Wii U Pokemon Fighting Game Pokken Tournament Gets Nationwide Open Championship

Anyone can compete in this open tournament.

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Think you're the very best, like no one ever was? If so, The Pokemon Company has some good news. They have announced a "Pokken Tournament Early Access" competition series for the Wii U Pokemon fighting game, which will be played at GameStop stores in eight cities across the United States.

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The events will be held on February 27--the 20th anniversary of the Pokemon series--and the winners of each regional event will advance to the 2016 Pokemon US National Championships. That tournament takes place July 1-3 in Columbus, Ohio.

Anyone can attend and participate in the Pokken Tournament Early Access tournament, but The Pokemon Company warns that "space is limited" and entry will be decided on a first-come, first-served basis. Here's a breakdown of how the tournaments will be structured:

"Players will be split into two age divisions: the Senior Division is for players born in 2001 or later; the Masters Division is for players born in 2000 and earlier. The winner from each city in each age division, plus one guest, will be flown to the Nintendo NY store in New York City on March 17 for the Pokkén Tournament Early Access Competition finals."

The winner of that event gets a Wii U, a copy of Pokken Tournament, and an expenses-paid trip to Columbus to take part in the National Championships.

The following GameStop stores will host the qualifying tournaments:

  • 2201 Preston Road, Plano, TX
  • 1841 Chamblee Tucker Road, Chamblee, GA
  • 3972 Barranca Parkway, Irvine, CA
  • 8115 S. John Young Parkway, Orlando, FL
  • 6451 W. Diversey Ave., Chicago, IL
  • 242 Bellevue Square, Bellevue, WA
  • 32 E. 14th St. – Union Square, New York, NY
  • 3914 Rivermark Plaza, Santa Clara, CA

Registration opens at 10 AM local time, and competition runs from 11 AM to 5:30 PM.

"If you have fighting game skills and love all things Pokemon, but never had a chance to combine the two, the Pokken TournamentEarly Access Competition is your chance to show off your skills," Nintendo marketing executive Scott Moffitt said in a statement.

Looking beyond this event, a worldwide Pokken Tournament Championship Series will take place later in the year. More details on this event will be divulged in the coming months.

Pokken Tournament launches March 18 for Wii U. Developers told GameSpot this week that it's unlikely a version of the game for 3DS will be made and explained why that is.

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