‘Pokemon’, ‘Gran Turismo’ announce London, Sydney championship dates

‘Pokemon Sword and Shield’ provides the basis for the 2020 Pokémon World Championship video game series. — Picture courtesy of The Pokémon Company via AFP
‘Pokemon Sword and Shield’ provides the basis for the 2020 Pokémon World Championship video game series. — Picture courtesy of The Pokémon Company via AFP

NEW YORK, Jan 25 — High level Pokemon trainers and some of world’s fastest Gran Turismo racers have new dates for their diaries, with both events to be broadcast online.

The inaugural year of competitive play for the Nintendo Switch’s Pokemon Sword and Shield will culminate in a three-day 2020 Pokemon World Championships held August 14-16 at the ExCel Centre in London, England.

It’s an invitational tournament, so players who have accrued a minimum amount of points from official Pokemon Championship Series events will be in line for a berth at the World Championships.

Full details on points total requirements and eligible feeder tournaments can be found at the official Pokemon.com website; as well as finals for the current editions of the Pokemon video game, the World Championship also host finals for the franchise’s official Trading Card Game.

Live streams of the events take place through Twitch.tv/Pokemon, Twitch.tv/PokemonTCG (for the Trading Card Game), and Twitch.tv/PokemonVGC (for the video game).

The 2019 finals were held in Washington DC, USA.

As for Gran Tursimo, Sony’s longstanding PlayStation motor racing franchise has a championship series of its own on the starting grid.

The FIA Gran Turismo Championships 2020 Series begins with a 12-team Manufacturer Series and 24-player Nations Cup event at the Big Top in Sydney, Australia’s Luna Park over the weekend of February 15-16.

A 2h30m live stream will run from 9pm PST on February 14 (midnight Feb 15 EST, 5am GMT, 6am CET, 7am South Africa, 10.30am India, 1pm Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, and Beijing, China, 2pm South Korea, and 4pm local time in Sydney), hosted at gran-turismo.com.

A Sydney start for 2020’s Gran Turismo World Tour had been suspected ever since event sponsor Tag Heuer briefly posted an announcement earlier in January.

The timepiece manufacturer is running a sweepstake between January 24 and 31 for a two-person, all-expenses-paid trip to the event, plus entry to a Pro-Am competition and a meet and greet with the franchise creator, Kazunori Yamauchi.

Further dates in the GT 2020 World Championship calendar are to be announced.

The 2019 Championship Series began with a March event in Paris, France, with further stop-offs at Germany’s legendary Nürburgring circuit, in New York, USA, and at the Red Bull Hangar-7 at Salzburg Airport in Austria, before concluding with an October date in Tokyo, Japan.

Competitors qualify through an Online Series and from there are invited to participate in World Tour events. — AFP-Relaxnews

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