Pokemon Go competitive GO Battle League Season 1 begins March 13

By Stephany Nunneley, Thursday, 5 March 2020 15:56 GMT

Pokemon Go will add competitive global trainer battles with GO Battle League next week.

Starting March 13, the Pokemon Go competitive GO Battle League will leave preseason and become official.

GO Battle League Season 1 officially starts Friday, March 13 at 1pm PT (-7 GMT).

Those who participated in the Pokemon Go battle league preseason and achieved rank 4 or higher will be handed a Premium Battle Pass as a reward. Preseason participants, from today through March 13, can play all three Battle Leagues.

This means you can pick and choose between the Great League, Ultra League, and Master League.

If you are unfamiliar with GO Battle League, you will walk to earn entry into the League, then battle worldwide opponents through an online matching system.

Legendary and Mythical Pokemon are also coming to the GO Battle League. For a limited time, Darkrai, Altered Forme Giratina, and Thundurus will be added as rare reward encounters, starting at rank 4.

Here’s the rundown on these particular Pokemon:

  • You’ll have a chance to encounter Darkrai as a GO Battle League reward encounter from Friday, March 6 at 8am to Monday, March 9 at 10pm local time. You might even 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 at 8am to Monday, March 16 at 10pm local time. You might encounter a Shiny Altered Forme Giratina in the process.
  • For all other time periods, you’ll have a chance to encounter the Legendary Pokemon Thundurus as a reward encounter in the GO Battle League until further notice.

Two special events themed around GO Battle League Season 1 will be held in order for you to gain more Stardust to power up your Pokemon. These event-exclusive Pokemon will be appearing in raids and in the wild, but not in Japan, South Korea, and Italy. Event bonuses will still occur in Japan, South Korea, and Italy.

  • An event to help you prepare for GO Battle League: From Tuesday, March 10 at 8am to Thursday, March 12 at 10pm local time, strong Pokemon will be appearing in raids, including Skarmory, Swampert, Shieldon, and more. Registeel and Cresselia will be appearing in five-star raids. You’ll also earn twice the usual Stardust from Raid Battles and Trainer Battles during this event. Please note that this bonus will not apply to GO Battle League Trainer Battles.
  • Pokemon Go  – GO Battle League Season 1 launch celebration: From Friday, March 13 at 8am to Monday, March 16 at 10pm local time, more Pokemon thought to be powerful in the GO Battle League will be available in raids, including Altered Forme Giratina in five-star raids. Fighting-type Pokemon will also be appearing more frequently in the wild. You might even find a Shiny Timburr in one-star raids.  There will also be the following GO Battle League bonuses during the event period.
    • A Premium Battle Pass when you win all five battles in a set on the premium track of the GO Battle League.
    • Complete seven sets of GO Battle League battles per day, up from the regular five sets, for a total of up to 35 battles a day.
    • You’ll receive bonus Stardust in the GO Battle League.

Pokemon Go

Niantic also outlined the following changes to GO Battle League for Season 1.

  • Fine-tuning the GO Battle League’s rewards. Depending on your rank, you’ll receive increased Stardust rewards and a different number of Charged and Fast TMs.
  • Winning matters much earlier in the ranks now. Ranks 2 and 3 now require you to win a certain number of battles to advance to the next rank. Previously, wins mattered only beginning at rank 4.
  • Pokemon you can encounter as GO Battle League rewards will change for Season 1. Metagross will be your guaranteed first encounter reward for Season 1. At rank 4, you’ll have a chance to encounter Beldum. At rank 7, you’ll have a chance to encounter Rufflet, making its Pokemon Go debut ahead of appearing in Safari Zone Philadelphia. And last but not least, the tough Pikachu Libre will be making its debut as a guaranteed reward encounter when you reach rank 10. In the future, Pikachu Libre will be available starting at lower ranks, but this season is your chance to challenge yourself to see if you can make it to rank 10, Trainers. Machop, Snorlax, and Meditite will no longer appear as GO Battle League encounters, but you’ll encounter Scraggy more often. These reward encounters might change next season, so be sure to give it your all and climb as high as you can in the rankings, Trainers.
  • Reach rank 10 to earn avatar items and an avatar pose inspired by Steven. Steven is a Pokemon League Champion in the Hoenn region. Steven is both an incredibly skilled Pokemon Trainer and a kind and helpful mentor. His dedication to battle makes his avatar items and avatar pose rewards a perfect match for the GO Battle League. The pose is a reward exclusive to Season 1.
  • At the end of Season 1, you’ll receive an Elite Charged TM if you’ve reached Rank 7 or higher. Introducing Elite Charged TMs and Elite Fast TMs. By using an Elite Charged TM or Elite Fast TM, you’ll be able to select the attack that your Pokemon learns. Not only that, but Elite Charged TMs and Elite Fast TMs will also allow Pokemon to learn attacks previously available only during events such as Raid Days or Community Days.

Pokemon Go Battle League Season 1 timeline

Just like the preseason, Season 1 will rotate through leagues. The dates below show the start and end times for the leagues – but are tentative. Niantic said if anything changes it will be announced.

  • The Great League will run from Friday, March 13 at 1 pm PT to Friday, March 27 at 1pm PT (GMT −7)
  • The Ultra League will run from Friday, March 27 at 1 pm PT to Friday, April 10 at 1pm PT (GMT −7)
  • The Master League will run from Friday, April 10 at 1 pm PT  to Friday, April 24 at 1 pm PT (GMT −7)
  • All three leagues will be available from Friday, April 24 at 1 pm PT to Friday, May 1 at 1 pm PT (GMT −7)
  • Season 2 will begin Friday, May 1 at 1pm PT (GMT −7)

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