Feature: Is Pokémon Unite Ready For Its Moment At The Pokémon World Championships?

The Pokémon MOBA showcases its competitive chops in August.

Before last year, a Pokémon spin-off in the style of League Of Legends felt like an obscure offshoot, even for a franchise that’s pitched Pikachu as a coffee-swilling detective. In many ways, a Pokémon MOBA makes considerable sense – as a world filled with hundreds of unique monsters and built on battling – but it’s the first time we’ve seen the franchise adapted into a team-based multiplayer game that’s largely propped up by its popularity as an esport.

Pokémon Unite is pitched as an accessible entry point into an intimidating genre, and by most metrics, it’s successful. There are annoyances with the free-to-play model, like the overwhelming amount of in-game currencies and a general lack of polish, but its shorter 10-minute matches, emphasis on scoring points, and reliable, speedy matchmaking, make the experience far more approachable and instantly gratifying in comparison to League of Legends or Dota.

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