BELLEVUE, WA - October 6, 2011 - Across the United States and Canada, veteran competitors and new players of the Pokémon™ Trading Card Game (TCG) and video game should get ready for new, exciting changes being implemented for the 2011-2012 Play! Pokémon tournament season! The Pokémon Company International is rolling out new features that will add more excitement and opportunities to play and win throughout the year.

Starting this season, Championship Points will be awarded at all Pokémon Championship Series events. Now, competing in multiple events throughout the season will give players even more chances to attend the Pokémon World Championships! Pokémon TCG players can begin earning Championship Points right now by attending Battle Road Autumn events, and video game players can begin earning Championship Points starting with Regional Championship events.

To help players increase their chances of earning Championship Points, The Pokémon Company International is splitting its Regional Championships schedule in North America in two, with seven tournaments taking place in mid-November 2011 and eight in mid-April 2012. Now players can attend a maximum of two Regional Championship events out of thirteen being held in the United States and two in Canada.

To make the expanded Regional Championships a more complete Pokémon experience, Pokémon TCG and video game Regional Championship tournaments will now be held during the same weekend and at the same location. Players competing in the TCG tournament will battle on Saturdays, with finals taking place on Sundays, while video game players will compete on Sundays. Players of all skill levels are encouraged to come and compete. And, if TCG players don't advance to the TCG finals on Sunday, they are welcome to compete in the video game tournament that same day.

The first Autumn Regional Championships kick off on Saturday and Sunday, November 12 th-13 th, with seven event locations, including Long Beach, California; Lake Buena Vista, Florida; Fort Wayne, Indiana; Crestwood, Missouri; Salem, Oregon; Providence, Rhode Island; and Doswell, Virginia. Players wishing to find out more information should visit www.pokemon.com, as details on the April 2012 event dates and locations will be added to the website's Play! Pokémon section.

"The 2011-2012 Play! Pokémon season has all the makings of becoming the biggest, most competitive Pokémon tournament season to date," said J.C. Smith, director of Consumer Marketing for The Pokémon Company International. "With the new point system and tournament structure, we will give more Pokémon players the opportunity to have fun and compete at our events."

The fun doesn't stop there, though. The Pokémon Company International is holding its first-ever online video game tournament, the Pokémon Autumn Friendly, October 20 th-23 rd, 2011. Using Pokémon from the Unova region, players from all over the world will compete for the right to be crowned the Pokémon Autumn Friendly Champion. The action will take place on the Pokémon Global Link's Global Battle Union site and, though not an official Play! Pokémon tournament season event, players will be the first to battle in a Pokémon-sanctioned Global Battle Union tournament.

Registration for the Pokémon Autumn Friendly will take place October 12 th-19 th at www.pokemon.com/pgl. Those wishing to compete will need a copy of the Pokémon Black Version or Pokémon White Version game and a Nintendo 3DS™ or a system from the Nintendo DS™ family. They must also have a Pokémon Trainer Club account, which is free and simple to open at www.pokemon.com.

To learn more about the 2011-2012 Play! Pokémon tournament season and the Pokémon Autumn Friendly, please visit www.pokemon.com.


About Pokémon

The Pokémon Company International, a subsidiary of The Pokémon Company in Japan, manages the property outside of Asia and is responsible for brand management, licensing, marketing, the Pokémon Trading Card Game, the animated TV series, home entertainment, and the official Pokémon website. Pokémon was launched in Japan in 1996 and today is one of the most popular children's entertainment properties in the world. For more information, visit www.pokemon.com.



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