By Alexis Yap
Photos: Marvin Llanos Maning
Last December 2018, Pokemon Go, a game based from the popular franchise that took the world by storm, added a revolutionary feature that got everybody excited once again: the Player vs. Player (PvP) Battles. It was highly anticipated when the teaser was released, and the hype was real. After it finally came out, it was a huge success. Now the game is more interactive than ever as it allows trainers to put on their thinking (Pokemon) caps and tap into their competitive side.
How it works…
The Player vs Player (PvP) is a new feature that let’s you battle other trainers nearby. Scan the QR Code of another player and you will be asked to choose among the three different leagues you want to battle in. The Great League only allows you to select Pokemon with a Combat Power (CP) of 1500 or lower. The Ultra League lets you pick Pokemon of up to 2500 CP while the Master League has no maximum CP limit.
Compose a lineup of three Pokemon you will need for the match. When the battle begins, tap as fast as you can to send damage to your opponent’s Pokemon and to power up your Charged Move. When the Charged Move button has been enabled, you can make its impact even more greater by tapping several times until three or four rings appear around it. When your opponent is about to send a Charged Move you have the option to use a shield to reduce the damage. However, you can only use your shield twice so use it wisely. A good knowledge regarding possible Charged Moves for Pokemon will help a lot because this will help you decide when to use those shields.
The battle ends when all Pokemon of one player has fainted. At the end of the match, you may receive rewards like Stardust or Sinnoh Stone which are very useful in the game. You can only receive rewards from your first three battles per day.
The Silph Arena is a global tournament system thousands of local Pokemon Go Communities can use to take part in a global ranking system. Pokemon Go communities wishing to host and record a PvP tournament can use the Silph.gg tools. Any wins and losses during the competition can affect a trainer’s local and global ranks. In the beginning of the year, the Silph League Arena opened with its first themed monthly cup. The Boulder Cup, which was inspired by the first Kanto Gym in the Pokemon franchise.
Players can only choose Pokemon with steel, fighting, ground, or rock typing. For the month of February, Silph Arena introduced the Twilight Cup, which will feature Pokemon that are of poison, fairy, dark, and ghost types. At first glance, the limited types my seem to handicap players with limited choices, but this only allows for out-of-the-box thinking and creativity in forming strategies.
Pokemon Go in Cebu City
The local Pokemon Go scene is vibrant with players who engage in various Pokemon Go related activities. Old players are also returning in droves as the added features of the game piqued everyone’s interest. Just last January 25, 2019, Cebu’s United League of Trainers (Cult) held its first themed ranked official tournament, the Boulder Cup. Cult is a community of Pokemon Go enthusiasts ranging from casual to hardcore players who share the same passion for the game and for many, the nostalgia of the franchise. With 31 participants, trainer John Fernandez aka NgoyaJohn arose as the cup’s champion. “I was not expecting that it will be that fun. Everybody was so competitive but you can see the bonding and the friendship after the PvP. I befriended a lot of players, and the Cult community is so friendly. I will surely join the next tournament,” he remarked regarding his experience at the Boulder Cup.
Jayson de Guzman, one of the admins of Cult, expressed hi joy. “The event was a success. There may be one champion but everyone left with a smile. Seeing everyone happy and really enjoying the tournament, you feel very grateful and now I can’t wait for the next event. Our doors are always open for everyone who wants to join us. In fact we are encouraging everyone to join in the next cup happening this month,” he gushed.
Pokemon Go is more than your typical mobile game. Trainers can’t just sit inside and play; it challenges them to overcome boundaries and interact with other players in the physical world wherein friendships bloom and camaraderie is formed. And with every update, Pokemon Go provides a myriad of ways for the players to come together and enjoy the game like never before, over occasional conversations of the Pokemon games and shows. And just like the protagonist of the famous TV series, with Pokemon Go, what was once every child’s dream of becoming the very best like no one ever was will finally become a reality.
Special thanks to the generous and enthusiastic collaborators of this article, Jayson de Guzman and Leslie Dayanan.