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Top Pokémon Go player gets EX Raid pass — with a big catch

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Pokémon Go wants us to schedule around it, and that’s not always possible

Pokémon Go’s tweaked exclusive Raid battle system appears to have positive results for players thus far, with many reporting that they’ve received their first- or second-ever invitations to participate in the selective gym battles. One of those players is one of the game’s best-known personalities, who has publicly criticized the invite-only battles before — but his excitement at receiving an EX Raid pass came with a huge caveat.

Last Friday, big-time YouTuber Reversal uploaded a video about receiving an exclusive Raid pass, which the developer doles out to qualified trainers on a seemingly random basis. This was a big get for the player; he’s spoken before about needing to take a break from Pokémon Go after getting burned by the widely panned EX Raid invite system countless times before.

“I saw a message popping up at the top of my screen,” he said, setting up the video. “It says, ‘You received a ticket to attend a special event.’ Is this an EX Raid pass? I don’t know.”

Indeed it is. But instead of freaking out about getting the chance to capture Mewtwo after months of being shut out, Reversal’s face immediately falls. First, he’s not sure that he’s ever even visited the gym where Niantic says he must go to take part in the EX Raid; the battles take place at predetermined gym locations and at fixed times. Some players found as of the game’s latest version update that their invites were good at gyms they had been to only once, with some being impossibly far away.

After realizing that he had just once visited the gym where his EX Raid would be held, Reversal reveals the real downside of the invite.

“The issue is that I’m going to be in the United States during this EX Raid,” Reversal said, holding his face in his hands.

That’s the tragedy of the EX Raid battle system. If you’re not going to be around for the extremely limited window during the fight, you won’t be able to get that Mewtwo you need for your Pokédex. And since Niantic continues to make its selection process obscure, there’s no telling when or even if you’ll ever get another invitation.