Pokémon Go is about to get a lot more competitive. Today, developer Niantic announced the launch of season 1 of the Go Battle League, which is exactly what it sounds like: a global competition where trainers can battle each other to earn in-game rewards. A preseason for the competition kicked off in January, but the full debut season will start on March 13th and last through the beginning of May.
Here’s the basic concept, as per Niantic:
During GO Battle League Season 1, trainers will be paired up against similarly ranked competitors through an online matchmaking system. The league’s format will rotate between the three leagues: the Great League, the Ultra League, and the Master League. As trainers win battles, they’ll climb the rankings, with each new rank offering an opportunity to earn a wider variety of rewards.
You can find some more detail in this video:
Players will be able to earn mythical creatures through the league, including Darkrai, Thundurus, and Giratina (Altered Forme), as well as exclusive avatar items. Niantic also says there will be two in-game events around the league launch — one from March 10th to the 12th, another from the 13th to the 16th — where more powerful monsters will appear in raids.
The league looks like an intriguingly complex expansion of the player vs. player battles that were introduced at the end of 2018. And despite launching in 2016, Pokémon Go is still going strong — last year was the mobile game’s most lucrative 12 months so far.