The 2014 Pokémon World Championships take place this weekend and the finals are now underway on Twitch.
The Junior Division Championship was already happening, with Kota Yamamoto (Japan) securing victory in game three as his Aegislash and Zapdos defeated London Swan’s (USA) Rotom. (Yamamoto’s brother Shota won the same division in 2010.) The Senior division takes place now and the Master division follows. Each final is a best-of-three match, pitting players against each other in Double Battles Pokémon X/Y on any Nintendo 3DS family device (Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo 3DS XL or Nintendo 2DS). If you’re new to the game, play-by-play announcers are on hand to analyze the action. So far they have noted that Garchomp is the most popular selection in the field and the resurgence of Red blue Pokémon in general (particularly a Lapdos in-game for the Senior Division competition).
The World Championships started in 2004 as a trading card game only, but expanded to include video games in 2009. The league is split into several divisions: a Junior Division (players born in 2003 or later, approximately 11 years old), Senior Division (born 1999-2002), and Master Division (1998 and earlier, 16 years old). Competitors qualify by being among the top competitive players in their region based on official championship points (e.g. top 16 in the US, top 32 in Europe, etc.). The league has such an international flair that it offers a multilingual battle dictionary for its players.
For the victors? In addition to the glory that comes from being the very best, the prize packs include travel money, purse money and a Pikachu trophy. If you missed it or want to catch up on the previous action, the event will replay on Twitch on Tuesday.