Masters Division players competing in the Pokémon Players Cup for Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield will battle through several tournament phases. Battles in each phase will use the current 2020 Pokémon Video Game Championships rules.
In the first phase, players will compete to maximize their placement in the International Challenge May, which will take place from Thursday, May 21, 2020, at 5:00 p.m. PDT through Sunday, May 24, 2020, at 4:59 p.m. PDT. The top players by rating zone (after removing ineligible players) will advance to be able to register for the Pokémon Players Cup Regional Online Qualifiers. Players will need to link their Nintendo Account to their Pokémon Trainer Club account before the competition to be eligible.
Players Advancing from the International Challenge May
North America rating zone (US and Canada): 256 Players
Europe rating zone (Europe): 256 Players
Latin America rating zone (Latin America and Caribbean): 256 Players
Oceania rating zone (Oceania): 128 Players
In July, these players will then compete in Online Qualifiers within their region (based on rating zone, excluding South Africa and Russia). Each Regional Online Qualifier will be a separate double-elimination bracket taking place over three weekends so that play times can be optimized by rating zone and the time commitment to play at home will be only a few hours per session. Players will be required to register their team online before the qualification date and will need an account with both Discord and Battlefy to participate.
Matches will be best-of-three and will use the current 2020 Pokémon Video Game Championships rules. Specific details on rules and report times will be available at a later date.
Pokémon Players Cup Regional Online Qualifier Schedule
July 11: Bracket play until 64 players remain in each region
July 18: Bracket play continues until 16 players remain in each region
July 25: Bracket play continues until the specified number of players remain in each region:
North America: 4 players
Europe: 4 players
Latin America: 4 players
Oceania: 3 players
Pokémon Players Cup Finals
The finals will include 16 players—15 players will advance from the Regional Online Qualifiers, and one player will qualify by winning the Pokémon Players Kickoff Invitational. The finals will be a new double-elimination bracket, and players will be able to submit a new team list. Check back for more details on the finals.
Pokémon Players Cup Kickoff Invitational
Before the Pokémon Players Cup Regional Online Qualifiers begin, a special invitational tournament will be held. This tournament will take place June 6–7 and be broadcast June 20–21 (check out the Pokémon Players Cup Stream Information page for more information). This invitational will feature eight players, ranging from current top players to former champions. The winner of the Kickoff Invitational will earn a spot in the Pokémon Players Cup finals in August.
Check back for the list of players.
The following players will not be eligible to participate in the Regional Online Qualifiers:
Players who were born in 2005 or later (Junior and Senior Divisions, based on the 2020 season)
Players who reside outside countries supported by the following Play! Pokémon rating zones: North America (US and Canada), Europe, Latin America, and Oceania
Players who have not opted in to the Play! Pokémon terms
Players who are unable to abide by the VGC tournament rules
Additional eligibility rules may apply.
*All details, including rules, dates, and eligibility, are subject to change.