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The 2021 Pokémon World Championships canceled due to COVID-19 concerns

The Pokémon World Championships won’t take place in-person until 2022 in London

Pokemon European International Championships Photo: John Keeble/Getty Images
Ana Diaz (she/her) is a culture writer at Polygon, covering internet culture, fandom, and video games. Her work has previously appeared at NPR, Wired, and The Verge.

The Pokémon Company announced Tuesday that it has decided to cancel the 2021 Pokémon World Championships. The next World Championships will take place in 2022 in London, the same city that was planned for 2021 event.

“The safety and well-being of our competitors, organizers, employees, local communities, and partners continues to be our top priority and is the primary consideration with every decision we make,” The Pokémon Company said in a statement on the Pokémon website.

Players that were invited to the 2021 World Championships will be invited back to the 2022 event. The Pokémon Company also said that all other events part of the official Play! Pokémon event series will remain suspended until further notice from the company.

If players want to compete sooner, they’ll have to do so online via events like the ongoing Play! Pokémon Team Challenge and Pokémon Players Cup. The Players Cup will take place starting in June and include the Pokémon trading card game, Pokémon Sword and Shield, and Pokkén Tournament DX.

Other competitive gaming events have been canceled due to COVID-19, including the Fortnite World Cup and Evo 2020.

As for the future of Pokémon events next year, The Pokémon Company said that the company looks forward “an expanded celebration for Pokémon next year”, but did not elaborate on its plan.