World Championships

If you were looking for the anime competition known as the "Pokémon World Championships" in Japanese, see World Coronation Series.

The Pokémon World Championships (Japanese: ポケモンワールドチャンピオンシップス Pokémon World Championships) are an annual event held by the Play! Pokémon organized play division of The Pokémon Company International. The first ever World Championship was hosted in Sydney, Australia, during the 2000 Summer Olympics which were also held there. Players from Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States competed using Pokémon Red and Blue and Pokémon Yellow. The second event was run by Wizards of the Coast, a division of Hasbro, in August 2002 in Seattle, WA[1], but instead the Trading Card Game was used. Due to the transfer of the licensing of the TCG from Wizards to Nintendo, neither company staged a World Championship in 2003. Nintendo resumed World Championships in 2004, and have held them each year since then, with the video game joining back to the event from 2008 onwards. Prior to the start of the World Championships tournament structure, the best TCG players from around the world competed at the Tropical Mega Battle between 1999 and 2001, as well as at several Super Trainer Showdown events held in the US in 2000 and 2001.

The events are held in August of a given year. Players must qualify based on overall ratings, national champions, and past performances in the previous year's World Championships (see Championship Point).

Minor announcements are usually revealed during the events, such as upcoming types of TCG cards, the ruleset of the following VGC format and the city where the next Worlds Championships will be hosted.

Video games (core series)

The core series Pokémon games were first featured at a World Championship event in 2000 with single battles, and later returning as Pokémon Video Game Showdown (VGS) in 2008 with double battles. Starting in 2009, the events were renamed the Video Game Championships (VGC).

Battles use the following rules in general:

  • The format is Double Battles. A player must bring between 4 and 6 Pokémon and select 4 of them just before the battle. In games that use Team Preview (Generation V onward), this selection is made after viewing the opponent's 6 Pokémon.
  • Two Pokémon may not have the same Pokédex number. Special Pokémon, Mythical Pokémon, and Ash-Greninja are disallowed (but not Dusk Form Lycanroc) unless the format has an exception.
  • In games that use origin marks (Generation VI onward), all Pokémon must have an origin mark matching the games used for the competition. This may be substituted with the battle-ready symbol.
  • Two Pokémon may not have the same held item.
  • Pokémon cannot battle above level 50.
    • In 2008 and 2009, there was no auto-leveling and Pokémon above level 50 were disallowed outright.
    • Between 2010 and 2016, Pokémon above level 50 were auto-leveled down to 50, but Pokémon below level 50 were not auto-leveled up.
    • From 2017 onward, all Pokémon are auto-leveled to 50.
  • Two Pokémon may not have the same nickname. A Pokémon may not be nicknamed the name of a different Pokémon, and nicknames and Trainer names may not be inappropriate.

World Champions

Year City 1st 2nd 3rd
2000 Sydney   Darryn Van Vuuren   Edwin Krause   Sergio García Maroto
2008 Orlando   Izuru Yoshimura   Yasuhito Kajiwara   Hideaki Shimizu
2009 San Diego   Kazuyuki Tsuji   Tasuku Mano   Steven Wasserloos
2010 Hawaii   Ray Rizzo   Yasuki Tochigi   Isao Yoshioka
2011 San Diego   Ray Rizzo   Matteo Gini   Matt Coyle
2012 Hawaii   Ray Rizzo   Wolfe Glick   Abel Martin Sanz
2013 Vancouver   Arash Ommati   Ryosuke Kosuge   Aaron Zheng
2014 Washington, D.C.   Se Jun Park   Jeudy Azzarelli   Collin Heier
2015 Boston   Shoma Honami   Hideyuki Taida   Yosuke Isagi
2016 San Francisco   Wolfe Glick   Jonathan Evans   Markus Stadter
2017 Anaheim   Ryota Otsubo   Sam Pandelis   Paul Ruiz
2018 Nashville   Paul Ruiz   Emilio Forbes   Nils Dunlop
2019 Washington, D.C.   Naoto Mizobuchi   Hirofumi Kimura   James Baek
2022 London   Eduardo Cunha   Guillermo Castilla Díaz   James Baek

Year-specific formats

  • 2008Pokémon Diamond and Pearl
    • For at least the semifinals onward, players connected their Nintendo DSes to Pokémon Battle Revolution. No Battle Revolution-specific clauses were set.
    • For this year only, players were only allowed to bring exactly 4 Pokémon, instead of bringing 6 and choosing 4 just before the battle.[2]
    • Dragonite and Tyranitar were specifically disallowed, preventing players from using the (at the time) Japan-exclusive level 50 Dragonite event. (It was not possible to obtain Tyranitar at or below level 50 until a Generation VI event.)
    • The Japan-only (at the time) Micle Berry, Custap Berry, and Sketching Seed Flare were disallowed.
  • 2009Pokémon Platinum
    • For at least the semifinals onward, players connected their Nintendo DSes to a modified, unreleased version of Pokémon Battle Revolution. The modified game featured Platinum outfits for Dawn and Lucas as well as no region- or language-locking.[3]
    • Event-exclusive level 50 Dragonite were allowed this year.
    • All forms of Rotom, including the normal form, were disallowed.[4]
    • The Japan-only (at the time) Jaboca Berry, Rowap Berry, and Sketching Judgment were disallowed. The Custap Berry was also disallowed.
      • The Custap Berry had not yet been distributed to French, German, Italian, or Spanish-language games at the time, though the level 50 Dragonite event was also never distributed in these languages.
  • 2010Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver
    • Up to two Special Pokémon were allowed. Uniquely for this year, a player's team of 6 could list up to 4 Special Pokémon, as long as no more than 2 were chosen before battle.
    • The Jaboca Berry was allowed this year despite still being Japan-only at the time.
  • 2011Pokémon Black and White
  • 2012Pokémon Black and White
  • 2013Pokémon Black 2 and White 2
  • 2014Pokémon X and Y
    • Only Kalos Pokédex Pokémon were allowed. Dark Void once again became allowed.
  • 2015Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire
  • 2016Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire
    • Up to two Special Pokémon were allowed in a team of six.
  • 2017Pokémon Sun and Moon
  • 2018Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon
  • 2019Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon
    • Up to two Special Pokémon were allowed. In addition, the season was split into three series:
      • Sun Series (Sep 4, 2018 - Jan 7, 2019): Mega Stones, Primal Reversion, Rayquaza with Dragon Ascent, and Z-Crystals were all disallowed.
      • Moon Series (Jan 8 - Apr 1, 2019): Mega Stones, Primal Reversion, Rayquaza with Dragon Ascent, and Ultranecrozium Z were disallowed.
      • Ultra Series (Apr 2, 2019 - Jan 3, 2020): All Mega Evolution, Primal Reversion, and Z-Moves are allowed.
  • 2022Pokémon Sword and Shield
    • Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 and 2021 World Championships were canceled and the season was eventually extended to last three years with several different series.
    • All Pokémon that were obtainable at the beginning of a series were allowed for that series, including those not in any of the Galar Pokédexes, as long as they met all other requirements (such as having the Galar symbol/battle-ready symbol and not being Special/Mythical). As a result:
      • Version 1.1.0 and Pokémon HOME released before Series 3, The Isle of Armor released before Series 5, and The Crown Tundra released before Series 7.
      • Between Series 1 and 2, only Galar Pokédex Pokémon were allowed due to the only obtainable Pokémon outside the Galar Pokédex being Mew. The only non-Galarian forms allowed were Kantonian Meowth, Persian, Mr. Mime, and Unovan Yamask due to those being the only obtainable ones at the time.
      • Between Series 3 and 4, all non-Galarian forms of compatible Pokémon were allowed except three: Alolan Raichu and Kantonian Weezing were not obtainable with the Galar symbol at the time, and Kantonian Slowpoke was not compatible with Sword and Shield at the time (only Galarian Slowpoke was). Cobalion, Terrakion, and Virizion were compatible but disallowed due to the battle-ready symbol not existing at the time.
    • List of series:
      • Series 1 (Nov 19 - Dec 31, 2019): All Gigantamax Pokémon were disallowed.
      • Series 2 (Jan 4 - Feb 29, 2020): Gigantamax Pikachu, Eevee, Butterfree, Drednaw, Corviknight, Sandaconda, Centiskorch, Blaze Charizard, Meowth (event-only), and Snorlax (event-only) became allowed.
      • Series 3 (Mar 1 - Apr 30, 2020): Gigantamax Coalossal, Lapras, Flapple, Appletun, Alcremie, Kingler, Orbeetle, Grimmsnarl, Hatterene, Solar Power Charizard, and Toxtricity (event-only) became allowed.
      • Series 4 (May 1 - Jun 30, 2020): All Gigantamax Pokémon became allowed (the remaining five at the time being Machamp, Gengar, Garbodor, Copperajah, and Duraludon).
      • Series 5 (Jul 1 - Aug 31, 2020)
      • Series 6 (Sep 1 - Oct 31, 2020): The most used Pokémon from the previous series were disallowed: Venusaur, Gyarados, Porygon2, Tyranitar, Torkoal, Hippowdon, Magnezone, Togekiss, Excadrill, Whimsicott, Incineroar, Mimikyu, Rillaboom, Cinderace, Indeedee, and Dragapult.
      • Series 7 (Nov 1, 2020 - Jan 31, 2021): The above 16 Pokémon became re-allowed.
      • Series 8 (Feb 1 - Apr 30, 2021): Up to one Special Pokémon was allowed.
      • Series 9 (May 1 - Jul 31, 2021): No Special Pokémon were allowed. (identical to Series 7)
      • Series 10 (Aug 1 - Oct 31, 2021): Up to one Special Pokémon was allowed. Dynamax and Gigantamax were disallowed.
      • Series 11 (Nov 1, 2021 - Jan 31, 2022): Up to one Special Pokémon was allowed. Dynamax and Gigantamax became re-allowed. (identical to Series 8)
      • Series 12 (Feb 1 - Aug 31, 2022): Up to two Special Pokémon were allowed.
      • Series 13 (Sep 1 - Oct 31, 2022): Any number of Special Pokémon and any number of Mythical Pokémon were allowed. VGC events taking place during this time period count toward the next year's Championships.[7]
      • Series 14 (Nov 1 - Dec 31, 2022): Up to two Special Pokémon were allowed. Mythical Pokémon were disallowed. (identical to Series 12)
  • 2023Pokémon Scarlet and Violet
    • Only Pokémon in the Paldea Pokédex were allowed. Pokémon and regional forms not in the Paldea Pokédex, such as Quagsire and Johtonian Wooper, were disallowed. All Legendary Pokémon (not just Special Pokémon) were also disallowed. Both players must disclose their team to their opponent (including Tera Type, species, forms, moves, Abilities, and held items, but excluding stats).
    • The season was split into the following series:
      • Series 1 (Dec 2, 2022[8] - Jan 31, 2023): Paradox Pokémon were disallowed.
      • Series 2 (Feb 1 - Mar 31, 2023): Paradox Pokémon became allowed.
      • Series 3 (Apr 1 - Jun 30, 2023): The Treasures of Ruin became allowed. From this series on, all series will be renamed to regulations, with this particular format being named Regulation C.

When series may overlap at the start or end of a year, events may use either of the two formats. For example, the Korean League Season 1 on Dec 15-16, 2019 used 2020 Series 1 rules, while the Kuala Lumpur Regionals on Dec 21-22, 2019 used 2019 Ultra Series rules.[9]

In the games

In Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, the top four competitors from each division of the Video Game Championships from the 2012 World Championships were featured in the World Championships Tournaments in the Pokémon World Tournament. In the Generation VI games, unused text exists for the top three competitors as opponents in the Battle Maison.

In Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, several NPCs at the Battle Resort mention the Pokémon World Championships.

In the anime

Main article: World Coronation Series


  • It is possible for moves to become event-exclusive at a World Championship format despite not being event-exclusive normally. For example, Bounce was an event-exclusive move on Gyarados in VGC 2017 only, as it otherwise needs a Move Tutor to learn Bounce and so could not have the black clover at the time.
  • While event-exclusive Pokémon, moves, and items have been disallowed, event-exclusive Hidden Abilities have always been allowed.
  • The first half of 2020 is the only time that non-event Pokémon have been disallowed because of rarity. Specifically, Gigantamax Pokémon that were rarely available normally in-game did not become allowed until the start of the first Wild Area News event that temporarily made them more common. This would become moot with the release of The Isle of Armor, which would make all relevant Gigantamax Pokémon available without relying on rarity.
  • Between approximately October 2020 and March 2021, the published rulebook mistakenly implied Regigigas was disallowed (by omitting its National Pokédex number from the list of allowed Pokémon that do not have a Galar/Isle of Armor/Crown Tundra Pokédex number).[10][11][12] This was fixed sometime on or before February 2022.[13]
  • Coincidentally, in the 2022 edition's Masters Division finals for the core series video games, players Eduardo Cunha and Guillermo Castilla Diaz represented the basis of the Paldea region (the Iberian Peninsula), the setting of the Pokémon Scarlet and Violet games.

Trading Card Game

The championships are staged utilizing that year's Standard format, previously referred to as Modified Format prior to the 2014 season. The 2015 season introduced the Expanded format.

Standard/Modified Format Sets

Expanded Format Sets

World Championship decks

Main article: World Championships Deck (TCG)

World Championship decks are purchasable non-tournament-legal prints of 60-card decks used by World Championship players.

Pokkén Tournament

Games used

  • 2015 - Pokkén Tournament (arcade version, invitational only)
  • 2016 - Pokkén Tournament
  • 2017 - Pokkén Tournament
  • 2018 - Pokkén Tournament DX
  • 2019 - Pokkén Tournament DX
  • 2022 - Pokkén Tournament DX

Pokémon GO

Pokémon UNITE

  • 2022

Scheduling and matchups

  This section contains old or outdated information, or has not been updated in a while. Please check the content of this section and update it as required.

The Championships are set over three days (four starting with the 2022 event) with a last chance qualifier (known to players as "The Grinder") on the Friday to fill seats left vacant for various reasons (no travel, local qualifiers) until all seats are filled. The second day is limited to Swiss Pairings over a set number of rounds, and the top players (16 each in the Junior and Senior Divisions, as well as the top 32 in the Masters division) move onto the Sunday rounds. The format for this final is single elimination, until the finals, which are a best two matches out of three to decide the World Champion. There are three divisions: Junior (known as the 10 Years Old and Under Division until 2006), Senior (known as the 11 to 14 Year Old Division until 2006) and Masters (called the 15 Years and Older Division until 2006). In 2010, a Last Chance Qualifier was held on Friday to fill all vacant spots. In 2011, a Masters age Division was added to the VGC scene to parallel the TCG. The event format consists of Swiss rounds, followed by a single elimination tournament. In 2009, the top two advanced to play the finals on Sunday, whereas since 2010, the top eight advance to play in a head-to-head single elimination event to decide the World Champions.

In other languages

Language Title
Chinese Cantonese 寶可夢世界錦標賽 Pokémon Saigaai Gámbīuchoi
Mandarin 寶可夢世界錦標賽 / 宝可梦世界锦标赛 Pokémon Shìjiè Jǐnbiāosài
  Dutch Pokémon Wereldkampioenschap
  French Championnats du Monde Pokémon
  German Pokémon-Weltmeisterschaften
  Italian Campionati Mondiali Pokémon
  Korean 포켓몬 월드챔피언십 Pokémon World Championships
  Polish Mistrzostwo Świata Pokémon
Portuguese   Brazil Campeonato Mundial Pokémon
Campeonato Mundial de Pokémon
  Portugal Campeonato Mundial de Pokémon
  Russian Чемпионат Мира по игре в Покемон Chempionat Mira po igre v Pokémon
  Spanish Campeonato Mundial Pokémon

See also


External links

Pokémon World Championships
Pokémon Trading Card Game only 2004-2008; TCG and Video Games 2009-on
2004: Blaziken TechMagma SpiritRocky BeachTeam Rushdown
2005: Bright AuraDark TyranitarKing of the WestQueendom
2006: B-L-SEeveelutionsMewtrickSuns & Moons
2007: FlyveesLegendary AscentRamboltSwift Empoleon
2008: Bliss ControlEmpotechIntimidationPsychic Lock
2009: StallgonCrowned TigerQueengarLuxdrill
2010: LuxChomp of the SpiritHappy LuckPower CottonweedBoltevoir
2011: MegazoneReshiphlosionThe TruthTwinboar
2012: Pesadelo PrismTerraki-MewtwoEeltwoCMT
2013: Anguille Sous RocheAmerican GothicDarkraiUltimate Team Plasma
2014: Plasma PowerTrevgorEmerald KingCrazy Punch
2015: The Flying HammerPunches 'n' BitesHonorStoisePrimal Groudon
2016: Black DragonBebe DeckMagical SymphonyNinja Blitz
2017: Infinite ForceGolisodorIce Path FTWSamurai Sniper
2018: Victory MapDragones y SombrasGarbanetteBuzzroc
2019: Pikarom JudgeFire BoxMind BlownPerfection
2022: ADPThe Shape of MewCheryl AgainIce Rider Palkia
Champions Jason KlaczynskiJun HasebeRay Rizzo

  This article is part of Project Real-Life, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on Pokémon activities and events experienced in the real world.