Pokémon players disqualified from World Championships for hacking

Pikachu looks on in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet
(Image credit: Game Freak)

Pokémon World Championships disqualifies several players for using hacked Pokémon during games.

During the Pokémon World Championships 2023, which ran in Yokohama Japan this weekend, it was discovered that a number of professional players had been using hacked Pokémon during games, leading to the event disqualifying them (via VGC). 

It's reported that although the Pokémon used during the games were allowed and acquired through the selected games, the disqualified players used third-party tools to obtain them. 

Normally, it would usually take hundreds of hours of game time to catch the desired Pokémon, so third-party tools were used to generate them with optimal stats - therefore hacking for an advantage. 

It also seems that some of the Pokémon were only available in certain games, and the disqualified pro players used hacks to avoid the set requirements. 

One of the competing players, Brady Smith, a three-time regional champion and founder of VGC Corner - which helps players get started and improve at playing Pokémon - was disqualified for having hacked Pokémon. 

After winning his second series, a routine check found that he hadn't obtained and trained his Pokémon within the guidelines, and was removed from the competition. He took to Twitter later to explain, saying he didn't have access to Legends of Arceus and Pokémon Sword and Shield so he was not able to obtain Lando or Urshifu. 

"DQ’d [disqualified] at 2-0. Should have gotten my mons myself!" Smith said. "Half my team was modified/genned. I didn’t have Legends of Arceus to get the Lando. And I didn’t have my copy of Sword/Shield to get Urshifu. I tried trading for the mons with a reputable trader, but the mons didn’t pass..."

However, despite his disqualification, some players online are supporting Smith by saying in response that the guidelines forcing players to "need multiple copies of games" to have access to relevant Pokémon is unfair. 

These rules have been implemented for previous Pokémon World Championships, and hacking with third-party tools goes against the competition, so it doesn't seem the regulations will be changed. 

Game Freak recently confirmed that Pokémon Scarlet and Violet's The Hidden Treasure of Area Zero expansion will add Pokémon Home compatibility, allowing players to move their Pokémon between compatible games. It's unclear when the feature will arrive - alongside update 3.1.0 - but it's likely to launch with The Hidden Treasure of Area Zero Part 1: The Teal Mask on September 13 for Nintendo Switch

Part 2: The Indigo Disk doesn't have a planned release date just yet either, but has a winter 2023 launch window. 

Looking for something to play on a handheld? Here's our list of the best Nintendo Switch games you can play right now.