Those Leaked Pokémon Sword And Shield Starter Evolutions Are Likely Fake

Pokemon Sword and Shield

Remember Grookey, Scorbunny, and Sobble? Of course you do; they’re the adorable starter Pokémon for Sword and Shield, Nintendo’s 2019 heavy-hitter that’s releasing exclusively for the Switch.

It’s said to be packed to the rafters with exciting content, all of which is spread out across the lush, UK-inspired region of Galar. But at this early stage, the Internet has trained its intense and at-times blinding spotlight on Grookey (Grass), Scorbunny (Fire), and Sobble (Water). Online data confirmed that players are currently head over heels for Sobble, the water-spouting Pokémon, though Scorbunny isn’t too far behind.

Yes, we’ve come an awful long way since fans were deliberating between Squirtle, Charmander and Bulbasaur – seven generations, in fact – but with Sword and Shield, a new adventure awaits. However, it seems those leaked photos depicting Grookey, Scorbunny and Sobble’s respective evolutions are fake, as they seem to be a product of an artist named ‘Ballio’ that began circulating just prior to the launch of Sun and Moon three years ago.

See for yourself:

It’s a pity, really, as some of the imagery would have aligned with Sword and Shield‘s medieval setting. Grookey, the “mischievous chimp filled with boundless curiosity,” was rumored to evolve into a jester-like character replete with his own sword. That’s no longer the case though, so perhaps it’s best to consult the list of confirmed Pokémon for Sword and Shield before we get swept up in baseless speculation.

Pokémon Sword and Shield grace the Nintendo Switch later this year, by which point we’ll surely know more about Grookey, Scorbunny, Sobble, and the Gym Masters – yep, you read that right – they’ll soon have to face.