2021 Play! Pokémon Season Structure

Play-Pokémon-vertical

2020-2022 Season Structure

The 2020-2022 Play! Pokémon Seasons started officialy at the DC Open, held on August 2019 alongside the 2019 World Championships, and will come to an end at the 2022 World Championships in London, UK, next year.

This is the last season to use the Nintendo 3DS system of consoles: Pokémon Ultra Sun and Pokémon Ultra Moon were played until 4 January 2020, when all events transitioned to Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield on the Nintendo Switch.

This unusual three-year season is also marked by the cancellation of all live events worldwide since March 2020 because of the ongoing covid pandemic, including the 2020 and 2021 World Championships, and the adaptation to official online events in the Pokémon Players Cup series.

Format rotations

The VGC in 2020 sets the players for an all-new competitive experience in Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield. All VGC events taking place from 4 January 2020 on will use the newest games and the Series-based set of rules.

Additionally, the season’s rules vary with each Series of Ranked Battles in the Battle Stadium. That means that real-life events, despite not being a part of the online competitions, will also follow such regulations:

  • Series 2: Jan. 4 to Feb. 29, 2020
  • Series 3: Mar. 1 to Apr. 30, 2020
  • Series 4: May 1 to Jun. 30, 2020
  • Series 5: Jul. 1 to Aug. 31, 2020
  • Series 6: Sep. 1 to Oct. 31, 2020
  • Series 7: Nov. 1 to Jan. 31, 2021
  • Series 8: Feb. 1 to Apr. 30, 2021
  • Series 9: May 1 onwards
Series 1 (similar to Series 2 but with no Gigantamax forms allowed) was the ruleset of online Ranked Battles from the release date of the games to 31 December 2019. During it, the official competitive format still was VGC19 Ultra Series with Pokémon Ultra Sun and Pokémon Ultra Moon, and thus was never used in official competitive play (with the exception of Korean League Season 1). 

Battle rules

  • Double Battles played on Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield.
  • All Pokémon will be automatically on Level 50 regardless of their actual in-game level.
  • All matches have a 20 minute timer. After that, the game automatically resolves to the player with more Pokémon, HP numbers… left. Tiebreakers can be found on the official rules document.
  • Players will have up to 7 minutes of “Your Time” throughout the course of a match to select their moves.
    • Each turn, 45 seconds will be given to select a move.
    • Animations and connection time do not add up.

Team rules

General eligibility rules for Pokémon

  • All Pokémon must have either the black Galar symbol (or, since Series 5, the battle-ready symbol) on their summary screen to signify that they originated (caught, hatched or obtained) or they were transferred and then adapted to the Galar region.
  • Pokémon may use of any move or Ability available to that Pokémon through normal gameplay. This includes:
    • Hidden Abilities, if available (all of them are available through the use of the Ability Patch since Series 7).
    • Moves and Abilities passed via the Pokémon Nursery by a Pokémon brought in using Pokémon HOME.
    • Moves and Abilities made available through an official Pokémon event or promotion.
  • Neither Pokémon nor held items may be repeated on a team (“Species Clause”, “Item Clause”).
  • All Pokémon may use their Dynamax factor, and some Pokémon may also use their Gigantamax factor. You are allowed to Dynamax or Gigantamax one of your Pokémon per battle.

Permitted Pokémon

The list of permitted Pokémon changes with each Series. For the current format, Series 9, the following Pokémon are allowed:

  • Galar Pokédex: #001-397
  • Isle of Armor Pokédex: #001-210
  • Crown Tundra Pokédex: #001-209
  • National Pokédex: #243–245, #252–260, #380–381, #480–482, #485, #488, #638–642, #645, #722–730, #785–788, #793–799 and #803–806
Series 8

These are the Pokémon allowed in Series 8:

    • Galar Pokédex: #001-397
    • Isle of Armor Pokédex: #001-210
    • Crown Tundra Pokédex: #001-209
    • National Pokédex: #243–245, #252–260, #380–381, #480–482, #485, #488, #638–642, #645, #722–730, #785–788, #793–799 and #803–806

 

Additionally, players may use one of the following Restricted Pokémon in their teams:

    • National Pokédex: #150, #249-250, #382–384, #483–484, #487, #643–644, #646, #716–718, #789–792, #800, #888–890 and #898
Series 7
These are the Pokémon allowed in Series 7:
    • Galar Pokédex: #001-397
    • Isle of Armor Pokédex: #001-210
    • Crown Tundra Pokédex: #001-209
    • National Pokédex: #243–245, #252–260, #380–381, #480–482, #485, #488, #638–642, #645, #722–730, #785–788, #793–799 and #803–806
Series 6

These are the Pokémon allowed in Series 6:

    • Galar Pokédex: #001-397
    • Isle of Armor Pokédex: #001-210
    • National Pokédex: #638-640 and #722-730.

Pokémon within the Top 10 in usage in the Ranked Battles ladder for both Singles & Doubles Battles in Season 8 (July 2020) are banned during Series 6. Therefore, the following Pokémon are uneligible:

 
Uneligible Pokémon in Series 6
VenusaurGyaradosPorygon2TyranitarTorkoalHippowdon
VenusaurGyaradosPorygon2TyranitarTorkoalHippowdon
MagnezoneTogekissExcadrillWhimsicottIncineroarMimikyu
MagnezoneTogekissExcadrillWhimsicottIncineroarMimikyu
RillaboomCinderaceIndeedeeIndeedee-FemaleDragapult
RillaboomCinderaceMale IndeedeeFemale IndeedeeDragapult
Series 5
These are the Pokémon allowed in Series 5:
    • Galar Pokédex: #001-397
    • Isle of Armor Pokédex: #001-210
    • National Pokédex: #638-640 and #722-730
Series 3 & 4

These are the Pokémon allowed in Series 3 and 4:

    • Galar Pokédex: #001-397
    • National Pokédex: #001-009, #079 and #722-730
Series 2

In Series 2, all Pokémon with Galar Pokédex numbers #001-397 are allowed.

Banned Pokémon

In Series 9, the following Pokémon are banned:

Banned Pokémon for Series 9
mewtwomewlugiaho-ohcelebikyogre
MewtwoMewLugiaHo-OhCelebiKyogre
groudonrayquazajirachipalkiadialgagiratina
GroudonRayquazaJirachiPalkiaDialgaGiratina
(both forms)
victinireshiramzekromkyuremkeldeogenesect
VictiniReshiramZekromKyurem
(all forms)
Keldeo
(both forms)
Genesect
(all forms)
xerneasyveltalzygarde-50diancievolcanioncosmog
XerneasYveltalZygarde
(both forms)
DiancieVolcanionCosmog
cosmoemsolgaleolunalanecrozmamagearnamarshadow
CosmoemSolgaleoLunalaNecrozma
(all forms)
Magearna
(both forms)
Marshadow
zeraorameltanmelmetalzacianzamazentaeternatus
ZeraoraMeltanMelmetalZacian
(both forms)
Zamazenta
(both forms)
Eternatus
zarudecalyrex
Zarude
(both forms)
Calyrex
(all forms)
Banned Pokémon for Series 9
mewtwomewlugiaho-oh
MewtwoMewLugiaHo-Oh
celebikyogregroudonrayquaza
CelebiKyogreGroudonRayquaza
jirachipalkiadialgagiratina
JirachiPalkiaDialgaGiratina
(both forms)
victinireshiramzekromkyurem
VictiniReshiramZekromKyurem
(all forms)
keldeogenesectxerneasyveltal
Keldeo
(both forms)
Genesect
(all forms)
XerneasYveltal
zygarde-50diancievolcanioncosmog
Zygarde
(both forms)
DiancieVolcanionCosmog
cosmoemsolgaleolunalanecrozma
CosmoemSolgaleoLunalaNecrozma
(all forms)
magearnamarshadowzeraorameltan
Magearna
(both forms)
MarshadowZeraoraMeltan
melmetalzacianzamazentaeternatus
MelmetalZacian
(both forms)
Zamazenta
(both forms)
Eternatus
 zarudecalyrex 
 Zarude
(both forms)
Calyrex
(all forms)
 
Series 8

One of the Restricted Legendary Pokémon is allowed per team. Mythical Pokémon are still banned:

 

Banned Pokémon for Series 8
mewcelebijirachivictinikeldeogenesect
MewCelebiJirachiVictiniKeldeo
(both forms)
Genesect
(all forms)
diancievolcanionmagearnamarshadowzeraorameltan
DiancieVolcanionMagearna
(both forms)
MarshadowZeraoraMeltan
  melmetalzarude  
  MelmetalZarude
(both forms)
  
Series 7
The list of banned Pokémon is updated with the release of The Crown Tundra. The list is the same as for Series 9.
Series 6

In addition to the Restricted Legendary and Singular Pokémon, the Pokémon within the top 10 usage in Season 8 (July 2020) Ranked Battles ladder for both Single and Double Battles were deemed uneligible just for Series 6.

 

Banned Pokémon for Series 6
venusaurgyaradosmewtwomewporygon2tyranitar
VenusaurGyaradosMewtwoMewPorygon2Tyranitar
celebitorkoaljirachihippowdonmagnezonetogekiss
CelebiTorkoalJirachiHippowdonMagnezoneTogekiss
excadrillwhimsicottreshiramzekromkyuremincineroar
ExcadrillWhimsicottReshiramZekromKyurem
(all forms)
Incineroar
mimikyucosmogcosmoemsolgaleolunalanecrozma
MimikyuCosmogCosmoemSolgaleoLunalaNecrozma
(all forms)
magearnamarshadowzeraorameltanmelmetalrillaboom
Magearna
(both forms)
MarshadowZeraoraMeltanMelmetalRillaboom
cinderaceindeedeedragapultzacianzamazentaeternatus
CinderaceIndeedee
(both forms)
DragapultZacian
(both forms)
Zamazenta
(both forms)
Eternatus
zarudePokémon added with The Crown Tundra and Dada Zarude
ZarudeUnavailable during Series 6
Series 5

The list of banned Pokémon is updated with the release of The Isle of Armor and, with it, the availability of the battle-ready symbol:

 

 

Banned Pokémon for Series 5
mewtwomewcelebijirachireshiramzekrom
MewtwoMewCelebiJirachiReshiramZekrom
kyuremcosmogcosmoemsolgaleolunalanecrozma
Kyurem
(all forms)
CosmogCosmoemSolgaleoLunalaNecrozma
(all forms)
magearnamarshadowzeraorameltanmelmetalzacian
Magearna
(both forms)
MarshadowZeraoraMeltanMelmetalZacian
(both forms)
zamazentaeternatuszarudePokémon added with The Crown Tundra and Dada Zarude
Zamazenta
(both forms)
EternatusZarudeUnavailable during Series 5
Series 3 and 4

Regional variants and some Pokémon from the National Pokédex are no longer banned, except for those that cannot be bred in Galar (the battle-ready symbol was introduced in The Isle of Armor):

 

Banned Pokémon for Series 3 and 4
raichu-alolaweezingmewtwomewcelebijirachi
Alolan
Raichu
Weezing
(Kanto form)
MewtwoMewCelebiJirachi
cobalionterrakionvirizionreshiramzekromkyurem
CobalionTerrakionVirizionReshiramZekromKyurem
(all forms)
cosmogcosmoemsolgaleolunalanecrozmamarshadow
CosmogCosmoemSolgaleoLunalaNecrozma
(all forms)
Marshadow
zeraorameltanmelmetalzacianzamazentaeternatus
ZeraoraMeltanMelmetalZacian
(both forms)
Zamazenta
(both forms)
Eternatus
Pokémon added with The Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra
Unavailable during Series 3 and 4
Series 2

All Restricted Legendary and Mythical Pokémon are banned. All Pokémon that are not included in the Galar Pokédex are also banned. All regional variants not available during normal gameplay (obtainable through Pokémon HOME) are also banned:

 

Banned Pokémon for Series 2
bulbasaurivysaurvenusaursquirtlewartortleblastoise
BulbasaurIvysaurVenusaurSquirtleWartortleBlastoise
raichu-alolavulpix-alolaninetales-aloladiglett-aloladugtrio-alolameowth-alola
Alolan
Raichu
Alolan
Vulpix
Alolan
Ninetales
Alolan
Diglett
Alolan
Dugtrio
Alolan
Meowth
persian-alolaponytarapidashslowpokefarfetchdweezing
Alolan
Persian
Ponyta
(Kanto form)
Rapidash
(Kanto form)
Slowpoke
(both forms)
Farfetch’d
(Kanto form)
Weezing
(Kanto form)
mewtwomewcorsolacelebizigzagoonlinoone
MewtwoMewCorsola
(Johto form)
CelebiZigzagoon
(Hoenn form)
Linoone
(Hoenn form)
jirachishellosgastrodondarumakadarmanitanstunfisk
JirachiWest Sea
Shellos
West Sea
Gastrodon
Darumaka
(Unova form)
Darmanitan
(Unova form)
Stunfisk
(Unova form)
cobalionterrakionvirizionReshiramzekromkyurem
CobalionTerrakionVirizionReshiramZekromKyurem
(all forms)
rowletdartrixdecidueyelittentorracatincineroar
RowletDartrixDecidueyeLittenTorracatIncineroar
poppliobrionneprimarinacosmogcosmoemsolgaleo
PopplioBrionnePrimarinaCosmogCosmoemSolgaleo
lunalanecrozmamarshadowzeraorameltanmelmetal
LunalaNecrozma
(all forms)
MarshadowZeraoraMeltanMelmetal
zacianzamazentaeternatusPokémon added with The Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra
Zacian
(both forms)
Zamazenta
(both forms)
EternatusUnavailable during Series 2
Series 8

One of the Restricted Legendary Pokémon is allowed per team. Mythical Pokémon are still banned:

Banned Pokémon for Series 8
mewcelebijirachivictini
MewCelebiJirachiVictini
keldeogenesectdiancievolcanion
Keldeo
(both forms)
Genesect
(all forms)
DiancieVolcanion
magearnamarshadowzeraorameltan
Magearna
(both forms)
MarshadowZeraoraMeltan
 melmetalzarude 
 MelmetalZarude
(both forms)
 
Series 7

The list of banned Pokémon is updated with the release of The Crown Tundra. The list is the same as for Series 9.

Series 6

In addition to the Restricted Legendary and Singular Pokémon, the Pokémon within the top 10 usage in Season 8 (July 2020) Ranked Battles ladder for both Single and Double Battles were deemed uneligible just for Series 6.

 

Banned Pokémon for Series 6
venusaurgyaradosmewtwomew
VenusaurGyaradosMewtwoMew
porygon2tyranitarcelebitorkoal
Porygon2TyranitarCelebiTorkoal
jirachihippowdonmagnezonetogekiss
JirachiHippowdonMagnezoneTogekiss
excadrillwhimsicottreshiramzekrom
ExcadrillWhimsicottReshiramZekrom
kyuremincineroarmimikyucosmog
Kyurem
(all forms)
IncineroarMimikyuCosmog
cosmoemsolgaleolunalanecrozma
CosmoemSolgaleoLunalaNecrozma
(all forms)
magearnamarshadowzeraorameltan
Magearna
(both forms)
MarshadowZeraoraMeltan
melmetalrillaboomcinderaceindeedee
MelmetalRillaboomCinderaceIndeedee
(both forms)
dragapultzacianzamazentaeternatus
DragapultZacian
(both forms)
Zamazenta
(both forms)
Eternatus
 zarudePokémon added with The Crown Tundra and Dada Zarude
 ZarudeUnavailable for Series 6
Series 5

The list of banned Pokémon is updated with the release of The Isle of Armor:

 

Banned Pokémon for Series 5
mewtwomewcelebijirachi
MewtwoMewCelebiJirachi
reshiramzekromkyuremcosmog
ReshiramZekromKyurem
(all forms)
Cosmog
cosmoemsolgaleolunalanecrozma
CosmoemSolgaleoLunalaNecrozma
(all forms)
magearnamarshadowzeraorameltan
Magearna
(both forms)
MarshadowZeraoraMeltan
melmetalzacianzamazentaeternatus
MelmetalZacian
(both forms)
Zamazenta
(both forms)
Eternatus
zarudePokémon added with The Crown Tundra and Dada Zarude
ZarudeUnavailable during Series 5
Series 3 and 4

Regional variants and some Pokémon from the National Pokédex are no longer banned, except for those that cannot be bred in Galar (the battle-ready symbol was introduced in The Isle of Armor):

 

Banned Pokémon for Series 3 and 4
raichu-alolaweezingmewtwomew
Alolan
Raichu
Weezing
(Kanto form)
MewtwoMew
celebijirachicobalionterrakion
CelebiJirachiCobalionTerrakion
virizionreshiramzekromkyurem
VirizionReshiramZekromKyurem
(all forms)
cosmogcosmoemsolgaleolunala
CosmogCosmoemSolgaleoLunala
necrozmamarshadowzeraorameltan
Necrozma
(all forms)
MarshadowZeraoraMeltan
melmetalzacianzamazentaeternatus
MelmetalZacian
(both forms)
Zamazenta
(both forms)
Eternatus
Pokémon added with The Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra
Unavailable during Series 3 and 4
Series 2

All Restricted Legendary and Mythical Pokémon are banned. All Pokémon that are not included in the Galar Pokédex are also banned. All regional variants not available during normal gameplay (obtainable through Pokémon HOME) are also banned:


Banned Pokémon for Series 2
bulbasaurivysaurvenusaursquirtle
BulbasaurIvysaurVenusaurSquirtle
wartortleblastoiseraichu-alolavulpix-alola
WartortleBlastoiseAlolan
Raichu
Alolan
Vulpix
ninetales-aloladiglett-aloladugtrio-alolameowth-alola
Alolan
Ninetales
Alolan
Diglett
Alolan
Dugtrio
Alolan
Meowth
persian-alolaponytarapidashslowpoke
Alolan
Persian
Ponyta
(Kanto form)
Rapidash
(Kanto form)
Slowpoke
(both forms)
farfetchdweezingmewtwomew
Farfetch’d
(Kanto form)
Weezing
(Kanto form)
MewtwoMew
corsolacelebizigzagoonlinoone
Corsola
(Johto form)
CelebiZigzagoon
(Hoenn form)
Linoone
(Hoenn form)
jirachishellosgastrodondarumaka
JirachiWest Sea
Shellos
West Sea
Gastrodon
Darumaka
(Unova form)
darmanitanstunfiskcobalionterrakion
Darmanitan
(Unova form)
Stunfisk
(Unova form)
CobalionTerrakion
virizionReshiramzekromkyurem
VirizionReshiramZekromKyurem
(all forms)
rowletdartrixdecidueyelitten
RowletDartrixDecidueyeLitten
torracatincineroarpoppliobrionne
TorracatIncineroarPopplioBrionne
primarinacosmogcosmoemsolgaleo
PrimarinaCosmogCosmoemSolgaleo
lunalanecrozmamarshadowzeraora
LunalaNecrozma
(all forms)
MarshadowZeraora
meltanmelmetalzacianzamazenta
MeltanMelmetalZacian
(both forms)
Zamazenta
(both forms)
eternatusPokémon added with The Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra
EternatusUnavailable during Series 2

Gigantamax Pokémon

Additionally, the list of Pokémon species permitted to Gigantamax in Championship Series events has expanded periodically, based on the availability of those Pokémon and taking into account a grace period for players to train their new Pokémon. Players using a Pokémon with the Gigantamax Factor that is not on the list during a game will be subject to penalties.

Since Series 7, all Pokémon capable of Gigantamaxing are allowed to do so (with the exception of Gigantamax Melmetal, since Melmetal has never been eligible for VGC). The full list is the following:

Gigantamax Pokémon allowed since Series 7
venusaur-gmaxcharizard-gmaxblastoise-gmaxbutterfree-gmaxpikachu-gmaxmeowth-gmax
VenusaurCharizardBlastoiseButterfreePikachuMeowth
machamp-gmaxgengar-gmaxkingler-gmaxlapras-gmaxeevee-gmaxsnorlax-gmax
MachampGengarKinglerLaprasEeveeSnorlax
garbodor-gmaxrillaboom-gmaxcinderace-gmaxinteleon-gmaxcorviknight-gmaxorbeetle-gmax
GarbodorRillaboomCinderaceInteleonCorviknightOrbeetle
drednaw-gmaxcoalossal-gmaxflapple-gmaxflapple-gmaxsandaconda-gmaxtoxtricity-gmax
DrednawCoalossalFlappleAppletunSandacondaToxtricity
(both forms)
centiskorch-gmaxhatterene-gmaxgrimmsnarl-gmaxalcremie-gmaxcopperajah-gmaxduraludon-gmax
CentiskorchHattereneGrimmsnarlAlcremie
(all forms)
CopperajahDuraludon
urshifu-single-strike-gmaxurshifu-rapid-strike-gmax
Single Strike Style
Urshifu
Rapid Strike Style
Urshifu
Gigantamax Pokémon allowed since Series 7
venusaur-gmaxcharizard-gmaxblastoise-gmaxbutterfree-gmax
VenusaurCharizardBlastoiseButterfree
pikachu-gmaxmeowth-gmaxmachamp-gmaxgengar-gmax
PikachuMeowthMachampGengar
kingler-gmaxlapras-gmaxeevee-gmaxsnorlax-gmax
KinglerLaprasEeveeSnorlax
garbodor-gmaxrillaboom-gmaxcinderace-gmaxinteleon-gmax
GarbodorRillaboomCinderaceInteleon
corviknight-gmaxorbeetle-gmaxdrednaw-gmaxcoalossal-gmax
CorviknightOrbeetleDrednawCoalossal
flapple-gmaxflapple-gmaxsandaconda-gmaxtoxtricity-gmax
FlappleAppletunSandacondaToxtricity
(both forms)
centiskorch-gmaxhatterene-gmaxgrimmsnarl-gmaxalcremie-gmax
CentiskorchHattereneGrimmsnarlAlcremie
(all forms)
copperajah-gmaxduraludon-gmaxurshifu-single-strike-gmaxurshifu-rapid-strike-gmax
CopperajahDuraludonSingle Strike Style
Urshifu
Rapid Strike Style
Urshifu
Series 6

After the ineligibility of some high-usage Pokémon, the Gigantamax list is slightly modified to exclude Venusaur, Rillaboom and Cinderace just for Series 6:

 

Gigantamax Pokémon allowed in Series 6
charizard-gmaxblastoise-gmaxbutterfree-gmaxpikachu-gmaxmeowth-gmaxmachamp-gmax
CharizardBlastoiseButterfreePikachuMeowthMachamp
gengar-gmaxkingler-gmaxlapras-gmaxeevee-gmaxsnorlax-gmaxgarbodor-gmax
GengarKinglerLaprasEeveeSnorlaxGarbodor
inteleon-gmaxcorviknight-gmaxorbeetle-gmaxdrednaw-gmaxcoalossal-gmaxflapple-gmax
InteleonCorviknightOrbeetleDrednawCoalossalFlapple
flapple-gmaxsandaconda-gmaxtoxtricity-gmaxcentiskorch-gmaxhatterene-gmaxgrimmsnarl-gmax
AppletunSandacondaToxtricity
(both forms)
CentiskorchHattereneGrimmsnarl
alcremie-gmaxcopperajah-gmaxduraludon-gmaxurshifu-single-strike-gmaxurshifu-rapid-strike-gmax 
Alcremie
(all forms)
CopperajahDuraludonSingle Strike Style
Urshifu
Rapid Strike Style
Urshifu
 
Series 5
With the addition of Max Soup in The Isle of Armor, all Gigantamax Pokémon were allowed for Series 5. The list is the same as the one since Series 7.
Series 4
Five more Pokémon that were featured in Wild Area News before May 2020 were added for Series 4. All available Gigantamax Pokémon before The Isle of Armor are now allowed:
Gigantamax Pokémon allowed in Series 4
charizard-gmaxbutterfree-gmaxpikachu-gmaxmeowth-gmaxmachamp-gmax
CharizardButterfreePikachuMeowthMachamp
gengar-gmaxkingler-gmaxlapras-gmaxeevee-gmaxsnorlax-gmax
GengarKinglerLaprasEeveeSnorlax
garbodor-gmaxcorviknight-gmaxorbeetle-gmaxdrednaw-gmaxcoalossal-gmax
GarbodorCorviknightOrbeetleDrednawCoalossal
flapple-gmaxflapple-gmaxsandaconda-gmaxToxtricity-gmaxcentiskorch-gmax
FlappleAppletunSandacondaToxtricity (both forms)Centiskorch
hatterene-gmaxgrimmsnarl-gmaxalcremie-gmaxCopperajah-gmaxDuraludon-gmax
HattereneGrimmsnarlAlcremie (all forms)CopperajahDuraludon
Series 3
Ten more Pokémon that were featured in Wild Area News before March 2020 and Charizard with Solar Power (its Hidden Ability) were added for Series 3:
Gigantamax Pokémon allowed in Series 3
charizard-gmaxButterfree-gmaxpikachu-gmaxmeowth-gmaxkingler-gmax
CharizardButterfreePikachuMeowthKingler
lapras-gmaxEevee-gmaxSnorlax-gmaxcorviknight-gmaxorbeetle-gmax
LaprasEeveeSnorlaxCorviknightOrbeetle
drednaw-gmaxcoalossal-gmaxflapple-gmaxFlapple-gmaxsandaconda-gmax
DrednawCoalossalFlappleAppletunSandaconda
toxtricity-gmaxcentiskorch-gmaxhatterene-gmaxgrimmsnarl-gmaxalcremie-gmax
Toxtricity (both forms)CentiskorchHattereneGrimmsnarlAlcremie (all forms)
Series 2

Ten Gigantamax Pokémon were available for play in Series 2. These were obtainable through events or had been featured in Wild Area News before January 2020.

 

Gigantamax Pokémon allowed in Series 2
charizard-gmaxbutterfree-gmaxpikachu-gmaxmeowth-gmaxeevee-gmax
Charizard*ButterfreePikachuMeowthEevee
snorlax-gmaxcorviknight-gmaxdrednaw-gmaxSandaconda-gmaxcentiskorch-gmax
SnorlaxCorviknightDrednawSandacondaCentiskorch

*Charizard is only available with the Blaze ability for this Series.

Series 6

After the ineligibility of some high-usage Pokémon, the Gigantamax list is slightly modified to exclude Venusaur, Rillaboom and Cinderace just for Series 6:

 

Gigantamax Pokémon allowed in Series 6
charizard-gmaxblastoise-gmaxbutterfree-gmaxpikachu-gmax
CharizardBlastoiseButterfreePikachu
meowth-gmaxmachamp-gmaxgengar-gmaxkingler-gmax
MeowthMachampGengarKingler
lapras-gmaxeevee-gmaxsnorlax-gmaxgarbodor-gmax
LaprasEeveeSnorlaxGarbodor
inteleon-gmaxcorviknight-gmaxorbeetle-gmaxdrednaw-gmax
InteleonCorviknightOrbeetleDrednaw
coalossal-gmaxflapple-gmaxflapple-gmaxsandaconda-gmax
CoalossalFlappleAppletunSandaconda
toxtricity-gmaxcentiskorch-gmaxhatterene-gmaxgrimmsnarl-gmax
Toxtricity
(both forms)
CentiskorchHattereneGrimmsnarl
alcremie-gmaxcopperajah-gmaxduraludon-gmaxurshifu-single-strike-gmax
Alcremie
(all forms)
CopperajahDuraludonSingle Strike Style
Urshifu
urshifu-rapid-strike-gmax
Rapid Strike Style
Urshifu
Series 5
With the addition of Max Soup in The Isle of Armor, all Gigantamax Pokémon were allowed for Series 5. The list is the same as the one since Series 7.
Series 4

Five more Pokémon that were featured in Wild Area News before May 2020 were added for Series 4. All available Gigantamax Pokémon before The Isle of Armor are now allowed:

 

Gigantamax Pokémon allowed in Series 4
charizard-gmaxbutterfree-gmaxpikachu-gmaxmeowth-gmax
CharizardButterfreePikachuMeowth
machamp-gmaxgengar-gmaxkingler-gmaxlapras-gmax
MachampGengarKinglerLapras
eevee-gmaxsnorlax-gmaxgarbodor-gmaxcorviknight-gmax
EeveeSnorlaxGarbodorCorviknight
orbeetle-gmaxdrednaw-gmaxcoalossal-gmaxflapple-gmax
OrbeetleDrednawCoalossalFlapple
flapple-gmaxsandaconda-gmaxtoxtricity-gmaxcentiskorch-gmax
AppletunSandacondaToxtricity
(both forms)
Centiskorch
hatterene-gmaxgrimmsnarl-gmaxalcremie-gmaxcopperajah-gmax
HattereneGrimmsnarlAlcremie
(all forms)
Copperajah
duraludon-gmax
Duraludon
Series 3

Ten more Pokémon that were featured in Wild Area News before March 2020 and Charizard with Solar Power (its Hidden Ability) were added for Series 3:

 

Gigantamax Pokémon allowed in Series 3
charizard-gmaxbutterfree-gmaxpikachu-gmaxmeowth-gmax
CharizardButterfreePikachuMeowth
kingler-gmaxlapras-gmaxeevee-gmaxsnorlax-gmax
KinglerLaprasEeveeSnorlax
corviknight-gmaxorbeetle-gmaxdrednaw-gmaxcoalossal-gmax
CorviknightOrbeetleDrednawCoalossal
flapple-gmaxflapple-gmaxsandaconda-gmaxtoxtricity-gmax
FlappleAppletunSandacondaToxtricity
(both forms)
centiskorch-gmaxhatterene-gmaxgrimmsnarl-gmaxalcremie-gmax
CentiskorchHattereneGrimmsnarlAlcremie
(all forms)
Series 2

Ten Gigantamax Pokémon were available for play in Series 2. These were obtainable through events or had been featured in Wild Area News before January 2020.

 

Gigantamax Pokémon allowed in Series 2
charizard-gmaxbutterfree-gmaxpikachu-gmaxmeowth-gmax
Charizard*ButterfreePikachuMeowth
eevee-gmaxsnorlax-gmaxcorviknight-gmaxdrednaw-gmax
EeveeSnorlaxCorviknightDrednaw
 sandaconda-gmaxcentiskorch-gmax 
 SandacondaCentiskorch 

 

*Charizard is only available with the Blaze ability for this Series.

VGC 2019 Ultra Series

The VGC 2019 format is a throwback to the 2016 and 2010 rulesets, all of them known as GS Cup, formats where Legendary Pokémon such as Groudon, Xerneas or Lunala are allowed. All VGC events taking place until 4 January 2020 used the Ultra Series regulations as well.

GS Cup - General rules
    • Double Battles played on Pokémon Ultra Sun and Pokémon Ultra Moon.
    • All Pokémon from the National Pokédex are allowed:
      • All Pokémon must be caught, hatched or obtained during the regular playthrough of any of the 7th Generation games (Pokémon Sun, Pokémon Moon, Pokémon Ultra Sun or Pokémon Ultra Moon), thus having the black clover icon on their summary.
      • All teams may include up to 2 Pokémon from the following: Mewtwo, Lugia, Ho-Oh, Kyogre, Groudon, Rayquaza, Dialga, Palkia, Giratina, Reshiram, Zekrom, Kyurem, Xerneas, Yveltal, Zygarde, Cosmog, Cosmoem, Solgaleo, Lunala and Necrozma.
      • Mythical Pokémon (for example, those obtained during special distributions such as Volcanion) are banned.
    • No Pokémon nor Items may be repeated on a team (“Species Clause”, “Item Clause”)
    • All Pokémon will be automatically on Level 50 regardless of their actual in-game level.
    • Players will have up to 7 minutes of “Your Time” throughout the course of a match to select their moves.
      • Each turn, 45 seconds will be given to select a move.
      • Animations and connection time do not add up.
Ultra Series - Regulations
    • All Z Crystals are allowed.
      • Players can use the Ultranecozium Z on the Dusk Mane and Dawn Wings forms of Necrozma.
    • Mega Evolutions are allowed.
    • Red Orb and Blue Orb can be held by a Pokémon (essentially, Groudon and Kyogre).
    • Rayquaza may learn Dragon Ascent, and thus may Mega Evolve.

Age Divisions

Play! Pokémon separates players into three age divisions: Juniors (JR), Seniors (SR), and Masters (MA). The age division that a player participates in is set at the beginning of the season, based on that player’s year of birth, and does not change over the course of that season. This allows players to compete against the same pool of opponents over the course of the season.

For the 2020-2022 seasons of events (from August 2019 to the 2022 World Championships), these are the age divisions:

  • Juniors: born in 2009 or later
  • Seniors: born in 2005-08
  • Masters: born in 2004 or earlier

Events: where and when?

The 2020-2022 season is made up of events taking place in all 5 continents. These events are divided into two main categories: major events and local events.

Major events are hosted directly by The Pokémon Company International (TPCi) or an outsourcer, and award greater prizes and Championship Points. On the other hand, local events are run by volunteer organizers and allow newer players and smaller communities to take part of the game. If you want to know more about this, check out this article.

DateInternationalsCountryLocation
15-17 Nov 19Latin America InternationalsBRASão Paulo, Brazil
21-23 Feb 20Oceania InternationalsAUSMelbourne, Australia
CancelledEurope InternationalsDEUBerlin, Germany
CancelledNorth America InternationalsUSAColumbus, OH

Championship Points & Prizes

Championship Points (CP) are awarded to players based on their placements at various Play! Pokémon tournaments. Major events also hand out prizes as either cash money or scholarships as well as trophies and Pokémon merchandising.

Local Events

Premier Challenge (PC)
    • Best Finish Limit: 6
    • Max CP obtainable (2020 Worlds Invite): 180 CP

 

PlacementChampionship PointsKicker
130 CP0
216 CP0
3-412 CP0
5-88 CP24
9-166 CP48
17-324 CP100
Midseason Showdown (MSS)
    • Best Finish Limit: 6
    • Max CP obtainable (2020 Worlds Invite): 300 CP

 

PlacementChampionship PointsKicker
150 CP0
240 CP0
3-432 CP0
5-825 CP24
9-1620 CP48
17-3216 CP100
33-6413 CP200
Select Online Competitions
    • No Best Finish Limit (all Championship Points obtained during Select Online Competitions will be taken into account)

 

PlacementChampionship Points
150 CP
245 CP
3-440 CP
5-835 CP
9-1630 CP
17-3225 CP
33-6420 CP
65-12810 CP
129-2565 CP
257-5122 CP
513-10241 CP

Major events

Special Events (SPE) & Regionals
    • Best Finish Limit: 6
    • Max CP obtainable (2020 Worlds Invite): 1200 CP
PlacementChampionship PointsKicker
1200 CP0
2160 CP0
3-4130 CP0
5-8100 CP0
9-1680 CP48
17-3260 CP100
33-6450 CP200
65-12840 CP400
129-25630 CP800

Placement1-2425-100101-200201+TCG*
1$500$1,000$2,000$3,00072
2$250$500$1,000$2,00072
3-4$250$500$1,00036
5-8$250$50018
9-16$2509

*TCG Booster Packs are given regardless of attendance.

International Championships (IC)
    • Best Finish Limit: 4
    • Max CP obtainable (2020 Worlds Invite): 2000 CP
    • Check out information for the Travel Awards down below.
    • No residence restrictions, meaning players from all around the world can join them regardless of their location (special regulations may be applied to players from rating zones such as Japan or South Korea)
 
PlacementChampionship PointsKicker
1500 CP0
2400 CP0
3-4320 CP0
5-8250 CP0
9-16200 CP48
17-32160 CP100
33-64130 CP200
65-128100 CP400
129-25680 CP800
257-51260 CP1600

Placement1-100101-200201+TCG*
1$1,500$2,500$5,00072
2$1,000$1,500$2,50072
3-4$750$1,000$1,50072
5-8$500$750$1,00036
9-16$500$75018
17-32$500

*TCG Booster Packs are given regardless of attendance.

Qualification Periods & Travel Awards

Travel awards will be handed out to the players in each age division and rating zone having gathered the most CP during an exact qualification periods. Players having maxed out their BFLs can still get CP towards these awards.

InternationalsFirst DayFinal Day
BRA Latin AmericaApr. 29, 2019Jun. 30, 2019
AUS OceaniaJul. 1, 2019Nov. 17, 2019
DEU EuropeNov. 18, 2019Feb. 23, 2020
USA North AmericaFeb. 24, 2020Apr. 19, 2020

In addition, the Top 4 players in the Pokémon Players Cup, the Pokémon Players Cup II and the Pokémon Players Cup III online events will receive a Travel Award for a future International Championship of their choosing when the live events are back.

Best Finish Limits

Best Finish Limits

Each event type has its own Best Finish Limit (BFL), which indicates the number of best results taken into account towards your invite to Worlds 2020. A BFL of 6 for, let's say, MSS, means that only your 6 best MSS performances of the season will be counted.

However, these BFLs do not apply for the Internationals qualification periods. Even if your BFL of a certain event type is maxed out before the season ends, you may want to play to obtain CP towards travel awards.

Qualify for the 2022 World Championships

Related resources

Victory Road