

Year City Masters* Seniors* Juniors*
2002 Seattle, WA United States Flag.png Dylan Austin United States Flag.png Mindy Lambkee
2004 Orlando, FL Japan Flag.png Tsuguyoshi Yamato Japan Flag.png Takuya Yoneda Japan Flag.png Hayato Sato
2005 San Diego, CA United States Flag.png Jeremy Maron United States Flag.png Stuart Benson United States Flag.png Curran Hill
2006 Anaheim, CA United States Flag.png Jason Klaczynski Finland Flag.png Miska Saari Japan Flag.png Hiroki Yano
2007 Waikoloa Village, HI Finland Flag.png Tom Roos United States Flag.png Jeremy Scharff-Kim Japan Flag.png Jun Hasebe
2008 Orlando, FL United States Flag.png Jason Klaczynski United States Flag.png Dylan Lefavour United States Flag.png Tristan Robinson
2009 San Diego, CA United States Flag.png Stephen Silvestro Japan Flag.png Takuto Itagaki Japan Flag.png Tsubasa Nakamura
2010 Waikoloa Village, HI Japan Flag.png Yuta Komatsuda Canada Flag.png Jacob Lesage Japan Flag.png Yuka Furusawa
2011 San Diego, CA United States Flag.png David Cohen Australia Flag.png Christopher Kan Brazil Flag.png Gustavo Wada
2012 Waikoloa Village, HI United States Flag.png Igor Costa Australia Flag.png Chase Moloney Japan Flag.png Shuto Itagaki
2013 Vancouver, BC United States Flag.png Jason Klaczynski Australia Flag.png Kaiwen Cabbabe The Czech Republic Flag.png Ondrej Kujal
2014 Washington, D.C. Canada Flag.png Andrew Estrada United States Flag.png Trent Orndorff Japan Flag.png Haruto Kobayashi
2015 Boston, MA United States Flag.png Jacob Van Wagner United States Flag.png Patrick Martinez Canada Flag.png Rowan Stavenow
2016 San Francisco, CA Japan Flag.png Shintaro Ito Denmark Flag.png Jesper Eriksen Japan Flag.png Shunto Sadahiro
2017 Anaheim, CA Argentina Flag.png Diego Cassiraga United States Flag.png Zachary Bokhari Norway Flag.png Tobias Strømdahl
2018 Nashville, TN Germany Flag.png Robin Schulz Denmark Flag.png Magnus Pedersen Japan Flag.png Naohito Inoue
2019 Washington, D.C. Australia Flag.png Henry Brand Germany Flag.png Kaya Lichtleitner Japan Flag.png Haruki Miyamoto
2022 London, UK The Czech Republic Flag.png Ondřej Škubal United States Flag.png Liam Halliburton Japan Flag.png Rikuto Ohashi
2023 Yokohama, Japan United States Flag.png Vance Kelley Brazil Flag.png Gabriel Fernandez Taiwan Flag.png Shao Tong Yen

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.

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
  • 2022 - Pokkén Tournament DX

World Champions

10 World Champions have been crowned across both age divisions.

Year City Masters* Seniors*
2015 Boston, MA Rip
2016 San Francisco, CA Japan Flag.png Potetin United States Flag.png woomy!gun
2017 Anaheim, CA Japan Flag.png Tonosama
2018 Nashville, TN United States Flag.png ThankSwalot Japan Flag.png kato
2019 Washington, D.C. Japan Flag.png Subutan United States Flag.png Ashgreninja1
2022 London, UK United States Flag.png Shadowcat United Kingdom Flag.png Fruitprime

Pokémon GO

World Champions

As of 2023, 5 World Champions have been crowned across both age divisions.

Year City Masters* Seniors*
2019 Washington, D.C. Canada PogoKieng
2022 London, UK Germany Flag.png DancingRob Switzerland MEweedle
2023 Yokohama, Japan United States Flag.png ItsAXN

Pokémon UNITE

  • 2022
  • 2023

World Champions

As of the 2023 season, 4 champions teams have been crowned.

Year City 1st 2nd
2022 London, UK BLVKHVND Nouns Esports
2023 Yokohama, Japan Luminosity Gaming OMO Abyssinian

Scheduling and matchups

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The Championships are set over three days (four starting with the 2022 event) 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). In 2010, a Last Chance Qualifier was held on Friday to fill all vacant spots. In 2011, a Masters age Division was added to the VGC scene to parallel the TCG. 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.

In the anime

Main series

Main article: World Coronation Series

In Pokémon Journeys: The Series, Ash participated in the Pokémon World Coronation Series (Japanese: ポケモンワールドチャンピオンシップス Pokémon World Championships). In Partners in Time!, he became the current World Champion by defeating Leon and becoming the latest Monarch.

Pokémon: Path to the Peak

The real World Championships was first mentioned in The Club.

In Regionals, Ava, her father, and Celestine participated in the regional Pokémon TCG championship. In the first round of competition, players initially face their opponents based on predetermined matches and the tournament follows with the other participants in the elimination round scheme. The final is held with a best of three between the two finalists.

Notable competitors (Regional)

Ava and Celestine after the regional championships finals
Participant Place
Ava Champion
Celestine Runner-up
Ava's father N/A
Tonio N/A

Notable competitors (Worlds)

Participant Place
Ava Champion
Edgar Troy Runner-up

Gallery

In other languages

Language Title
Chinese Cantonese 寶可夢世界錦標賽 Pokémon Saigaai Gámbīuchoi
Mandarin 寶可夢世界錦標賽 / 宝可梦世界锦标赛 Pokémon Shìjiè Jǐnbiāosài
The Netherlands Flag.png Dutch Pokémon Wereldkampioenschap
France Flag.png French Championnats du Monde Pokémon
Germany Flag.png German Pokémon-Weltmeisterschaften
Italy Flag.png Italian Campionati Mondiali Pokémon
South Korea Flag.png Korean 포켓몬 월드챔피언십 Pokémon World Championships
Poland Flag.png Polish Mistrzostwo Świata Pokémon
Portuguese Brazil Flag.png Brazil Campeonato Mundial Pokémon
Campeonato Mundial de Pokémon
Portugal Flag.png Portugal Campeonato Mundial de Pokémon
Russia Flag.png Russian Чемпионат Мира по игре в Покемон Chempionat Mira po igre v Pokémon
Spain Flag.png Spanish Campeonato Mundial Pokémon

See also

References

  1. First-Ever Pokemon Trading Card Game World Champion Titles Won by Dylan Austin, 14 of Ann Arbor, Michigan and Mindy Lambkee, 10 of Kent, Washington
  2. Rules- 2008 Pokémon Video Game Showdown Qualifier Regulations - Pokémon.com
  3. Pokémon Video Game Championships 2009 - Rules and Regulations - PokémonVGC.com
  4. Pokémon Organized Play Tournament Rules - Revised: November 01, 2011 - Pokémon.com
  5. Play! Pokémon VG Tournament Rules & Formats - Revised: February 4, 2013 - Pokémon.com
  6. 2023 Play! Pokémon Season Structure - By Alberto Núñez, VictoryRoadVGC.com, September 1, 2022.
  7. 2023 Tainan Regionals - By Alberto Núñez, VictoryRoadVGC.com, December 1, 2022.
  8. https://sv-news.pokemon.co.jp/ja/page/36.html
  9. https://sv-news.pokemon.co.jp/tc/page/36.html
  10. https://web.archive.org/web/20230528124948/https://assets.pokemon.com//assets/cms2/pdf/play-pokemon/rules/play-pokemon-vg-rules-formats-and-penalty-guidelines-03252023-en.pdf
  11. https://sv-news.pokemon.co.jp/ja/page/114.html
  12. 2023 Singapore National Championships - By Alberto Núñez, VictoryRoadVGC.com, April 28, 2023.
  13. https://victoryroadvgc.com/2024-curitiba/
  14. https://victoryroadvgc.com/2024-san-antonio/
  15. Pokémon VGC events for the 2020 Season - By Victory Road, VictoryRoadVGC.com, September 6, 2019.
  16. Pokemon TCG Worlds 2008: VG Showdown Juniors Final - YouTube.com
  17. 571 - The VGC 2009 Battle Revolution Platinum mystery + LIVE! Shiny Rotom after 20,948 SRs! - YouTube.com
  18. Video Game Rules, Formats & Penalty Guidelines - Date of last revision: October 23, 2020 - Pokémon.com
  19. Video Game Rules, Formats & Penalty Guidelines - Date of last revision: January 25, 2021 - Pokémon.com
  20. Video Game Rules, Formats & Penalty Guidelines - Date of last revision: March 29, 2021 - Pokémon.com
  21. Video Game Rules, Formats & Penalty Guidelines - Date of last revision: February 15, 2022 - Pokémon.com

External links


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
2019: Pikarom JudgeFire BoxMind BlownPerfection
2022: ADPThe Shape of MewCheryl AgainIce Rider Palkia
2023: Mew's RevengePsychic EleganceColorless LugiaLost Box Kyogre
2024:
Champions Jason KlaczynskiJun HasebeRay Rizzo


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