- If you were looking for the anime competition known as the "Pokémon World Championships" in Japanese, see World Coronation Series.
The Pokémon World Championships (Japanese: ポケモンワールドチャンピオンシップス Pokémon World Championships) are an annual event staged by the Play! Pokémon organized play division of The Pokémon Company International (formerly known as Pokémon USA). The first ever World Championship event was run by Wizards of the Coast, a division of Hasbro, in August 2002 in Seattle, WA. Due to the transfer of the licensing of the Trading Card Game from Wizards to Nintendo, neither company staged a World Championship in 2003. Nintendo resumed World Championships in 2004, and have held them each year ever since. Prior to the start of the World Championships tournament structure, the best players from around the world competed at the Tropical Mega Battle between 1999 and 2001, as well as at several Super Trainer Showdown events held in the US in 2000 and 2001.
An annual invitational-only event held in August of a given year, players are chosen on overall ratings, national champions and past performances in the previous year's World Championships.
Trading Card Game
The championships are staged utilizing that year's Standard format, previously referred to as Modified Format prior to the 2014 season. The 2015 season introduced the Expanded format. Set over three days with a last chance qualifier (known to players as "The Grinder") on the Friday to fill seats left vacant for various reasons (no travel, local qualifiers) until all seats are filled. The second day is limited to Swiss Pairings over a set number of rounds, and the top players (16 each in the Junior and Senior Divisions, as well as the top 32 in the Masters division) move onto the Sunday rounds. The format for this final is single elimination, until the finals, which are a best two matches out of three to decide the World Champion. There are three divisions: Junior (known as the 10 Years Old and Under Division until 2006), Senior (known as the 11 to 14 Year Old Division until 2006) and Masters (called the 15 Years and Older Division until 2006).
Standard/Modified Format Sets
- 2004 — Expedition to EX Hidden Legends
- 2005 — EX Ruby & Sapphire to EX Emerald
- 2006 — EX Hidden Legends to EX Holon Phantoms
- 2007 — EX Deoxys to Diamond & Pearl
- 2008 — EX Holon Phantoms to Majestic Dawn
- 2009 — Diamond & Pearl to Rising Rivals
- 2010 — Diamond & Pearl to Unleashed
- 2011 — HeartGold & SoulSilver to Black & White
- 2012 — HeartGold & SoulSilver to Dark Explorers
- 2013 — Black & White to Plasma Freeze
- 2014 — Next Destinies to Flashfire
- 2015 — Boundaries Crossed onward
- 2016 — XY to Phantom Forces
- 2017 — Primal Clash onwards
- 2018 — BREAKthrough onward
- 2019 — Sun & Moon to Unbroken Bonds
- 2020 — Ultra Prism onward
Expanded Format Sets
World Championship decks
- Main article: World Championships Deck (TCG)
World Championship decks are purchasable non-tournament-legal prints of 60-card decks used by World Championship players.
The format for the Video Game Championships (VGC), first staged in 2009 in San Diego, California is virtually the same as the TCG counterparts in which winners of those in the National tournament play. In 2010, a Last Chance Qualifier was held on Friday to fill all vacant spots. In 2011, a Masters age Division was added to parallel the TCG. The most recently released Pokémon game is used for battles. The in-battle rules and banned Pokémon vary from year to year. Usually, the battles are double battles, and each player can use four Pokémon. The event format consists of Swiss rounds, followed by a single elimination tournament. In 2009, the top two advanced to play the finals on Sunday, whereas since 2010, the top eight advance to play in a head-to-head single elimination event to decide the World Champions.
- 2009 — Pokémon Platinum
- 2010 — Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver
- 2011 — Pokémon Black and White
- 2012 — Pokémon Black and White
- 2013 — Pokémon Black 2 and White 2
- 2014 — Pokémon X and Y
- 2015 — Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire
- 2016 — Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire
- 2017 — Pokémon Sun and Moon
- 2018 — Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon
- 2019 — Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon
- 2021 — Pokémon Sword and Shield
- 2015 - Pokkén Tournament (arcade version, invitational only)
- 2016 - Pokkén Tournament
- 2017 - Pokkén Tournament
- 2018 - Pokkén Tournament DX
- 2019 - Pokkén Tournament DX
- 2019 (invitational only)
In the games
In Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, the top four competitors from each division of the Video Game Championships from the 2012 World Championships were featured in the World Championships Tournaments in the Pokémon World Tournament. In the Generation VI games, unused text exists for the top three competitors as opponents in the Battle Maison.
In the anime
- Main article: World Coronation Series
- 2020's VGC series was the first time that non-event Pokémon were excluded because of rarity, and also the first time that event-exclusive forms were allowed. (Specifically, Gigantamax Pokémon that were rarely available normally in-game did not become allowed until a Wild Area News event temporarily made them more common. Simultaneously, Gigantamax Pokémon that were not normally available in-game but were made available via event were allowed.)
- However, both these distinctions would become moot partway through the series with the release of The Isle of Armor, which made all relevant Gigantamax Pokémon accessible without needing to depend on either rarity or an event.
In other languages