The company announced the event’s cancellation on the official Pokémon website, calling it a “difficult decision”. The next Pokémon World Championships will instead take place sometime next year in London, the same city as the planned 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.
“After careful review and pursuant to guidance set forth by local, regional and national health authorities, as well as the World Health Organization, Public Health England, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we have made the difficult decision to move out the next Pokémon World Championships to 2022.”
The Pokémon Company says next year’s event will be an “expanded celebration of Pokémon competition” and that all invitations to the 2020 Pokémon World Championships will be honoured at the 2022 event. The company also noted that it is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation with the appropriate government agencies to “determine when the resumption of events and operations will be safe for our communities”.
The Pokémon World Championships first began in 2004 and focused primarily on the Pokémon Trading Card Game, but has since grown to include dedicated competitions for the mainline video game series and Pokken Tournament DX.
A remake of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl has also been rumoured to release this year, with Pokémon Centre speculating that an official announcement will be made this month. Plans for a remake of the game have yet to be confirmed.