August 24, 2018

WORLD: The 2018 Pokémon World Championships Are Happening This Weekend! Whether You're Competing, Spectating, Or Just Watching Along At Home, You Can Join In The Fun. 😊💖👍
Monday August 20, 2018

It's time for the most significant Pokémon tournament of the year: the Pokémon World Championships! Trainers are competing for a combined prize pool worth more than $500,000 and to prove that they're the real-life Champions of their game. You can watch matches from every round of the 2018 World Championships, streamed live from Nashville, Tennessee, on Twitch. Pokémon Ultra Sun and Pokémon Ultra Moon and Pokémon Trading Card Game matches will be live all day Friday, August 24, and Saturday, August 25, with the final matches taking place Sunday, August 26. Pokkén Tournament DX matches will start Friday and continue through Saturday, with the final matches taking place Saturday afternoon. Check out the full schedule.

The Pokémon TCG World Championships are sure to be particularly unpredictable this year due to the introduction of Sun & Moon—Celestial Storm and the surprising results of the recent North America International Championships in Columbus, Ohio. Many players expected that decks featuring Buzzwole-GX would be heavy favorites at that event, but instead of playing Buzzwole-GX themselves, many people chose decks designed to defeat it, often built around Malamar. Stéphane Ivanoff won the event using a Zoroark-GX deck, which is weak against Fighting but strong against many of the anti-Buzzwole decks. Deck selection will be even more paramount in Nashville, with another powerful new contender entering the fray—speedy decks featuring Rayquaza-GX.

The story to watch in the Video Game Championships will be whether players have surprises up their sleeves. The top teams from the North America International Championships were largely stable, flexible teams, and it seemed as if a Landorus or an Incineroar was using U-turn from behind every corner in Columbus. But almost all the top-performing teams were reminiscent of teams we'd seen perform well at events earlier in the season. Players often save their best surprises for the most important tournament of the year, so keep an eye out for rogue strategies after all this time for plotting against similar combinations of Pokémon.

Nashville will also host the third Pokkén Tournament World Championships, and this year's competition is the first Worlds event to feature Pokkén Tournament DX. The fast-paced, action-packed matches are always a joy to watch, and the World Championships are sure to be especially unpredictable. Almost every player who qualified via the North America International Championships specializes in a different Battle Pokémon, and some new strategies may be seen at Worlds. A hefty gameplay balance update has greatly impacted the game since the last International Championships, so aspiring World Champions will have to show how well they can adapt. Competitors will have to base their strategies off practice matches and recent grassroots events such as the Pokkén Tournament DX side event at EVO, which continued the trend of character variety atop the standings.

Remember to tune in to Twitch Friday, August 24, through Sunday, August 26, so you don't miss any of the action.

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