Pokemon

First Pokemon Sword & Shield tournament set for December 15

by Andrew Amos
The Pokemon Company

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The first tournament for Pokemon Sword and Shield leading into Worlds 2020 has been set for December 15, with a doubles format event taking place in Korea.

Pokemon Sword and Shield has taken the world by storm, bringing the world of pocket monsters to the Nintendo Switch. While there’s not been a lot to play for yet in a competitive sense, the 2020 season is just around the corner, and the tournaments are starting to roll in.

One month after the game’s release across the world, trainers will have a chance to duke it out for pride and glory in Pokemon Sword and Shield’s first official tournament.

The Pokemon Company
The Pokemon Company
Sword and Shield is getting its first Worlds qualification tournament soon.

Park ‘Sejun’ Se-jun tweeted out an announcement on November 25 about the tournament, saying that Korea would be hosting the first official doubles tournament for the game.

“Korea has the earliest official SwSh VGC tournament on December 15,” he said.

Players will be fighting for a chance to head to the 2020 World Championship, as well as regional pride in the event.

Trainers will be bound to the “Ranked Double Battles Series 1” rules, which are laid out on the Pokemon Korea site. It follows on from rulesets in years gone by, with no real variations except for an update to the modern game.

However, it’s also the first look at what the modified ruleset for Sword and Shield will look like. One of the most major rulings is that Dynamax Pokemon are allowed, but Gigantamax aren’t. 

This is likely to level the playing field, as every Pokemon in the game can Dynamax, but only select Pokemon can Gigantamax.

The Pokemon Company
The Pokemon Company
Gigantamaxing will be banned in the Korean competitive ruleset for Sword and Shield.

Trainers must also follow the Pokedex exclusive to Sword and Shield, and can only use Pokemon obtained normally throughout the game. This means that some Pokemon from previous generations will be unavailable for play.

The rules do vary from region-to-region, so as more tournaments are announced across the globe, rulesets might be different. However, it’s unlikely there will be any major variations between regions trying to align with the ruleset used at Worlds.

There is an earlier, online event taking place on December 6 to 8, open to anyone who has a Nintendo Switch Online membership, with Gigantamaxing available. However, this event will not count towards points for the World Championship, set to be held in London in August.

Unfortunately, the Worlds qualification event will only be open to players from Korea, so trainers around the world will have to wait to get their chance to test their skills against one another in a tournament environment.

The first Western tournaments will take place in Bochum, Germany on January 11 and 12, and Dallas, USA on January 17 to 19.