The Pokémon Company and Play Pokémon! have canceled four Pokémon Regional tournaments as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. There are no plans to reschedule at this time.
This is another staggering blow dealt to the competitive Pokémon circuit that has already lost several events, meaning players continue to lose opportunities to earn Championship Points as well.
The four events canceled essentially clear the tournament slate for Play Pokémon! through the first week of April, which could put a big emphasis on online competitions for the remainder of the month. There is no word on if more tournaments will be scheduled to make up for this cancellation wave, but the decision was made in favor of player health rather than keeping to the World Championship timeline.
“The safety and well-being of our community, both competitors and organizers, is our top priority,” Play Pokémon! said. “Organizers of League, Regional, and Special Events are independent of Pokémon and act in the best interest of their event and community, including always being mindful of the safety of all attendees.”
Here is the full list of regionals that have been canceled and the dates that they would have held:
- Mississauga/Toronto Regional Championships – March 13 to 15
- Charlotte Regional Championships – March 20 to 22
- Regional de Pokémon de Joinville em Santa Catarina 2020 – March 28 to 29
- Salt Lake City Pokémon Regional Championships – April 4 to 5
Play Pokémon! has also updated its rules temporarily as a precaution to the coronavirus should lesser events still be hosted. This includes the removal of requirements to shake hands before and after matches, readily available hand-sanitizers and means to sanitize surfaces, and a recommendation to follow World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines with regards to health and wellness while attending mass gatherings.
As the coronavirus continues to spread, the April calendar will likely be hit again closer to tournament dates as Play Pokémon! evaluate the situation and continue to act with player health in mind.