Pokémon Sword and Shield: February Online International Challenge
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Pokémon has announced its next competitive battling tournament: The February International Challenge. Players can sign up and compete in the tournament starting later this month on their copy of Pokémon Sword or Shield.


The February International Challenge will follow the VGC 2020 format. Players will choose four Pokémon from their party to compete, and all of them will be set to level 50. All battles will be doubles battles, players cannot use duplicate Pokémon or held items, and only non-legendary Pokémon with the Galar symbol are usable. Certain Gigantamax forms are also banned.

Legal Gigantamax Forms:

  • Butterfree
  • Corviknight
  • Drednaw
  • Centiskorch
  • Meowth
  • Pikachu
  • Eevee
  • Snorlax
  • Sandaconda
  • Charizard


Players will compete in battles that will influence their position on the leaderboard. Top players will earn Championship Points, which are necessary to qualify for the 2020 Pokémon World Championships in Great Britain. Everyone who registers and plays at least one battle will earn an in-game T-shirt for their character that will feature Ball Guy.

Those hoping to earn Championship Points from the February International Challenge will need to link their Pokémon Trainer Club account to their Nintendo account before registering. Those who don’t do this can still compete in the tournament, but won’t be eligible for Championship Points.

Dates and times

Sign-ups for the tournament will begin on Wednesday, February 19 at 10:00 p.m. PST and go until Thursday, February 27, at 3:59 p.m. PST. The competition will take place immediately after, starting on Thursday, February 27, at 4.00 p.m. PST and ending on Sunday, March 1, at 3:59 p.m. PST.

Trainers can sign up in-game by opening the VS menu, clicking on Battle Stadium, going to Online Competitions, selecting “Search Official Competitions”, and choosing the February International Challenge. Once they are signed up, they just have to wait for the tournament to begin.

This challenge will provide a great opportunity for players to dip their feet into the VGC tournament format without actually having to attend a live event. If they like it enough or win any Championship Points, it could inspire them to attend live events and get a chance at an invite to the 2020 Pokémon World Championship.