First information on the Play! Pokémon 2021 season has been announced

The Pokémon Company International (TPCi) has released the first details of the upcoming 2021 season of events. Under normal circumstances, seasons begin right at the World Championships, at the Regional-like side-event held there. The formal start of this new season is yet unclear due to the coronavirus pandemic, but nonetheless the first details have been revealed.

Age divisions

For the first time, no players will graduate from their division (from Juniors to Seniors, or Seniors to Masters) from the 2020th to the 2021st season. Therefore, age divisions for 2021 will be as follows:

  • Masters Division: born in 2004 or earlier.
  • Seniors Division: born from 2005 to 2008.
  • Juniors Division: born in 2009 or later.

Championship Points

The Championship Points (CP) that eligible players earned in 2020 will transfer in whole to the 2021 season. Players will continue to add to this total with any CP earned in the 2021 season.

As the new World Championships structure reflects, this means that players having already earned points will be rewarded and those joining in the new year will also have a chance to qualify.

2021 World Championships

After the cancellation of the 2020 World Championships in London in March, it was revealed that the 2021 edition of the event would still take place in London, UK. Today, TPCi has reaffirmed this decision, which means that we’re set to have the first World Championships out of North America by August 2021.

2021 Worlds will be the first one scheduled as a 4-day event, instead of a 3-day one:

  • Players meeting the minimum CP requirements for the 2020 season will be invited to Day 1 on Thursday.
  • Players meeting the new CP requirements for the 2021 season (TBA) will be invited to Day 2 on Friday.

It is yet unknown how paid trips and Day 2 (now potentially Day 3, on Saturday) invites will be managed.

Rating Zones

After the The Pokémon Company (TPC), TPCi’s parent company, took over the Asian Organized Play (the official events in Asia), the new rating zones are (based off the most recent rating zones used at the Players Cup) presumably as follows:

  • North America: United States of America, Canada (excluding Québec)
  • Europe: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Ireland, Italy, Jersey, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom.
  • Latin America: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay.
  • Oceania: Australia, New Zealand.
  • Asia: Japan and South Korea have so far always operated under their own independent systems. Now that the entire region of Asia will be managed by TPC, we expect to know more once the new team unveils the details in August 2020.
  • Russia and South Africa are independent zones managed by TPCi. Their situation moving forward is unknown, although Russia has been included as part of Europe for the Players Cup.

We do not know the exact reasons of exclusion of some countries or territories as of today. Please keep in mind that this list is NOT official and is just an educated guess based on what’s been publicly released by TPCi so far.

Conclusion

This short piece of news brings everyone hope that Pokémon tournaments can be resumed at some point in the foreseeable future, and that next season is already on the works from TPC and TPCi’s end.

While we wait for these real-life tournaments to return, it never hurts to have some practice at home and to attend or watch online events being held by the community, such as the 2020 European Cup of VGC.

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