Early Pokken Tournament…Tournament Coming To GameStop


Special GameStop locations will give fans early access to Pokken Tournament, with the very best qualifying to play on at larger tournaments.

Nintendo has very much learned to adapt to the ever-growing market of competitive video games and consumption of their content. Whether it is partnering with fighting game tournaments, hosting World Championship events or helping distribute a game with the word “Tournament” in it, things are starting to look like The Wizard days. Today, in a press release, Nintendo announced that Pokken Tournament will get an early tournament of its own at specific GameStop locations on Saturday, February 27. It’s called the Pokken Tournament Early Access Competition.

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Between 11 AM and 5:30 PM local time, there will be eight local qualifying tournaments of…well, Pokken Tournament, at participating GameStop stores. They will be split into two brackets consisting of those born before 2000 and after 2001. One winner from each age bracket at each location will then receive training from a pro fighting game player for promotional social media purposes. From there, 16 winners (and one guest each) will be flown to the Nintendo NY store on March 17 for the Pokken Tournament Early Access Competition Finals.

The winner of each bracket at the Final will receive a Wii U system, a copy of Pokken Tournament and paid travel to Columbus, Ohio for the 2016 Pokemon US National Championships, where they can compete for the chance to advance to the 2016 Pokemon World Championships in San Francisco later this year. There are the participating GameStop locations:

  • 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

Honestly, this is unchartered territory for Nintendo headed into the launch of Pokken Tournament. Yes, Nintendo has been involved with competitions in the past, but not for new types of game properties like a plane-dynamic fighter involving Pokemon. It’s a strong show of confidence not only for the success of the game, but for how viable this game will be at a competitive level. Given its inclusion at Evo 2016, however, perhaps it’s not so out of the blue for them.