This year, The Pokémon Unite World Championship Series is returning to India with higher stakes than ever: $75,000 is up for grabs in prize money.
The competition will determine which two teams will represent India in the later 2023 championships that will take place in Japan, at which a not inconsiderable $500,000 will be on the line.
Qualifiers coming soon
The tournament beings online next month in India, running from 15 April to 3 June across the April Qualifier, May Qualifier, and the Last Chance Qualifier. They will each be open for all to participate, ultimately determining which eight teams will compete in the playoffs. The top two will then proceed to compete in the World Championship in Japan.
The April and May qualifying rounds will last two days each, with a many as 256 teams competing and six advancing to the regional playoffs. The Last Chance Qualifier, on the other hand, will only last for one day in June and will determine the final two teams for the playoffs.
The first two qualifiers feature monetary incentives too, with $18,750 prizes. Winning the playoffs, meanwhile, comes with a $37,500 reward.
The first matches will take place on 15 and 16 April, the next on May 20 and 21, and the final round before the playoffs is on 3 June. The playoffs themselves are set for one day later, on June 4 2023, to be broadcast by esports venture partner Skyesports.
"Over the past few months, the game has already witnessed a steady increase in viewership and engagement. We are also seeing interest from top organisations in the country to enter this promising mobile title," said Skyesports founder and CEO Shiva Nandy.
"With this clear roadmap in place for the World Championship Series and also some of Skyesports’ original IPs lined up, Pokémon Unite has a bright future in the country."
Pokémon Unite was first made available on Nintendo Switch, with its mobile release following close behind back in 2021.