Pokémon Sword And Shield Won’t Have An Elite Four

Pokémon Sword And Shield

Pokémon Sword and Shield developer Game Freak is finally going to make some much-needed renovations to the series’ rigid endgame, it seems. The Elite Four, a group of formidable opponents that serve as the final roadblock between a Trainer and the reigning Pokémon Champion, have been a staple feature of the core RPG series stretching all the way back to the 1996’s Red & Blue games.

Lorelei, Bruno, Agatha and Lance were the four tough-as-nails members of the faction in the original games and undoubtedly remain the most memorable, but seven generations of the group have since taken up the mantle, each doing their best to test the player’s resolve at journey’s end. Until now, that is. Come Sword and Shield‘s release this November, the iconic foursome is to be retired in favor of a brand new challenge, The Champion Cup.

Finally delivering on fans’ dreams of entering a bonafide Pokémon tournament, the Galar region’s Champion Cup is an event held every year meant to rigorously test Trainers and their teams. The competitor who emerges victorious in the gauntlet will then be awarded the ultimate prize – to challenge the current Champion. According to Game Freak, the event is so popular that the entire tournament is broadcast on TV for Galarian residents eager to witness the phenomenon that is Dynamaxing.

It all sounds rather exciting, does it not? For fans of the anime series, a tournament setting similar to the TV series is a dream come true and promises to be a much more fitting climax than the Elite Four. To qualify for The Champion Cup, players will need to undertake the Galar region’s own Gym Challenge and obtain all eight badges before being allowed to participate.

Pokémon Sword and Shield are out November 15th. For all the latest news on this year’s most anticipated Switch exclusives, see here.