Press Release


Players from Around the World Can Show Off Their Skills in the Pokémon Trading Card Game, Pokémon Video Game Championships, or Pokkén Tournament DX

BELLEVUE, WA—May 14, 2020—The Pokémon Company International today announced the Pokémon Players Cup, a new online tournament for Masters Division competitors[1] that will begin in July 2020. Competitors in the Pokémon Trading Card Game (TCG), the Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield Video Game Championships (VGC), and Pokkén Tournament DX will have the chance to prove they’re the very best in this official Play! Pokémon online tournament open to players worldwide.

The Pokémon Players Cup will have two stages. In July 2020, eligible players will compete in a double-elimination bracket, broken down by rating zones, to determine the top players in each rating zone. Those top finishers will face off in the final stage of the Pokémon Players Cup in August 2020, when the winner will be crowned as the champion of the Pokémon Players Cup and earn a Travel Award to a future International Championships event, part of the traditional Play! Pokémon Championship Series.

“The Pokémon competitive community is very special, and we can’t wait for players to virtually connect with each other in the new online Pokémon Players Cup,” said Colin Palmer, vice president of marketing at The Pokémon Company International. “With the postponement of traditional Play! Pokémon in-person tournaments, we hope to see some intense battles and the community’s legendary sportsmanship on display at the Pokémon Players Cup.”

Pokémon TCG and VGC competitors will need to qualify for the Pokémon Players Cup through their performance in the following upcoming events. Trainers should make sure to bring their A game to these upcoming qualifiers so they can compete in the Pokémon Players Cup!

Pokémon TCG Championships
Pokémon TCG competitors will qualify through their ranking on the June Leaderboard (Standard format, Tournament Rep) in the Pokémon Trading Card Game Online.

Pokémon VG Championships
Pokémon Video Game Championships competitors will qualify through the Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield International Challenge May Online Competition, which runs from May 21 to 24, 2020.  Masters Division competitors in the Pokémon VGC will need to finish among the top eligible Trainers in their rating zone for the May International Challenge to qualify for the Pokémon Players Cup.

  • North America: Top 256
  • Europe: Top 256
  • Oceania: Top 128
  • Latin America: Top 256
Please note that in order for Pokémon VGC competitors to be eligible, they will need to link their Nintendo Account with their Pokémon Trainer Club account before signing up.

Pokkén Tournament DX Championships
Pokkén Tournament DX competitors will be able to register directly for the first stage of the Pokémon Players Cup at a future date, with more details coming soon at
In addition, during the Pokémon Players Cup, each of the Pokémon TCG, Pokémon VGC, and Pokkén Tournament DX competitions will kick off with a special invitational event, with the winners qualifying for the final stage of the competition.
Trainers can stay tuned to for more upcoming information about the Pokémon Players Cup and where fans can catch all the action via stream.
About Pokémon
The Pokémon Company International, a subsidiary of The Pokémon Company in Japan, manages the property outside of Asia and is responsible for brand management, licensing and marketing, the Pokémon Trading Card Game, the animated TV series, home entertainment, and the official Pokémon website. Pokémon was launched in Japan in 1996 and today is one of the most popular children’s entertainment properties in the world. For more information, visit

About Nintendo
The worldwide pioneer in the creation of interactive entertainment, Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets hardware and software for its Nintendo Switch™ system and the Nintendo 3DS™ family of portable systems. Since 1983, when it launched the Nintendo Entertainment System™, Nintendo has sold more than 4.9 billion video games and more than 766 million hardware units globally, including Nintendo Switch and the Nintendo 3DS family of systems, as well as the Game Boy™, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS™ family of systems, Super NES™, Nintendo 64™, Nintendo GameCube™, Wii™ and Wii U™ systems. It has also created industry icons that have become well-known, household names, such as Mario, Donkey Kong, Metroid, Zelda and Pokémon. A wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America Inc., based in Redmond, Wash., serves as headquarters for Nintendo’s operations in the Americas. For more information about Nintendo, please visit the company’s website at

[1] Only Masters Division players who have opted in to participating in all available Play! Pokémon programs are eligible to participate in the Play! Pokémon Players Cup Online Tournament. The Masters Division includes players born in 2004 or earlier.