'Pokkén Tournament' joins the Pokémon Championship series

Are you the very best 'Pokken Tournament' player? Test your skills on February 27th.

Pokkén Tournament is the latest evolution of the Pokémon video game franchise, featuring your favorite pocket monsters battling one-on-one in a 3D arena. It sounds like an ideal competitive fighting game, which is one reason it's joining the official Pokémon Championship Series this year. Pokkén Tournament isn't even out yet -- it drops for the Wii U on March 18th -- but players around the United States can try out for a spot in the Championship Series on February 27th at a handful GameStop locations. See the full list of participating stores below.

Winners from the Early Access Competition tournaments head to the regional finals at the Nintendo Store in New York on March 17th. Two victors then each receive a Wii U, a copy of Pokkén Tournament and a travel award to the 2016 Pokémon US National Championships in Columbus, Ohio, in July. The 2016 Pokémon World Championships follow in San Francisco in mid-August.

But, it all starts with those Early Access Competitions. They're open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis, and they're split into two age brackets (those born in 2001 or later, and those in 2000 or earlier). Regional tournaments begin at 10AM local time on February 27th at each of the following GameStop locations:

  • 2201 Preston Road, Plano, TX

  • 1841 Chamblee Tucker Road, Chamblee, GA

  • 3972 Barranca Parkway, Irvine, CA

  • 8115 S. John Young Parkway, Orlando, FL

  • 6451 W. Diversey Ave., Chicago, IL

  • 242 Bellevue Square, Bellevue, WA

  • 32 E. 14th St. – Union Square, New York, NY

  • 3914 Rivermark Plaza, Santa Clara, CA

Pokkén Tournament will also make an appearance at this year's Evo Championship Series fighting game tournament in Las Vegas from July 15th to 17th.

Good luck, Pokkén trainers.