Get Ready for the 2016 Pokémon World Championships With This Pokémon 101 Guide

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Pokemon World Championships

This weekend, August 19-21, San Francisco will play host to the 2016 Pokémon World Championships. While I’m not exactly a big eSports guy myself, a combination of my kids’ love for Let’s Play vids and a family-wide fascination with Pokémon in general practically assures that we’ll be watching for the duration.

You see, while the event is closed to the general public—space is only available for invited players and their families—the Championship action will be streamed live at www.pokemon.com/live and via the official Twitch Pokémon channel. Here’s a handy schedule of events to help you keep up as competitors vie for their piece of a prize pool of more than $500,000 in scholarships and travel awards (all times PDT):

Twitch.tv/Pokemon – General Event Coverage

Friday: 9 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Sunday: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Finals Coverage for Pokémon TCG and Video Game)

Twitch.tv/PokemonVGCPokémon Video Game Championships

Friday: 9 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Twitch.tv/PokemonTCGPokémon TCG Championships

Friday: 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Twitch.tv/PokkentournamentPokkén Tournament Championships

Friday: 9 a.m.–5 p.m. (Last Chance Qualifiers coverage)
Saturday: 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

For post-event coverage in the days to follow, you can check out http://www.Pokemon.com/us/strategy/.

But let’s say, for the sake of argument, you’re not among the worldwide elite of Pokémon TCG and video game competitors. Maybe you’ve never even played the games yourself, but your kids (or, perhaps, your geeky spouse) are Pokémon crazy.

For you, dear friend, I submit the following. It’s a simple, three-part introductory guide to the world of Pokémon provided by the fine folks at Nintendo of America and The Pokémon Company International.

Pokémon 101 Guide

What are Pokémon?

Pokémon are creatures of all shapes and sizes who live in the wild of alongside humans. With over 700 Pokémon, it’s quite a fun challenge to catch them all. Pokémon are raised and “trained” by their owners/trainers and with time, they can grow, become more experienced and even stronger!

Pokémon Types

There are over a dozen different types of Pokémon, including Fire type, Psychic type and Dragon type. Every type comes with advantages and disadvantages when battling different Pokémon types. For instance, a Fire type Pokémon has the edge against Grass type Pokémon, but will be disadvantaged against Water type Pokémon. This makes strategic thinking and use of Pokémon on your team crucial.

Pokémon Gameplay Basics

The player takes on the role of a Trainer whose journey involves travelling, catching and training Pokémon, and battling against other Trainers’ Pokémon to become the Pokémon League Champion. An additional goal is to catch and catalogue all of the Pokémon within the game’s world. Despite this battling aspect the Pokémon games are perfect for younger players as they avoid explicit violence. Trainers are invited to take part in many peripheral activities when playing, including talent and beauty contests, tournaments and fishing.

Players can battle and trade Pokémon with other players as well, helping kids learn the merits of sharing and sportsmanship. With newer video game systems, players can play and trade online with other Trainers around the world.

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