Whirl Cup

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A poster for the Whirl Cup

The Whirl Cup (Japanese: うずまきカップ Whirlpool Cup) is an anime-exclusive tournament between Water-type specialists held once every three years. Trainers from all over the world come to the Whirl Islands in the Johto region to compete.

Trainers register for the Whirl Cup in Inland City on Blue Point Isle, but the competition itself is held in Scarlet City on Red Rock Isle. The Whirl Cup was featured from Octillery The Outcast to The Perfect Match!.


Since ancient times, the Whirl Islands have been home to many different Water-type Pokémon, and the fiery battles seen during the competition represent the Trainers' love and appreciation for all aquatic creatures.

All the islands in the archipelago prepare months in advance for the Whirl Cup competition. Celebrations are often held on each island. The Whirl Cup is probably the biggest attraction to the Whirl Islands. A spiral sea shell, either red or blue, is the symbol for the Whirl Cup.

The legend

It is said that long ago the Sea Heroes (Japanese: 海の勇者 Heroes of the Sea; also called Water Pokémon Alpha Omega) were expert Water-type Trainers. They lived under the sea and understood the hearts of aquatic Pokémon. In addition to earning a powerful Mystic Water pendant, the winning Trainers of the Whirl Cup earn this same prestigious title.

The rituals associated with the competition are considered vital and kept alive to this day. They are taught by Maya, the Sea Priestess, who wields the Great Sea Spirit Sapphire, which supposedly enables communication between Water-type Pokémon and humans.

Opening ceremony

Maya begins the Whirl Cup by evoking the Sea Spirit Union, which brings together the energy from all Water-type Pokémon.

Closing ceremony

After six days of battling, Maya presents a Mystic Water pendant to the winning Trainer and declares him or her a new Sea Hero. The Whirl Cup ends when Maya says the following words: "O, Great Sea Spirit and past Heroes of the Sea, continue to watch over the Whirl Cup competition and safeguard the harmony of all humans and Pokémon alike."


The setting for the competition

The Whirl Cup is broken into two parts: the preliminary rounds and the final rounds, also known as the World Cup Competition.

Preliminary rounds

In place of a qualifier such as a collection of Gym Badges, the preliminary rounds weed out weak Trainers; only 64 Trainers can progress to the actual competition. In this way, the qualifying rounds are not considered part of the actual Whirl Cup competition. The number of preliminary rounds depends on the number of total entering Trainers, and take place in several different small stadiums, on a combination of land and water battlefields.

Final rounds

The final rounds are all held in the Whirl Cup Colosseum. This part of the Whirl Cup is filled with six days of continuous battling.

First round

The sudden-death opening matches last for two days. Trainers choose one Pokémon each and the winner is decided when the opponent's Pokémon is unable to battle.

Second round

The winners of the first round are shuffled and randomly paired for the second round. In the second round, each Trainer is allowed to use two Pokémon, and the first Trainer to knock out both opposing Pokémon will continue to the next round.

Third round

With the competition down to only 16 Trainers, the battles continue in a similar fashion as the second round. The victors move on to the next round.

Semifinals and final

The semifinals of the Whirl Cup are essentially the fourth and fifth rounds. It's not known how many Pokémon are used in these rounds and the final, although Trainers most likely use three.

Known competitors

Trainer Place
Whirl Cup winner Winner
Trinity Runner-up
Misty Top 8/Top 16*
Ash Top 16/Top 32*
Harrison Top 64
Christopher Top 64
Marcellus Preliminaries

In other languages

Language Title
Mandarin Chinese 漩渦列島大賽 Whirlpool Cup
France Flag.png French Tournoi Tourbillon
Germany Flag.png German Strudel-Cup
Italy Flag.png Italian Coppa Vortice
South Korea Flag.png Korean 소용돌이컵 Soyongdori Cup
Brazil Flag.png Brazilian Portuguese Copa Redemoinho
Spain Flag.png Spanish Copa Remolino

Anime-exclusive Pokémon competitions
Multiregional Grand FestivalPokémon Baccer World CupPokémon League ConferencePokéRingerWallace Cup
Kanto Beach Beauty and Pokémon Costume ContestBig P Pokémon RaceIndigo Plateau Conference
Kanto Grand FestivalP1 Grand PrixPokémon OrienteeringQueen of the Princess Festival
Johto Extreme Pokémon RaceFire and Rescue Grand PrixGrass TournamentMareep Festival
Pokémon Balloon RacePokémon Beauty ContestSeaking Catching DaySilver Conference
Sumo ConferenceSunflora FestivalTour de Alto MareWhirl Cup
Hoenn Crossgate PokéRingerEver Grande ConferenceHoenn Grand Festival
Sinnoh Croagunk FestivalFestival Battle ChallengeHearthome City Tag Battle CompetitionHearthome Collection
Lily of the Valley ConferencePokémon Dress-Up ContestPokémon Ping Pong TournamentPokémon Summer
Pokémon TriathlonSinnoh Grand FestivalSinnoh Pokémon HustleSquallville PokéRinger
Unova Club BattleClubsplosionPokémon Performance CompetitionPokémon World Tournament Junior Cup
Vertress ConferenceWishing Bell Festival
Decolore Marine Cup TournamentPokémon Sumo TournamentScalchop King Competition
Kalos Lumiose ConferencePoké Puff ContestPokémon ShowcasePokémon Sky RelayPokémon Summer Camp
Alola Alola Bread FestivalCharjabug racePokémon Pancake RacePokémon Ping-Pong tournament
Pokémon Sled Jump Games
Unknown Pokémon Catching Race

Project Anime logo.png This article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.