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Pokémon Players Cup Kickoff Invitational: Schedule and how to watch

The Pokémon Players Cup for competitive Sword and Shield begins this weekend, with a special tournament featuring some of the best players in the world.
Pokémon Players Cup Kickoff Invitational: Schedule and how to watch

While there’s been plenty of community-led Pokémon Sword and Shield tournaments in the lockdown world, The Pokémon Company is stepping up to deliver the Pokémon Players Cup across this summer. 

The official online Pokémon tournament is set to fill the void left by the cancellation of the Pokémon World Championships, which were set to take place in London this year. 

So how is the Pokémon Players Cup different? Here’s what you need to know about the opening stage of the tournament. 


What is the Pokémon Players Cup Kickoff Invitational?

The Pokémon Players Cup Kickoff Invitational marks the first event in the Sword and Shield leg of the competition (VGC) following the 2020 International Challenge May

While the latter determined the pools for the Regional Qualifiers taking place in July, the winner of this Kickoff Invitational will win a place in the Pokémon Players Cup finals in August - skipping past the qualification process. 

The finals in August will consist of 16 players in total - 15 players from the Regional Qualifiers and one player from the Kickoff Invitational.

Pokemon Players Cup
The Pokemon Players Cup is here (Picture: Nintendo)


Is the Pokémon Players Cup Kickoff Invitational a live broadcast?

Weirdly, nope. The Kickoff invitational actually took place on 6-7th June, with the results kept secret until the broadcast this weekend taking place across 20-21st June. 


Who is competing?

A total of eight players have been invited to compete, ranging from current top players to former champions. 

  • Alessio Yuri Boschetto - Italy
  • Alex Gomez - Spain
  • Ashton Cox - USA
  • Eduardo Cunha - Portugal
  • Graham Amedee - Australia
  • James Baek - USA
  • Markus Städter - Germany
  • Wolfe Glick - USA

Wolfe Glick Pokemon Players Cup
Wolfe Glick won the World Championships back in 2016 (Picture: Wolfey)


What is the schedule? 

The Pokémon Players Cup Kickoff Invitational spans two days and will be broadcast at the below times depending on your region. 

Saturday 20th June

  • VG Invitational Day 1 broadcast - 11am to 3pm PT/ 7pm to 11pm BST

Sunday 21st June

  • VG Invitational Day 2 broadcast - 11am to 4pm PT/ 7pm to 12am BST


How can I watch the Pokémon Players Cup Invitational?

The tournament will be streamed across the official Pokémon Twitch and YouTube channels.