SOURCE: Pokemon Company International

Pokemon Company International

April 14, 2010 15:06 ET

2010 Pokemon Video Game Championship Series Kicks Off as Action-Packed Schedule and Exciting New 'Legendary' Rules Are Revealed

Bigger Than Ever, With Six Regional Tournaments and Two Last Chance Qualifiers, Pokemon Invites All Players to Compete for a Shot at the World Championship Title Using New Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver Versions

BELLEVUE, WA--(Marketwire - April 14, 2010) - This spring and summer, thousands of Pokémon™ Trainers from around the globe will battle with their prized Pokémon for a chance to claim victory at the 2010 Pokémon Video Game Championships. The Pokémon Company International, one of the most popular children's entertainment properties in the world, today announced the upcoming tournament dates, locations, and new regulations for the most anticipated Pokémon video game event of the year.

Pitting some of the world's best Pokémon players in head-to-head competition, the Pokémon Video Game Championships are the only official Pokémon video game tournaments. Due to the overwhelming response from players who came from all over the world to compete in last year's events, Pokémon has increased the number of qualifying tournaments and the number of participants at each location for the 2010 event series. The series will also introduce the use of Legendary Pokémon for the first time in recognition of the popular Pokémon HeartGold Version and Pokémon SoulSilver Version titles released earlier this year for the Nintendo DS™ family of hand-held systems. Legendary Pokémon are some of the most powerful and hard-to-find Pokémon in the Pokémon universe.

In the U.S., Regional Qualifier Tournaments begin on Saturday, May 8, in the home city of Pokémon's U.S. headquarters -- Seattle, Washington -- and extend as far as Hawaii, site of the 2010 Pokémon World Championships. Concurrent with the U.S. competitions, regional tournaments will be held in Japan and Europe, where tournaments occur in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Spain. 

The U.S. schedule is as follows:
May 8, Seattle, WA -- Seattle Center Exhibition Hall
May 15, San Francisco, CA -- San Mateo County Event Center
May 22, Phoenix, AZ -- Phoenix Convention Center
May 29, Dallas, TX -- Arlington Convention Center
June 5, Atlanta, GA -- Gwinnett Center
June 12, New York, NY -- Meadowlands Exposition Center
June 25, Indianapolis, IN * -- Indianapolis Convention Center
*Last Chance Qualifier for Nationals

The European schedule is as follows:
May 29, Birmingham, United Kingdom -- National Exhibition Center
June 5, Cologne, Germany -- Pullman Hotel
June 12, Lyon, France -- Cité Centre de Congrès

June 19, Madrid, Spain -- IFEMA Feria de Madrid

World Championships:

August 13, Kona, HI ** -- Hilton Waikoloa Village
**Last Chance Qualifier for World Championships

At each regional tournament, players from two different age divisions (Born in 1998 or later, and born in 1997 or earlier) will be selected on a first come, first served basis from those in attendance. The top 16 players from each of the regional tournaments will receive an invitation to play at the Pokémon Video Game National Championships in Indianapolis, IN, on June 26 and 27. The U.S. National Championships will fill 32 coveted spots to compete on the ultimate stage -- the 2010 Pokémon Video Game World Championships in Kona, Hawaii on August 13-15. There, U.S. players will meet 66 of their international rivals from Japan and Europe to determine the World Champion in each division. Top finishers will be awarded international travel packages, trophies, and special Pokémon prizes.

"The return of the Pokémon Video Game Championship season allows Pokémon Trainers everywhere to join in and be part of the fun and excitement that Pokémon is known for," said J.C. Smith, director of consumer marketing for The Pokémon Company International. "This year we're increasing the number of tournaments and are implementing new rules to ensure some of the most fast-paced, exhilarating, and entertaining matches that the Pokémon Video Game Championships have ever seen."

U.S. competitors will be required to play with the North American English version of the Pokémon HeartGold Version or Pokémon SoulSilver Version Game Cards (European events may only use European versions of the game cards), which became available on March 14 at retailers nationwide. The tournament will use the Flat Battle and GS Cup rules sets. These exciting formats include an auto-level feature, which sets all Pokémon that are above level 50 down to level 50 for the duration of the battle -- allowing players to use some of the most powerful Legendary Pokémon in battle.

Like last year's tournaments, all attendees who bring their copy of Pokémon HeartGold or SoulSilver Version can walk away with a character distribution. This year the Pokémon distribution is a rarely seen Shiny Eeveethat will be a different color than it normally appears in game play.

More information, including that related to prizes, tournament locations, times, Pokémon restrictions, and rules can be found by visiting www.pokemonvgc.com.

About Pokémon
The Pokémon Company International, a subsidiary of The Pokémon Company in Japan, manages the property outside of Asia and is responsible for brand management, licensing, marketing, the Pokémon Trading Card Game, the animated TV series, home entertainment, and the official Pokémon website. Pokémon was launched in Japan in 1996 and today is one of the most popular children's entertainment properties in the world. For more information, visit www.pokemon.com.

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