For over a decade, Pokémon video game and Pokémon Trading Card Game players have tirelessly trained and battled in official Pokémon Championship Series events throughout the year for the opportunity to be crowned Pokémon World Champion. Nintendo and The Pokémon Company International announced today that the upcoming Pokkén Tournament game for Wii U will join the Pokémon Championship Series beginning this spring. These tournaments are sanctioned annually by The Pokémon Company International, and this year will culminate with the crowning of the Pokkén Tournament World Champions this August at the 2016 Pokémon World Championships in San Francisco.
One way to prepare for and even gain entry into the official 2016 Pokémon Championship Series, as well as getting the chance to play Pokkén Tournament before it launches on March 18, is attending the Pokkén Tournament Early Access Competitions being hosted by Nintendo at select GameStop locations across the United States on Saturday, Feb. 27. Winners from the regional tournaments will advance to the finals being held at the Nintendo NY store in New York on March 17. The final two winners of the Pokkén Tournament Early Access Competitions will earn travel awards to the 2016 Pokémon US National Championships (July 1-3 in Columbus, Ohio), where they will battle to advance to the 2016 Pokémon World Championships, the premiere Pokémon tournament of the year.
On Feb. 27 from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. local time, GameStop stores in the following cities will host local qualifiers for the Pokkén Tournament Early Access Competition. Registration will begin at each regional location starting at 10 a.m. local time. Players will compete at these regional competitions for a chance to move on to the finals at the Nintendo NY store in New York:
- 2201 Preston Road, Plano, TX
- 1841 Chamblee Tucker Road, Chamblee, GA
- 3972 Barranca Parkway, Irvine, CA
- 8115 S. John Young Parkway, Orlando, FL
- 6451 W. Diversey Ave., Chicago, IL
- 242 Bellevue Square, Bellevue, WA
- 32 E. 14th St. – Union Square, New York, NY
- 3914 Rivermark Plaza, Santa Clara, CA
The Pokkén Tournament Early Access Competitions are open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis, and will be split into two age brackets: players born in 2001 or later and players born in 2000 or earlier. The winner of each age bracket will then be trained by a professional fighting game player during fun training sessions that will be shared on Nintendo social media channels. Once training is complete, the winner from each city and age bracket and a guest will be flown to the Nintendo NY store on March 17 for the Pokkén Tournament Early Access Competition finals, where they will battle against all other local champions. The winners of the Pokkén Tournament Early Access Competition finals will each win a Wii U system, the Pokkén Tournament game and a travel award to Columbus, Ohio, where they will battle at the 2016 Pokémon US National Championships for the chance to advance to the 2016 Pokémon World Championships in San Francisco.
“If you have fighting game skills and love all things Pokémon, but never had a chance to combine the two, the Pokkén Tournament Early Access Competition is your chance to show off your skills,” said Scott Moffitt, Nintendo of America’s Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing. “You’re only a few battles away from the chance to win an amazing travel award to the largest Pokémon competitive event in the United States!”
“We cannot wait to add Pokkén Tournament to the Pokémon Championship Series,” said J.C. Smith, The Pokémon Company International’s Senior Director of Consumer Marketing. “It’ll be fun watching who’ll quickly master the game, moving on to the Pokémon US National Championships, and ultimately battling Pokkén Tournament players from around the globe at the 2016 Pokémon World Championships.”
Pokkén Tournament launches for Wii U on March 18, and brings high-definition game play and over-the-top action to never-before-seen battles between some of the most recognizable Pokémon characters. People that buy the first production run version of the game will also receive a special Shadow Mewtwo amiibo card, which can be tapped to the Wii U GamePad controller to unlock the Shadow Mewtwo playable character in the game.