The 2016 Pokémon World Championships will be held in San Francisco between August 19-21.
According to the Pokémon website, players hailing from over 35 different countries will compete for the world title and $500,000 worth of prizes. The players who have qualified to compete in the series have received invitations to the tournament based on points they have acquired by playing the popular game over the past few months.
The event will be streamed live at Pokemon.com/Live.
According to Geek.com, the event organizers said that “due to an unprecedented response from invited players planning to attend,” they are closing the event to the general public, and only people with badges will be allowed in.
Last year’s Pokémon World Championships were held in Boston.
The game has become a craze among youth and adults alike, yielding both positive and negative outcomes. On the one hand, the Pokémon Go app is encouraging people to walk around their neighborhoods for the first time — particularly in areas where safety has perviously been a concern. It has also been used as a way to encourage humans to walk dogs as they play the popular game.
Conversely, the app has not yet implemented an algorithm to keep players safe, or to prevent mostly young players from roaming into areas where there are registered sex offenders. Earlier this month, one man was shot dead in San Francisco while playing Pokémon Go. Furthermore, last month, two men fell off a cliff in Encinitas, near San Diego, while playing the app. Also last month, three girls discovered a dead body in a San Diego park as they were trying to catch the mobile creatures on their phones. Authorities believe the body belonged to a transient man who had died of natural causes and that his lifeless corpse had been there for approximately one month.
Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz