Pokemon pro sparks controversy after “cheating” at official VGC tournament

Tristan Stringer

As Pokemon continues to make an impact in esports, a suspected cheater gets caught red-handed during a Pokemon VGC tournament.

Pokemon fans take competitive events extremely seriously. Whether battling it out in-game or on the tabletop with the trading card game, coming up with your ideal Pokemon strategy to achieve victory comes second to obeying the rules.

Cheating in the Pokemon Video Game Championship has become increasingly frequent, making it more challenging for officials to verify legitimate Pokemon on the competitor’s team.

A pro player was accused of cheating during the 2024 Bologna VGC Special Event on June 1, after using a user-generated Pokemon from a third-party website. This has led fans to believe that the player had been disqualified due to them soon dropping out of the tournament.

The contender was exposed on the YouTube stream, apparently using a Pokemon from the website “FreeMons.Org,” which can be used to generate any Pokemon with the battle moves, abilities, and stats you want and receive them through trading. This can be seen in the “Original Trainer” name field, as shown in the above image.

Using these generated Pokemon can seem like a quick solution to putting in the work of breeding and raising your team to compete in these competitions, but it is highly illegal in competitive tournaments and banned from all official Pokemon Events.

This trainer left the tournament shortly after, whether they were disqualified, eliminated or just left of their own accord is unconfirmed. However fans are debating whether using generated Pokemon in competition is ethically wrong or a clever loophole around the official rules of the event.

“After EXP candies are super plentiful, after making hyper training and bottle caps accessible, after nature mints, and after upgrading vitamins. Wow.” A fan commented regarding how accessible it is to raise a Pokemon for competitive legitimacy.

Another comment concerns how the judges check for hacked Pokemon: “The hack checks need to be far more thorough. both within the competitive setting and the online trading/storage functions.” There are no mechanical-based means to see if a Pokemon was generated or not, making it difficult to verify legitimate teams in competitions.

One fan raises the point that this incident affects the Pokemon VGC reputation: “I can’t believe they let trainers bring “website” original trainer names. It just looks bad for the whole franchise and gives those sites free screen time in an official Pokémon event.” This is a reasonable concern for players receiving generated Pokemon from potentially malicious sources.

Sign up to Dexerto for free and receive:
Fewer Ads|Dark Mode|Deals in Gaming, TV and Movies, and Tech