Pokémon World Championships concludes with a Japan sweep, the latest competitive news and a return to Hawaii for 2024
This year’s Pokémon World Championships have drawn to a close, with the traditional closing ceremony bringing with it the latest announcements for Pokémon Unite, the Pokémon TCG and the Hidden Treasure of Area Zero DLC for Pokémon Scarlet & Violet. As usual, next year’s World Championships venue has also been confirmed, with a return to the United States and Hawaii set for next summer for the first time since 2019 and 2012 respectively.
Following a clean sweep victory over the weekend by Luminosity Gaming, three new Unite Licenses were announced to be coming in Pokémon Unite’s third year. Blaziken, Mimikyu and Meowscarada – the game’s first Generation IX Pokémon – will all join the fray later this year, starting with Blaziken on the 14th of September.
This year’s TCG Masters Final was won by the US’s Vance Kelly, who defeated a deck led by one of the current format’s top stars – Gardevoir ex – with the older, but still incredibly potent, Mew VMAX.
Looking ahead past this weekend’s worldwide release of Obsidian Flames, the first set to introduce Terastallizing to the TCG, later this year, Paradox Pokémon will also be joining the game, with cards featuring Scream Tail, Brute Root, Roaring Moon, Iron Bundle, Iron Moth and Iron Thorns and Iron Valiant all confirmed so far.
Also announced for next year is a return of the Ace Spec special Trainer Card class. This short-lived feature from the Generation V era featured a special type of extra-powerful Trainer Card that players could only have a single copy of in their decks. While most Ace Spec cards in the B&W sets were new, the feature was also used to revive powerful Base Set Trainer Cards such as Computer Search and Master Ball. While no actual card was announced today using the Ace Spec feature, it’s possible it may be once again used to breathe new life into older, lost cards.
Pokémon Scarlet & Violet: The Hidden Treasure of Area Zero
This year’s VGC finals saw a home-team clean sweep as Japanese players took home the top prize in all three age categories, with Shohei Kimura beating Germany’s Michael Kelsch to the Masters division trophy. It also followed a weekend of mild controversy as several top players were disqualified – particularly on the tournament’s first day – for failing to pass an unexpectedly strict legality check on their teams.
Several announcements were made for the upcoming Hidden Treasure of Area Zero DLC, particularly the second part, the Indigo Disk, due this Winter.
First is the confirmation that the Blueberry Academy’s biosphere will play home to wild encounters with every other Generation’s starter Pokémon, which will make Scarlet & Violet the first main series game since 2017’s Pokémon Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon where all existing starter Pokémon are available to train.
Additionally, several new attacks were announced to be added with the DLC alongside a new multiplayer arena set within the Blueberry Academy.
Psychic Noise will deal damage and prevent the target from healing, Upper Hand will strike an opponent even before they make a priority attack such as Bullet Punch and cause them to flinch. Meanwhile, the signature attacks of new Paradox Pokémon Raging Bolt and Iron Crown were also revealed.
Raging Bolt’s Thunderclap attack will be guaranteed to strike ahead of an opponent’s attack, while Iron Crown’s Tachyon Cutter is guaranteed to hit twice in a row.
Lastly, a short clip spotlighting Terastallizing also seems to set up the mystery surrounding the Hidden Treasure of Area Zero DLC storyline and, seemingly, Terapagos and its multi-type Terastallized body. Will this – or even yet another form – see Terapagos have the ability to somehow be all 18 Tera Types at once?
A return to Hawaii
Finally, the closing ceremony ended as it usually does, with the announcement of next year’s venue. 2024 will see the return of the championship finals to the United States for the first time since 2019, and a return to Hawaii for the first time since 2012. This will be the 4th time Hawaii has hosted the tournament, but the first time it’ll be held in the State’s capital, Honolulu, rather than Waikoloa Village.
Following the venue announcement, President of the Pokémon Company International, Tsunekazu Ishihara referenced the horrifying wildfires that have ripped through the island of Maui this week, killing at least 93 people and devastating the town of Lahaina. Ahead of a later announcement, after the closing ceremony, of an immediate $200,000 donation to the Hawaii Wildfire Relief fund, he cited a “special relationship” between Pokémon and Hawaii – the inspiration for the 7th Generation region Alola, as well as the second most frequent host of the World Championships – and that, along with “heartfelt sympathies” for everyone affected, the Pokémon Company will be “looking into actions we can take to be of assistance during these trying times”.
The Pokémon Company International already has a 5-year, $25 million commitment to supporting charitable organisations around the world and last year donated $200,000 to provide humanitarian support shortly after the outbreak of the war in Ukraine.