Pokemon Unite will have an official competitive circuit, culminating with a championship series at the Pokemon World Championships in London. Producer Masaaki Hoshino made the announcement earlier today on Pokemon Unite's website, providing players with confirmation that a competitive format will be coming to the game. Teams will battle over the course of a "competitive season," culminating with the Pokemon World Championships in August 2022 in London. More details on how players can qualify for the Pokemon World Championships will be announced at a later date. Pokemon Unite will join the core Pokemon video games (known as VGC), Pokemon Trading Card Game, and Pokemon Go at the annual competition.
While The Pokemon Company has supported competitive play for its various games for years, Pokemon Unite presents a unique opportunity for the the franchise. MOBAs are one of the most popular genres in eSports, and Pokemon Unite has a much lower bar to entry than the card game or the video game, given as it's a free-to-play game. Pokemon Unite also has a built-in spectator mode in the game, and the constant action makes it a bit more exciting to watch than the turn-based video game or card games.
Additionally, Pokemon Unite will add a tournament mode that will "even the playing field" for players, regardless of what level their held items are. Currently, players can gain a slight competitive advantage in ranked play by leveling up certain held items, so this tournament mode will likely eliminate that feature to reward skill over grinding/willingness to pay for upgrades. No timeline was announced for this new mode, but more details will be announced soon.
Hoshino also noted that other improvements to the game were coming soon, including new Pokemon and support for more languages. Pokemon Unite will add support for Bahasa Indonesia, Brazilian Portuguese, Hindi, Russian, Thai, and Turkish, all of which will roll out "early this year."
More details about Pokemon Unite's official competitive format will be announced soon. In the meantime, let us know if you plan to strive for a World Championship berth in the comment sections.