Will Pokémon GO become a major esport?

At the time Pokémon Go arrived, it seemed like just another side game from the company directed to casual gamers. Yet the horizons of this free-to-play mobile game have expanded further with the arrival of PvP mode.

This, allows you to engage in combat with people around the world with just one click, which is simply a big deal for Pokémon fans.

How does PVP work in Pokémon GO?

Since its arrival you need to meet certain requirements to use the PvP mode:

  • You must have at least reached level 10 within the game.
  • There are different types of fighting, there is a menu with options to fight your friends and other options to fight strangers.
  • You must select the league in which you will participate, as each league has different restrictions.

Currently, the PvP game system allows trainers to access three leagues that have a limitation based on the maximum PCs of the team’s Pokémon, and you can form teams of 3 Pokémon selected from the 6 ones from your party.

Each league has different qualities, plus you can access fights against the leaders of each league to continue growing as a Pokémon Master, the leagues present in the PvP method are as follows:

  • Super Ball League: The team combination allows for up to 1,500 PCs.
  • Ultra-Ball League: The team combination allows up to 2,000 PCs
  • Master Ball League: In this league, you will have no PC limitations, but it is the most difficult of the three existing leagues.

Other important features of Pokémon Go PVP:

  • All combats are in real-time
  • Nothing happens outside that time frame
  • There are some Pokémon restrictions
  • You can use items to enhance your Pokémon in combat

Furthermore, just as in PVE combats there are two types of attacks; charged and fast, and there is also the possibility of evading the opponent's attacks.

How popular is Pokémon GO?

Currently, Pokémon Go just had its most profitable year so far with over 550 million active users and a revenue of over 335 million USD. As for tournaments, these are booming and gaining in popularity lately.

The largest of which is the Pokémon GO section of the Pokémon World Championship, takes place in the United States and calls up to 10.000 guests each year. There have also been smaller tournaments around the world, such as in Spain, South America, and Asia.

As for the Pokémon World Championship’s prize pool, it sums up to $500,000 for the winners of all tournaments. Furthermore, all Pokémon tournaments are widely broadcasted on live streaming channels such as Youtube and Twitch, and covered by esports betting platforms.

What makes Pokémon GO a promising esport?

Thanks to the saga's huge fan base, Pokémon Go's PvP mode is a potential esport. Currently, the game already has a nice player pool, an amazing audience, tournaments, and the promise of improvements to the current combat system.

While some features need to be improved, such as the delays when avoiding attacks in PVP combats, Pokémon Go has a future ahead.

The saga continues to grow, and there is a huge community hoping for it to be part of the esports menu. In the end, the game may just need some time –Or a specific stone- to evolve.


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Last Updated: Jan 30, 2020

About The Author

James, a lifelong gamer, is a freelance writer who occasionally contributes to Ten Ton Hammer.