Pokémon TCG Tournament Information

Play! Pokémon Premier TCG events are run using the Standard Format and Swiss pairings. See the Tournament Rules for additional information about the Modified and Swiss formats. The number of Swiss rounds run will depend on the total attendance of the event.

After Swiss rounds are complete, there may be a cut to single-elimination finals. The number of players to qualify for the finals will depend on the total attendance in each age group, with a maximum of 8 players playing off in any one division.

Most Pokémon Championship events are operated by independent Tournament Organizers. Please contact the Tournament Organizers for specific information about their venue or scheduling.

New in 2014

Pokémon League Challenges

New for the 2014 season, Pokémon TCG Battle Road tournaments will now be associated with Pokémon League locations worldwide, and will now be called League Challenges. Active Pokémon Leagues with a Tournament Organizer on staff will have the opportunity to run a League Challenge tournament at the end of each League season. League Challenge Championship Points awards and Best Finish Limits will not be affected.

This change will give more players an opportunity to test their mettle in a Premier Event, as well as give players more opportunities and flexibility to participate in League Challenge tournaments year-round.

League Challenge tournaments will feature Swiss-only play with no top cut. Organizers of League Challenge tournaments will have the option to run best-of-three or single-game Swiss rounds.

Swiss Match Play and Single-Elimination Changes

Beginning in 2014, Play! Pokémon TCG Championship Events above the City Championships level will begin using best-of-three match play in Swiss rounds. Best-of-three Swiss rounds will have a time limit of 50 minutes plus three turns. As we make this move to match play, this also means that ties will be reintroduced into Pokémon TCG tournaments. Be sure to check the updated Tournament Rules documents for details.

Championship events will now also have a maximum top cut of eight players (Top 8). Some larger Premier Events will feature two-day splits, in which players with the top records from the first day’s Swiss rounds move on to play a second day of Swiss rounds prior to the Top 8 playoffs.

City, S/P/T, and smaller Regional Championships

Attendance Swiss Rounds Playoff
8 3 rounds None (run only 3 Swiss rounds)
9–12 4 rounds Top 4
13–20 5 rounds Top 4
21–32 5 rounds Top 8
33–64 6 rounds Top 8
65–128 7 rounds Top 8
129–226 8 rounds Top 8
227–409 9 rounds Top 8

Larger Regional and National Championships

Attendance Swiss Rounds Day 2 Playoff
8 3 rounds None None (run only 3 Swiss rounds)
9–12 4 rounds None Top 4
13–20 5 rounds None Top 4
21–32 5 rounds None Top 8
33–64 6 rounds None Top 8
65–128 7 rounds None Top 8
129–226 8 rounds None Top 8
227–799 9 rounds Record of X-2-0 or top 32, whichever is greater (5 rounds) Top 8
800 or higher 9 rounds (2 flights) Record of X-2-0 or top 32, whichever is greater, from each flight (6 rounds) Top 8

Tournament Entry Fees

Beginning in the 2014 tournament season, Pokémon TCG Masters Division players will pay for entry into Championship Series events (City, State, Regional, and National Championships). Fees charged for entry will be determined by the event organizer and will be included in each tournament listing well in advance of the event. Junior and Senior Division players will still pay no entry fees for Championship Series events.

Entry fees for all age divisions for Prerelease tournaments and League Challenges will be determined by the event organizer.

Players in Pokémon video game tournaments will continue to pay no entry fees.

Changes to Tournament Prize Structure

Play! Pokémon will be increasing prize support in the TCG Masters Division to coincide with the change to entry fees. Masters Division booster pack prizes will be increased at City Championships level and above, and prizes will be given to more players lower in the finish order. Four additional World Championships Travel Awards will also be added to the U.S. National Championships Masters Division. On top of that, Tournament Organizers may choose to award additional prizes to one or more age divisions. Be sure to check the tournament listings for details!

Also new for 2014, U.S. National Championships Travel Awards and Travel Stipends will now be awarded to the top TCG performers in the season’s Championship Point rankings. Travel Awards and Travel Stipends will be awarded as follows, based on Championship Point rankings at the end of Spring Regionals:

1st–16th: Travel Award and a $300 Travel Stipend

17th–30th: $750 Travel Stipend

31st–60th: $500 Travel Stipend

61st–100th: $300 Travel Stipend

Pokémon video game players will also earn U.S. National Championships Travel Awards and Travel Stipends based on their season’s Championship Point rankings at the end of the Spring Regional Championships. Pokémon video game Travel Awards and Travel Stipends are as follows:

1st–16th: Travel Award and $300 Travel Stipend

17th–32nd: $700 Travel Stipend

33rd–64th: $350 Travel Stipend

In addition, the 1st-place finisher in each video game division at each Regional Championships will win a Nintendo 3DS handheld system. Championship Points will also determine which players earn video game Travel Awards to the 2014 Pokémon World Championships. View the Video Game Championship Points page for more details.

Championship Points earned at the 2013 World Championships will not be factored into the rankings until after the U.S. National Championships.

Back to Top