2019 Season Format & Structure

The 2019 Play! Pokémon Season started officialy at the Valencia Special Event held on July 2018 in Valencia, Spain, and will come to an end at the 2019 World Championships in Washington, D.C.

All events taking place in the 2019 Season after September 4, 2018 will be played under the VGC 2019 rulesets, revealed during the 2018 World Championships Top Cut both live and on stream. Of course, the aforementioned Valencia Special Championships and the Melbourne Open taking place on September 1-2 will still be played under the VGC18 format.

VGC 2019 format

The VGC 2019 format is a throwback to the 2016 and 2010 rulesets, all of them known as GS Cup, formats where Legendary Pokémon such as Groudon, Xerneas or Lunala are allowed.

All events taking place under the 2019 format will follow the next guidelines:

  • Double Battles played on Pokémon Ultra Sun and Pokémon Ultra Moon.
  • All Pokémon from the National Pokédex are allowed:
    • All Pokémon must be caught, hatched or obtained during the regular playthrough of any of the 7th Generation games (Pokémon Sun, Moon, Ultra Sun or Ultra Moon), thus having the black clover icon on their summary.
    • All teams may include up to 2 Pokémon from the following: Mewtwo, Lugia, Ho-Oh, Kyogre, Groudon, Rayquaza, Dialga, Palkia, Giratina, Reshiram, Zekrom, Kyurem, Xerneas, Yveltal, Zygarde, Cosmog, Cosmoem, Solgaleo, Lunala and Necrozma.
    • Mythical Pokémon (for example, those obtained during special distributions such as Volcanion) are banned.
  • No Pokémon nor Items may be repeated on a team (Species Clause, Item Clause)
  • All Pokémon will be automatically on Level 50 regardless of their actual in-game level.
  • Players will have up to 7 minutes of “Your Time” throughout the course of a match to select their moves.
    • Each turn, 45 seconds will be given to select a move.
    • Animations and connection time do not add up.
Additionally, one of the new 2019 Season regulations are Format rotations, similar to those taking place in the Pokémon TCG competitive scene. During this season, 3 Series of rotations will take place, all of them with their own regulations. Please notice that general GS Cup guidelines (those stated right above) will apply in all of them.

solgaleo Victory Road Sun Series (September 4, 2018 - January 7, 2019)

In addition to the general GS Cup guidelines, all events taking place from September 4, 2018 and January 7, 2019 will follow the Sun Series restrictions:

  • Z Crystals are not allowed.
  • Mega Evolutions are not allowed.
  • Red Orb and Blue Orb can not be held by a Pokémon.
  • Rayquaza may not learn Dragon Ascent.

lunala Victory Road Moon Series (January 8 - April 1, 2019)

In addition to the general GS Cup guidelines, all events taking place from January 8, 2019 and April 1, 2019 will follow the Moon Series restrictions:

  • All Z Crystals are allowed.
    • However, Players may not use the Ultranecronium Z.
  • Mega Evolutions are not allowed.
  • Red Orb and Blue Orb can not be held by a Pokémon.
  • Rayquaza may not learn Dragon Ascent.

Ultra Series (April 2, 2019 - 2019 World Championships)

In addition to the general GS Cup guidelines, all events taking place from April 2, 2019 and the 2019 World Championships will follow the Ultra Series restrictions:

  • All Z Crystals are allowed.
    • Players now can use the Ultraneconium Z.
  • Mega Evolutions are allowed.
  • Red Orb and Blue Orb can be held by a Pokémon.
  • Rayquaza can learn Dragon Ascent.

Play! Pokémon 2019 Season Structure

Similarly to the 2018 Season, local events played in the 2019 Season will be divided between Premier Challenge and Midseason Showdown, whereas major events will split between Regional Championships & Special Events and International Championships. Select Online Competitions such as International Challenge held on the Pokémon Global Link may occur as well.

For more information on the 2019 Season Major Events check out our calendar here.

Local events

  • Best Finish Limit: 2/series (only your 2 best results from events taking place during each of the 3 series will be taken into account)
  • Max CP obtainable (2019 Worlds Invite): 180 CP
PlacementChampionship PointsKicker
130 CP0
216 CP0
3-412 CP0
5-88 CP24
9-166 CP48
17-324 CP100
  • Best Finish Limit: 2/series (only your 2 best results from events taking place during each of the 3 series will be taken into account)
  • Max CP obtainable (2019 Worlds Invite): 300 CP
  • Midseason Showdowns will take place in different months of the season depending on the Travel Awards they count towards to:
    • TA to the Oceania International Championships: October 2018 (Sun Series)
    • TA to the European International Championships: December 2018 (Sun Series)
    • TA to the North American International Championships: March 2019 (Moon Series)
    • TA to the 2019 World Championships: May 2018 (Ultra Series)
PlacementChampionship PointsKicker
150 CP0
240 CP0
3-432 CP0
5-825 CP24
9-1620 CP48
17-3216 CP100
33-6413 CP200
  • No Best Finish Limit (all Championship Points obtained during Select Online Competitions will be taken into account)
PlacementChampionship Points
150 CP
245 CP
3-440 CP
5-835 CP
9-1630 CP
17-3225 CP
33-6420 CP
65-12810 CP
129-2565 CP
257-5122 CP
513-10241 CP

Major events

  • No residence restrictions, meaning players from all around the world can join them regardless of their location (special regulations may be applied to players from rating zones such as Japan or Russia)
  • Best Finish Limit: (only your 8 best results throughout the whole Season will be taken into account)
  • Max CP obtainable (2019 Worlds Invite): 1600 CP
  • Check out the Special Events & Regional Championships schedule for the 2019 Season here.
PlacementChampionship PointsKicker
1200 CP0
2160 CP0
3-4130 CP0
5-8100 CP0
9-1680 CP48
17-3260 CP100
33-6450 CP200
65-12840 CP400
129-25630 CP800
Placement1-2425-100101-200201+TCG*
1$500$1,000$2,000$3,00072
2$250$500$1,000$2,00072
3-4$250$500$1,00036
5-8$250$50018
9-16$2509

*TCG Booster Packs are given regardless of attendance.

  • No residence restrictions, meaning players from all around the world can join them regardless of their location (special regulations may be applied to players from rating zones such as Japan or Russia)
  • Best Finish Limit: (only your 4 best results throughout the whole Season will be taken into account)
  • Max CP obtainable (2019 Worlds Invite): 2000 CP
  • Check out the International Championships schedule for the 2019 Season here.
  • Check out information for the Travel Awards down below.
PlacementChampionship PointsKicker
1500 CP0
2400 CP0
3-4320 CP0
5-8250 CP0
9-16200 CP48
17-32160 CP100
33-64130 CP200
65-128100 CP400
129-25680 CP800
257-51260 CP1600
Placement1-100101-200201+TCG*
1$1,500$2,500$5,00072
2$1,000$1,500$2,50072
3-4$750$1,000$1,50072
5-8$500$750$1,00036
9-16$500$75018
17-32$500

*TCG Booster Packs are given regardless of attendance.

Travel Awards to the International Championships

  • During the 2019 Season, players may obtain Travel Awards to International Championships depending on the amount of CP obtained during certain periods:
    • Latin American Internationals: players with the most CP obtained from April 30, 2018 through July 8, 2018 (events from the 2018 Season) will obtain a Travel Award to Brazil
    • Oceania Internationalsplayers with the most CP obtained from July 9, 2018 through November 18, 2019 will obtain a Travel Award to Australia
    • European Internationalsplayers with the most CP obtained from November 19, 2019 through the final day of the Oceania Internationals will obtain a Travel Award to Australia
    • North American Internationals: players with the most CP obtained from the next day after the Oceania Internationals through the final day of the European Internationals will obtain a Travel Award to Australia.
  • It is yet unknown how many players will obtain an Award and its value.
  • Please notice that Travel Awards periods for the International Championships differ from Series BFL in local events.
    • This means, for example, that during Sun Series only the 2 best results at those local events will be taken into account for the 2019 World Championships CP count, but if that some of those CP are obtained during the Latin American Internationals Travel Award period and some during the Oceania one, points will be counted separately towards those awards.

Invites to the 2019 World Championships

Whilst the amount of CP needed in order to obtain an invite to the 2019 World Championships is yet to be revealed, those amassing the highest CP amounts of their rating zones will obtain a Day 2 Invite to the event, thus skipping Day 1 Swiss Rounds played on Friday, as well as a paid trip to the event.

Rating ZoneJuniorsSeniorsMasters
Europe200250300
US & Canada200250400
Latin America200250400
Oceania200200300
South Africa100150200
Rating ZoneCP Requirements
EuropeThe Top 16 players in the CP leaderboard
US & CanadaThe Top 8 players in the CP leaderboard
Latin AmericaThe Top 8 players in the CP leaderboard
OceaniaThe Top 8 players in the CP leaderboard
JapanDepending on the 2019 Japan National Championships
South KoreaDepending on the 2019 South Korea National Championships
Nashville 2018The Top 4 finishers for each age division in the 2018 World Championships receive a travel award and a Day 1 Invite at the 2019 World Championships

Summary of the changes

  • Premier Challenge now give out more CP than in the previous seasons.
  • Special Events are now equal to Regionals when it comes to CP pay-outs, but prizes will vary in each event.
  • Regionals now have a BFL of 8, as opposed to last season’s infinite BFL.
  • Internationals keep their virtually infinite BFL (4 out of 4) but the Latin American event takes Europe’s place as the first one of the season.
  • European Internationals move from London, United Kingdom to Germany.
  • Travel Awards to the International Championships are now decided on the CP amounts obtained during a certain time period, instead of being picked from the global CP amount of the season at a certain date.
  • Check out the official Play! Pokémon site for the official source.
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