Pokémon Sword And Shield Contest Embroiled In Controversy


Pokémon Sword and Shield are still a ways off from release, but that hasn’t stopped the pair from grabbing headlines recently.

As of writing, fans still know very little about the Switch exclusives, and while early signs point to a wealth of new details due to drop any moment now, the hype has somewhat come to a standstill in lieu of The Pokémon Company’s continued silence. Japanese magazine CoroCoro stipulates that brand new gameplay details will be published in its June issue, though today’s revelation isn’t so positive.

As reported previously, clothing company Uniqlo recently ran a T-shirt design competition for budding artists excited for Generation 8. Entrants were tasked with coming up with a unique Pokéthemed creation to be used both in-game and in a real-world line of shirts.

Since closing, Chinese artist Li Wen Pei has been crowned the competition’s winner for their design, which features iconic Gen 1 critters Gyarados and Magikarp.

Had the story ended there, Li Wen Pei would have walked away with $10,000 in their pocket and their own work featuring in Sword and Shield, but alas, the fairytale ending wasn’t to be. Following several reports from fans, the competition holder discovered that Li Wen Pei had previously sold several smartphone cases featuring the very same design, with counterfeits appearing not long after.

The problem? While the winning design is the work of Wen Pei and not plagiarized, competition rules state that any entry must not have been published or used for financial gain previously. Uniqlo has since decided to disqualify the winner and, as a result, the T-shirt will no longer be available to buy.

But every cloud has a silver lining. Though Uniqlo won’t be transferring the grand prize to any runner-up, it confirms that designs from other finalists will still go on sale next month. Check them out for yourselves via the link below and be sure to let us know which is your favorite.

Pokémon Sword and Shield are due for release later this year.