The Pokémon Company International gave its video game fans plenty to celebrate for its 25th Anniversary, but now trading card game players can rejoice over the announcement that official, in-person Play! Pokémon events are back in Australia and New Zealand starting March 6.
In the announcement, TPCI laid out a strict set of rules that tournament organizers must follow when hosting in-person events. This includes posting signage outside of events, ensuring all participants wear face coverings at all times, barring eating and drinking at the event, requiring regular hand sanitization between rounds, separating matches by six feet and capping attendance at 30 players.
In addition, TOs must adhere to all applicable laws and ordinances related to the COVID-19 pandemic. To ensure organizers are compliant, TPCI is also requiring they document all compliance efforts, hold onto the records for three months and provide them to TPCI as requested. Failure to follow these guidelines will result in a loss of eligibility to hold future events.
To find more information on these returning events, TPCI recommended using their new event locator. There are currently no events scheduled at the time of this announcement.
At the same time, TPCI revealed it will be replacing their old tournament organizing software with Pokémon Event Manager. This is only available in Australia and New Zealand, but organizers outside those countries may still test the software.
As for events outside Australia and New Zealand, TPCI said it will continue monitoring the conditions for future openings.Since Australia and New Zealand have succeeded in containing the Covid-19 pandemic by adopting strict safety protocols, TPCI deemed it was safe to resume live events.
For TCG and Video Game Championship players that live in countries with unsafe conditions, TPCI encouraged continued participation in Players Cup, Team Challenge and League at Home events. All updates on participating stores and events are available on Play! Pokémon Events.