Pokémon VGC 2023 Season Ruleset

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The Pokémon VGC 2023 season officially kicked off in August 2022 when the 2023 London Open, a side event, was held alongside the 2022 World Championships. This season will culminate with the 2023 World Championships that will take place in Yokohama, Japan! This will be the first time the World Championships will be held in Japan.

After the 2022 season concluded, it was announced on August 17, 2022 that no events held by The Pokémon Company International (TPCi) would take place from September 2022 until January 2023, meaning the first events will be played on Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet. This means for the first time ever, there would be no VGC played at the Latin America Internationals. Events held by The Pokémon Company (TPC) in Asia still took place during this period.

The London Open and Taipei Regionals were still played on Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield while all other events are played on Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet.

Formats

While the London Open was played under the Series 12 ruleset on Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, no official VGC events will be played for the rest of 2022 in regions under TPCi. Held by TPC, the Taipei Regionals under the Series 13 ruleset that was played September 1 – October 31, 2022. All VGC events starting January 2023 will be played on Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet unless stated otherwise.
  • Series 1: Starting January 2, 2023

Age Divisions

All Pokémon VGC events separate players into age divisions based on the year you're born in. A player's age division is determined at the beginning of the season and does not change over the course of a season. This allows players to battle and compete against others at a similar age each season. While not all non-TPCi regions follow these divisions, they are used at the World Championships.
  • Juniors Division – Born in 2011 or later
  • Seniors Division – Born in 2007 to 2010
  • Masters Division – Born in 2006 or earlier


Battle Rules

Tournaments will be played using open teamsheets, meaning each round players will be able to see certain information about their opponent's team. A full view of the rules and penalty guidelines is available in the official Play! Pokémon rules document.
  • Players will battle using Double Battles on Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet.
    • Each player will choose four Pokémon on their Battle Team.
    • The battle will continue until all four of a player's Pokémon are unable to battle or until the in-game time limit has ended.
    • The in-game timers are as followed: Team Preview (90 seconds), Move time limit (45 seconds), Your Time (7 minutes), Game Time (20 minutes)
  • Matches played during the Swiss rounds are either best-of-one or best-of-three, though the latter is commonly used at all Regional and higher events. All Top Cut matches are played as best-of-three.
  • Before the start of the battle, players will swap their team lists.
  • If the match time ends without a declared outcome, tiebreakers will now apply, first with late shows then sudden death. Please refer to the official document for more about disconnections.

Team Rules

Players are permitted to use Pokémon that were obtained in the following ways
  • Obtained in Pokémon Scarlet or Pokémon Violet.
  • Transferred to Pokémon Scarlet or Pokémon Violet via Pokémon HOME when this feature is available
  • Pokémon are allowed to use any move or ability that's available to them through normal gameplay. This includes both hidden abilities and event-exclusive moves.
  • Each Pokémon may hold an item, though duplicate items are not allowed on teams (Example: two Pokémon may not both hold a Life Orb)
  • Pokémon are auto-leveled to Level 50 for the duration of a battle, regardless of their original level.
  • Players are not allowed to use two Pokémon with the same Pokédex number (Example: Heat Rotom and Wash Rotom)

Open Team Lists

All events held by TPCi will use open team lists. This means each round, players will be able to see the following information about their opponent's team before the battle. A Pokémon's Stats however will not be shown.
  • Pokémon Species (Regional variants and forms must be specified)
  • Ability
  • Held Item
  • All Moves
  • Tera Types

Types of Events

The VGC 2023 season is made of events that are held across 5 major continents. These events are split into two categories, major and local-level events. The most important events are the International Championships and National Championships.
  • Major events are hosted by either The Pokémon Company International (TPCi) or an outside group. Placing well in these events award great prizing and Championship Points.
    • Major events held in Japan and Southeast Asia are managed by The Pokémon Company (TPC) with a different pricing structure that does not use Championship Points.
  • Local events are held by volunteer organizers that allow newer players and small communities to compete. It is unconfirmed if these events will return in the 2023 season.

Championship Points

Championship Points (CP) are given to top-performing players based on their finish at tournaments. Major events hand out other prizes such as money or scholarships as well as trophies, medals, and official Pokémon merchandise. TCG booster packs are given regardless of attendance.

Each type of event has its own Best Finish Limit, which indicates how many of your best results count towards your CP total and 2023 Worlds invite. A BFL of 6 for Regionals and Special Events means that only your 6 best performances in the 2023 season will count towards earning your Worlds invite.

These BFLs do not apply towards qualification for International Championships travel awards and stipends, meaning players are free to earn as much CP as possible to win these trips.


Regionals and Special Events

  • Best Finish Limit: 6
  • Max Obtainable CP: 1200 CP

Finish

Championship Points

Kickers

1

200 CP

0 Players

2

160 CP

0 Players

3-4

130 CP

0 Players

5-8

100 CP

0 Players

9-16

80 CP

48 Players

17-32

60 CP

100 Players

33-64

50 CP

200 Players

65-128

40 CP

400 Players

129-256

30 CP

800 Players


#

1-24

25-100

101-200

201+

TCG

1

$500

$1000

$2000

$3000

72

2

$250

$500

$1000

$2000

72

3-4

$0

$250

$500

$1000

36

5-8

$0

$0

$250

$500

18

9-16

$0

$0

$0

$250

9


International Championships

  • Best Finish Limit: 4
  • Max Obtainable CP: 2000 CP

Finish

Championship Points

Kicker

1

500 CP

0 Players

2

400 CP

0 Players

3-4

320 CP

0 Players

5-8

250 CP

0 Players

9-16

200 CP

48 Players

17-32

160 CP

100 Players

33-64

130 CP

200 Players

65-128

100 CP

400 Players

129-256

80 CP

800 Players

257-512

60 CP

1600 Players


#

1-100

101-200

201+

TCG

1

$1500

$2500

$5000

72

2

$1000

$1500

$2500

72

3-4

$750

$1000

$1500

72

5-8

$500

$750

$1000

36

9-16

$0

$500

$750

18

17-32

$0

$0

$500

0


Travel Awards

In regions under TPCi, Travel Awards are handed out to players in each age division and rating zones based on their CP total during a specified qualification period. Players who have hit their BFLs can still earn CP towards these awards.

Players who finish Top 4 in their native region and age division during these periods will receive a Travel Award, valued at $2000 for their home International and $3500 for out-of-region Internationals ($2500 and $5000 respectively for minors). Players ranked 5-8th will earn a $1000 Travel Stipend.

Event

First Day

Last Day

Oceania Internationals

Apr. 25, 2022

Jun. 26, 2022

CP doesn’t count towards TA

Jun. 27, 2022

Nov. 27, 2022

Europe Internationals

Nov. 28, 2022

Feb. 19, 2023

North America Internationals

Feb. 20, 2023

Apr. 16, 2023


World Championships Qualifications

The 2023 World Championships will be played over the course of 3 days with players who earn a Day 1 invite starting on Friday and players who earn a Day 2 invite starting on Saturday.

Day 1 Invite

Rating Zone

Juniors

Seniors

Masters

North America

130 CP

130 CP

300 CP

Europe

100 CP

130 CP

250 CP

Latin America

100 CP

130 CP

200 CP

Oceania

100 CP

130 CP

200 CP

Middle East and South Africa

100 CP

130 CP

200 CP

Russia

TBD

TBD

TBD

Japan

TBD (2023 Japan Nationals)

South Korea

TBD (2023 South Korea Nationals)

Southeast Asia

TBD (2023 Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, and Hong Kong Nationals)

2022 Worlds

TBD (Top 4 players at the 2022 World Championships)


Day 2 Invite

Rating Zone

CP Requirements

North America

Top 8 players on the US & Canada CP Leaderboard

Europe

Top 16 players on the Europe CP Leaderboard

Latin America

Top 8 players on the Latin America CP Leaderboard

Oceania

Top 4 players on the Oceania CP Leaderboard

Japan

TBD (2023 Japan National Championships)

South Korea

TBD (2023 South Korea National Championships)

Southeast Asia

TBD (2023 Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong National Championships)


Header photo credit: thatguyinabeanie

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