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The Pokémon Company International announced on Tuesday it has cancelled the 2021 Pokémon World Championships due to persisting complications with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2021 Pokémon World Championships were originally scheduled to take place in London in August. The event would have taken place over four days and feature competition among the top Pokémon Sword and Shield, Pokémon Trading Card Game and Pokkén Tournament DX players from around the world. Each game would eventually crown its own world champion after narrowing down the field to only eight competitors.

“After careful review and pursuant to guidance set forth by local, regional, and national health authorities, as well as the World Health Organization, Public Health England, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we have made the difficult decision to move out the next Pokémon World Championships to 2022,” The Pokémon said in a press release.  “This event is planned to take place in London, UK.”

Online Pokémon tournaments will continue throughout the year

This is the second consecutive year that the Pokémon World Championships have been rescheduled due to COVID-19. In 2020, competitive Pokémon events moved to online formats after a handful of official, in person events that took place before the pandemic. The Pokémon Players Cup events allowed players to compete virtually in the meantime. They will have to wait for 2022 to compete live again.

The press release also revealed that online competitive Pokémon tournaments will continue after the Players Cup III, which is still in progress.

“In addition, we will continue to support competitive online play through our new series, Pokémon Players Cup, the Play! Pokémon Team Challenge, as well as support through our retail partners through League at Home,” the Pokémon Company International said in the press release. Winning these  events will offer players better chances to compete at future live tournaments.

Qualifiers for the Pokémon Players Cup III are already underway. Be sure to stay tuned to Daily Esports for more Pokémon coverage.