Pokemon Cancels World Championships, Other Major Events Due to Coronavirus

The Pokemon Company has cancelled its remaining 2020 Pokemon Championship Series events, including the North America International Championships and the World Championships. Pokemon made the announcement today on Twitter, citing concerns about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The North America International Championships were scheduled to take place from June 26-28 in Columbus, Ohio, while the World Championships were scheduled to take place on August 14-16 in London. The Pokemon Company announced that an expanded World Championships will take place in London next year. No official date was given for next year's championships or for when the 2021 season would officially begin, as the Pokemon Company is still monitoring government guidance and recommendation to determine when events can resume.

In addition to these premier events being cancelled, all other Play! Pokemon events will also be cancelled until further notice. That includes League, Club, Prerelease, League Challenge, and Premier Challenge events. No Championship Points will be given out for the remainder of the season, and all 2020 Championship points will roll over to next year's events.

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The news isn't much of a surprise, as the Pokemon Company had already cancelled several other Play! Pokemon events without explaining how they would impact the upcoming World Championships. Players earn Championship Points by participating in major tournaments, and the players who receive the most points receive formal invitations to compete in the World Championships tournaments. The cancellation of this year's World Championships could also prove to have a major impact on the re-sale of Pokemon cards, as several cards will hypothetically be no longer eligible for use in next year's tournament.

Obviously, the cancellation of this year's Championship Series is a big blow to the Pokemon competitive scene, which had exploded due to the release of Pokemon Sword and Shield. Before the outbreaks, tournaments were reporting record turnout for both video games and trading card game tournaments. Hopefully, that momentum will pick back up when the COVID-19 pandemic eventually ends.