Pokémon players will be waiting quite a while before the battle returns to a local setting. Play! Pokémon has officially suspended all live events through the end of the year.
With how COVID-19 initially impacted the competitive Pokémon circuit, including the cancellation of Worlds 2020, this shouldn’t come as a big surprise.
The Pokémon Company was quick to cancel and suspend all major Play! Pokémon competitions at the start of the pandemic in March, and has since kept a close eye on how things have been handled around the globe. Now, after taking in the current landscape and the recent success of online events, the team has decided to hold off on pushing for a return to physical play.
“In keeping with a commitment to ensure the safety of fans, players, and organizers, the Organized Play team is continuing to assess the situation.” Play! Pokémon said. “As of September 2020, we have determined that the Play! Pokémon Program will remain suspended through the remainder of 2020.”
This suspension only applies to Play! Pokémon events, meaning if independent tournament organizers still want to host competitions they can do so.
The Play! Pokémon team notes that it will have more information about the 2021 Play! Pokémon program available in November, and urges players to continue competing in online events like the upcoming Players Cup II. The competitive team will also provide more details about a new Pokémon TCG competition titled the Play! Pokémon Team Challenge later this year.