The Pokemon Company have canceled all Play! Pokémon-sanctioned events until mid-May, citing the prioritisation of safety and well-being in their community amidst continuing fear of COVID-19.
The official statement specifies that all Pokémon Regional Championships, Special Events, League Challenges, League Cups, Premier Challenges, Midseason Showdowns, and Prerelease tournaments will be canceled.
While no championship points will be awarded during this time, independent tournament organisers can still run their events, just without official championship licensing. However, The Pokémon Company urges independent tournament organisers to “act in the best interest of their event and community” and “to be mindful of the safety of participants”.
Both the Pokémon VG and TCG series are well underway in 2020. With no current information on whether the canceled events will be rescheduled at a later date, there may end up being quite a limited number of championship points up for grabs this year. This will make for a hard time qualifying for the Pokémon World Championships!.
Despite having their championship schedule chunked down, the response from the community has been overwhelmingly positive, with pros and casuals alike applauding such a swift and decisive move.
The Pokémon Company assures fans that upon nearing May 14 they will “continue to closely monitor health mandates, guidelines, and recommendations from appropriate government agencies while evaluating all independent and Pokémon-organized events on a case-by-case basis”.