This week, The Pokémon Company International announced the rules and format for the 2020 Pokémon Video Game Championship (VGC) series. The 2020 format will see the shift from the Nintendo 3DS and Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon to the Nintendo Switch and Pokémon Sword and Shield. The change in format will officially take place on January 4, 2020.
In only a few short weeks, #PokemonSwordShield will be taking center stage as the official VGC competitive title! Dive into the 2020 VGC official rules, and start planning your strategies now before the new rules are in play on January 4!
— Play Pokémon (@playpokemon) December 4, 2019
As per the standard, the 2020 VGC format will be conducted with double battles using Pokémon that appear in the Galarian Pokédex aside from certain legendary and mythical Pokémon. However, this doesn’t mean players will be able to use Pokémon that they caught in previous games as Pokémon will have to have the Galar symbol showing they were caught in Pokémon Sword or Shield.
Other notable standard rules include no duplicate items or Pokémon are allowed. The 2020 VGC format also sees the return of the 15 minute battle timer meaning games will end once 15 minutes pass by. Despite this, players will still have 7 minutes of their own time, meaning players have a 7 minute time limit for all their turns during the battle, and 45 seconds to choose moves each turn.
One massive new rule, pun intended, involves the new feature from Pokémon Sword and Shield, Gigantimaxing. In the new games, only certain Pokémon can Gigantimax, and those Pokémon can only be obtained in Max Raid Battles. Thus, it can be hard for players to obtain the Pokémon that have this ability. While Gigantimaxing will be allowed in the VGC 2020 format, only certain Gigantimax Pokémon will be usable at first, and more will become legal to use as the season progresses and Gigantimaxing capable Pokémon are easier to obtain. Currently, only 10 of the Gigantimax capable Pokémon are allowed including: Charizard, Butterfree, Pikachu, Eevee, Meowth, Snorlax, Corviknight, Drednaw, Centiskorch, and Sandaconda.
The Pokémon VGC 2020 officially takes into effect starting on January 4, 2020. Thus, players only have a few more weeks to prepare their new teams for the switch.