Nintendo is making some serious investments into esports via its flagship brand of Pokémon.
It has been reported that Pokémon Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby, the latest releases, alongside collectible card game Pokémon Trading Card Game will each be given notable prize pools in the region of $250,000 courtesy of Nintendo and The Pokémon Company.
The current format of a single yearly competition will also be expanded into a league with far more regular matches.
In other Nintendo esports news it has been revealed that the company is teaming up with ESL. The terms of this partnership will see Nintendo’s Wii U shooter Splatoon given six months worth of competitive play via the ESL site.
The winner of this tournament will receive an NX, Nintendo’s forthcoming new console about which very little has been confirmed. Despite Nintendo games such as Super Smash Bros having great competitive scenes, the company itself has invested in esports much later than the likes of EA, Microsoft, Sony and other publishers.
With Pokémon as a primary esports outlet however the Japanese firm has a major opportunity to catch up some ground on its competitors.