It’s been yet another packed year, and the Pokémon World Championships are once more behind us. We at Trainer Tower are excited to announce that, come September, we’ll be hosting the next season of the Pokémon World Cup of VGC!
In just four months’ time, VGC will be leaving the 3DS as a platform in favour of the Nintendo Switch. Six years of history, during which our scene grew and changed in many significant ways, will be coming to a close. We’ve crowned six world champions. We’ve seen radical shifts in the metagame through the introduction of Mega Pokémon, Primal forms, and Z-Moves. We’ve seen TPCi make sweeping changes to our tournament structure, and further changes and evolutions will be inevitable with the introduction of Sword and Shield for the Switch.
Whether or not you’re a fan of these changes or look forward to those yet to come, these past years have undoubtedly left their mark on our scene. For this reason, we’ll be dedicating this year’s World Cup to the 3DS era of VGC and the memories they hold. We’d love to celebrate our worldwide community more than anything, and show everyone why we love (and, at times, hate) taking this game so seriously.
And that’s why we’re making this the grandest World Cup yet!
8 past formats, 16 global teams, and nearly 200 of the world’s finest trainers.
All competing for the title of Champion.
You don’t want to miss this!
There will be sixteen teams to represent our global competitive scene, with each team being run by one to two managers. These managers will recruit up to twelve top players from their respective regions to compete each week. Expect to see even more teams next year!
- Australia – Sam Pandelis (@ZeldaVGC)
- Germany – Florian Wurdack (@DaFloVGC) & Till Böhmer (@Dark_Psiana)
- Italy – Arash Ommati (@Mean_VGC)
- Spain – Alex Gomez (@PokeAlex_)
- United Kingdom – Thomas Plater (@TheSaxlad) & Eden Batchelor (@Xenoblade_Hero)
- Rest of Europe – Eduardo Cunha (@MeninoJardim) & Andres Escobosa (@_000aj)
- Andes Latin America – Juan Naar (@DonVGC)
- Plate Latin America – André Fumis (@FumitoVGC) & Avatar Fede (@AvatarFede)
- North Latin America – René Alvarenga (@Rene_VGC) & Luis Canseco (@Chaivon84)
- Japan – Forte (@forteVGC)
- East Asia – Donguk Jung (@dong67888) & Or Kei Yin Cyrus (@Cyrus1119)
- South-East Asia – Melvin Keh (@ShamanVGC) & Ismat Myron Beg (@Ismatmyron)
- Canada – Jean-Marc Hébert (@JeanMarcVGC)
- US Central – Louis Milich (@UncleLouPKMN) & Samuel Temple (@SamJTemple_)
- US East – Jeremy Gross (@JZGVGC) & Nicholas Borghi (@_LightCore)
- US West – Gavin Michaels (@komVGC)
The 2019 World Cup of VGC will be played with all formats from 2014. Each format from 2014 up to and including 2019 Moon series will be given a slot, with the current 2019 Ultra series format being given three. That means there will be ten slots in total.
Each week, every team must pick a format to ban for the upcoming week. With two teams facing off every week, this will result in there being eight slots to choose players for. Should two teams pick the same format to ban, one 2019 Ultra series slot will be removed in addition to their pick.
Additionally, teams may elect to replace 1 format listed above with VGC13. This clause will only come into effect if the managers of both teams want to play VGC13, and if they can both agree on a format to replace. If one manager does not wish to play VGC13, VGC13 will not be played.
After some lengthy discussion, we chose to implement this ban system as a means of including as many past formats as possible without harming the overall competitiveness of the tournament. Regions whose VGC scenes have established themselves more recently tend to struggle with older formats, while certain other regions may prefer them. This system allows for a healthy mix of formats, while still allowing teams to patch their weaknesses to a certain degree.
The tournament will start with a randomly determined group stage, where the sixteen teams will be sorted into four pools. Each team will play all other teams in their pool once. The top two teams from each pool will then proceed to playoffs through knockout elimination, eventually leading to the finals.
You’ll be able to follow the World Cup as it unfolds through both Twitter at @TrainerTower and @VGCWorldCup, as well as our official website. The most notable matches each week will be streamed on Twitch for spectators to tune into at twitch.tv/TrainerTowerPKMN, with an amazing pool of casters lined up volunteering to commentate them:
- Aaron Zheng (@CybertronVGC)
- Markus Stadter (@13Yoshi37)
- Ismat Myron Beg (@Ismatmyron)
- Gavin Michaels (@komVGC)
- Alex Gomez (@PokeAlex_)
- Eduardo Cunha (@MeninoJardim)
- Chuppa Cross IV (@ChuppaVGC)
- Jonathan Evans (@EzraelVGC)
- Jake Muller (@MajorBowman_)
- Brendan Lewis (@mrbdog46VGC)
- Louis Milich (@UncleLouPKMN)
If you’re interested in joining our crew of casters, feel free to contact @TrainerTower on Twitter!
Furthermore, in the run-up to the tournament, we’ll be releasing articles on each of the participating teams. Keep an eye out for these if you’re interested in learning more about the history of VGC and getting to know the managers involved!
Timeline (all dates inclusive)
Player Selection: Mid-August -> 6th September
Announcement of pools: 7th/8th September (TBC)
Group Stage Round 1 9th September -> 15th September
Group Stage Round 2 16th September -> 22nd September
Group Stage Round 3 23rd September -> 29th September
Top 8 Elimination Round 30th September -> 6th October
Semi-Finals 7th October -> 13th October
Final 14th October -> 20th October
Tournament Format: Group Stage -> Top Cut (all Best-Of-Three between players)
Top 8: Top 2 teams from each group of 4 teams will move on to Top 8
Platform: Pokemon Showdown; subject to change if games are to be streamed. Players may play on cartridge if both players agree
Pairings: Pairings will be posted in the “Pairings” tab
Contact: Twitter and Discord
Cheating such as ghosting or changing moves/items/etc on Pokemon will be punished if sufficient evidence exists. Other forms of cheating will also be punished and will be punished to a degree determined by myself, and will be reflective of the extent of influence it had on the World Cup of Pokemon. Our policy on ghosting is listed here.
Players will be given a Set loss if caught using Guard Swap onto a Chansey or Blissey in any of their games. This decision was made on the basis of timer function differing between cartridge and Pokémon Showdown and live VGC play by official rules. The lack of a round timer denies players one of the main counterplay options against these kind of teams, and as such it’s not possible to simulate a fair VGC experience using these teams without one.
A new ruleset is being introduced this year including bans!
Formats played will be the following
1x VGC19 Sun Series
1x VGC19 Moon Series
3x VGC19 Ultra Series
8 matches will be played each week, and each team will ban 1 format listed above. If both teams select the same format, 1x VGC19 Ultra Series will be banned alongside the format both teams banned.
**VGC14 is to be played, not VGC14.5 (move tutors). Any player who shows a VGC14.5 exclusive move will be given a set loss. If the VGC14.5 exclusive Pokemon/move is seen after the completion of the set, the result will be reversed. Please ensure this does not occur.
NEW! VGC13 Clause
Both teams may elect to replace 1 format listed above with VGC13. This clause will only come into effect if the managers of both teams want to play VGC13, and if they can both agree on a format to replace. If one manager does not wish to play VGC13, VGC13 will not be played.
8 players play per team per week, and the points awarded are 3 for a win, 1 for a tie and 0 for a loss.
Tiebreakers in groups will be determined by overall Win:Loss in sets across all 3 weeks. Head to head will then follow if this is still a tie, and a set between 1 player of each team in VGC19 Sun Series if there is still a tie.
**A1 = Group A, 1st seed
Left Side of the bracket
A1 Vs C2
B1 Vs D2
Right Side of the bracket
C1 Vs A2
B2 Vs D1
Role of the Managers
Managers must submit their format ban, and once contacted again their line up of 8 players each week, and this can be changed up until the deadline. Missing the deadline (posting of pairings) will result in the lineup being the same as the previous week. The VGC13 clause will also only be applicable if the decision is made between both managers.
They will also be used in decision making if issues arise between teams. If an issue exists between 2 teams and both managers can come to an agreeable compromise, their decision will overrule mine.
Substitutions can be made by a manager if one of the following is true
- There is an issue with a players availability not previously known, and I am notified within 24 hours of the round being up.
- Both managers agree that a substitution is either necessary or allowed due to scheduling issues or availability of players. This can be done at any point but both managers need to contact me to organise substituting a player/players.
Extensions may be granted under reasonable circumstances as determined by Bargens
Results must be posted in the “results-submission” channel of the TrainerTower Discord, reporting the score as well as linking all replays of a set. It is permitted to submit results on another player’s behalf.
The World Cup of VGC will be kicking off in just a few weeks! We would like to take the time to introduce each of the teams competing, as well as their managers. We’ll be releasing updates seeking to familiarise those curious to know more about the regions competing, as well as the volunteers representing them.