It was the game we all played growing up. It was the pinnacle of video game adventure. It was the choice between Bulbasaur, Squirtle, or Charmander (#squirtleforlife).
And then you sort of just forgot about it. Life happened and the game sat in your drawer, uncompleted.
But not for some players. Pokémon has been an icon around the world since its inception, but few know of its competitive meta-game. For those who do, it is a world far more complex than any you could play in-game.
Welcome to the Pokémon World Championships, an invite-only weekend of cutthroat competitive battling, Pokemon news, and many, many Pikachus.
The competitions are divided into three. Firstly, there is the VGC (video game competition); most similar to the games we all know, this competition gives each player the choice of four of their six pokémon to battle in a two vs. two competition.
Secondly, there’s the TCG (Trading Card Game). All those cards collected as children had purpose. They were designed to be used in battle, each having their own skills and uses.
Thirdly, there’s Pokkén. It’s more akin to Street Fighter or Tekken (hence the name) and pits two pokémon against each other in a Super-Smash-Bros-if-Super-Smash-Bros-was-3D style fist fight.
Players must compete at local and regional tournaments with the hopes of getting noticed if they want to be invited. Prizes for the winners of the World Championships vary depending of several factors but can get pretty high (this last year had over $500,000 in prizes overall).
If you want to find out more about this incredible subculture, check out the article below.
And if you want a sneak peak at this year’s World Championships (held over this last weekend) check out the video below.