From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
The Wallace Cup (Japanese: ミクリカップ Mikuri Cup) is an anime-exclusive tournament that is held once a year at a different location, with the host city alternating between several places worldwide. It is an interregional Pokémon Contest that attracts Pokémon Coordinators from all around the globe, since its prize, the prestigious Aqua Ribbon, can be used to enter every known Grand Festival. It is promoted and judged by Contest Master Wallace, hence its name.
The Wallace Cup in Sinnoh was announced on Sinnoh Now in Our Cup Runneth Over!, in which Dawn found out about it and decided to participate, making it her comeback to the Pokémon Contest circuit after a time mourning her two consecutive losses. Eventually, she and her friends ran into Wallace himself, who was relaxing with his Milotic at a lake, where Wallace convinced Ash to enter the tournament with his Buizel after witnessing a practice Contest Battle between Dawn and Ash.
In Goodbye, Junior Cup - Hello Adventure!, Dawn announced she intended to compete in the Wallace Cup again, this time held in Johto.
The Wallace Cup is a special, annual Pokémon Contest that is hosted at various locations throughout the Pokémon world, with the prize being the Aqua Ribbon, a unique Contest Ribbon that counts towards the Grand Festival of each region known to host Pokémon Contests. For this reason, Pokémon Coordinators migrate from all around the nation to participate in the event. The competition is promoted by Wallace, a well-known Contest Master who regularly travels all over the world holding the Wallace Cup.
In the Sinnoh region, the Wallace Cup was held in the Contest Hall located at Lake Valor. The competition started in Staging a Heroes' Welcome! and ended in Strategy with a Smile!. Like all Sinnoh Pokémon Contests, Marian was the announcer. Jessadia also hosted the Wallace Cup with Marian, interviewing the contestants in between rounds.
May traveled all the way from Johto to compete in the Wallace Cup in Sinnoh, but she lost to Dawn in the final round.
Each round is judged by a panel of four individuals: the Chief of the Pokémon Activities Committee, Mr. Contesta; the Head of the Pokémon Fan Club, Mr. Sukizo; the operator of the local Pokémon Center, Nurse Joy; and the event's main promoter, Wallace.
In the Performance Stage of the Wallace Cup, Coordinators have to show off their Pokémon's style in a visually impressive manner, displaying their moves and skills in order to appeal to the judges just like in regular Pokémon Contests. The stage has a gigantic swimming pool which contestants can use to their advantage, especially those who use Water-type Pokémon. Each performance is carefully evaluated, and after the judges' deliberation, the 16 top scoring Coordinators advance to the second round.
The second stage marks the beginning of the Wallace Cup's Contest Battles. All Coordinators are matched-up randomly by a computer up to the semifinals, which is the last round that the computer will choose a random match-up. The contestants move up the brackets in single-elimination style. Those who run out of points, have the least amount of points at the end of the five-minute time limit, or have their Pokémon knocked out over the course of a battle are automatically eliminated from the competition. After a winner is decided, Wallace presents he or she with the Aqua Ribbon.
Dawn with the Aqua Ribbon
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