It’s been a long time coming but now Pokémon GO’s multiplayer PvP is rolling out, and a special Pikachu is along for the ride!

As announced via Niantic’s official Pokémon GO blog, the GO Battle League will be gradually rolling out to players depending on their level, for the sake of server stability. It will be called the “Preseason”, as the quirks are ironed out, so the first season of competitive play can go off without a hitch.

There’ll still be a form of progression, however, in the form of the Great, Ultra, and Master Leagues, which will rotate over the course of February and into March. Here’s the full excerpt detailing the process:
 

The GO Battle League’s preseason kicks off now with the Great League. The preseason will rotate formats to the Ultra League on Monday, February 10, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PST. The Master League will follow on Monday, February 24, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PST, with the Great League returning once again on Monday, March 9, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PST. Stay tuned for more details on when the preseason will end and Season 1 will begin.

 
To unlock the ability to enter the online league you must first walk 5 kilometers, at which point you’ll unlock five online matches. You can repeat this process three times per day, and if you’re short of the 5km mark, you can spend PokéCoins to make up the difference, so long as you’ve already walked 2km. Depending on how many of the five battles you win, you’ll get a certain amount of Stardust relative to your rank, and you’ll also unlock items like Rare Candies as well as exclusive Pokémon encounters.

The first of these exclusive Pokémon encounters is Pikachu Libre, making the move from Pokémon OmegaRuby & Alpha Sapphire and Pokkén Tournament. Avatar items themed to the electric wrestler will also be made available through the tournament.

Finally, Premium Raid Passes have been renamed Premium Battle Passes, which allow you to take the “Premium Track” of the Battle League, netting you greater rewards and easier access to the exclusive Pokémon encounters. They’ll still have the same Raid functionality, too.
 


 
Be sure to keep on Pokémon GO so you know when you’ve gained access to the GO Battle League!
 

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Written by Tom Brown

Whether it’s an exciting new entry in a series long established or a weird experiment meant only for the dedicated, Tom is eager to report on it. Rest assured, if Nintendo ever announces Elite Beat Agents 2, he’ll be there.

Tom Brown