Pokémon World Championships Skip 2021 Over Covid-19 Concerns

Two competitors shake hands at the 2019 Pokémon World Championships in Washington, D.C.
Two competitors shake hands at the 2019 Pokémon World Championships in Washington, D.C.
Photo: Brendan Smialowski (Getty Images)

After canceling in-person competition in 2020 due to the rise of the covid-19 pandemic, The Pokémon Company announced it will skip official tournaments through 2021 as well.

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“The safety and well-being of our competitors, organizers, employees, local communities, and partners [continue] to be our top priority and is the primary consideration with every decision we make,” the company’s statement said. “[W]e have made the difficult decision to move out the next Pokémon World Championships to 2022. This event is planned to take place in London, UK.”

As with prior events, this year’s Pokémon World Championships was to feature competitions in the Pokémon video and trading card games as well as one-on-one fighting game Pokkén Tournament with satellite qualifiers leading up to the main event in London. Instead, the Pokémon Company will focus its 2021 efforts on organizing online Pokémon Players Cup events, much like it did last year. Players already invited to compete in 2020 will see their invitations roll over again to 2022.

“Thank you to our millions of players, fans, organizers, and Professors around the world for their continued support and understanding,” the announcement added. “The Pokémon International Championships and Pokémon World Championships are meaningful occasions to us and the player community, and we look forward to when we can all see each other and compete again.”

DISCUSSION

By
Shabaab Kamal

I wonder why they aren’t doing digital tournaments at all.