Pokémon GO to eSports? The Verdict - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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Pokémon GO to eSports? The Verdict

The eSports part of gaming has the dubious honor of being both an inclusive and exclusive thing. However, much like the conventional sports that it sometimes bases its identity on, the upper echelons of competition are mostly off-limits to everyday gamers. The number of titles that offer tournaments at a ‘civilian’ level is growing, often in wild and unexpected ways, but there’s still a definite ‘us and them’ kind of playing field.

Source: Pixabay

Almost anything can be given the eSports treatment, as the only prerequisite is that one player can face another in some kind of contest. In fact, boil a game down to its most basic elements, and you can base an eSports event on how long it takes somebody to complete a level or defeat every boss (for example). Tournaments of this type become more common the further back in time we chase eSports’ development.

Pokémon, as a Nintendo property, has tended to shy away from the more mainstream activities of video gaming. After all, the Japanese developer managed to avoid mobile gaming until the release of Pokémon Go, which was a joint venture with Niantic. However, a recent episode of the Twitch Rivals Mobile Showdown finally seems to have brought Pokémon Go to the global competition scene.

An article from eSports hub win.gg describes how this one-time event (so far) played out but, in brief, participants were given new accounts set up by Niantic to include all the items and Pokémon they needed. Click here to find out more on the win.gg official website. They were then tasked with doing the usual Pokémon thing - breeding, training, and fighting. Each player also had an hour to catch as many more monsters as they could before a preparation phase.

Twitch Rivals
What set this apart from the usual Pokémon Go experience? Prize money. The top six finalists claimed between $3,000 and $6,4000 for that hour’s work. The overall winning team Team DailyDasher fielded an especially strong trainer in CalebPeng, who used a combination of the bug/poison Pokémon Ariados, Vigoroth (normal/fighting), and Drifblim, a ghost/flying balloon creature. DailyDasher racked up nine wins to JOEYKAYOTK’s eight.

Source: Pixabay

So, can we now expect Pokémon to join eSports on the regular? It’s a difficult question to answer, as Pokémon Go is quite a niche title in pro-competition and some significant time for setting up. Note that Pokémon’s only major foray into collaborative efforts was in the chaotic Twitch Plays Pokémon, which is now on its eighth season and spawned many surreal memes.

So, far neither Niantic, Twitch, or Nintendo have mentioned a continuation to the recent Pokémon Go tournament. While that silence doesn’t say a great deal taken in isolation, it’s probably more appropriate to expect a rare, seasonal appearance from the augmented reality game, rather than anything that comes to rival League of Legends. It’s clear that there is an appetite for Pokémon Go in the gaming community, however.

The Pokémon Go competition was held under the Twitch Rivals banner, which seeks to broadcast video game contests at every level of competition.

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