With the recent news of Ash Ketchum winning his first Pokémon League Championship in the Sun and Moon anime, Pokémon fans have been overjoyed with the event which took 22 years to happen. If you jumped onto social media and saw thousands of congratulatory tweets and posts that Ash received for his win, you’ll see that Pokémon fans are truly passionate about competition. 

Pokemon, World Championships, Pokemon’s Rise, Esports, Childhood, Dream Come True, Anuska Sharma Look a Like

Looking back at the Pokémon World Championships that happened a month ago in Washington D.C., which saw several champions crowned from all over the world, you’d see that competition in Pokémon games spans worldwide. Statistics from the event show that viewership peaked at 40,770 with a total of 685,492 hours watched across various streaming platforms. Twitch alone logged roughly 24,680 peak viewers. The prize pot for the global competition was $500,000.

Seeing that the spirit of competition in Pokémon games does not just resign in one or two countries, or even continents for that matter, it really starts to dawn on you that the electricity you’d expect to see in the anime is alive today in the real world. 

A possible reason for the rise of Pokémon in the esports world is due to the nostalgia we have from watching the Pokémon anime and playing the classic Gameboy games. 

With a unique line up of games that feature classic and new pocket monsters alike, there is a wide array of choices for competitive gamers that come from all sorts of backgrounds.

The 2019 Pokémon World Championships saw competitors take on each other in the Pokémon 3DS games, Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. Alongside the main series 3DS titles was the knuckle-dusting Pokken Tournament, a Pokémon fighting game. Mobile platforms were also not forgotten as a Pokémon Go sector was also included in the events. Of course, the good ol’ TCG game was not forgotten either, with several tournament brackets and players of all experience levels, it was one of the most watched competitions during the event.

Qualifying for the Pokémon World Championships is also no easy task. Players must earn a number of championship points by competing at several official tournaments hosted throughout the year for the game of their choice. There are also three ranks (junior, senior, and master) that players can be invited to based on their competitive history. 

The Pokémon company has certainly stuck its tentacles into several gaming genres and through that given the variety needed to appeal to gamers worldwide. The popularity of Pokémon has spanned 20 plus years, and through that time frame we have seen children who dreamed of one day having a real-life Pokémon battle in front of an audience of thousands, now able to compete with the best in actual live-streamed Pokémon competitive events.

This growth in popularity of Pokémon games in esports will continue as Nintendo and the Pokémon company keep up with innovative ideas and game designs. Who knows, we may one day see our own established Pokémon League and elite four. 

Be sure to catch next year’s Pokémon World Championships from London.

Daniel Wise

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General Information

Platform(s): Mobile
Publisher(s): Nintendo
Developer(s): Niantic, Nintendo
Genres: Adventure
Themes: Fantasy
Release Date: 2016-07-06

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