Pokémon Go is getting a new league this month. Niantic and The Pokémon Company revealed today that the Competitive Go Battle League will kick off on March 13 at 3pm CT. The Battle League will pit players off against each other through online matchmaking and allow trainers to climb through the rankings.
The league will be divided into three smaller leagues based on Combat Power (CP). Each will be live for two weeks and all of them will rotate back for an additional week at the end of April.
The Great League has a 1,500 CP limit and begins on Friday, March 13. Players can participate in it until March 27, when the Ultra League kicks off with a 2,500 CP limit. This league ends on April 10. The Master League will take place between April 10 and 24, after which all leagues will be available for an extra week until May 1, when season two is scheduled to begin.
The preseason of the Go Battle League kicked off last January and gave players a taste of the upcoming action. As the preparation period draws to an end, all three leagues will be available for a test drive from March 5 to 13. Players who achieved rank four or higher during the preseason will also receive a Premium Battle Pass as a reward.
Starting at rank four, players will also have the chance to find Mythical and Legendary Pokémon in the league. Darkrai, Altered Forme Giratina, and Thundurus can appear as Go Battle League reward encounters during limited-time windows.
Darkrai will be available between 8am on March 6 to 10pm on March 9, local time. The following weekend gives players a chance to find an Altered Forme Giratina between 8am on March 13 and 10pm on March 16, also local time. Finally, players have a chance to encounter a Thundurus on all other occasions.
Pokémon Go is also hosting two special events: one in preparation of the league and another to celebrate its launch.
Strong Pokémon such as Skarmory, Swampert, and Shieldon will be appearing in raids between 8am on March 10 and 10pm on March 12, local time. Five-star raids will also contain Registeel and Cresselia. Raid Battles and Trainer Battles will give out twice as much Stardust during the limited-time window, but the extra rewards won’t apply to Go Battle League Trainer Battles.
To celebrate the launch of the Go Battle League, the official blog said that “more Pokémon thought to be powerful in the Go Battle League will be available in raids” between 8am on March 13 and 10pm on March 16, local time. This includes Altered Forme Giratina in five-star raids. Trainers who want to collect fighting-type Pokémon can also find them more often in the wild and luckier players may find a Shiny Timburr, especially in one-star raids.
During this limited-time window, players will also receive a Battle Pass for winning all five battles in a set in the premium track and trainers can compete in seven sets of Go Battles per day. Playing in the Go Battle League will give out bonus Stardust, too.
Pokémon Go’s blog lists a myriad of changes to Go Battle League season one, including updated rewards and a bigger role for victories in the league. Ranks two and three are locked behind a number of wins, which previously only happened in rank four. Players can also encounter new Pokémon as Go Battle League Rewards.