First official Pokemon Unite tournament coming to Japan

Olivia Richman • September 3, 09:44

Sign-up for the first official Pokemon Unite tournament has started today.

The Pokemon Company has announced the first tournament for popular MOBA Pokemon Unite. The first move in cementing Pokemon Unite as a competitive esports title is a tournament in Japan on September 19. While not the first Pokemon Unite tournament to be held, this is the first to be officially sanctioned and sponsored by the JGC.

Pokemon Unite first tournament information

To compete in Japan’s Pokemon Unite tournament, teams must have between five and seven players. All players must be at least 16 years old and any player that’s under 20 will need permission from a parent or guardian to compete. Players must be able to speak Japanese.

More rulings and information on entering the tournament can be found here. Sign-ups end on September 13.

The open tournament will have 256 teams competing. If more than 256 teams sign up there will be a lottery to determine who can participate.

The tournament will start out as single elimination because of the immense amount of teams taking part. The format will change once four teams remain.

The mobile version of Pokemon Unite is coming on September 22 but the tournament will be exclusively played on Nintendo Switch consoles.

Will Pokemon Unite become an esport?

Upon Pokemon Unite’s release, gamers immediately saw the game’s potential as a competitive title. With a ranked mode and similar mechanics to other popular MOBAs, it’s highly likely that Pokemon Unite will become an esport. The real question is how big will the esports scene for Pokemon Unite become?

The Pokemon Company runs tournaments for mainline Pokemon games and Pokken Tournament, but the popularity of the games as an esport is low compared to Counter-Strike or Dota 2. That said, Pokemon Unite is developed by Tencent, the parent company of League of Legends and Valorant developer Riot Games. This means it could have a higher ceiling than other Pokemon games.

What Pokemon should I buy for Unite?

Like other competitive MOBAs, some playable characters are better than others. A meta is most definitely forming in Pokemon Unite, with some Pokemon standing out as a lot stronger and more impactful.

The Pokemon seen as most important to any team composition are Eldegoss and Snorlax due to their unique abilities. Cinderace, Gardevoir, Greninja, Lucario, and Blissey are also popular choices.

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