Pikachu shows up in a special outfit and London gets its own Pokémon species representative too.

As with many large-scale entertainment events and international competitions, the Pokémon World Championships were cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Much like summer Comiket, though, this year the tournament is back.

The ExCeL London convention center is serving as the venue where the global champions for the Pokémon trading card and video games will be crowned. This marks the first time ever for the World Championships, which began in 2004, to be held outside North America, and welcoming all those Pokémon Trainers who want to be the very best to the U.K. is none other than Ed Sheeran, appearing in a special video posted on the tournament’s opening day.

The pop star seems to be a Squirtle supporter, what with him sharing the spotlight with the Gen-1 starter and his color-matched wardrobe (including a Squirtle-underbelly-yellow undershirt). A few Twitter commenters have scoffed at the plan of using the musician’s mainstream star power to drum up excitement for the event, but it was also pointed out that Sheeran expressed his fondness for the Pokémon video game series over a decade ago through his official Twitter account.

Those who prefer to see non-human faces promoting Pokémon, though, will be happy to know that the Pocket Monsters themselves are also involved, such as this pack of Pikachus cruising the Thames near Tower Bridge.

Of special note is the dapper guardsman-inspired regional outfit that Piakachu can be seen sporting for the event.

There’s even going to be a Pokémon Center Pop-Up Store during the World Championships, and much like their counterparts in Japan, London’s will have its own representative Pokémon species, Roserade.

And though Pikachu still retains his title as the hardest-working Pokémon show business, close-second Eevee looks to have also made the trip to London.

The Pokémon World Championships run from August 18 to 21.

Source: Twitter/@PokemonNewsUK, Pokémon official website (1, 2)
Top image: Twitter/@PokemonNewsUK
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