Pokemon trainers are you good enough to join the Elite 4? A South African Pokemon esports event

Growing up I watched Pokemon with my brother. I jammed a bit of Pokemon Yellow on my game boy. But I didn’t get the hype. I knew the series was big but I didn’t realise it was THAT big. When Pokemon Go came out I never even downloaded it… And then Pokemon Let’s Go arrived for the Nintendo Switch and I was sent a copy of the game. I started playing it and then without even realising it I was hooked. Like properly obsessed hooked. Now Pokemon rule my life. I’m really not kidding:

To put this in perspective: I’m in the process of getting a new phone and the biggest thing holding me back right now is that an upgraded iPhone won’t fit my Pokemon cover that I purchased in Tokyo. First world problems right here! Anyway, with said Pokemon obsession I’ve been streaming the game and generally having a blast with it. I’ve also discovered a world of Pokemon fans that have surprised and delighted me.

There’s even Pokemon competitions you can enter!

I’d seen a few “esports” type events for Pokemon internationally but realised last week that there is a South African option as well and I’m planning on checking it out because it looks rather rad.


On Saturday 27 April at 9am the Nintendo Store at Sandton City in Johannesburg is hosting its second Elite 4 Challenge. Which is a big competition and fun get together for Pokemon enthusiasts. There’s a competitive aspect where you can enter with your Pokemon and battle for prizes but, if you want to get a feel for Pokemon on the Switch you can also pop past and enjoy the battles as well and see what it is all about.

The rules are pretty simple:

  • Teams check in between 9 and 10am
  • You bring your own Nintendo Switch with either Pokemon: Let’s Go Pikachu or Pokemon Let’s Go Eevee added.
  • The rest of the rules, format and other information can be found over on the registration page here.

From what I can see this is really meant to be a fun morning out. But there are still prizes. Making the top 4 of the competition allows you to be crowned one of the Elite Four and you can defend your title in the next challenge. So you win honour and bragging rights! If you win the competition you also bag a R500 gift voucher for the store. But to keep up with the fun vibe, everyone goes home with something.

Every player that registers gets a pair of Pokeball fingerless gloves just like Ash’s. The first 10 players to register to compete (again, the registration link can be found here) will also win themselves double tickets to a Detective Pikachu pre-screening. Also, little easter egg for you, I stream Pokemon Let’s Go over on my Twitch channel every Tuesday (you can follow the channel here). I’m actually going to be giving away tickets to pre-screenings in the near future… so best you make sure you jump into chat for those.

I’m really keen to check out the Elite Four Challenge this weekend. Let me know in the comments below if you’ll be heading to the store on Saturday and maybe we can meet up? Also if you’re not Johannesburg based let me know if you think something like this would work well in your home town? I’d love to meet the Pokemon fans out there!

Disclosure: I saw this on the South African Nintendo Distributor’s Facebook page and decided to share because I think it is rad. Remember, if I’m being paid to promote it, I tell you. Full disclosure policy here

I'd love to chat to you some more.


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