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Europe - Pok'©mon players battling for invites to the Pok'©mon World Championships in Hawaii

In exciting news for Pokémon Trainers across Europe, The Pokémon Company International has announced the dates for the Pokémon Video Game National Championships, which take place from March 3rd through April 1st, 2012, in five major cities throughout Europe, including Birmingham, United Kingdom; Essen, Germany; Paris, France; Madrid, Spain; and Milan, Italy. Players will compete in three age divisions based on their year of birth.

New for each of the five 2012 Pokémon Video Game National Championships European events: a total of four top finishers from each age division, up from two last year, will win travel and accommodation for the 2012 Pokémon World Championships held August 10th–12th, 2012, in Hawaii, U.S.A. Players under the age of 18 will also receive travel and accommodation for one accompanying adult.

New for this year, players can build their teams using Pokémon from the National Pokédex and must play using the Pokémon Black Version or Pokémon White Version video games for the Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo DS family of systems.

“Opening up the National Pokédex for competition, and thus expanding the number of Pokémon that can be used in the 2012 season, will only increase the skill and strategy needed to be crowned a Pokémon Video Game National Champion,” said J.C. Smith, director of Consumer Marketing for The Pokémon Company International. “We look forward to seeing the thousands of Pokémon players and fans who will be attending the five European National Championships events this spring.”

2012 Pokémon Video Game National Championships, European Dates and Locations:

Saturday 3rd March - UK, Birmingham, NEC, Hall 11
Saturday 10th March - Germany, Essen, Messe Essen, Halle 1A
Saturday 17th March - France, Paris, Espace Champerret, Hall C
Saturday 24th March - Spain, Madrid, IFEMA, Pabellón 5
Sunday 1st April - Italy, Milan, Centro Congressi Milanfiori, Strada 1

Players will compete in one of three age divisions, based on their dates of birth:

Junior Division - born in 2001 or later
Senior Division - born in 1997, 1998, 1999, or 2000
Masters Division - born in 1996 or earlier

All tournaments are free to play with entry granted on a first-come, first-served basis. Space will be capped so players are encouraged to arrive early for registration. At all European National locations, the Masters Division line opens at 8:00 A.M. and closes at 8:30 A.M. the Junior and Senior lines open at 12:30 P.M. and close at 1:00 P.M. Go to www.pokemon.co.uk/vgc to review caps on the number of entrants at the National qualifiers for the 2012 Pokémon Video Game Championships.

The tournament will use Double Battles and will take place via Infrared Connection; competitors taking part at the European qualifying events may only use European versions of the video games and must have a Player ID to participate. If players have a Pokémon Trainer Club account but do not have a Player ID, they can obtain one by logging into their account and visiting https://www.pokemon.com/uk/account/upgrade2/. Competitors must bring their Player ID to their event to compete.

For more information about the Pokémon Video Game National Championships, including full conditions of entry, tournament locations, dates and times, prizes, and more, please visit: www.pokemon.co.uk/vgc.

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