Pokemon Sword and Shield puts a spotlight on one of the dirty secrets of the Galar region: its Pokemon competitions are all run by criminals. Pokemon Sword and Shield's Crown Tundra DLC introduces a new final challenge for Pokemon players - the Galarian Star Tournament. This special knockout tournament pits the best trainers of the Galar region against each other in an exciting doubles tournament, with players picking out their partner from among the game's many NPC trainers. However, the organizers of the tournament are a bit of a surprise. Once players complete 15 Galarian Star Tournament battles, the game reveals that the tournament is sponsored by Sordward and Shielbert, the villains of Pokemon Sword and Shield's main post-game storyline.
While Sordward and Shielbert seemingly reformed at the end of Pokemon Sword and Shield, this marks the second time that a Pokemon competition was either organized or sponsored by a criminal element. Chairman Rose, the organizer of the Galar Pokemon League, spent most of the main game secretly collecting Wishing Stars to trigger a calamitous disaster designed to provide the Galar region with limitless energy. After the player character stopped Rose's scheme with the help of Hop and Rose's co-conspirator Leon, Rose turned himself into authorities and likely went into prison. Shortly thereafter, the players then stopped Sordward and Shielbert after the duo stole ancient artifacts and then organized a mass outbreak of out of control Dynamax Pokemon across the Galar region, threatening hundreds of people in the process.
Between Leon and Sordward and Shielbert, we can't help but wonder why criminals keep flocking towards organized Pokemon contests. Is this a subtle reference to the occasional corruption investigation into FIFA, the worldwide soccer body that organizes the World Cup and other top-level soccer contests? Or is it a commentary on the double standards that the wealthy enjoy over the working class? After all, Sordward and Shielbert are descendants of royalty and went from organizing a coordinated terror campaign to sponsoring a Pokemon tournament, while Leon, a former coal worker, did the exact same thing and went to prison.
We're not sure what the answers are here, but it became a lot more uncomfortable participating in the Galarian Star Tournament after we learned about its sponsors. Personally, I'm not keen on helping two bourgeois criminals reform their image after they repeatedly attacked and taunted us while making off with priceless historic artifacts.
The Crown Tundra DLC is available for sale now.