Pokemon Go will soon offer players the ability to battle opponents from around the world in online competitions. Earlier today, the popular mobile game announced the Go Battle League, a new feature that allows players to battle opponents through online competitions. While few details were announced, players can unlock the Go Battle League feature by walking and then will be able to battle opponents using an online matching system and a ranking system. The goal is for the Go Battle League to make battles more competitive and more accessible to more players.
Battling was originally added to Pokemon Go in late 2018 as the final missing core feature separating the mobile game from the original game franchise. While players could always battle their Pokemon in gyms (and eventually Raids), the Battle system offered players a direct option to battle friends. Still, the battle system was plagued with several issues - including a distance requirement (players initially had to be close to each other to battle) and no way to tell if another player was online when a method was eventually added to allow players to battle their in-game friends via online play. The system was also originally criticized for being boring, although this was fixed by giving Pokemon multiple Charge moves and adding moves that added stat boosts or debuffs. Players can also now battle NPC Team Rocket Grunts through random encounters at certain PokeStops, which will be expanded upon in the near future.
The Go Battle League will be added to Pokemon Go in early 2020. More information about the upcoming feature will be released later this year.