The Pokemon Company has suspended competitive play for the 2021 season. The Pokemon Company has officially cancelled its 2021 World Championships, which was due to take place in London later this year. The next World Championships will take place in 2022 in London, with all invitations to the 2020 World Championships (which were also cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic) being honored for 2022 instead. In addition, all Play! Pokemon events such as League Challenge, League Cup, Premier Challenge, and Midseason Showdown events will continue to be suspended until further notice. However, the online-based Pokemon Players Cup and Play! Pokemon Team Challenge events will continue to be supported online.
The Pokemon Company also noted that the 2022 World Championships will be an "expanded celebration" of Pokemon competition to make up for the two missing events. The event was originally going to cap off the launch of Pokemon Sword and Shield, which draws heavily from England's culture and geography and ends with a tournament in Wyndon, a thinly veiled Pokemon version of London.
The Pokemon World Championships is considered to be the premier Pokemon competition and includes tournaments for the video games, card games, and Pokken Tournament DX. To qualify for the World Championships, players must earn points by competing at various Play! Pokemon events throughout the year, including International Championships that take place in North America, Europe, and Asia.
This is the second straight year the Pokemon World Championships has been cancelled due to COVID-19. Both the 2020 and 2021 events were due to take place in August, but the logistics of an international competition during an uneven vaccine rollout was deemed to be too risky based on the relatively short timeline remaining for the event. Several other major gaming events, such as E3, have already announced that they will not host an in-person event this year.
Additional information about the cancellation can be found on the Pokemon website.