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Pokémon Sword and Shield competition announced ahead of Nov. 15 release date

The event begins in December

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A Pokemon trainer walking into the grass arena Game Freak/The Pokémon Company, Nintendo
Nicole Carpenter is a senior reporter specializing in investigative features about labor issues in the game industry, as well as the business and culture of games.

Pokémon Sword and Shield’s first online competition — Galar Beginnings — will start on Dec. 6, shortly after its Nov. 15 release date. The Pokémon Company announced the event just over a week before the game’s launch on Nintendo Switch.

The single-battle competition will run from Dec. 6 to Dec. 8, but the sign-up period begins Nov. 15. Players will be able to register until Dec. 5, according to The Pokémon Company. Only Pokémon obtained in Pokémon Sword and Shield are eligible to battle, but “certain Pokémon” won’t be allowed. Three of a player’s six Pokémon will join the Battle Team, each of which will automatically be upped to level 50 for the matches.

“In the Galar Beginnings competition, you’ll be able to make your Pokémon huge by Dynamaxing them—or even have their form change by Gigantamaxing them,” The Pokémon Company said. “These effects will last for only three turns per battle, so be sure to use them wisely!”

The Pokémon Company said more information on “competition regulations” will be available “in the coming days.” Pokémon Sun and Moon had dozens of online competitions across after its November 2016 release date, the last of which was the Pokémon Ultra Sun and Pokémon Ultra Moon Ultra Final Online Cup in October. Nearly 30,000 Pokémon players participated in the event.

This morning, The Pokémon Company revealed that in Pokémon Sword and Shield, players will be able to access their Pokémon box from “almost anywhere,” meaning there’s no need to head to a Pokémon Center to switch out creatures.

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