The Pokemon Company has put $100,000 behind an eSports circuit for 3-D fighter Pokken Tournament due out on March 18.
The Pokken Tournament Championship Series will offer events for players to compete at throughout the year, including the upcoming CEO and EVO Championship events in North America.
Competitors will be split by age group, as with many of Nintendo’s eSports events, with the Masters division consisting of those born before the turn of the century and Senior division born in 2001 or later.
Players are competing for Nintendo and Pokemon swag, as well as a chance to attend the World Championships in San Francisco on August 20.
Masters division players will compete for $20,000 at the finals, with the first place finisher taking home $6,000.
The embracing of eSports is a new stance for Nintendo who in 2013 attempted to prevent EVO from streaming Super Smash Bros. matches at that year’s event.
The release of the new Smash Bros for Wii U and 3DS softened this approach and Nintendo began supporting events that hosted the game, as well as running a Splatoon tournament in Japan last year.