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On July 21, Pokémon UNITE will release on Nintendo Switch, The Pokémon Company announced. The free-to-play multiplayer online battle arena game will also come to mobile devices in September of 2021. According to the announcement, cross-platform play is planned as well. Additionally, Victory Road, one of the biggest Pokémon Video Game Championship tournament organizers, announced their first competitive Pokémon UNITE tournament July 31 through Aug. 1.

The tournament is a free-to-enter online tour and features a yet-to-be announced prize pool. More details about where to sign up are on the way. The tournament will be played on Remoat Island; Pokémon UNITE’s competitive and ranked map .

What we know about Pokémon UNITE

Pokémon UNITE is a 5v5 MOBA with Pokémon as playable characters. They are classified in roles suited for the MOBA genre, including attacker, defender and supporter. However, they also have unique designations like speedster and all-rounder.

There are currently 22 playable Pokémon in Pokémon UNITE, with Zeraora available post-launch for any player that logs into Pokémon UNITE by Aug. 31. Each Pokémon has its own move sets similar to conventional MOBA spells and abilities. There are also items that characters can buy in-game to increase their power from the Pokémon games, like X-Speed and Focus Band. Items are separated into held items and battle items.

Pokémon UNITE also features a similar map layout to conventional MOBA’s, with a slight twist; the jungle is is in the middle lane. The only path to to the mid lane jungle is through the top and bottom lanes. The way to win Pokémon UNITE is also unique in the MOBA genre. Players gather points throughout the game by defeating enemies, capturing other Pokémon (this game’s version of minions) and taking objectives across the map. The objectives are the boss monsters that spawn in the jungle that also give out buffs. In Pokémon UNITE, the biggest boss monster is Zapdos. The other objectives are the goals that are in the top and bottom lanes.

These goals give out points varying on how deep players are in their enemy’s area. Players don’t need to destroy them like towers in other MOBA’s. Instead, players can capture them by standing on them without getting attacked.

The full game releases on July 21 and fans can get their Pokémon UNITE competitive fix early with the Victory Road tournament starting on July 31.

Declan is an esports journalist and part-time editor for Upcomer. He is an avid gamer and League of Legends player. You can find him at the bottom of the leaderboard in most games or on Twitter.
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