Pokemon Unite esports? Developer hints at possible World Championship

Brent Koepp
pokemon unite

[jwplayer dWIP3S6z]In an interview on July 12, Pokemon Unite devs opened up about the possibility of the MOBA-like game eventually having a future in esports. The producer hinted at having World Championships like Pokken Tournament. 

Pokemon Unite was revealed during a special ‘Presents’ event in June. The MOBA-inspired title features 5 v 5 team battles, and will be launching on both Nintendo Switch and mobile devices.

In July, the game’s producer Masaaki Hoshino sat down for an interview where he and his team dished out new details on the upcoming project, including the possibility of having World Championship events.

Could Pokemon Unite have a future in esports?

In an interview with outlet ‘Dime,’ members of the Unite team teased new information about the team battle title. During the sit down, the Pokemon devs opened up about their thoughts on the game’s potential for esports in the future.

Industry insider Daniel Ahmad posted a translation overview of the discussion, and revealed that while the game is not launching with a focus on esports, they can see it becoming one depending on how popular and passionate players are with the release.

“There will be no esports focus initially but the game could become an established esports if the player base takes it in that direction. Would be interested in doing world championships like with Pokken Tournament,” he said.

Industry analyst Daniel Ahmad gave a break down of the interview.

Hoshino, who originally worked on the development of Pokken, also pointed out that the fighting game holds “World Championships” and stated that he thinks it “would be nice” if United could also hold similar types of tournaments in the future.

While the team did not reveal whether they would take more steps to help build it up as an esport, they reportedly see the potential for the 5 v 5 team battle game to bring in an audience similar to competitive titles like League of Legends.

Unite, however, has challenges to face as the title was not initially received well from the Pokemon community. The backlash for the announcement was so bad, its trailer amassed over 161k dislikes in under 24 hours. Although in the interview, the devs assured that the game is already becoming popular in China.