How to Qualify for the Pokémon Worlds Championship

Do you wanna be the very best, like no one ever was? (Ok, now I am going to be singing the opening for an entire week, brilliant). Competing at the highest level and proving to the world that you are one of the most capable Pokémon trainers is surely the dream of every person that has ever played Pokémon. If you’ve ever wondered what this particular path to glory looks like in the competitive scene, look no more because in today’s article we are going to provide you with all the information you need to effectively get to the top.  

The Official Pokémon Circuit 

The first thing we need to note is that Pokémon, as a franchise, has a very solid competitive program that covers in fact different modalities: Pokémon TCG, Pokémon VCG (the videogame) and Pokémon GO. Of course, since I am myself a TCG player, I am going to focus on this area but bear in mind that there are more options available.  

The ultimate goal of every Pokémon TCG player is to get an official Worlds invite. In order to get it, you need to play through an entire season getting points called Championship Points. Once you’ve earned enough, you will be allowed to play in the biggest and one of the most premium events in the Pokémon World. Now, the questions you might have is… how do I get those points and how many of them I need?  

Championship Points

Let’s start with the latter question. The amount of CPs varies depending on your region and your age (that is, the category you are playing). Here you can find a list of the requirements per region and per age:  

Rating ZoneJunior
US and Canada350400500
Latin America250250250
Middle East & South Africa150150250

In case you are wondering about the disparity between certain regions, it is explained by the fact that not every country has the same amount of tournaments so it makes sense that those who have less opportunities don’t need to earn as much as others. You can read more information in the official Pokémon Page 

Now, let’s move on and analyze how to actually get these. Championship Points (or CPs to shorten) can be only earnt in sanctioned events. Depending on the type of event that you play and the position you finish in, the quantity of points will vary. As a rule of thumb, the bigger the event, the more points you will be able to get. Here is a list (in order of size) of the tournaments you can participate during a season:  

  • League Challenges: They are small, local tournaments that usually have between 4 and 5 rounds. The maximum amount of CPs you can earn by winning one of these is 15.  
  • League Cups: They are bigger than League Challenges and have a swiss + a top 8 structure. Winning one of them earns you 50 points.  
  • Regional Championships: Big events that are announced at the beginning of the season and that gather hundreds (if not thousands) of players. Winning one of them not only awards you 200 CPs, they also come with a huge monetary prize pool, which is why attendance is so high.  
  • Special Events: In format, they are practically equal to a Regional. The only difference between them is that they are free to enter but, on the other hand, you don’t get any money for winning, just CPs.  
  • International Championships: They are some sort of very very special events that are hosted once per year in every region: Oceania, LAIC, Europe and America. They have the same format of a Regional but the prizes are much bigger.  

If you are interested in checking the official list of Regionals and International Championships happening in the following months, you can go to this link. However, make sure to keep an eye on this page because sometimes new events get added.  

Once you’ve earned the necessary amount of CPs, you will receive an official email from Pokémon where you can register for the Pokémon World Championships, which let me tell you is an incredible experience. If you are wondering, it is actually possible to earn your travel without needing to participate in a lot of tournaments. How much time and effort the invite costs you will depend entirely on your performance. Who knows, maybe you win the first regional of the year and then you can just focus on playing in your local area.  

Generally speaking, qualifying is not easy but is a very rewarding experience. Also, it is great to feel that even if you don’t do super well in one event you might still get some CPs. And even the smallest amount counts towards the ultimate objective.  

I really hope this article has helped you understand what you need to do in order to play in the Pokémon Worlds Championships so I hope you now feel motivated to catch them all (all the CPs, of course) and that we can meet in the different European Regionals. Thanks for reading!  

Author: Elena (Gaia Storm)

Elena has been playing Pokémon Trading Card Game since 2011 and has never stopped. With her partner, she runs Gaia Storm, one of the largest Pokémon TCG Youtube channels in the world. She has a problem remembering the names of all the Pokémon but tends to open the most broken Pokémon packs.