Official preview revealed for the 2023 Pokémon GO Oceania International Championship

The Pokémon Company has revealed more details regarding the 2023 Pokémon Championship Series. Read on below to learn more:

2023 Pokémon GO Oceania International Championship Preview

What will be the top strategies Down Under when the matches begin in Melbourne?

By Sophtoph, Contributing Writer

The second of the four International Championships of the 2023 Championship Series has arrived! The 2023 Pokémon GO Oceania International Championship will take place from February 17 to 19, 2023, in Melbourne, Australia, where four more Trainers will join the 34 that have already earned a ticket to the 2023 World Championships in Yokohama, Japan, later this summer.

Remember that you can watch matches live from Melbourne on throughout the competition. Visit the OCIC streaming page for more details.

With many talented Trainers expected to make an appearance and an international all-star staff gathered, OCIC is sure to be a great competition. To help you get ready to follow the action, let’s take a look at some of the top Pokémon and players heading into the event!

Pokémon GO Metagame Overview

When Trainers assemble teams of six Pokémon, most will draw one or two Pokémon from each of the following types: Fighting, Flying, Steel, and Ghost. Between them, these types can handle the most-played Pokémon right now as well as give each other cover from outside threats. The top Pokémon in these categories most often gain their status through some combination of high bulk, efficient Fast and Charged Attacks, and the versatile type coverage of their attacks.

Fighting-type and Counter Users

This category emphasizes Fighting-type Pokémon, but it also includes any Pokémon that can use the Fighting-type Fast Attack Counter. Counter’s combination of damage output and energy generation makes it one of the most efficient Fast Attacks in the game. As a result, its users can easily dispatch bulky Pokémon who are weak to Fighting-type attacks, like Umbreon and Galarian Stunfisk, in addition to winning many neutral matchups.

The most popular Pokémon on the circuit this season has been Medicham. Its Fighting and Psychic dual typing allows it to beat other Fighting-type Pokémon, and access to Ice Punch allows it to hit some of its most common threats—Noctowl and Trevenant—for supereffective damage. In addition, the variety of Medicham’s available moves allows it to fill multiple roles depending on the needs of the Trainer’s lineup. While its most common pair of Charged Attacks is Ice Punch and Psychic for maximum versatility, Medicham’s ability to learn Power-Up Punch or even Dynamic Punch means that it can throw off opponents who might try to absorb Medicham’s attacks with bulky Steel-type Pokémon.

The most common alternatives to Medicham for Trainers who want a Fighting type are Scrafty and Obstagoon. Scrafty and Obstagoon both have Dark as their second type and can learn Dark-type Charged attacks, so both can fill the niche of Fighting types that beat Ghost types. Scrafty, notably used during Fanuchin’s Top 8 finish in December’s Regional Championship in Brisbane, is less popular than Obstagoon because it’s less effective against the metagame’s many Ghost-type Pokémon. Obstagoon’s advantage and distinction is that unlike most Fighting types, it both can learn Counter and doesn’t take supereffective damage from Flying-type attacks. Interestingly, both Pokémon also have the capability to increase their Attack, providing them the potential to shred through unprepared or unlucky opponents—Obstagoon’s speedy Night Slash has a chance to increase its Attack by two stages, while Scrafty can quickly ramp up its Attack with Power-Up Punch.

Flying-type Pokémon

The biggest change to the metagame since the last International Championship, the Latin America Internationals, has been the rise of Flying-type Pokémon. The most recent move rebalance increased the energy gain of the Fast Attack Wing Attack, allowing its users to power up Charged Attacks more quickly and pressure Protect Shields. While Flying-type Pokémon have always served the role of challenging the types they’re strong against, like Grass and Fighting, Wing Attack users have become much better in neutral matchups.

The main implication of this has been that the already-common Noctowl has transformed from a solid Pokémon to an absolute staple. Noctowl’s Normal/Flying typing gives it favorable matchups against Fighting-type and Ghost-type Pokémon, which are very popular. Its matchup against Trevenant is the most lopsided in the current meta, and its ability to learn Shadow Ball gives it valuable coverage for counterplay against Steel types like Galarian Stunfisk. This Pokémon forms a near-perfect pair with Medicham, covering the Ghost-type Pokémon that Medicham is weak to while Medicham does well against the Ice- and Steel-type Pokémon that threaten Noctowl.

Altaria is the second-most common Flying-type Pokémon—while it doesn’t have access to Wing Attack, Dragon Breath allows it to power through almost every neutral matchup while still dispatching Grass- and Fighting-type Pokémon with relative ease.

Charizard, always a fan favorite, has finally had its time to shine in the Great League meta because of the Wing Attack rebalance. It was the breakout star of the Liverpool Regional Championship in January—it was featured by three of the Top 16 Trainers, including the winner, HumanCatcherBug. Wing Attack’s swift energy gain allows Charizard to quickly fire off the extremely hard-hitting Charged Attack Blast Burn, and Charizard’s ability to learn Dragon Claw gives it the opportunity to bait shields. Shadow Charizard, which deals and takes 20% more damage, can be especially terrifying—its Blast Burn, reached after only seven seconds, is one of a small handful of Charged Attacks capable of taking out the bulky Galarian Stunfisk with one hit.

A few other Flying-type Pokémon that have benefited from the Wing Attack rebalance are worth mentioning. Like Noctowl and Charizard, Pelipper—used in Brisbane by both g0nE1001 (Top 4) and Basherballgod (Top 8)—and Gliscor both benefited from the Wing Attack rebalance. They are often chosen because their second types (Water and Ground, respectively) mean they can deal damage to Galarian Stunfisk more quickly and better counter its role as a damage absorber. Mantine, previously a virtually unheard-of pick in the Great League, has also been seen in battles—it was most notably used by the 2022 Senior Division World Champion and 2023 Stuttgart Regional Champion MEWeedle. Mantine’s ability to learn Ice Beam, along with the advantages of being a Flying-type, allow it to challenge Noctowl and Medicham while also targeting common picks such as Swampert and Trevenant.

Steel-type Pokémon

Steel-type Pokémon are the natural answer to the ubiquitous Flying-type Pokémon. As a result, nearly every Trainer will likely include one in their lineup. The two dominant Steel-type Pokémon are Galarian Stunfisk and Registeel, both being flexible Pokémon with wide coverage in their Charged Attacks. At the beginning of the Championship Series season, Galarian Stunfisk was by far the more common Steel type—since the recent move rebalance, however, more Trainers have been opting to bring Registeel.

While Registeel is slower than Galarian Stunfisk, it has better matchups against the oh-so-important Medicham and Noctowl core, usually resisting all Charged Attacks from Medicham and almost knocking out Noctowl with a single Zap Cannon. These two Steel types are so strong that it’s not uncommon for Trainers to add both to their team. Bastiodon also occasionally makes an appearance in a Steel-type slot; its high bulk means that it wins most neutral matchups, but its inflexible, slow energy gain means that few Trainers are choosing to send it to battle—notably, one of these Trainers is Play! Pokémon caster and San Diego 2nd-place finisher CalebPeng.

Ghost-type Pokémon

The role of Ghost-type Pokémon is to target Medicham or find neutral matchups elsewhere. Trevenant and Sableye, who can learn the Fast Attack Shadow Claw and the Charged Attack Shadow Ball, often do well in neutral matchups with these efficient moves. Froslass also sees occasional play, as its dual Ice/Ghost typing allows it to break up the central Noctowl and Medicham core. Trevenant is the most commonly used Ghost-type Pokémon, and it was the fourth most common Pokémon overall in Liverpool—in addition to beating Medicham, its Grass typing tips the scales in its favor against Water-type Pokémon like Lanturn or Swampert and Ground-type Pokémon like Galarian Stunfisk. Trevenant can be a risky bargain, however, as going up against Noctowl almost always means a game loss.

Sableye, on the other hand, has long been considered one of the safest Pokémon in the Great League. Combining Shadow Claw with its Charged Attacks Foul Play and Return, Sableye can hit almost every Pokémon in the game for neutral damage. Its Dark/Ghost dual typing means that it only takes supereffective damage from Fairy-type attacks, which have significantly dropped in frequency since the recent rebalance decreased the damage output of the Fast Attack Charm.

Flying-type Counters

Flying-type Pokémon have become so prominent and powerful that it’s not enough to have a Steel-type Pokémon on your line of six to deter them—Trainers often opt to have at least one additional answer to Flying-type Pokémon. This usually takes the form of an Ice-type Pokémon, such as Alolan Ninetales, Walrein, Abomasnow, or Froslass, or the Electric-type Lanturn—the fifth-most used Pokémon in Liverpool. Lanturn’s rise has mainly occurred as a response to the increasing prominence of Noctowl, but it does well elsewhere, such as the neutral matchups against Umbreon, Sableye, Medicham, Registeel, and more. Lanturn is also the best answer to Charizard in the current meta, always dealing supereffective damage while comfortably resisting Charizard’s primary attacks. Trainers also have flexibility in what Fast Attack their Lanturn uses; Water Gun gives it better play against Ground types like Galarian Stunfisk and deals more Fast Attack damage, while Spark has the advantage of higher energy gain to pressure opponents into using Protect Shields.

Filling the Gaps

Most teams will draw at least one Pokémon from the types we’ve already discussed, which means there are still slots to fill to cover any outstanding weaknesses or bring additional flexible Pokémon. This is where we see some variety—often what makes a team unique are the flex picks a Trainer chooses to accompany their core.

Ghost-type Pokémon Counters

Normal- and Dark-type Pokémon are often used to deter opposing Ghost types. In particular, Umbreon has seen a huge surge in usage compared to last year. Its bulk and neutral play against the majority of the central meta mean that it can deal heavy damage in almost every single matchup. Lickitung’s anti-Ghost-type role has been usurped by Umbreon due to the rise of Noctowl, but Lickitung’s bulk and access to the cheap and efficient Charged Attack Body Slam still make it a solid pick. Dunsparce is also a good choice because it is highly disruptive to the central meta, having favorable matchups against Ghost-type Pokémon with its Normal typing, as well as to Flying-type Pokémon because of its Rock-type attacks.

Offensively Focused Pokémon

Some Pokémon don’t have specific targets—instead, they can deal extremely heavy damage in neutral matchups to pressure opponents and sweep endgames with hard-hitting Charged Attacks when shields are down. Venusaur and Swampert both can learn energy cheap and efficient Community Day–featured Charged Attacks (Frenzy Plant and Hydro Cannon, respectively), and they can pose serious threats to any Trainer that doesn’t have a hard answer to them. These Pokémon are especially common and potent in their Shadow form, when they deal 20% more damage.

Names to Watch

Now that we’ve spotlighted many of the Pokémon that will likely appear at OCIC, let’s take a look at some of the Trainers who might make a splash. Australia has hosted several Regional Championships between the 2022 and 2023 seasons, and many veteran Trainers who shined at those tournaments are expected to return.

ValiantVish, the 2022 Melbourne Regionals runner-up, has already earned his ticket to Yokohama for this season after winning in Brisbane. He’s also one of only a handful of Trainers who has qualified for both World Championships. We can expect to see him make a deep run as he hones his skills for Yokohama and continues to carve out his résumé as a dominant force in Oceania.

RicFlareon, the 2022 Melbourne Regional Champion who finished in the Top 16 at the most recent World Championship, will be looking to join ValiantVish to compete at his second World Championships. He has continued to show strong performance in grassroots competitions, and we can expect to see him vie for another title in Melbourne.

Robdrogo, the 2022 Perth champion, will also be looking for his second World Championship invite. However, as he wasn’t able to travel to London in 2022, he will undoubtedly be looking to do well at OCIC to enjoy the World Championship experience that he deserves.

g0nE1001 has been on the cusp of a Worlds invite multiple times, having finished third in Melbourne in 2022 and fourth in Brisbane this season. If he’s able to repeat those performances at OCIC, the larger prize table from International Championships compared to Regional Championships will mean a ticket to Yokohama.

YuseiFurou and DebbiePebble are both popular content creators who have experienced success at past championships. Having finished fourth in Melbourne and Perth, respectively, in 2022, both will undoubtedly have many fans cheering them on at OCIC.

Several other well-known names are also expected to make an appearance, including the following.

  • Avrip, a content creator and the 2022 Perth runner-up
  • Steeeeeeeeeeve7, a long-time content creator and meta analyst in grassroots tournaments
  • AceTrainer1993, who can often be found near the top of the GO Battle League leaderboard
  • Innerbloom94, arguably Australia’s strongest player in grassroots tournaments
  • DrTrotter, who finished in fifth place last season in Melbourne
  • Laurenlolly, who finished tenth place in Melbourne
  • RocketClare, who finished in the Top 16 in Melbourne and has enjoyed success in grassroots tournaments as well

These are just a handful of the 70+ Trainers we will see compete, and there are undoubtedly many more to support.

We’ve taken a look at the Pokémon and Trainers who we expect to top OCIC, but arguably the best part of watching and following these championships is seeing new Pokémon take their place in the meta or previously unknown Trainers make a name for themselves. Now that you’re ready to enjoy the show, tune into from February 17 to 19, 2023, to follow all the action live!

About the Writer

Sophtoph is a contributing writer for She has been an avid enjoyer of the GO Battle League since its release and has reached the top 10 on its global leaderboards. She can often be found sharing her battles at or with her Pokémon GO Battle League–dedicated Discord community.


Get a First Look at Plans for the 2023 Pokémon Championship Series

The 2023 Play! Pokémon season features the return of Pokémon TCG, Pokémon GO, VGC, Pokémon UNITE, and much more!

After an invigorating return to competitive Pokémon during the 2022 Pokémon Championship Series, we have more details regarding the future of the series. The 2023 Pokémon Championship Series, leading to the 2023 Pokémon World Championships, will include four different Pokémon games: the Pokémon Trading Card Game, Pokémon video games, Pokémon GO, and Pokémon UNITE. Regional Championships and International Championships will continue to be hosted across North America, Europe, Latin America, and Oceania, and Travel Awards will be available for these events.

The age divisions for players in the 2023 season will increase by one year from the 2022 season:

  • Junior Division: Born in 2011 or later
  • Senior Division: Born in 2007, 2008, 2009, or 2010
  • Masters Division: Born in 2006 or earlier

2023 Pokémon TCG Championship Series

The Pokémon TCG Championship Series largely remains unchanged going into the 2023 season and will continue to suspend all local Championship Point (CP) tournaments (e.g., League Challenges and League Cups) until further notice.

2023 Pokémon Video Game Championship (VGC) Series

With Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet releasing later this year, we will reevaluate the structure of the 2023 VGC circuit. After the 2022 World Championships, there will be no Video Game Championship Series events until January 2023, when all competitive events will be played in Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet. More information will be released later in 2022.

2023 Pokémon GO Championship Series

Following the success of the inaugural 2022 season, Pokémon GO will return to the 2023 Pokémon Championship Series. Pokémon GO will feature at many more events alongside both the Pokémon TCG and VGC events. All players will compete in a single age division in the 2023 Pokémon GO Championship Series.

2023 Pokémon UNITE Championship Series

Pokémon UNITE will return to the Pokémon Championship Series in 2023. Stay tuned for more details.

Event Schedule and Travel Awards

Regional Championships will continue to take place in the 2023 season, with numerous events making their way to North America, Europe, and Latin America. Special Events will also return to Europe for the 2023 season. There are currently no announced Regional Championships for Oceania; however, details of those events will be announced at a later date. Most Regionals will feature both Pokémon TCG and Pokémon GO during this season’s Championship Series, and Regionals taking place after January 2023 will also feature VGC events using Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet. The main competitions for Regional Championships in North America will take place on Saturdays and Sundays, but competitors are encouraged to show up early to check in and compete in side events on Fridays. More Regionals will be announced at a later date. Dates, locations, and formats are subject to change.

North America Regional Championships Schedule

Date Location Game(s)
September 16–18, 2022 Baltimore Regional Championships

Baltimore Convention Center

1 W Pratt St

Baltimore, MD 21201, USA

Pokémon TCG

Pokémon GO

October 14–16, 2022 Salt Lake City Regional Championships

Salt Palace Convention Center

100 S W Temple St

Salt Lake City, UT 84101, USA

Pokémon TCG

Pokémon GO

December 2–4, 2022 Toronto Regional Championships

The Enercare Centre

100 Princes’ Blvd Unit 1, Toronto, ON M6K 3C3, Canada

Pokémon TCG

Pokémon GO

December 16–18, 2022 Arlington Regional Championships

Arlington Convention Center

1200 Ballpark Way, Arlington, TX 76011, USA

Pokémon TCG

Pokémon GO

January 6–8, 2023 San Diego Regional Championships

San Diego Convention Center

111 W Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101, USA

Pokémon TCG

Pokémon GO


February 3–5, 2023 Florida Regional Championships

Orange County Convention Center

9400 Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819, USA

Pokémon TCG

Pokémon GO


February 24–26, 2023 Knoxville Regional Championships

Knoxville Convention Center

701 Henley St, Knoxville, TN 37902, USA

Pokémon TCG

Pokémon GO


March 10–12, 2023 Vancouver Regional Championships

Vancouver Convention Center

1055 Canada Pl, Vancouver, BC V6C 0C3, Canada

Pokémon TCG

Pokémon GO


March 24–26, 2023 Charlotte Regional Championships

Charlotte Convention Center

501 S College St, Charlotte, NC 28202, USA

Pokémon TCG

Pokémon GO


May 5–7, 2023 Portland Regional Championships

Oregon Convention Center

777 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Portland, OR 97232, USA

Pokémon TCG

Pokémon GO


May 19–21, 2023 Hartford Regional Championships

Connecticut Convention Center

100 Columbus Blvd, Hartford, CT 06103, USA

Pokémon TCG

Pokémon GO


June 16–18, 2023 Wisconsin Regional Championships

The Wisconsin Center

400 W Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53203, USA

Pokémon TCG

Pokémon GO


Europe Regional Championships and Special Events Schedule

Date Location Game(s)
September 17–18, 2022 Bilbao Special Event

Bilbao Exhibition Centre

Azkue Kalea, 1, 48902 Barakaldo, Bizkaia, Spain

Pokémon TCG

Pokémon GO

October 22–23, 2022 Lille Regional Championships

Lille Grand Palais

1 Bd des Cités Unies, 59777 Lille, France

Pokémon TCG

Pokémon GO

November 12–13, 2022 Warsaw Regional Championships

Expo XXI

Ignacego Prądzyńskiego 12/14, 01-222 Warsaw, Poland

Pokémon TCG

Pokémon GO

December 3–4, 2022 Stuttgart Regional Championships

ICS International Congress Center Stuttgart

Landesmesse Stuttgart GmbH, Messepiazza 1, 70629 Stuttgart, Germany

Pokémon TCG

Pokémon GO

January 21–22, 2023 Liverpool Regional Championships

ACC Liverpool

King’s Dock, Port of Liverpool, Kings Dock St, Liverpool L3 4FP, UK

Pokémon TCG

Pokémon GO


February 25–26, 2023 Bochum Regional Championships

RuhrCongress Bochum

Stadionring 20, 44791 Bochum, Germany

Pokémon TCG

Pokémon GO


March 18–19, 2023 Utrecht Special Event


Jaarbeursplein, 3521 AL Utrecht, Netherlands

Pokémon TCG

Pokémon GO


May 20–21, 2023 Malmö Regional Championships

MalmöMässan Exhibition & Congress Center

Mässgatan 6, 215 32 Malmö, Sweden

Pokémon TCG

Pokémon GO


Latin America Regional Championships Schedule

Date Location Game(s)
September 17–18, 2022 Porto Alegre Regional Championships

FIERGS Events Center

Av. Assis Brasil, 8787 – Sarandi, Porto Alegre – RS, 91140-001, Brazil

Pokémon TCG

Pokémon GO

International Championships will also return for the 2023 Pokémon Championship Series, with events in Latin America, Oceania, Europe, and North America. Pokémon TCG Travel Awards will function the same for this event as they did previously—CP earned from the day after the Europe International Championships through and including the North America International Championships will determine Travel Awards for the Latin America International Championships. Because VGC events do not resume until January, VGC Championship Points earned during this period will determine Travel Awards for the Oceania International Championships.

International Championships Schedule

Date Region Location Game(s)
November 25–27, 2022 Latin America São Paulo, Brazil Pokémon TCG

Pokémon GO

February 17–19, 2023 Oceania Melbourne, Australia Pokémon TCG

Pokémon GO


April 14–16, 2023 Europe London, UK Pokémon TCG

Pokémon GO


June 23–25 2023 North America Columbus, Ohio, USA Pokémon TCG

Pokémon GO


This is only the first update regarding the 2023 Pokémon Championship Series season. Further updates will be provided as more information is confirmed. Please keep checking for the latest information on Play! Pokémon events.



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