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Pokémon Video Game Players To Compete In Regional Tournaments For Chance to Battle the Best Players from Around the World

Bellevue, WA - April 8, 2009 - This spring and summer, thousands of Pokémon Trainers from around the globe will battle it out with their prized Pokémon for a chance to win it all at the 2009 Pokémon Video Game World Championships!   Today, Pokémon USA, Inc. announced details for one of the most anticipated video game events of the year, the 2009 Pokémon Video Game Championships (VGC). The only official Pokémon video game competition of its kind - placing the world's best Pokémon players in head-to-head competition - will begin Regional Qualifier Tournaments on Saturday, May 9, kicking off the largest video game tournament season in Pokémon history. 

The format for the Pokémon VGC will include six different U.S. stops in addition to tournaments being organized in Europe and across Japan. Pokémon fans will play in the U.S. Regional Qualifier Tournaments and Pokémon Video Game National Championships and if successful will meet their international rivals from Japan and Europe at the Pokémon VGC World Championships, which take place in San Diego on August 14 and 15. 

The 2009 Pokémon VGC schedule will include competitions in six cities with weekend stops in Seattle, San Francisco, Phoenix, Dallas, Philadelphia, and Nashville.  At each regional, up to 128 players for each age division (Juniors and Seniors) will be selected at random from those in attendance but all registrants will walk away with a character distribution of a powerful, and rarely seen, level 50 Shiny Milotic™. Details about the tournament and each of the event locations can be found at www.pokemonvgc.com.

May 9 - Seattle, WA
May 16 - San Francisco, CA
May 23 - Phoenix, AZ
May 30 - Dallas, TX
June 6 - Philadelphia, PA
June 13 - Nashville, TN
June 27 - St. Louis, MO

Winners from each of the regional tournaments will win trips to play in the Pokémon Video Game National Championships in St. Louis on June 27 and 28 - before landing one of only 60 coveted international invitations to compete on the ultimate stage - the Pokémon Video Game World Championships.

"Pokémon is proud to present an opportunity for thousands of Pokémon video game trainers across the globe to come together and battle to determine who is a true World Champion," said J.C. Smith, Pokémon USA, Inc.'s director of Marketing.  "The Pokémon VGC tournaments are a great way for our biggest fans to meet with each other and test their Pokémon strategies against the best."

Competitors will be required to play with Pokémon Platinum Version, which became available on March 22 at retailers nationwide. Players will need to bring their own copy of the North American Pokémon Platinum Version to participate and will compete using the "2-on-2 Double Cup" format, with no Pokémon allowed to exceed level 50.   European players will use Pokémon Diamond Version or Pokémon Pearl Version at their qualifier tournaments.

More information, including prizes, tournament locations, times, as well as Pokémon restrictions and rules can be found by visiting www.pokemonvgc.com.  A European site will be available soon, so check back for details about Pokémon VGC events in that region. 

About Pokémon USA
Pokémon USA, Inc., a subsidiary of The Pokémon Company in Japan, manages the property outside of Asia which includes licensing, marketing, the Pokémon Trading Card Game, an animated TV series, the Pokémon Trading Figure Game, home entertainment, and the official Pokémon website.  Pokémon was launched in Japan in 1996 for play on Nintendo's Game Boy™ and has since evolved into a global cultural phenomenon. Pokémon was introduced in North America in 1998 and today is one of the most popular toy and entertainment properties in the world. For more information, visit www.pokemon.com.



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