Nintendo has announced the date for Pokemon Sword and Shield's first online competition. Entitled the Galar Beginnings competition, the tournament period will be from Friday, December 6th at 00:00 UTC, and will run until Sunday, December 8th at 23:59 UTC. Registration will begin on Friday, November 15th at 00:00 UTC, and will end on Thursday, December 5th at 23:59 UTC.
The battle format will be Single Battle. Competitors will only be able to use Pokemon obtained in Sword and Shield, with certain Pokemon not being allowed. Three to six Pokemon can be registered on a player's Battle Team. All Pokemon will become level 50 for the duration of each match. The ranking results will be released in December 2019. Players can enter the competition by opening the X menu in the game and selecting VS, Battle Stadium, and then Online Competitions. Players do not have to register on the Pokemon Global Link.
Nintendo did note that a Nintendo Switch Online service is required in order to enter the Online Competition. They also noted that further details will be released in the coming days.
Pokemon Sword and Shield are not the first games in the series to hold Online Competitions. Sun and Moon held dozens across their lifetime. The last tournament, the Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon Ultra Final Online Cup, was held this past October. Nearly 30,000 trainers rose up to participate in the event.
Also released today was a trailer that showed off some quality of life improvements for Pokemon Sword and Shield. Players will no longer have to go to Pokemon Centers to change their party, as boxes can now be accessed from anywhere. Trainers can now use mints, which change a Pokemon's nature, affecting their stats. Supplements like Protein and Calcium are still in the games, increasing a Pokemon's base stats. Exp. Candy will be featured in Sword and Shield, and give your Pokemon experience based on the size of the candy. Finally, attacks learned through eggs will be movable between same-species Pokemon, removing the need to breed until the hatched Pokemon learns the move that you want.