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Pokémon Go is an augmented reality (AR) mobile game developed and published by Niantic for iOS and Android devices. A part of the Pokémon franchise, it was first released in certain countries in July 2016, and in other regions over the next few months.The augmented reality elements combined with the nostalgic reminder for those who grew up battling the elite four meant that everyone was playing the game when it launched in July  2016. During that time it was a common occurrence to see trainers of all ages roaming the streets in search of exotic Pokemon and gyms to contest.

Two years after its initial release Niantic added the PVP feature. This is a 1 v 1 battle against another trainer. This PVP update meant that avid trainers now had the opportunity to directly battle others instead of just attacking Gyms.

The Sri Lanakan Pokemon Go community has been intensely active and since iits inception; from hosting community meetups to large scale events backed up large corporations. This active of a community coupled together with our fierce competitive nature meant that it was only a matter of time before Sri Lankans competed internationally.

Enter Silph League Arena: an international league for PVP Pokemon GO players. This led to the Silph World Championships where the top Trainers from all over the globe battled it out in Dortmund, Germany.

The Sri Lakan community was one of the few to host a Regional tournament where one of our own Prasanna ‘TheRealPv’ Vasan was chosen to attend the World Championships.

Prasanna is no stranger to competitive esports. Playing CounterStrike (both 1.6 and Global Offensive) for over 6 years, he was able to bag a win at SLCG’14 for CS:GO with NA | Team Encore. He’s also one of the founding members of the Pokémon GO Community for Sri Lanka (Facebook Group) the first community for trainers to interact with one another.

A lifelong fan of Pokemon Prasanna climbed the ranks rapidly reaching level 40 in September 2017 and at the cutoff point for the World Championship was ranked 879 in the world.

When asked about the experience he had at the tournament Prasanna had this to say :

“If I had to sum up the whole tournament experience in one word it would be ”competitive”. I know it is obvious when you have a world tournament with the best players together but to experience it first hand was different for me. Each round of matches I played were won and lost with the very closest margin and it was a great learning experience to be part of. Of course, I was disheartened that I could not make it to the last 8 finalists out of 64 but when I reflect on the whole journey now, it was a great experience throughout the last 8 months of this PVP timeline.  “RagingTaz” from Italy won the tournament clearly as an underdog beating top trainers ranked above him in the seed groups. I loved the esports feeling around it where our matches were watched on big screen and live streamed to audience with shout casters. It was great meeting the top ranked players in the world and sharing stories and memories and I hope Season 2 next year will be more grand scale than this.

I would like to thank each and every one who I have battled and learned something along the way and everyone who helped in numerous ways to make this happen. I am also grateful to all the volunteer admins of Pokemon GO Sri Lanka who have done so much behind the scene for the community from 2016 to be where we are right now. Season 2 of this PVP tournament journey will commence again next year in 2020 and I hope to see a lot of new participants from our community”

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