Pokemon Sword and Shield take over as the franchise’s official competitive games

It's about time.

Image via Pokémon

Starting today, Pokémon Sword and Shield will become the official competitive games for Pokémon esports everywhere, replacing the long-running Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon games at official events.

With it, the new ruleset will take force immediately to reflect the new gameplay mechanics added in Sword and Shield.

Like with previous entries, Double Battles will be the main format at official tournaments with Pokémon only from the Galar region allowed to take part. Mew, Zacian, Zamazenta, and Eternatus will be banned, as well as any Pokémon not captured or hatched in the Sword and Shield games. The latter ban is likely to coincide with the future release of Pokémon Home.

Certain Gigantamax Pokémon will also be banned for a limited time until they are more readily available. The current crop of Gigantamax Pokémon allowed in competition so far includes Butterfree, Corviknight, Drednaw, Centiskorch, Meowth, Pikachu, Eevee, Snorlax, Sandaconda, and Charizard (but only with Blaze).

With that out of the way, fans can look forward to a whole year of exciting events when the first competitive matches kick off in a few weeks time in various places across the world.