Champion Series

Champion Series 2022: Pokémon’s Return to Tournament Play!


Every year, the top trainers across the globe gather to compete in-person at the Pokemon World Championships. The 2021 Play! Pokemon World Championships, however, were suspended last year because of safety concerns related to Covid-19. Yet, thanks to the successful launch of Pokemon TCG Online, various forms of competitive play continued throughout 2021 via events like Play! Pokemon Team Challenge and Pokemon Players Cup.

In-Person Play
Pokémon’s current plan is a return to in-person competitive play towards the end of 2021 in anticipation of the Play! Pokemon 2022 Championship Series season, but dates and locations remain speculative. For example, in a recent announcement, Pokemon stated that “the timing for the next live Play! Pokémon events will be determined by the health mandates, guidelines, and recommendations provided by appropriate government agencies.”

Furthermore, Pokemon stated it assume “most play will be able to resume in some form over the next 12 months” and that current plans are to host the next Pokemon World Championships in London in August 2022 and for it to last four (4) days, begging on a Thursday.
Changes to Age Divisions

Age Changes

Additionally, the most significant change to the Live! Pokemon 2022 Championship series is the age divisions. Competitive Pokemon play consists of three (3) age divisions: June Division, Senior Division and Masters Division. Previously, the Junior Division consisted of players born in 2009 or later; while the Senior Division consisted of players born in 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008, and the Masters Division was for players born in 2004 or earlier.
Starting in the 2022 Championship Series, the age divisions will increase by one year from the 2020 season. Accordingly, the new age divisions are as follows:
– Junior Division: Born in 2010 or later;
– Senior Division: Born in 2006, 2007, 2008, or 2009,
– Masters Division: Born in 2005 or earlier.

Qualifying Thresholds
Furthermore, Pokémon’s recent announcement established two (2) separate qualification thresholds for players to qualify. First, players with adequate Championship Points to satisfy the 2020 qualification bar are qualified for the 2022 World Championships and will play on Thursday (Day 1). Second, player’s that reach the new Champions Point qualification bar for 2022, which will be released at a later date, will qualify for the event and start play on Friday, skipping the first day of play.

Standard Rotation Change
Starting September 10, 2021, the new 2022 Pokemon Standard Rotation will formally go into effect meaning only Pokemon cards from the Sword & Shield series are eligible for competitive play. For the 2022 season, cards with regulation marks “D” and “E” are legal for use. All Sun & Moon series cards, including fair energy, will rotate out of the Standard format and may only be used in expanded.