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GO Battle League Season 1

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The pre-season of Go Battle League is drawing towards its close, and Niantic has graced us with the first details about what Season 1 of the premier PvP content that Pokemon Go has to offer. We've got a lot in store,and quite a bit of it is quite exciting, so let's get into it!

Pokemon Go Battle League: Season 1
Season Start Season End
March 13, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PDT May 1, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PDT

The Rest of Pre-Season

We're not done with the pre-season yet! With just over a week remaining as of the posting of this article, this is our last chance to get our ranks up before the first season begins!

All Leagues Will be Available

Starting at 1:00 p.m. PST today (March 5th), players will no longer be limited to Master League play in the Go Battle league. In fact, all three leagues will be available for this period, so we'll be able to pick whatever suits us best!

Free Premium Battle Pass

If you've reached Rank 4 or higher in the pre-season, then you can expect to be given a free Premium Battle Pass as a reward to be used for premium battles in Season 1, or for raiding against our upcoming weekend bosses.

Legendary/Mythic Encounters Incoming

We already know that Thundurus - Incarnate has been available as a potential encounter Pokemon for Go Battle League.

And now Niantic has announced that it won't be alone!

Potential Darkrai Encounters in Go Battle League
Encounters Begin Encounters End
Friday, March 6, 2020, at 8:00 a.m. local time Monday, March 9, 2020, at 10:00 p.m. local time
Potential Giratina - Altered Encounters in Go Battle League
Encounters Begin Encounters End
Friday, March 13, 2020, at 8:00 a.m. local time Monday, March 16, 2020, at 10:00 p.m. local time

During these windows, it will also be possible to encounter shiny versions of these Pokemon, making it all the more exciting!

Go Battle League Prep Event

We have a surprise event popping up to help us get ready for Season 1

Event Start Event End
Tuesday, March 10, 2020, at 8:00 a.m. local time Thursday, March 12, 2020, at 10:00 p.m. local time

During this period, Pokemon that have been shown to have superior performance in the Great League in particular will be featured in raids. While incomplete, Niantic did mention a few that will be available:

We're also going to have a surprise tier-5 run of two of the biggest Legendary contenders in the tier: Registeel and Creselia!

We also have a few bonuses to go with this:

  • 2x Raid Battle Stardust
  • 2x Trainer Battle Stardust (Go Battle League excluded)

This is the perfect chance to gear up and get ready for the grand release of Season 1!

Go Battle League: Season 1

Launch Celebration

In honor of Season 1's arrival, we are getting a special event dedicated to the Go Battle League!

Event Start Event End
Tuesday, March 10, 2020, at 8:00 a.m local time Thursday, March 12, 2020, at 10:00 p.m. local time

Much like the preparation event, this event will focus on giving players strong options. During this time, Giratina - Altered will be available in Five-Star raids, and Fighting Type Pokemon will be more common in the wild. Among them, Timburr will be made available in its shiny forme through raids!

Along with this, we will also be able to enjoy the following bonuses:

  • If you complete a 5-win-streak in the Go Battle League using a Premium Battle Pass, you will be rewarded an additional Premium Battle Pass
  • Players will be able to compete in seven Go Battle League sets per day rather than the normal five
  • Go Battle League will reward additional Stardust

Season 1 Rewards

This is one of the main reasons that we're all here, so let's take a look at what competing in the Go Battle League has to offer:

Fine-Tuned Rewards

In particular, more stardust! Niantic has also said that they will be rebalancing the drop rates and ammounts for other items such as Charged and Fast TMs.

Different Encounters

Go battle League will have a unique set of Pokemon that can be encountered. For example; the first encounter is guaranteed to be a Metagross! I wonder if it will know Meteor Mash...? Other mentioned Pokemon include:

Keep in mind that Beldum will be encounterable at Rank 4 Rufflet will be encounterable at Rank 7, and Pikachu will be available at the top of the mountain: Rank 10. That said, this isn't a normal Pikachu. It's the much-anticipated Pikachu-Libre!

Pikachu Libre

Pika-Libre will be available at lower ranks in future seasons, but for now she's up at the top of Rank 10!

Pose and Avatar Items based on Steven Stone

Steven Stone, the Steel Type expert and champion of the Generation 3 Hoenn Region, had always been a fairly popular trainer, and it seems that he's about to make his mark on the Go Battle League!

Steven Stone

Special avatar items and a special pose will be available to those who reach Rank 10 during Season 1. If you're a Pokemon Go fashionesta, then this will be the time to aim for the top! Worth noting is the fact that Steven Stone's signature Pokemon has always been Metagross, which makes the Pokemon selection mentioned above all the more interesting!

Elite Charged TM

If you reach Rank 7, then this will be your reward.... and it's arguably the grand-prize reward for the entire event!

Season 1 Schedule

Much like the pre-season, Season 1 will be broken up into periods where specific leagues will be available to play. This is what the schedule will look like:

League League Start League End
Great League March 13, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PDT March 27, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PDT
Ultra League March 27, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PDT April 10, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PDT
Master League April 10, 2020, at 1:00 p.m PDT April 24, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PDT
All Leagues April 24, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PDT May 1, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PDT

This should give players an ample period in which to raise their ranks and get whatever rewards that they may be hoping for. Note that these dates are also stated to be subject to change.

So what comes next? Season 2 is coming on May 1st, 2020. It seems that we've got a very busy PvP schedule ahead of us, so now is the time to get ready!

Full Announcement

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Full Text

Trainers,

The GO Battle League preseason is coming to an end, and we’re excited to announce that GO Battle League Season 1 officially starts this month on Friday, March 13, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PDT (GMT −7)! From Trainers who gave the GO Battle League a try to earn Sinnoh Stones for Rhyhorn Community Day to battlers who climbed all the way to the top at rank 10, we thank you. We’ve been working on improving Pokémon GO’s global online battling system, and it’s all thanks to your participation and feedback.

As a token of our gratitude, Trainers who achieved rank 4 or higher will receive a Premium Battle Pass as part of their end-of-preseason rewards. To celebrate the end of the preseason, from today, Thursday, March 5, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PST (GMT −8) to Friday, March 13, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PDT (GMT −7), all three leagues will be available to play in the GO Battle League! Pick and choose between the Great League, Ultra League, and Master League, and end the preseason however you’d like. As we continue to work on the GO Battle League experience, let us know what you think!

For those of you who haven’t had a chance to try it—what is the GO Battle League? Like many Pokémon GO features, the GO Battle League encourages players to get out and explore the world with Pokémon. You can walk to earn entry into the GO Battle League, then battle opponents from around the globe through an online matching system and rise in the ranks of the league. This feature was a way to make the Pokémon GO battling experience more competitive and accessible to more Trainers. For more information on the basics of the GO Battle League and what happened during preseason, check out our previous GO Battle League post.

Note: In-game events for may vary in the following areas until further notice. Players in these areas can stay tuned to our channels for updates.

  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Italy

Legendary and Mythical Pokémon are coming to the GO Battle League!

For a limited time, Darkrai, Altered Forme Giratina, and Thundurus will be coming to the GO Battle League as rare reward encounters, starting at rank 4! Darkrai and Altered Forme Giratina especially can be powerful additions to your Ultra League and Master League teams, so be sure to catch them if you can!

  • You’ll have a chance to encounter Darkrai as a GO Battle League reward encounter from Friday, March 6, 2020, at 8:00 a.m. to Monday, March 9, 2020, at 10:00 p.m. local time. If you’re lucky, you might encounter a Shiny Darkrai!
  • You’ll have a chance to encounter Altered Forme Giratina as a GO Battle League reward encounter from Friday, March 13, 2020, at 8:00 a.m. to Monday, March 16, 2020, at 10:00 p.m. local time. If you’re lucky, you might encounter a Shiny Altered Forme Giratina!
  • For all other time periods, you’ll have a chance to encounter the Legendary Pokémon Thundurus as a reward encounter in the GO Battle League until further notice.

Warm up for GO Battle League Season 1 with two special events

The greatest Trainers know to prepare before a tough battle! Leading up to and at the beginning of Season 1, look forward to the following GO Battle League–themed events to help you catch strong Pokémon to use in battle and gain more Stardust to power up your Pokémon. Please note, the event-exclusive Pokémon appearing in raids and in the wild will not occur in Japan, South Korea, and Italy. Event bonuses will still occur in Japan, South Korea, and Italy.

  • An event to help you prepare for GO Battle League: From Tuesday, March 10, 2020, at 8:00 a.m. to Thursday, March 12, 2020, at 10:00 p.m. local time, strong Pokémon will be appearing in raids, including Skarmory, Swampert, Shieldon, and more! Registeel and Cresselia will be appearing in five-star raids. You’ll also earn twice the usual Stardust from Raid Battles and Trainer Battles during this event. Please note that this bonus will not apply to GO Battle League Trainer Battles.
  • A GO Battle League Season 1 launch celebration: From Friday, March 13, 2020, at 8:00 a.m. to Monday, March 16, 2020, at 10:00 p.m. local time, more Pokémon thought to be powerful in the GO Battle League will be available in raids, including Altered Forme Giratina in five-star raids. Fighting-type Pokémon will also be appearing more frequently in the wild! Also if you’re lucky, you might find a Shiny Timburr! Your best bet would be battling and catching it in one-star raids! There will also be the following GO Battle League bonuses during the event period.
    • You’ll receive a Premium Battle Pass when you win all five battles in a set on the premium track of the GO Battle League.
    • You’ll be able to complete seven sets of GO Battle League battles per day, up from the regular five sets, for a total of up to 35 battles a day!
    • You’ll receive bonus Stardust in the GO Battle League.

GO Battle League Season 1 starts on Friday, March 13, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PDT (GMT −7)

We’re excited to announce the following changes to the GO Battle League for Season 1.

  • We’re fine-tuning the GO Battle League’s rewards. Depending on your rank, you’ll receive increased Stardust rewards and a different number of Charged and Fast TMs.
  • Winning matters much earlier in the ranks now. Ranks 2 and 3 now require you to win a certain number of battles to advance to the next rank. Previously, wins mattered only beginning at rank 4.
  • The Pokémon you can encounter as GO Battle League rewards will change for Season 1. Metagross will be your guaranteed first encounter reward for Season 1. At rank 4, you’ll have a chance to encounter Beldum. At rank 7, you’ll have a chance to encounter Rufflet, making its Pokémon GO debut ahead of appearing in Safari Zone Philadelphia. And last but not least, the tough Pikachu Libre will be making its debut as a guaranteed reward encounter when you reach rank 10! In the future, Pikachu Libre will be available starting at lower ranks, but this season is your chance to challenge yourself to see if you can make it to rank 10, Trainers. Machop, Snorlax, and Meditite will no longer appear as GO Battle League encounters, but you’ll encounter Scraggy more often. These reward encounters might change next season, so be sure to give it your all and climb as high as you can in the rankings, Trainers!
  • Reach rank 10 to earn avatar items and an avatar pose inspired by Steven. Steven is a Pokémon League Champion in the Hoenn region. Steven is both an incredibly skilled Pokémon Trainer and a kind and helpful mentor. His dedication to battle makes his avatar items and avatar pose rewards a perfect match for the GO Battle League. The pose is a reward exclusive to Season 1.
  • At the end of Season 1, you’ll receive an Elite Charged TM if you’ve reached Rank 7 or higher. Introducing Elite Charged TMs and Elite Fast TMs! By using an Elite Charged TM or Elite Fast TM, you’ll be able to select the attack that your Pokémon learns. Not only that, but Elite Charged TMs and Elite Fast TMs will also allow Pokémon to learn attacks previously available only during events such as Raid Days or Community Days.

GO Battle League Season 1 timeline

Season 1 will rotate through leagues, just like the preseason did. Season 2 is set to begin in early May, but please note that all these dates are still tentative. Stay tuned—we’ll update you as soon as anything changes.

  • The Great League will run from Friday, March 13, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. to Friday, March 27, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PDT (GMT −7).
  • The Ultra League will run from Friday, March 27, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. to Friday, April 10, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PDT (GMT −7).
  • The Master League will run from Friday, April 10, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. to Friday, April 24, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PDT (GMT −7).
  • All three leagues will be available from Friday, April 24, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. to Friday, May 1, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PDT (GMT −7).
  • Season 2 will begin Friday, May 1, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. PDT (GMT −7).

Be sure to follow us on social media, opt in to receive push notifications, and subscribe to our emails to stay updated. Share your favorite GO Battle League moments with #GOBattle, too!

—The Pokémon GO team



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About the Author(s)

Gamepress writer with a focus on theorycrafting and gameplay optimization with a background in business management and freelance writing.  A bit of a hermit, but also an outdoors enthusiast who loves cycling and hiking. Long-time Gamepress fan who is very proud to be a part of the team.

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