Niantic are throwing competitive battles into the world of Pokémon GO, announcing Season 1 of the GO Battle League will start next week on 13th March. So if you wanna be, the very best, like no-one ever waaaaaaaaaas, you’d best get practising!
The GO Battle League will matchmake players of similar ranks to battle against each other in three rotating leagues, the Great League, Ultra League, and Master League, each of which has different restrictions on Pokémon CP level. As trainers win, they’ll go up in the rankings and earn a wider and wider variety of rewards.
- The Great League (1500 CP limit) will run from 13th March to 27th March,
- The Ultra League (2500 CP limit) will run from 27th March to 10th April.
- The Master League (no CP limit) will run from 10th April to 24th April
- All three leagues will be available from 24th April to 1st May
- Season 2 will start on 1st May
Niantic have been building up to this with the GO Battle League preseason, which kicked off in January and has helped to inform their game design and balance for the first full season. That’s led to things like wins rewarding you more during early ranks, including more Pokémon encounters, adding extra avatar items and an exclusive avatar pose to earn.
There’s two themed events to celebrate and let you prepare for the start of Season 1, with one in the run up and one at the launch of the League. From 10th to 12th March, extra strong Pokémon will appear in raids, including Skarmory, Swampert, Shieldon, while Registeel and Cresselia will pop up in five-star raids. You’ll earn double the Stardust during this event. Then, from 13th March to 16th March, more fighting Pokémon will appear in the wild, and you’ll be able to complete up to seven sets of GO Battle League battles in a day, going from 25 battles to 35 a day.
Throughout Season 1, players will be able to earn reward encounters against the Legendary and Mythical Pokémon Altered Forme Giratina, Darkrai, and Thundurus.
- You’ll have a chance to encounter Darkrai as a GO Battle League reward encounter from Friday, March 6, 2020, at 8:00 a.m. to Monday, March 9, 2020, at 10:00 p.m. local time. If you’re lucky, you might encounter a Shiny Darkrai!
- You’ll have a chance to encounter Altered Forme Giratina as a GO Battle League reward encounter from Friday, March 13, 2020, at 8:00 a.m. to Monday, March 16, 2020, at 10:00 p.m. local time. If you’re lucky, you might encounter a Shiny Altered Forme Giratina!
- For all other time periods, you’ll have a chance to encounter the Legendary Pokémon Thundurus as a reward encounter in the GO Battle League until further notice.
Source: press release, Pokémon Go