The 2023 Pokémon World Championships, taking place in Yokohama, Japan, are in full swing, but not without controversy. This year’s tournament has seen a rise in disqualifications, making it clear that Pokémon Co. is putting its foot down against hacked Pokémon.
Several Pokémon Scarlet/Violet pro players were shocked to find themselves eliminated due to the use of hacked Pokémon in their lineups. While hacking tools have been used by some players to create their desired rosters, with the Pokémon having legitimate stats, Pokémon Co. has deemed these creatures as illegitimate.
One of the notable competitors, Brady Smith, expressed his dismay on Twitter after being disqualified, lamenting that he should have gotten his Pokémon himself. Roberto Parente, who had a strong performance at last year’s World Championship, was also thrown out of the tournament, expressing his frustration and calling for respect.
The use of homebrew programs like PKHeX to edit save data and create hacked versions of desired teams is not a new phenomenon in the Pokémon community. While these actions are against the rules, they are often used to save time.
DQ’d at 2-0. Should have gotten my mons myself!
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
— Brady Smith – VGC Corner (@vgccorner) August 11, 2023
This year’s World Championship is seeing stricter checks, catching pros off guard. Some believe that this strict stance should have been consistent throughout the season. Players like Federico Camporesi, runner-up at the 2020 World Championship, have been allowed to continue with the rest of their teams, but hacked Pokémon were removed from play.
Got disqualified from worlds last round on 4-2, I cannot stop crying.
So many effort put in this season for literally nothing, cancelling the open less than 1 month before worlds + this new hack check last minute way its no sense.
We spend money for this, we need RESPECT.
— Roberto Parente (@TrainerRobVGC) August 11, 2023
Reactions within the community are mixed. While some view the use of hacking shortcuts as undermining the integrity of Pokémon and applaud the ousting of players using such methods, others see these shortcuts as necessary for evolving strategies without sacrificing hundreds of hours across multiple games.
Some competitors argue that the rule against hacking is “silly” and that most top players don’t care about opponents taking shortcuts. Others, however, feel like this new stance in Japan brings an unnecessary complication, especially considering the practices that have been previously accepted.
The 2023 Pokémon World Championships will be remembered not only for the games but also for the firm stance taken against hacked Pokémon, a decision that is sure to be discussed and analyzed long after the event has concluded.