The video game finals for the biggest Pokémon event of the year, the Pokémon World Championships, are about to begin. The finals will be streamed on Pokemon’s official Twitch channel.
Over $500,000 worth of prizes are on offer for the different age groups. Competitors who are under 18 years old are expected to walk away with a choice of scholarship or travel certificate, while the winner of the over-18 event will go home with $10,000 in prize money.
Additionally, the top 16 players from each age group will receive 72 Pokémon TCG booster packs, regardless of attendance. The winner of each age group will also automatically qualify for next year’s world championship event where they’ll try to defend their newly-acquired crown.
This year’s finals introduced Pokémon Ultra Sun and Moon, replacing Sun and Moon as the main game of the Pokémon World Championships. New rules were also implemented for this year’s event, including some restrictions on the Pokémon that trainers can choose from. Some legendary Pokémon were banned entirely, while Mega Evolution will make a return to competitive play.
The finals for both TCG and VGC follow the ending of the Pokkén Tournament DXseries, which saw the winner of the masters division, Jacob Waller, come away with $6,000. His opponent, Aragaki, earned $4,000 for coming in second place.
At the end of the tournaments, The Pokémon Company is expected to have a closing ceremony, which could potentially reveal new details regarding the Pokémon Let’s Go series.